Map of the City of Adelaide.

Detailed plan of Adelaide dated 1882 with allotments numbered and numerous prominent sites marked. Colonel Light after having rejected Port Lincoln and Kingscote as possible sites, Light returned to Holdfast Bay and noted in his journal on 29 December 1836: … Read Full Description

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S/N: AHOB-SA-8201–403129
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Full Title:

Map of the City of Adelaide.




Repaired tear at right sheet edge extending into map area as often found. Otherwise in good condition, with folds as issued. Laid onto archival linen.


Hand coloured lithograph.

Image Size: 

x 545mm

Paper Size: 

x 565mm
Map of the City of Adelaide. - Antique Map from 1882

Genuine antique



Detailed plan of Adelaide dated 1882 with allotments numbered and numerous prominent sites marked.

Colonel Light after having rejected Port Lincoln and Kingscote as possible sites, Light returned to Holdfast Bay and noted in his journal on 29 December 1836: ‘Employed nearly all day examining the plain, and looking out for the best situation for the capital. I was delighted with the appearance of the country, and the supply of fresh water we were certain of possessing at four p.m., I had the pleasure of seeing the Governor and Mr Fisher, and we agreed on going the following day to look at the place I had selected for the capital.

The next day, Light and Governor Hindmarsh inspected the site and although Hindmarsh liked what he saw he stated that it was too far from the harbour. They agreed to move the location by one and a half miles lower down the bank of the river but after re-examining the area the following day, Light noticed previous evidence of the river having breached its banks. Light wrote that from 3-11 January 1837, ‘I was employed in looking repeatedly over the ground, and devising in my own mind the best method of laying out the town according to the course of the river, and the nature of the ground this being fixed, I commenced with Mr Kingston and Mr Neale only … It may be asked then, “Why choose it?” I answer, “Because it was on a beautiful and gently rising ground, and formed altogether a better connection with the river than any other place”’.

Although Light had been given total autonomy by the Commissioners in selecting the site, he was being undermined by Hindmarsh and his supporters, who saw the distance to the sea as unworkable. In response to correspondence from Hindmarsh, Light called a public meeting to discuss and vote on the matter. The meeting took place in Edward Stephens’s tent at Holdfast Bay, on the 10 February 1837. The subsequent vote found was in favour of Light’s selection and he then proceeded to divide the town into 1000 acre allotments as instructed by the Commissioners. Light resigned from his position in 1838, after being instructed to use faster and less accurate surveying methods for the country surveys.

His health soon deteriorated and he died of tuberculosis at the age of fifty-three on 6 October 1839.

Frazer Smith Crawford (1829 - 1890)

Crawford was a professional photographer and lithographer born in Scotland. He was in Melbourne by 1859 with his studio at 83 Swanston Street. Crawford was a council member of the Photographic Society of Victoria in 1860, then moved to Sydney later in the year. In January 1861 he advertised that he was about to leave New South Wales and for Adelaide working in the Surveyor General's office from around 1868.

From Art Gallery of South Australia: In July and August 1866 Walter William Thwaites senior discussed the possibility of establishing a government photolithographic department with the Surveyor General, G.W. Goyder, hoping his son Hector James Thwaites could be employed as his assistant. Other photographers who applied for the position were Henry Anson and F.S. Crawford. Frazer Crawford of the Adelaide Photographic Company was appointed to the position, and by December 1866 he was in Melbourne looking for the equipment needed to establish the new department, but could not find a large camera or supply of large glass plates. An order for a 16 x 18-inch camera and accessories was sent to London, and with his order for glass plates he instructed the supplier to pack them carefully, as some plates imported from England for the Adelaide Photographic Company had been spoiled ‘owing to the glass sweating on the voyage.’ Chemicals and processing equipment were ordered from Johnson & Co. of Melbourne. On 7 December, while staying at the Globe Hotel in Swanston Street, Crawford wrote to John Noone, the newly appointed Victorian Government photo-lithographer, asking if he could ‘witness the practical details’ of Noone’s department and take ‘such notes of buildings, apparatus, &c.’ that he thought may be of use in a similar department in Adelaide. In his reply Noone said he had spent a lot of time learning the process and would not ‘impart such information unless your government is willing to remunerate me.

When told that Crawford did not have the authority to promise remuneration Noone relented, informing Crawford that he would provide all the necessary information and leave it to the South Australian government to provide appropriate remuneration. Noone told Crawford that ‘many persons have asked me for the information I now offer to impart to you and expressed their willingness to pay for the same. Amongst others a Mr Deveril ... at Ballarat who informed me that he had made an application [for] the appointment you now hold, and who in the event of obtaining it would have been willing to pay me a considerable sum for my trouble in teaching him.’ By the end of December 1866 Crawford had been shown the process and had returned to Adelaide. He rented Freeman & Belcher’s former studio opposite the Town Hall in King William Street for a temporary photolithographic office, taking them for a period of four months from 16 February at £2 per week until a new office was built. A Mr (H.?) Perry was engaged as an assistant on a weekly salary of £3, to be paid from the labourer’s list.

One of Crawford’s first assignments was to photograph the prisoners at the stockade (Yatala) and at the Gaol. By the end of August 1867 Crawford had supplied 150 carte de visite portraits of prisoners to the Commissioner of Police.

Frazer Crawford was over seventy years of age and still employed as Government Photolithographer when he died suddenly from heart disease at his Norwood home on 29 October 1890. His successor was his assistant, Alfred Vaughan. A Public Service Commission inquiry had earlier recommended that Vaughan be made head of the department and other work found for the aging Mr Crawford.

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