A Photographic History

A Photographic History
It was mentioned the other day in a paragraph in "The Press" that a local resident had presented the Mayor with two old photographs of Christchurch scenes. It seems that here is the germ of an idea that might well be developed - the securing and preservation, either in the City Council offices or the Museum, of a series of photographs which would show the changes occurring continually in the city and suburbs and almost unnoticed by those who see them taking place. The desirableness of such a collection, its future interest and historical value, can be realised by remembering that the present-day knowledge possessed by most of us regarding the infant city of Christchurch is obtained from pictures reproduced from photographs taken by that pioneer of photography in Christchurch, Dr. Barker.

The views shown in the illustrated lecture on old Christchurch, which used to to given a good many years ago by the late Mr G. R. Hart, in conjunction with Mr E. W. Seager, were, we believe, reproductions of these photographs. They were deeply interesting twenty-five years ago - a century hence I they will be extraordinarily so. In a lesser, but not greatly diminished degree, the same can be said of photographs, if any exist, of the Christchurch of the '80's and '90's. Let any of our readers try to imagine Cathedral square, for instance, as it was then, or High street, or the Carlton road, or, going out of the city, large areas of St. Albans, and Riccarton, and Fendalton. If he has a good "eye-memory" he may be able to picture these places and districts as they were, say, in 1893, but the chances are that his recollection of most of them would be imperfect, to say the best of it. And it would be the same a quarter of a century hence with anyone trying to recall the appearance of a city street or suburban road in 1918.

In any scheme of a photographic history of the city, the parks and public gardens should not be overlooked. The parks naturally alter less than other parts, but even there the growth of the trees has quite changed the landscape, and portions of the gardens have altered even in the past few years almost beyond recognition by anyone who has not lived here all the time.

The matter may seem trivial now, but if it is worth doing at all, as we believe it is, it should be begun without much delay. It is only a matter of comparatively few years before all the old buildings in Christchurch will have disappeared, and all the unoccupied areas around it will be built upon. There is a fine collection of photographs of the pioneers in the Museum; let the present generation see to it that they preserve some adequate record of the Christchurch of which those early settlers laid the foundations.

Press, Volume LIV, Issue 16136, 14 February 1918, Page 6

A Photographic History
To The Editor of "The Press."
Sir, — Following on your leading article under above title in "The Press," February 14th, you will, be interested, to know the recommendation contained in the leader is further reaching than you may have anticipated, and I shall not be required to beg pardon for referring to the subject again. The Rev. Canon Stack, from far-away Great Britain, who had occasion to thank me for finding a much cherished but long-lost photograph taken in the early sixties, proves in the following extract, which I take the liberty of quoting, what a deep interest would be felt in the photographic history of Canterbury, which it appears was contemplated by Dr. Barker about 1865:

"You have given me something that I shall prize highly, the photo of my old church, St. Stephen's, Kaiapoi, taken by Dr. Barker. I have fretted a good deal about the loss of an original copy which Mr S. Barker gave me. It was with several others I treasured when we moved from our villa at Bordighera, Italy, to Worthing, England. The history of the original plate is this: Dr. Barker found in photography a pleasant source of recreation, and conceived the idea of forming a pictorial history of the changing period through which Canterbury was passing in the sixties when the old shanties, raupo huts and tents were being replaced by substantial buildings. So he procured a sort of Gipsy van and fitted it as a photographic studio, and then he made a tour of the province commencing with Christchurch, and its immediate neighbourhood. In the course of his tour he appeared one morning at St. Stephen's, I was away on one of my missionary visits to the Peninsula, but Mrs Stack induced a number of the Maoris to gather round the church door, and the school children, under Miss Taylor, the teacher, and our children and the nurse, Miss Comyns, formed part of the group — Mrs Stack is the lady with crinoline in the foreground. The Paddy O'Rafferty in a belltopper is Te Aika, the white beard is Albert Koti, Wi Naehira and C. Tehoika were in the crowd.
On getting home I was not quite pleased to find that the natives presented a rather shabby group, or I would rather they had been in Maori mats, but Dr. Barker was in such a hurry he could not wait till more natives had assembled, and had dressed for the occasion."

I wish to stress the fact that the most laudable and hard work of beginning the pictorial history should be kept in view, and the now scattered negatives, as well as the prints from negatives damaged and broken, should be collected, and good enlargements made, for the purposes of the photographic history. It will be the work of many to unite in restoring the pictures to some central depot from which copies may be printed to supply the standard record albums to be preserved in the Canterbury Museum.—

Yours, etc., J. L. W.
March 16th.

