Sunday, February 1, 2015

Thames (NZ): Second look - Thames Post & Telegraph 1900

The quality of images that are available from sites like the National Library of  New Zealand and Digital NZ, allows us to take a SECOND LOOK and see what secrets can be found. What did we miss? What can we learn about the people. places in the photo, to allow us to better understand the lives of out early Thamesites.

Above: Post and Telegraph Office in Queen Street, Thames. Photographed circa 1900 by William
 Archer Price. (1)

On SECOND LOOK, we see that there are five people in the photo - four males and one woman. There are tow boys in matching clothes waiting at the gate, they could be telegram messengers awaiting the next errand. The man at the rear has just left the Post and Telegraph Office at the south (right ) end of the Government buildings. He is carrying his coat over his left arm...was it raining or had the day got hotter than when he started his journey?  The woman and man on the left are deep in conversation. Has he just told her a joke? Asked her out?

The centre of the building has notices for the Lands Department, Government Insurance Department and a slot in the door labelled 'Telegrams'. There are at least two bicycles behind the fence - could they belong to a worker, or maybe the police. There are three white objects hanging around the side of the porch, are they a mailbag??? The picket fence is a classic for houses and buildings of the 1900s.
There is so much more, style of building, the windows...the list goes on. Morale of the story, pause and take a second look. Enlarge the image or use a good old magnifying glass!

(1) : Post and Telegraph Office, Thames. Price, William Archer, 1866-1948 :Collection of post card negatives. Ref: 1/2-001551-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

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