Colour 5" x 4" negative showing a group of women, including one playing a guitar, taking part in a test television broadcast on the MV Philips display stand at an electronics trade fair in Carlton, 28 August 1973. It is likely that the event was held at the Royal Exhibition Building, as this was the key site for trade fairs and exhibitions prior to the opening of the new Melbourne Exhibition Centre at Southbank in February 1996.

This image is part of the Laurie Richards Collection at Museum Victoria comprising approximately 85,000 negatives taken by the Melbourne based Laurie Richards Studio between the 1950s -1970s. These negatives are all mostly large format [5"x 4"/ 12.5 x 10 cm], black and white images, though a significant number are in colour. The many photographic jobs that were undertaken in the course of thirty years are itemised in a set of log books, copies of which are also held by Museum Victoria.

Laurie Richards was a professional photographer who began his career as a photo-journalist, working for the Advertiser newspaper in Adelaide, and the Argus and the Herald newspapers in Melbourne. In 1953, he opened his own business and set up a photographic studio at his home at 4 Tower Avenue, Alphington, an inner suburb of Melbourne. At its peak, in the late 1960s, the Laurie Richards Studio was one of Melbourne's pre-eminent commercial photographic studios, employing twelve photographers. The Laurie Richards Studio worked mainly in advertising and public relations, and had a broad clientele which included commercial companies, government institutions and the entertainment industry.

Description of Content

A group of four women, including one playing a guitar, taking part in a test television broadcast on a display stand at an electronics trade fair. At right is a Philips television camera on a small stage, labelled 'MV Philips'. On stage with the women are a variety of props including a doll standing on a fishtank along the back wall, paintings, plants, a stool, and at far left, a gnome.

Physical Description

Colour 5" x 4" cellullose acetate negative.


Because of the breadth of both the subject matter photographed and the diverse businesses which commissioned the work, and the excellent documentation that accompanies the collection, the Laurie Richards Collection at Museum Victoria is an invaluable record of Melbourne's commercial and industrial past and as such gives an insight into the social history of that period.

More Information