Colour 5" x 4" negative showing a male technician operating a record mastering console at a Philips Electrical Industries recorded music factory in Clayton, 30 July 1973.

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 male technician operating a record mastering machine (Georg Neumann SP-272) at a recorded music factory. He is seated on an orange chair behind the mastering console, with a reel-to-reel tape machine at his right (audio source), and a large electronics cabinet (Neumann SAL 74) at his left which contained the cutting amplifiers, RIAA encoding circuits and protection circuits, for the record cutting machine (not shown in this image). A speaker sits on the wall in front of him, as well as a large diagram, possibly an electronics diagram. The floor is carpeted, and the walls of the room are brick, with sound proofing materials covering the top third of the wall and the roof.

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.

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