Such was life

Ledger recording details and placement of seed varieties sewn in the gardens at Sunnybrae, 1984-2005 (YMS 16267, Box 62)

The archive of a pioneer ‘slow’ food restaurant

May 29, 2020

People & professions, Social life & customs, Such was life:

Coinciding with the reopening of many of Victoria’s restaurants after lockdown, we celebrate the story of Sunnybrae, a much-loved regional restaurant ‘in the middle of a paddock’, and the early innovations in food provenance and seasonal, sustainable produce that it became known for.

Player payments and the great bribery scandal

Player payments and the great bribery scandal

May 5, 2020

Sport, Such was life:

In 1900, the VFL prohibited player payments. The upshot? Shady dealings with players, investigations, suspensions- and a pay rise.

The marvellous and macabre Waxworks, part two: sideshow magic and human curiosities

The marvellous and macabre Waxworks, part two: sideshow magic and human curiosities

May 4, 2020

Social life & customs, Such was life:

Part two of the story of the Melbourne Waxworks, featuring a water nymph, the Chinese giant and the ‘half lady’ illusion.

Quarantine and the Little Red Bluff

Quarantine and the Little Red Bluff

April 27, 2020

Such was life:

Dr Barry Cotter (Melbourne’s first medical doctor) was preparing to leave for an extended tour of Europe when, in April 1840: On the eve of his departure the ship Glen… Read More ›

On the ‘shick’ in Little Lon

On the ‘shick’ in Little Lon

April 16, 2020

Buildings & streets, Social life & customs, Such was life:

Of all the slums in inner Melbourne, ‘Little Lon’, was the most notorious. But there was more to the precinct than met the eye…

Blondin and his imitators

Blondin and his imitators

March 26, 2020

People & professions, Such was life:

In the 1870s, a visiting French tightrope walker inspired others to try the same- often with disastrous results.

The marvellous and macabre Waxworks, part one: ‘…the more murderers, the more it thrives.’

The marvellous and macabre Waxworks, part one: ‘…the more murderers, the more it thrives.’

March 4, 2020

Social life & customs, Such was life:

Before true crime podcasts and books on serial killers, where did Melburnians go for their taste of the macabre? To the waxworks of course.

Original writing box containing correspondence, from the Syme Family Papers collection

A lesser known story of the Syme family

February 5, 2020

People & professions, Such was life:

Found within the family papers of The Age editor-in-chief David Syme, are a set of letters that give a small insight into the women of the Syme family.

The collar king

The collar king

January 15, 2020

People & professions, Such was life, War:

A chance find in an opportunity shop sets the finder on the trail of Melbourne’s former ‘Collar King’.

‘I’m the boy that brings the news, so a Christmas box I won’t refuse.’

‘I’m the boy that brings the news, so a Christmas box I won’t refuse.’

December 13, 2019

People & professions, Social life & customs, Such was life:

Don’t forget the postie, milkman and garbo!