Lost Brisbane and surrounding areas 1860 to 1960 is a joint publication of The Royal Historical Society of Queensland and QBD The Bookshop. It is a spectacular collection of more than 500 photographs from the Society's Photographic Collection that traces the development and changes in the city and its environs over a period of 100 years.
This book is not only about buildings and places that no longer exist. It highlights the changes in landscapes, streetscapes, work places, transport, and recreational pursuits. Brisbane's hilly terrain made it a challenge for transport systems to develop but gave the residents wonderful views. The camera unleashed a great opportunity to record the life of the city and panoramas from key vantage points show how the landscape has changed.
So much of Brisbane has been governed by the river. Always dominant, its meandering path made it difficult to establish a port and wharves close to the centre. Floods have been a reminder of the power of nature and
photographs vividly show these forces.
A major feature now lost in central Brisbane was the extent of factories and industry adjacent to and in the midst of retail and residential buildings. Photographs
capture these places as well as the incidental details of everyday life - the horse-drawn vehicles and early motor cars, trams, the clothes and hats, the advertisements, the shopfronts, people working in familiar and unfamiliar jobs.
Yet, the common thread through all of the
photographs is the resilience of the people: Aboriginal people and their relationship with newcomers; the immigrants and the adjustments they made in a subtropical
environment; and the adjustments all made to
new technologies and advancements over the century.
This book is not a nostalgic lament for a lost past. It offers authoritative insights into the way Brisbane and surrounding areas have developed and changed since the 1860s.