Press, Volume LIV, Issue 16165, 20 March 1918, Page 9


Canterbury Museum, 28th May, 1892. Sir, I find from an examination of the Museum accounts for 1890 and 1891 in the Registrars Office, that the Museum paid during those years about eighteen pounds (£18) to Mr Easter for photographs and negatives. None of these are now in the Museum. Mr W. S. Colclough informs me that Mr Forbes packed up and took away from the Museum a number of photographs and negatives, but he does not know if they these are the ones paid for by the Museum.
I have the honour to be, &c, (Signed) F. W. Hutton, Acting Curator.
Press, Volume XLIX, Issue 8186, 31 May 1892, Page 5


The Star, Issue 9556, 31 May 1909, Page 3

Press, Volume LII, Issue 15602, 29 May 1916, Page 6

 Press, Volume LII, Issue 15649, 22 July 1916, Page 8

  Press, Volume LV, Issue 16454, 22 February 1919, Page 13

Pulman, Elizabeth

Elizabeth Pulman

Press, Volume LVI, Issue 10467, 4 October 1899, Page 8
A view from near Princess Wharf, Auckland looking across to
Devonport and Mt Victoria with Rangitoto Island in the far distance; photograph by Elizabeth Pulman.
[purchased September 2021]

unknown woman photographed by Elizabeth Pulman
[purchased February 2022]

[purchased March 2023]

[purchased March 2023]

For Sale

The Star, Issue 9556, 31 May 1909, Page 3

The Star, Issue 6190, 19 March 1888, page 2

Star , Issue 6429, 26 December 1888, Page 2
The Star, Issue 5987, 23 July 1887, Page 2

The Star, Issue 5991, 28 July 1887, Page 2

The Star, Issue 5604, 28 April 1886, Page 2
The Star, Issue 5571, 19 March 1886, Page 2

The Star, Issue 5518, 16 January 1886, Page 2

Star , Issue 5473, 21 November 1885, Page 2
Star , Issue 5473, 21 November 1885, Page 2

below: 10x12 Ross Rapid Symmetrical lens in brass barrel

Star , Issue 5315, 20 May 1885, Page 2

Star , Issue 4875, 14 December 1883, Page 2

Star , Issue 3328, 6 December 1878, Page 2
Star , Issue 2967, 5 October 1877, Page 2
Star , Issue 2945, 10 September 1877, Page 3
Star , Issue 2887, 4 July 1877, Page 2

Star , Issue 2810, 5 April 1877, Page 2

The Star, Issue 1873, 4 March 1874, Page 1

Gem Studio

Gem Studio 
236 Colombo Street

Star, Issue 7161, 27 July 1901, Page 5

Star, Issue 7226, 12 October 1901, Page 5

Star, Issue 7299, 11 January 1902, Page 5

Star, Issue 7299, 11 January 1902, Page 5

Star, Issue 7299, 11 January 1902, Page 5

   Star, Issue 7605, 18 January 1902, Page 5

BUSH, William Henry

William Henry Bush
Photographic Collector

  William Henry Bush
Fifty Year's Progress in Canterbury, 15 December 1900, page 16.

born 24 January 1834 Great Dunmow, Essex, England
arrived Lyttelton 3 October 1857 on the "Glentanner"
died 22 May 1910 at his residence 131 Fitzgerald Avenue, Christchurch in his 77th year.
buried 25 May 1910 Barbadoes Street Cemetery, Christchurch.

In the early 1890's William Henry Bush made a collection of photographs of early settlers to Canerbury which he donated to the Canterbury Museum. Many of these photographs where taken by the photographer Charles Henry Manning. For details of this collection see - The Early Settlers of Canterbury.

