Clarence River Historical Society president Frank Mack with photos by  German photographer Carl Ehlers.
Clarence River Historical Society president Frank Mack with photos by German photographer Carl Ehlers.

Grant helps preserve photographic history

By JULIA ILES

SCHAEFFER House, home of the Clarence River Historical Society, has secured a $5000 grant to restore 140 regional photos taken by German photographer Carl Ehlers over a century ago.

"The photos date from 1892-97 and are in excellent condition," president of the society Frank Mack said.

"Currently the pictures are in a scrapbook which once belonged to Mrs Lasker, the wife of a school principal, but has been in the possession of the society for about 50 to 60 years.

"She used to collect the photographs and paste them into her scrapbook," he said.

The photographs include street scenes, upper and lower river scenes and pictures of people.

After advice from photographers, it was estimated the cost for each photograph to be lifted off the paper and mounted was about $70.

"They show really primitive conditions, there is one that stood out of two Aboriginals fleeing from a bushfire, it may have been staged though," he said.

The grant was received from the Gordon Darling Foundation, which is a philanthropic nonprofit organisation based in Melbourne, that supports visual art projects.

It is the second grant the society has received from the foundation after getting $5000 to treat and preserve several water colour paintings of Prince Street in 1863 by Mrs Selwyn ? a reverend's wife.



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