Science, Fashion, Knowledge and Imagination: Shopfront Natural History in 19th-Century Sydney

Anne Coote


Natural history dealers' shops offered colour, interest and occasional sensation to the people of mid-nineteenth century Sydney. This essay examines the nature of shop-front natural history enterprise in this period, and its significance in the history of the city and the wider colony. It begins by discussing dealers and their businesses, going on to argue for the role both played in the ongoing process of colonisation. In particular, it highlights the contribution made to those aspects of territorial appropriation which were taking place in the imaginations of Sydney's inhabitants.


natural history; taxidermist; science; colonisation; imagination

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