Prouse & Saunders flax mill workers; circa 1906; T 177643/3


Prouse & Saunders flax mill workers

About this object

Workers from the Prouse & Saunders flax mill, Paturau, Golden Bay, pose for a comical group portrait. Shows a skull and crossbones banner (possibly representing The Paturau Pirates rugby team) and various leisure activities.

Place Made

New Zealand

Date Made

circa 1906

Object Type

Glass plate negative

Medium and Materials

Gelatin dry plate

Named Collection

Tyree Studio Collection

Object number

T 177643/3

Copyright Licence  

All rights reserved

Nick Wallingford 28 Jan 2010 19:35 PM,UTC

At least some of the mill workers (well, at least the timber mill which was also part of the same business) had come with Percy and Herbert Prouse from Levin, where their father James and uncle Richard were still milling. There seemed to be quite a long term set of relationships involving business, family and religion associated with Prouse Timber.

Ron Brownson 28 Jan 2010 00:55 AM,UTC

I have thought more about this intriguing image. I reckon that these guys not only worked together at the Prouse and Saunders flaxmill on a daily basis, they have joined together here to create this sports 'tableau' for the specific occasion of Fred Tyree's visit. The fact that it combines Savage Club symbols like the skull and cross-bones is not surprising considering the period - 1906 - as this type of imagery was common in male group photography throughout New Zealand. I had not really seen how carefully they have all dressed for this photographic event. Such clean shirts mean that they are all in their Sunday best.

Ron Brownson 21 Oct 2008 02:32 AM,UTC

I thought that Frederick Tyree made more than one photographic record of this group of workers at the Paturau Flax Mill in the summer of 1906. The very careful layout of men who are wearing white clothing indicates just how carefully he posed all the figures.

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