IMAGES of Carlton’s long-gone greats of yesteryear have now found a home in the football club’s archive, through the assistance of the State Library of Victoria and a long-time contributor to the Blueseum website.
With the imprimatur of the football club, the library arranged for Australian editions of the Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News to be forwarded from its warehouse to its Swanston Street premises to be viewed by the researcher Pete McLean, whose interest lays in Carlton’s 19th and early 20th century history.
McLean scoured the pages of the News, and unearthed magnificent press photographs of 1908 Carlton Premiership captain Fred “Pompey” Elliott, along with Fred Jinks and George “Mallee” Johnson, who both represented the old dark Navy Blues in their Premiership hat trick teams of 1906, ’07 and ’08.
Jinks appears in the garb of VFA team Port Melbourne whom he captained and coached through 1911/12. Johnson is pictured wearing his old Carlton lace-up over the stripes of VFA outfit North Melbourne for whom he played in 1911.
An image of Joe Prince, Carlton’s 10-game midfielder through season 1919, was also discovered. Prince, whose image the club did not have, appears in his South colours, having represented the Bloods as a wingman between 1910 and ’18.
Founded in 1874, the Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News was an English weekly magazine published in London. The magazine was twice renamed – to Sport and Country in 1945 and to Farm and Country in 1957 - before its final edition ran off the presses 13 years later.
“It was wonderful to view the originals at the State Library and capture photographs from the originals of players like ‘Pompey’ Elliott and ‘Mallee’ Johnson,” McLean said. “On offer for viewing were editions from the second half of 1904 and further editions from 1905 through to 1911.
“The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News was not dissimilar to Punch and was a bit of a mixed bag in terms of its Australian Rules content. To be truthful the News seemed to feature more lacrosse and baseball and it seemed to be Sydney-centric in one particular year.
“Curiously there was more Collingwood material than Carlton, which I found somewhat surprising given that the Carlton teams of the day were more successful.”
The State Library of Victoria’s newspaper collection is one of the largest and most significant in Australia, comprising Victorian, Australian and overseas material, amongst it the Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News. Nearly 100,000 volumes, 40,000 reels of microfilm, and a wide range of newspaper content available through online databases make up the collection.
The collection also comprises a selection of Victorian papers printed between 1836 and 1880; interstate newspapers include some of the first editions produced in New South Wales, Tasmania, South Australia and Queensland as well as microfilm versions of interstate dailies; overseas newspapers include papers originating from former British Commonwealth countries and long runs of The Times (London) and The New York Times.
1908 Carlton Premiership captain Fred “Pompey” Elliott. Credit: State Library of Victoria
Former Blue Joe Prince. Credit: State Library of Victoria
Fred Jinks. Credit: State Library of Victoria
"Mallee" Johnson. Credit: State Library of Victoria