The Ben Ronalds collection of fine ceramics and glassware is comprised of almost 800 objects, donated to the Queensland Museum by the Ronalds family in 1976. Mr Ronalds began his collection around 1935, and by 1946 was specialising in collecting Royal Worcester porcelain, supported by his success in his own Decorative Glass Company in Brisbane. He collected within Australia and from overseas, including British, European, and Oriental pieces. The collection remains of local, state, national, and international significance for its breadth of representation of late 19th and early 20th century ceramics, particularly from the Royal Worcester Company – especially its aesthetic value, and opportunities for interpretation of many facets of ceramic use and production. The Queensland Museum continues work to digitise this immense and important collection, to provide online access of the collection’s treasures to all.
Photographer, surveyor, station owner and first Queensland Government Geologist for North Queensland, Richard Daintree achieved national and international importance as a promoter of Queensland. During the course of his work as Government Geologist, Daintree took many photographs of the landscape and geology of the state. Queensland Museum holds over two hundred and thirty of Richard Daintree’s photographs, a selection of which are presented here. The images are outstanding examples of the art and present a vivid picture of early colonial settlement in Queensland.
The T-House model rail collection is a collection of national and international significance due to the size, quality and scope of the collection. The collection, assembled over 30 years from the 1970s to the 1990s, holds 10 000+ models of locomotives, carriages and wagons. The collection is in excellent – often mint – condition. The models were collected by Mr Marsden Williams, who was born, raised and spent his life in the Wollongong area. The collection was donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program by Shin Investments Pty Limited in memory of Mr Marsden “Mick” Williams (1916-2013), founder of the Allied Group of Companies and a significant contributor to the industry and economy of the Illawarra region of Australia since the 1940s.
Frederick (Fred) Port was born in the United Kingdom in 1896, and migrated to Queensland with his family in 1912, settling in Manly, Brisbane. He served in the AIF in World War 1 from August 1915 to March 1919. When he returned to Queensland in 1919, Port started his photography career in a studio in the Telegraph Chambers in Brisbane. His photographs were featured in newspapers such as The Brisbane Courier, The Queenslander and The Australian . Port documented events mainly in and around Brisbane during the 1920s, and developed his own images at his photographic studio in the Telegraph Chambers and later at his studio in West End. Apart from his war service, little is known about Port himself. His collection of 600+ photographic prints (some taken by other unknown photographers) and 300+ other items (more than 1,000 items in total), mostly relating to Port’s photography business, was donated by Port to Queensland Museum shortly before his death in 1965.
A gem of the Maritime Archaeology collection is one of the world’s oldest diving helmets, demonstrating how far back human fascination with ocean exploration goes. The rare heritage diving helmet, manufactured in the 1840s, is just one of eight on display from the historical diving helmets in The Langley Diving Collection: Heritage of Helmets collection housed at Museum of Tropical Queensland in Townsville.