Every Cloud Has a Neon Lining

It’s a simple message, welcoming visitors to the Maitland Regional Art Gallery (MRAG) – don’t worry, be happy. A smiling cloud sheds happy tears, brightening the day of anyone who sees it on the outside of MRAG, where it was installed in 2019. Its message is most effective at night, when its neon light illuminates […]

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Simply Electric

The American inventor Thomas Edison is claimed to have said that to invent ‘you need a good imagination and a pile of junk’. It would have been easy for excavators working in William Street, Brisbane, to see these tubes as junk and throw them away. But these tubes are of World Significance as some of […]

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Darkness at Will

When lecturing on the advancements made in electric light technology to 1882, Rookes Crompton (1845-1940), the inventor and maker of the current indicator shown here, told his electrical engineering colleagues that with ‘more light’ darkness could be determined at will, rather than controlled by the cycle of night and day. From early childhood Crompton was […]

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Slow to Turn

Its been more than 100 years since electricity was installed at West Wallsend. The bulb and fitting shown here is an electric light that belonged to undertaker and carpenter William Turnbull (Snr). It dates from the era when West Wallsend, then a small coal mining town, switched to using electricity. Today, safe, reliable lighting in […]

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First Light

Tamworth was the first town and municipality in Australia, and the Southern Hemisphere, to install electric streetlights. The Veness Letter Book, pictured here, documents the unfolding story of this celebrated occasion. Installed in 1888, the electric streetlights replaced poor performing gas and kerosene lamps, which dimly lit the centre of town. The installation of electric […]

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Advertise Here

Along with ice-cream, advertising has been a mainstay of the cinema experience in Australia. Indeed, as soon as the large movie screen appeared it was used for promotion, and cinema advertising quickly became an important revenue stream for operators. In the 1950s, and before the main feature movie, these colourful, or ‘talkie’, slides were shown […]

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