Newcastle Under Glass

Daylight bathing was illegal in Newcastle until 1907. Photographs from the turn of the century often show children paddling but the adults are fully clothed and use the beach for socialising.
01 Dec 2015 - 29 Feb 2016

The large cumbersome cameras and delicate negatives of glass plate photography were used in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Despite their difficulty of use by today's standards, it was a cutting edge technological advance that made photography accessible to the masses. Newcastle Museum staff have picked their highlights of the Rays new book to display in all their glory enlarged upon the walls of A Newcastle Story gallery.

The images include the magnificent Newcastle panorama circa 1912 that stretches over 12 metres long. The images on display show that Newcastle was a thriving place of industry, beauty and a social life that revolved around the beach and public events much like today.

The Newcastle Museum's collection of glass plate cameras, glass plate negatives and stereoscopes allow visitors to see how these images were captured 100 years ago."My favourite photographs in this exhibition are the crowded beach shots. Daylight bathing was illegal in the 19th century so many of the photos show very formally dressed people strolling on the sand but unlike today nobody is swimming" said Museum Manager Julie Baird.

We are very honoured to display and launch Greg and Sylvia Ray's new book Images on Glass: Newcastle and the Hunter from glass plate negatives. Their books have become annual favourites amongst Novocastrians," 


  • Admission to this exhibition FREE


Newcastle Museum
6 Workshop Way