Object lesson: approaching nineteenth-century swimming through the Von Hammer probate inventory

Osmond, Gary (2016) Object lesson: approaching nineteenth-century swimming through the Von Hammer probate inventory. Journal of Australian Studies, 40 3: 337-352. doi:10.1080/14443058.2016.1199584

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Author Osmond, Gary
Title Object lesson: approaching nineteenth-century swimming through the Von Hammer probate inventory
Journal name Journal of Australian Studies   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1444-3058
1835-6419
Publication date 2016-08-03
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/14443058.2016.1199584
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 40
Issue 3
Start page 337
End page 352
Total pages 16
Place of publication Melbourne, VIC Australia
Publisher Routledge
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Abstract This article borrows from material culture approaches to historical research to investigate the development of swimming baths and bathing culture in Sydney in the late nineteenth century. Specifically, it draws upon a probate inventory of effects and belongings of Ferdinand Von Hammer (1830–1889), a leading Sydney baths lessee and swimming instructor in the 1870s and 1880s. Swimming in this period is under-researched, and the Danish-born proprietor is a forgotten figure. He died at his leased Saywell’s Baths at Rockdale in Botany Bay, and his probate inventory includes objects that were integral to the operation of those facilities. It is a rare document that offers insight into the development of swimming culture in this period, the growing complexity of baths management, and suggests intersections with other social, cultural and economic aspects of swimming. Whereas material culture research more typically involves study of extant objects, this methodology fits with an alternative approach that engages with aggregated lists of items such as probate and other inventories and trade data. By grouping various related objects, this article focuses on lifesaving, swimming instruction and entertainment dimensions to extend knowledge of Australian swimming cultures.
Keyword Probate inventories
Material culture
Swimming
Lifesaving
Ferdinand Von Hammer
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
 
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Created: Fri, 05 Aug 2016, 15:21:01 EST by Dr Gary Osmond on behalf of School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences