Black and white photograph showing the Austral Laboratory at Yarra Grange, Abbotsford circa 1886-1895, viewed from across the street.

This building was part of the Austral Plate Company photographic plate factory site. Thomas Baker, a pharmaceutical chemist, established this business on his residential property, Yarra Grange in 1884. In 1886 the new Austral Laboratory building was completed. In 1887, under the partnership name Baker and Rouse, this company was owned by Thomas Baker and accountant, John Rouse. In 1908 the company and factory site was bought and operated by Kodak. In the late 1950s Kodak moved from Abbotsford to a new factory site at Coburg on the northern outskirts of Melbourne.

This image was donated by the family of Ian 'Charlie' Yelland, who worked for Kodak Australasia Emulsion Department for 46 years, retiring in 1978.

This image complements the Kodak Heritage Collection of products, promotional materials, photographs and working life artefacts collected from Kodak Australasia in 2005, when the Melbourne manufacturing plant at Coburg closed down.

Description of Content

Three storey brick building fenced off with wooden picket fence. Another small one storey building to the back of it.Street light and electricity pole to the right and road with bluestone gutter in front of the building. Houses visible in the right background. Trees to the left background.

Physical Description

Black and white photograph, landscape orientation with white border.

More Information

  • Collection Names

    Kodak Heritage Collection

  • Collecting Areas

    Images & Image Making, Working Life & Trades

  • Organisation Depicted

    Kodak (Australasia) Pty Ltd, Abbotsford, Greater Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, circa 1886
    This view shows the Austral Laboratory without the additional building on its right side (viewer's left side) so is an earlier view than those that show this building eg MM 137963, MM 148030, MM 155457. The image in these records with the extra building was reproduced in a Baker & Rouse catalogue (TL 64825) which the curator has dated as between 1894 and 1908. These other images have a name plate on the entry with Baker & Rouse Limited, which wasn't registered until 1896. It doesn't appear that this image shows that name on the name plate.Therefore this image is probably taken early after the construction was completed, although all landscaping is finished, so probably dates between late 1886 and 1895. (Note - it is unclear if the inscription on this image saying '1890s' was written at the time the print was made and if it is correct, or if it was an estimate written here at a later date by a Kodak staff member and if correct then.)

  • Format


  • Inscriptions

    Hand written in black ink on the back of the photograph; '1890's' (Note - it is unclear if this inscription was written at the time the print was made and if it is correct, or if it was an estimate written here at a later date by a Kodak staff member.)

  • Classification

    Manufacturing & industry, Photographic products, Factory exterior views

  • Category

    History & Technology

  • Discipline


  • Type of item


  • Keywords

    Manufacturing, Photography, Industries, Laboratories