 Press, Volume XLIX, Issue 8175, 18 May 1892, Page 3

 Press, Volume L, Issue 8669, 19 December 1893, Page 2

An Old Colonist.
To the Editor of  the Press,
Sir,— I understand Mr William Bush, the pioneer painter of the trade in Christchurch, and who was seventy years of age on Sunday last, contemplates visiting his talented daughter, Miss M. E. Bush, in London. He is such an old identity, having arrived here in 1857, and has done so much for the city, especially in keeping green the memory of old pioneers and pilgrims by his splendid collection of portraits of them in the Museum, I think he should not be allowed to leave our shores, even temporarily, without some recognition, and I hope that steps will be immediately taken to render the contemplated trip more pleasant and agreeable, by relieving him of some of the burdens. It could very easily be done if we extend to him the generosity he has always extended to others.— I am etc.,

THOS. KENT. Per ship Cressy December 27th, 1850. Christchurch, Jan. 29th, 1904.
Press, Volume LXI, Issue 11805, 1 February 1904, Page 9

Mr. W. H. BUSH is a native of Great Dunmow, Essex , England, and was born on the 24th of January, 1834 ... Mr. Bush, who is well known in Christchurch, and the oldest local surviving member of the guild of house decorators, arrived in Lyttelton by the ship "Glentanner" on the 3rd of October, 1857. Probably no man living is better acquainted than he is with Christchurch and the human side of the history of its people. For a long time he devoted himself to the work of collecting photograph s of the pioneer and pilgrim settlers of Canterbury, and he presented his collection to the Christchurch Museum in January, 1895. Since then it has at attracted, and must continue to attract and interest visitors to the Museum. Mr Bush is the father of Miss M. E. Bush, pianist and vocalist, whose notice appears in another section of this volume.

The Cyclopedia of New Zealand
Volume 3. - Canterbury Provincial District - 1903, page 357.
Published by The Cyclopedia Company Limited, 153 Manchester Street, Christchurch

Press, Volume LXV, Issue 13606, 15 December 1909, Page 10

Press, Volume LXVI, Issue 13626, 8 January 1910, Page 13

Mr William Bush.
Mr William Henry Bush, one of the very old residents of Christchurch, died yesterday. The late Mr Bush was a native of Great Dunmow, Essex, England, and was born in 1834. He arrived in Lyttelton by the ship Glentanner on October 3rd, 1857, and carried on business in Christchurch for a large number of years. He took a particular interest in the progress of the new city, and for a long time devoted himself to the work of collecting photographs of the pioneer and pilgrim settlers of Canterbury. In 1895 he presented his collection to the Christchurch Museum, and the photographs have now quite an historic value.
Press, Volume LXVI, Issue 13740, 23 May 1910, Page 7

He married Elizabeth Jane Grant the daughter of William Grant and Hannah Lloyd, born 17 November 1841, Bon Common, London (RootsWeb posting). Elizabeth Jane Bush (Bess) died on Christmas morning 1899 at 131 East Belt, Christchurch.


1. Hannah Matilda Bush reg. 1864/13054
born 10 July 1864 at Dunmow Cottage, Hereford Street East, Christchurch, (Lyttelton Times, Volume XXII, Issue 1262, 12 July 1864, Page 3) married 5 July 1893 at St John's Church, Caulfield, Victoria Frederick Blake Gentry second son of the late Charles Gentry of Nelson. (Press, Volume L, Issue 8528, 6 July 1893, Page 1)

2. William Grant Bush reg. 1866/1102  
William Grant Bush (eldest son) married 6 July 1910 at St John's Church, Latimer Square, Christchurch to Clara Emily Louise Clack eldest daughter of Richard Harding. (Press, Volume LXVI, Issue 13785, 14 July 1910, Page 1)

3. Benjamin John Bush reg. 1867/23559
Benjamin John Bush married 16 January 1901 at St John's Church, Latimer Square, Christchurch to Euphemia Maud Piper, eldest surviving daughter of Henry piper, Upper Riccarton. (Star , Issue 7042, 7 March 1901, Page 3). While painting the Kirwee Hotel on Thursday, Mr John Bush, son of Mr William Bush, painter, Christchurch, had his left arm broken. A long ladder was blown down by the strong wind, and in attempting to save it, Mr Bush was struck on the arm. He Was brought down to Christchurch, and yesterday Dr Oven4en set the arm. Star, Issue 7929, 6 February 1904, Page 5
4. Martha Eleanor Bush reg. 1869/26645

5. Rose Alice Bush reg. 1870/29620

6. Charles Bush reg. 1872/29339

7. George Henry Bush reg. 1873/41063
George Henry Bush married at St. Mary's Church, Manchester Street, Christchurch to Charlotte Elizabeth widow of the late W, F. Hallett. (Press, Volume LXI, Issue 11799, 25 January 1904, Page 1)

8. Arthur James Bush reg. 1875/15005

9. May Bush reg. 1877/10175

10. Ralph Leslie Bush reg. 1881/4460