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A little over a month ago I came across this beautiful photograph of the Miller’s Family Hotel – one of my favourites and included in my book Hotels of the Bellarine Peninsula.  The image was from the State Library Victoria online collection – H2002.198/72

One thing I noticed was that there was no location recorded for this image so I was in the process of contacting the State Library when I noticed the ‘creator’ – G. G. M., photographer.

On further investigation there were 121 images attributed to G.G.M. with a number being around the Bellarine Peninsula.  I have a web page identifying all photographers in Geelong and District and G.G.M. wasn’t included in my list.

I checked the two main references for photographers in Australia – The Mechanical Eye in Australia: Photography 1841-1900, Alan Davies & Peter Stanbury, 1985, and Australians Behind the Camera: Directory of Early Australian Photographers 1841 to 1945, Sandy Barrie, 2002.

There was one possible entry: George G MURRAY (New York Studio / New York Photo Co.:

  • 246 Collins Street, Melbourne 1903-06
  • 244 Collins Street, Melbourne 1908
  • 28 Union Street, Brunswick 1912-19
  • 28 Union Street, Brunswick 1936-37

The G.G.M. images in the SLV catalogue were dated ca 1914 – ca 1916 however Gerard, a Librarian from the SLV Pictures Collection, has positively identified one of these images to November 1906.  In fact Gerard has provided a great deal of information including the fact that the donor of this collection and numerous SLV staff had spent a great deal of time trying to identify G.G.M.

Another clue from Gerard and other librarians from the SLV Pictures Collection was that perhaps G.G.M. ‘might have been a skilled and ambitious amateur rather than a full-blown professional.  There is something amateurish in the way he inscribes his initials on the negatives.’

In addition to numerous locations, G.G.M.’s images include many people – I think perhaps these are of his parents and siblings.  I wonder if family historians / genealogists can help solve this conundrum?  Certainly someone related to this family would discover a number of images of members of their family.

People mentioned (could be siblings):

  • Mum
  • Dad
  • Self
  • Alan (also in AIF uniform)
  • Bert (also in AIF uniform)
  • Daisy
  • Elsie
  • Jerry
  • Rose
  • Jim
  • Ted

Locations mentioned:

  • Portarlington, Vic
  • Clifton Springs, Vic
  • Kyneton, Vic
  • Healesville, Vic
  • Coburg, Vic
  • Brunswick, Vic
  • Lilydale, Vic
  • Richmond, Vic
  • Melbourne, Vic
  • Beaconsfield, Vic
  • Badgers Creek, Vic
  • Williamstown, Vic
  • Fern Tree Gully, Vic
  • Sassafras, Vic
  • West Gippsland, Vic
  • Belgrave, Vic
  • Coogoo, NSW
  • Dubbo, NSW

Property / house name:

  • River Lea
  • River Lea and Mount Toolebewong? (shown in the background)

To find all 121 images look at the details of one of his images and click on the link beside AUTHOR for G. G. M., Photographer

The results show 118 images but a couple of those have two images in the link.

So are you up to the challenge?  Who was G. G. M., photographer.

Sharing G. G. M., photographer might unearth family members who recognise the family and siblings.