Catalogue Number: 3510
Photographs of Coles and Garrard Pty Ltd, Opticians, Melbourne
Sub-Category: Photograph Buildings
Time Period: 1940 to 1999
Description Of Item: Three photographs of the premises of Coles and Garrard Pty Ltd, Opticians, Melbourne, (A) colour photograph, 140 x 90 mm, circa 1960, in post card format, of Bourke Street Melbourne at night looking east, with Coles and Garrard Pty Ltd on the left, and (B) two black and white photographs of the interior of Coles and Garrard, circa 1930, 135 x 90 mm, contained in a Kodak photo packet, which also contains the original negatives on 35 mm film. The back of photograph A is printed in post card format with the printed words ' F64625 Bourke Street, Melbourne / A spectacular night view of Bourke Street, showing the main shopping area' and 'Plastichrome - Murfett Publishers, Australia PIII '
Historical Significance: Coles and Garrard Pty Ltd was the largest optometry firm in Melbourne until it was sold to OPSM in 1988 and ceased trading under its name a few years afterwards. It was established in March 1922 and located at 370 to 372 Bourke Street. From the 1940s it established branches in country towns and at the Chadstone Shopping Centre in 1958. Earle Coles was the proprietor. He built his business on advertising and commercial contracts with government agencies. It was regarded a commercial firm contrary to the desires of the leaders of the profession to practice with professional restraint and thereby be accepted as professionals rather than makers and sellers of spectacles.The colour photograph was taken after Coles and Garrard had built its own building in 1958. The photograph was probably taken about 1960, certainly before the Bourke Street Mall was first built in 1983. The interior photographs probably date from 1930 as judged by the art deco style of interior decoration. Personal recollections state that these interiors differ from those of the 1950s and 1960s which had Jacobean panelling, watercolour pictures and wall sconce lights.Provenance: the donor was an optometrist at Coles and Garrard, as a shareholder for many years in the second half of the 20th century.
How Acquired: Donated by John McGibbony
Date Acquired: Feb 2018
Condition: Fair to good
Location: Archive office. South wall. Cube 5 Album 3