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Dyer, Frederick Simpson: Milkshakes and Bomb Shelter (c.1940)


This 16mm black-and-white home movie shot by Frederick Simpson Dyer features three children riding their bikes in Balwyn, Victoria, enjoying milkshakes at an old-fashioned milk bar, and playing in a bomb shelter in their backyard.

Curator’s notes

Between 1936 and 1943, Frederick Simpson Dyer made a number of 16mm home movies to record holidays, birthdays, and family outings. This footage offers a beautiful glimpse of suburban Australia during the Second World War through the everyday recreational activities of the Dyer family. This vivid movie includes self-contained scenes that build a short narrative, such as the trip to the milk bar (clip two) and the bomb shelter (clip three).

Home movies became possible with the invention of 16mm film in 1923, although the prohibitive cost of camera equipment limited their making to a narrow cross-section of society. For more of Dyer’s home movies, see Dyer, Frederick Simpson: Cinema and its Workings: Home Movie and Dyer, Frederick Simpson: Children’s Party and Beach, both 1941.