C1890

New Reformatory for Girls.- Edwardstown.-Block Plan

Rare map of the The Girls’ Reformatory, Edwardstown, which was established in 1891, replacing the Girls’ Reformatory, Magill. In 1891 the Home housed 19 girls, aged 12 to 18. In 1897-1898 Catholic girls were sent to the Catholic Girls’ Reformatory, … Read Full Description

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Details

Full Title:

New Reformatory for Girls.- Edwardstown.-Block Plan

Date:

C1890

Condition:

In good condition, with folds as issued. Laid on archival linen.

Technique:

Hand coloured lithograph.

Image Size: 

372mm 
x 715mm

Paper Size: 

395mm 
x 775mm
AUTHENTICITY
New Reformatory for Girls.- Edwardstown.-Block Plan - Antique Map from 1890

Genuine antique
dated:

1890

Description:

Rare map of the The Girls’ Reformatory, Edwardstown, which was established in 1891, replacing the Girls’ Reformatory, Magill. In 1891 the Home housed 19 girls, aged 12 to 18. In 1897-1898 Catholic girls were sent to the Catholic Girls’ Reformatory, Kapunda, and Protestant girls to Redruth Girls’ Reformatory, Burra. The Girls’ Reformatory, Edwardstown, closed in 1898.

Charles Edward Owen Smyth (1851 - 1925)

Smyth was a public servant, was born on 1 January 1851 at Ferrybank, Ireland. Educated at the Erasmus Smith High School, Dublin, he travelled the world as a sailor and house-painter before arriving in Victoria in 1873 where he spent two years as foreman and manager for a builder. He settled in Adelaide in 1876, joining the civil service in May. As a clerk to Edward J. Woods, architect, he copied specifications and attended to correspondence; when Woods became architect-in-chief two years later, Smyth stayed with him as a virtual chief of staff. In 1886 Smyth was appointed to head the new Works and Buildings Department. He managed to circumvent a policy which required that contracts for all new public buildings costing over £5000 should be awarded to private architects. Despite architects' criticism of his methods, and the 1891 civil service commission report which recommended amalgamation of his department with the engineer-in-chief's, Smyth controlled the design, construction, maintenance, letting and rent of public buildings until he retired in 1920. He supervised such major projects as the Exhibition Building, a wing of the General Post Office, the Museum and Art Gallery of South Australia buildings, Magill Home, Bedford Park Sanatorium, Thebarton Police Barracks, the South Australian School of Mines and Industries, and additions to the Adelaide Hospital (Flinders wing) and Parkside Lunatic Asylum. Although not professionally qualified, Smyth influenced the design of many of the structures which his department built, notably the School of Mines and the hospital additions. He was justifiably proud of his program which transformed North Terrace and created the Torrens Parade Ground and gardens from a former rubbish tip. He worked hard in the public interest, even against political pressure; in demanding excellence, he sought value for money. Thickset, with round, passive features, Smyth appeared self-absorbed. While he was admired by some for his rugged outspokenness, the 1888 civil service commission found him vindictive, 'hasty in his temper, impulsive and overbearing'. His conduct was later criticized in parliament and publicity was given to an incident at the Adelaide Hospital in 1900 when he was accused of bullying and insulting the medical superintendent. Following Federation, in 1906 Smyth was South Australian delegate to a Melbourne conference which arranged the transfer of land, buildings and property to the Commonwealth. He was appointed to the Imperial Service Order in 1903 and C.M.G. in 1920. The Royal Agricultural Society of South Australia also awarded him a medal. An ardent Imperialist and patriot, Smyth was a founder (secretary from 1908) of the Adelaide branch of the Royal Society of St George, and active in the South Australian branches of the League of the Empire and the Navy League; he hung portraits of British monarchs wherever they would be 'educative in loyalty' and insisted on using Australian and British-made materials in public buildings. In World War I he spoke publicly on 'The enemy within our doors'. A Freemason, an Anglican and a collector of walking-sticks, paintings and Aboriginal weapons, Smyth enjoyed field-shooting expeditions throughout the State.

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