Black and white photograph of Harry Clarke with his bicycle in the garden area of the Kodak Australasia Pty Ltd factory site in Abbotsford, in the early 1940s. This photograph highlights the intersection between the domestic and the industrial that occured at this site around World War II, which was an unusual and unique experience in Kodak's manufacturing history.

Harry Clarke was a young boy who lived on the Kodak factory site in Abbotsford with his parents. Harry's mother was the chef in the Kodak directors' dining room and his father worked in silver recovery and then later was a gardener at Kodak. The family lived at the 'Yarra Grange' house from 1938, when Harry was twelve years old, until 1952, when he was twenty six years old. They were the only people who lived onsite at the factory.

Harry says that 'When I lived at Kodak it was a huge, very huge place, and I seemed to live a very privileged life for a small child, I had the virtual run of the factory excepting some sections, particularly during the war years.... The staff at Kodak were like a large family. ...everybody seemed to be very friendly and supportive, the dining room I think provided meals free of charge, there was a lot of benevolence in that period of time.'

Harry was given his first bicycle, a Malvern Star, for his 12th birthday and that was the start of his cycling enthusiasm. Harry was later a competitive cyclist for much of his life. When he was an apprentice engineer with a firm in South Yarra, he took up cycle racing with the Richmond Amateur Cycling Club and then later with the Richmond Professional Cycling Club. He raced at the North Essendon board track on Wednesday and Saturday nights, and every weekend there were races in the track and road seasons, around Victoria and interstate. He fitted in his training rides around his apprenticeship education. He went to night school twice a week, usually starting at seven o'clock after work and finishing about nine o'clock, and then would go straight from night school for a training ride, up to Ferntree Gully from Richmond, and sometimes out to Warrandyte and back again. By the time he arrived home it would be about eleven or eleven-thirty pm, and his mother would have left his evening meal on the stove with a pot of boiling water under the plate.

Description of Content

Black and white photograph of a boy standing on a lawn in front of a bicycle. In the background is a brick building with pipes running along it and trees.

Physical Description

Digital image file. A digital photograph was taken of the original black and white print. The print has a white border and features a boy standing with a bicycle in a garden.


This photograph is one of four images that contextualises an important part of the Kodak Australasia Pty Ltd's manufacturing history in Melbourne, when a family lived onsite at the Abbotsford factory from about 1938 - 1952, in the period around World War II. This photograph highlights the intersection between the domestic and the industrial that occured at this site, which was an unusual and unique experience. Company research and an oral history of the Clarke family experience at Kodak provide a further historical framework to the photographs.

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