Culture and heritage


Mrs Gullick and her daughters c1909

William Applegate Gullick's obituary mentioned the following:

"...Other hobbies outside literature were photography, especially colour photography, in which he conducted many experiment..." (SMH, 20/4/1922: 12)

This photograph is attributed to Gullick, and shows his wife Mary Gullick (in white) with three of their daughters: Zoe Gullick (in red), Marjorie Gullick (in blue) and Chloe Gullick (in Green), possibly in the garden of their home 'Altoncourt', in Marion or Arnold Street, Killara, c1909. Zoe Gullick appears to have acted as her father's laboratory assistant in his colour photography experiments. Gullick was a keen amateur photographer, and was one of the first to experiment with autochrome plates (Davies, 2004). Autochrome plates were an early color photography process patented in 1903 by the Lumière brothers in France, and marketed from 1907.

The colours of the women's dresses were probably deliberately chosen to experiment with the autochrome plate colouring techniques, which used a mix of potato starch grains dyed orange, green and blue as color filters. It is also notable that red, blue and green were the standard colours used for the three lowest denomination postage stamps in all postal administrations associated with the Universal Postal Union (including NSW, then Australia from 1907).

Some questions to research:

  1. Can this photograph tell us something about the personal life of William Applegate Gullick and its influence on his work as Government Printer and Inspector of Stamps?
  2. What are some of the impacts of colour printing and photography in the 20th century on the use and display of official symbols and emblems?

Image Source: State Library of NSW, Digital a8770001 State Library of NSW, Picman

Page last updated: 01 September 2012