Glass negative stereograph showing the illuminated Railway Towers, corner Flinders and Swanston streets. It is part of the G. H. Myers Collection which consists of 73 photographs taken by Godfrey Henry Myers, an electrician and amateur photographer, in Melbourne during May 1901. 72 of these photographs depict preparations for the celebrations that surrounded Federation; all but one are glass stereographs. This collection represents Myers' one venture into commercial photography. It is significant for its images of the crowds, which do not feature so prominently in commercial photographs. The remaining photograph is a family portrait.

The opening of the Australian Parliament on May 9 1901 was an occasion for great celebrations in Melbourne. Ten days of festivities (from 6-16 May) were planned to mark the Federation of the new nation and honour the Royal visitors, the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York. The city was transformed with decorations - flags, bunting, colourful lights and festive arches - and a series of public events were held, including a military tattoo and several street parades. Unprecedented numbers of people arrived in Melbourne from the rest of Victoria and throughout Australia to take part in the celebrations.

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Illuminated Railway Towers, corner Flinders and Swanston Streets, Federation Celebrations, Melbourne, May 1901. The plans were drawn up by James Fawcett, the architect for the new Flinders Street railway station. It was built of wood, covered in rubberoid and painted to look like white marble, each tower was festooned with 3,400 lamps. Their colours ranged from green at the base, to 17 shades of red on the spire, with white incandescent lights at the top. The advertising hoarding for The Age newspaper states that 500,000 read it daily. Since the entire population of Australia at Federation was little more than 3,000,000, it was no mean boast.

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