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Turnbull Library Acquires Unique Photo Collection

Turnbull Library Acquires Unique Photo Collection


Looking East from
Devon Street towards the Terrace Gaol, with Oriental Bay in
the background. Photograph taken ca 1900s by Louis John
Daroux.
Looking East from Devon Street - Photograph taken ca 1900s by Louis John Daroux. Reference number: 1/1-039356-G
credit "Louis John Daroux Collection, Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand"

Children riding
donkeys at Days Bay. Photograph taken ca 1900s by Louis John
Daroux.
Children riding donkeys at Days Bay. Photograph taken ca 1900s by Louis John Daroux. Reference number: LJD-09-10
credit "Louis John Daroux Collection, Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand"

Suva, Fiji.
Photograph taken ca 1900s by Louis John
Daroux
Suva, Fiji. Photograph taken ca 1900s by Louis John Daroux.
Reference number: LJD-11-12
credit "Louis John Daroux Collection, Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand"

MEDIA RELEASE
For immediate release
29 January 2007

The Photographs of Louis John Daroux

The Alexander Turnbull Library has acquired a unique collection of photographs, taken in the early 20th century by Louis John Daroux (1870-1948). It provides the Library with a rich collection of images of New Zealand and the Pacific from around 1900 to the 1920s.

‘The collection consists of more than 700 glass negatives and approximately 425 prints,’ said John Sullivan, curator of the Turnbull’s Photographic Archive. ‘The photographs appear to have been taken from the time of Daroux’s arrival in Wellington in the early 1900s until around 1916, when he took up farming. Clearly he travelled widely during this period. Wellington, Horowhenua, Wanganui, Taranaki and the Wairarapa are all represented, and views of Samoa, Tonga and Fiji bear witness to at least one trip to the Pacific.

‘Highlights of the collection include fine house and church interiors from the Pacific Islands, small town street scenes, good views of the flax industry in Horowhenua, Māori houses and communities in Horowhenua and Taranaki, and Wellington street scenes. A particular treasure is a view of the Terrace Gaol, and an excellent portrait of the ship Edwin Fox after its arrival in Queen Charlotte Sound,’ Mr Sullivan said.

This acquisition completes a family collection. In 1948, the Library acquired the photographs of Louis’ twin brother, James Henry Daroux (1870-1943), who is chiefly remembered for recording the damage caused by the 1931 Hawke’s Bay earthquake.

Louis and James Daroux were born 22 September 1870 at Addisons Flat, the sons of Henri Daroux, a miner, and Jane Daroux (née McPeak).

Little is known of Louis Daroux’s life prior to his arrival in Wellington in the early 1900s, but he evidently learned photography in the late 19th century and practised as an itinerant photographer in the South Island.

In 1906 he was in Wellington, working as a photographer at 57 Vivian Street. His sister, Marguerite Fama, was already living there, and his brother James was recorded there in 1905, as a photographer at 45 Vivian Street. Louis worked as a photographer until 1908, was later a land agent in the Hutt Valley. Around 1916 he moved to Manakau, where he was to farm for the next 20 years.

In 1930 Daroux was granted a patent for an improved livestock castration device. On 11 December 1930, Daroux Emasculators Limited was incorporated as a private company, with offices at 34 Customhouse Quay, Wellington. Daroux actively marketed his invention, and in the late 1930s spent time in Australia promoting the device. When he died in Wellington, on 24 May 1948, he was described as an inventor. The firm stayed in business until 1975 when it went into voluntary liquidation.

ENDS

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