The magic of film!

Here’s some quick stats for you:

  • 3420 people visited the Custom House Square underground in less than 2 days in 1911!
  • Shortly after the Octagon and Custom House Square facilities opened the numbers of people who used them were tallied – 46,000 people a month!

These stats seem huge (remembering 10 years earlier there were only 10 public urinals available across the city) and it seems hard to comprehend.

That is why the film footage below is gold – look at the people! What a throbbing metropolis Dunedin was in 1912. And if you look to the left hand corner about 10 seconds in you can see men going down the stairs of the Custom House Square undergrounds, showing the demand. I was so excited when I found this on the fabulous Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision website. Their wonderful staff edited the film for me.

A busy Princes Street, Dunedin, 1912. Segment from F8350 [Dunedin, 1912], from material preserved and made available by Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision
This further strengthens my decision to do a thesis using a digital platform – different media can bring the past to life!



One Reply to “The magic of film!”

  1. Wow, apart from the day the Beatles came to Dunedin or perhaps the Queen driving down the Main Street, I can’t remember EVER seeing so many people on the streets. Thank you for that lovely blast from the past!

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