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Let's Call It Museum Station

By: Rose Docker, Category: Museullaneous, Date: 12 Dec 2012

Archives' long-running volunteer project indexing our early Trust Minutes continues to throw up intriguing snippets of Museum history.

The Museum from Hyde Park 1924

G.C Clutton © Australian Museum

The 1920s – after the ‘Great War’ and before the ‘Great Depression’ was also generally a period of great optimism. The museum was growing its scientific collections through purchase, exchange and pioneering field work like ichthyologist Allan McCulloch’s expedition to Papua New Guinea with the famous photographer Frank Hurley.

With new specimens coming in, new display techniques like habitat groups and dioramas were going up and so new ‘advertising’ techniques were clearly needed to pull in the potential audiences.

Public lectures by museum scientists with magic lantern slides, the launch of the Australian Museum Magazine, and a series of Museum postcards were all early attempts to push the brand.

Then in 1925 the Museum’s secretary WT Wells was personally congratulated by the Trust for another really bright promotional idea. He suggested to the Railway Commissioners of NSW that the new underground station at the southern end of Hyde Park should be called MUSEUM. After some deliberation they decided that this was a top idea and the rest, as they say, is history.