Walls That Talk

As part of a series of eye catching installations, the current Walls That Talk exhibition features Born in the 60s

Born in the 60s

Maitland Library is 50 years old in 2018. In celebration of the library's milestone, 'Born in the 60s' is a walk down memory lane.  From miniskirts to milk bars, it provides a glimpse into the 1960s with a eclectic selection of images from the State Library of NSW's collection.

The Bradley Sisters with Lonnie Lee and others dancing to hit tunes from the Italina 'Cinebox' Jukebox , June 1962
Lonnie Lee is considered a pioneer of Australian rockabilly music, working in the industry for over 60 years. At the peak of his career, Lee had eight top 100 singles, which included 3 top 20's. He has continued to perform, and is a favourite at Maitland's annual Seniors Festival.

The Bradley Sisters were back up singers for Festival Records behind various pop singers, including Lonnie Lee, Col Joye and Johnny O'Keefe. They also secured a regular spot on Johnny O'Keefe's Sing, Sing, Sing show. In the late 1960s, they worked on the ABC variety show Start a Living and sang in a concert tour of Vietnam.

 

Model Annette McMartin in mini skirt and knee high stockings, Mark Foy's Department Store, Liverpool St, Sydney, 26 September 1967.

New foundations of fashion spread throughout Australia during the 1960s. Fashion changed from being conservative to a more carefree look. The domination of youth culture was thoroughly reflected through fashion ideals. Many older ideas and conventions from the past were altered and dismissed with brighter and bolder designs. Fashion in the 1960s also changed when new fabrics such as PVC, artificial fur and dyed fabrics were promoted through newly invented technology.

Photograph by the Australian Photographic Agency. Courtesy State Library of New South Wales.

Rural bank staff learning about Decimal Currency, October 1964

Decimal currency was introduced in Australia on Monday 14 February, 1966. The replacement of pounds, shillings and pence with dollars and cents was a momentous change that affected key aspects of daily life in Australia.
The conversion to a decimal system based on units of 10 was considered a major logistical and public relations triumph. Decimal currency simplified calculations, increasing financial efficiency. However, it represented a radical change to the customary transactions made daily by the nation.

Photograph by the Australian Photographic Agency. Courtesy State Library of New South Wales.

Model Anne Amadio with PIFCO hair dryer, June 1964

There was a time when washing your hair was seen as a perfectly acceptable excuse to decline an invitation out. It wasn't so much the washing that was taking up your time, but the drying.

Photograph by Max Dupain. ©Max Dupain and Associates. Courtesy State Library of New South Wales.

View from Gazebo Hotel, Elizabeth Bay Rd, Kings Cross, May 1969

After it opened on 6 May 1969, the Gazebo Hotel was described as 'one of the msot spirited additions to the Sydney skyline for some time'. In addition to its 200 rooms for 500 guests, the Gazebo contained a cocktail bar, the 'Pavilion' restautrant, a coffee terrace and a convention room. At the building's summit on the 18th floor, guests could enjoy a heated swimming pool and enclosed observation deck which commanded panoramic views over Sydney and the harbour

Photograph by Max Dupain. ©Max Dupain and Associates. Courtesy State Library of New South Wales.

The famous Ball Chair designed in the 1960's
This futuristic Moon Chair was displayed at the Furniture Fair, Sydney Showground, May 1966.
The race for the conquest of space had a great impact on people in the mid-sixties and thus also on fashion and design. The question of how one wanted to live in the future, brought forth futuristic designs and manifested itself through geometric shapes. Movies like Barbarella with Jane Fonda and Stanley Kubrick's 2001 A Space Odyssey showed fantastic white and silver space worlds with softly rounded plastic furniture. The Moon Chair brought the Space Age into the terrestrial living rooms.
Photograph by the Australian Photographic Agency. Courtesy State Library of New South Wales.

Esso service station scene, July 1964

Petrol stations were very different in the 1960s. Visiting a service station to top up your car with fuel wasn't always a flying visit. In fact right up until the late 1960s and '70s, drivers would have the chance to sit back and relax as a fuel attendant filled up their car at the pump. As that happened, workers would often give your windscreen a quick wash, and even check your tyres and oil.

And remember the slogan  'Put a tiger in your tank'? The tiger gave an identifiable face to Esso petrol and launched numerous ads, jingles and TV commercials.

Photograph by Max Dupain. ©Max Dupain and Associates. Courtesy State Library of New South Wales.

Fondue set, popular foer swiss-style dipping of bread into cheese melted in wine, 11 May 1966

In the sixties the cheese fondue crossed the borders of Switzerland to spread fondue fever through the rest of the Western world.

Fondue Etiquette Dipping: after you spear a small piece of bread, dip it into the fondue to coat it with cheese. Remove it, but hold it over the pot for a few seconds to allow the extra cheese to go back into the pot again. This also gives the cheese time to cool.

Photograph by the Australian Photographic Agency. Courtesy State Library of New South Wales.

Free ice cream at Dairy Farmers' promotion in Hyde Park, 26 April 1966

Milk bars were very popular in the 1960s. At the peak of their popularity there were 4,000 milk bars across NSW. Milk bars for a time becme the local hub for community.

Photograph by the Australian Photographic Agency. Courtesy State Library of New South Wales.