‘Unidentified’ no longer
Published in a newspaper article about the exhibition, the photo was spotted by a member of the public who had a very similar photo (right) in her own family album, showing her late father, Michael Finn.
The two photos clearly belong to the same sequence of images, captured by a street photographer outside Central Station in late 1939. In both photos, six-year-old Michael has a reassuring arm around his two-year-old sister Margaret; their mother was probably standing nearby, out of sight. It’s believed the close‑up photo was sent to a family friend; it later found its way to us in response to our public call-out for the exhibition. The Finns retained the other photo.
Just two of the many images the photographer undoubtedly snapped that day, these photos now hold a much greater significance than could have been anticipated at the time. The photos are possibly among the last images of Margaret, who was fatally injured in a road accident not long after, on 6 January 1940.
These inexpensive snaps, quickly captured and often impulsively purchased, have crept their way into family stories, sometimes just putting a face to a name but occasionally becoming an irreplaceable record of a lost loved one.
Do you recognise yourself or someone you know in these photos? Let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org
1930s - 1950s
From the 1930s to the late 1950s commercial street photographers swarmed Sydney’s streets photographing everyday people in candid full-length portraits as they quickly passed by or stopped to pose.