Country girls – Photo of the day
Published by Kathy Hackett on November 4, 2010 in Photo of the day.
This is another photograph from the Wong Ah Sat archive. The unidentified girls in this photograph may have been friends or neighbours of Amelia Eve Wong and Henry Hackney Wong, two enthusiastic amateur photographers who lived on their family’s property at Bolong, NSW. Amelia Eve Wong and her brother created many outdoor portraits such as this one, posing their well-dressed subjects in the rural landscape.
The girl on the far right is wearing a sailor-style blouse with a skirt. The sailor suit was a form of children’s dress that gained popularity after being adopted by the British Royal family in the 19th century. By the time that this photograph was taken, in the early years of the 20th century, the sailor suit was mass produced and available for girls as well as boys. Practical and durable, it was also powerful symbol of the British empire. Other childrens sailor suits and more information about the history of this garment can be viewed on the Powerhouse Museum collection database.
Wong Ah Sat, father of Amelia Eve and Henry Hackney Wong, came to Australia from southern China in 1857. In 1864 he married Amelia Hackney, who had come with her prosperous and well-educated family from Manchester, England, where they had been involved in the drapery trade. Sat and Amelia took up a property near Bathurst and later moved to Bolong where they ran a store and raised a large family, becoming respected members of the predominantly Anglo-Celtic farming community.
The Powerhouse Museum holds a collection of objects and photographs from the Wong family, many of which are currently on display in the exhibition, What’s in store? A history of retailing in Australia.
Photography by Amelia Eve Wong and/or Henry H. Wong
Powerhouse Museum collection: 97/92/12-5/38
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