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Can you date this photograph? [Kosciusko National Park]

A Moment in Time……

Before the weather starts to warm up again, a wintery scene for Can you date?.

This photograph of Skiers outside Hotel Kosciusko in Kosciusko National Park holds some clues to its date. The clothing and hairstyles might be a start and the car and buildings may provide a few more clues. Can you help us date this photo?

Larger version on Flickr

 We have many other undated photographs in Photo Investigator and on our Flickr account. If you know the dates or any other interesting facts about these images please let us know.

  • Debbie says:

    After 1933?

    The first thing I noticed is the cute telephone box – don’t ya miss ’em?… well, the ones without the graffiti, the broken glass & other things that shall remain nameless anyway! They sure weren’t looking as cute in recent times.

    According to the following link, it is a 1930’s Tasman Flag Style PMG model and had a “working history” from 1933.

    July 18, 2011 at 2:32 pm
  • enno says:

    It appears to have been taken before the hotel burned down, around 1951 I think. The photo of the fire in the Herald was allegedly taken by my father.

    July 18, 2011 at 4:31 pm
  • Iain Stuart says:

    The Petrol Pumps are “Plume” and “Shell” a brief search fits them into the range c1914 to 1954 which agrees with previous dating comments. We might get further if the number plate of the car/truck/bus could be clarified. I tired to enlarge but couldn’t – perhaps something could be done -CSI does it all the time.

    July 18, 2011 at 4:54 pm
  • enno says:

    Disregard my previous comment. It was the Kosciusko Hotel fire (1951) not the Kosciusko Chalet fire (1938) which he took photo of.

    July 18, 2011 at 5:04 pm
  • enno says:

    “This photograph of Skiers outside Hotel Kosciusko in Kosciusko National Park holds some clues to its date. ”

    Now its probably your fault I am confused because of your dodgy intro.

    I am 99% certain that this photo is taken at Charlotte Pass village, and the hotel, which is actually probably out of shot to the left, is the Kosciusko Chalet. The Chalet burned in 1938. I am not sure when it was rebuilt.

    The Hotel Kosciusko was a completely different establishment located much further (11 miles) down the mountain, between the current locations of Sawpit Creek and Smiggin Holes. The hotel burned in 1951.

    This photo doesn’t really fit in with any of the photos of the Hotel Kosciusko that I have seen. I think it is actually of the Kosciusko Chalet at Charlotte Pass. And looking at the style of the building, I don’t think it was after it was rebuilt.

    So I will postulate 1937.

    July 18, 2011 at 5:13 pm
  • JennysOldCars says:

    This view is of the buildings on the right side (from the main entrance) of the original Hotel Kosciusko, opened 1909 at Diggers Creek. There’s quite a few photos in the State Library NSW collection that show the hotel complex from various angles and the 2 storey building with the balcony, behind the petrol bowsers, and the building a little up slope are easy to spot. In the National Archives collection is a Max Dupain photo from 1946 taken on the ski slope at the rear of the Hotel.

    Hotel Kosciusko burned to the ground Wednesday April 18 1951. Tony and Elisabeth Sponar rebuilt Sponar’s Lakeside Inn on the site, opened in 1959 (now Sponar’s Chalet).

    Vehicle is a late 1920s to maybe not later than 1932 motor coach or small bus, probably built on an extended car chassis or light truck chassis AND probably having up to 3 doors each side and at least 3 rows of seats. Note the roof luggage box is laden with skis.

    Probably the best clue I can give is –
    Super Plume petrol was introduced in 1934 in Australia. [BTW The Plume and Shell petrol bowsers in the photo are fantastic.] A NLA photo dated 1937 appears to show only the 1 bowser! A photo dated 1947 in the SL NSW collection is blurry but apears also to only show one bowser.

    So sometime after 1934 and before end of 1937.

    July 18, 2011 at 6:39 pm
  • enno says:

    Yes you are right, Hotel Kosciusko it is. There are lot of photos from other angles which don’t look anything like this shot, because they were taken from the other end.

    Here is the two which show this aspect of the building complex.

    The first of those two is dated 1937. But a lot of the dates at that NLA website look wrong so I would not rely on them.

    Some of the photos in that school excursion album are interesting. Three or four of them were taken at Charlotte Pass, 22 miles round trip, quite a long ski from the Hotel Kosciusko.

    July 18, 2011 at 7:38 pm
  • enno says:

    Here’s one for you Jenny

    In this photo, what is the second car from the front, on the left side of the photo, behind the woody ? Very strange lines, never seen anything like it.

    July 18, 2011 at 7:53 pm
  • Anna Gray says:

    Glad to hear we’ve all agreed its Hotel Kosciusko – had me worried for a minute there!
    The petrol bowsers and telephone box are a great key to the date! I had no idea they could be so revealing! Thanks Jenny and Debbie, that’s really narrowed it down.
    – AG

    July 19, 2011 at 9:43 am
  • JennysOldCars says:

    Enno that’s an interesing vehicle in the photo
    First glance at the sedan second on the left says to me Allard. Appears to be a droopy bonnet, curving down to the grill, characteristically Allard, as are the big full skirted front mudguards that terminate before the door. About 1949-1951 I think. I’ll stick with Allard as I can’t recal anything else with that distinctive bonnet. An expensive car in the 1950s and a rare one today that would bring a handsome price in good condition.

    English cars of the 1940s and 1950s are not my forte so I’d be interested if anyone else has other suggestions.

    I am more taken with the little 1946-47 Willys Jeep Station Wagon in front, with its pressed metal bodywork imitating pre-war wooden station wagons it’s a little beauty – and now also quite a rarity.

    And what was the driver of the ‘single-spinner’ 1949-1950 Ford in the front middle of the photo thinking to park differently to everyone else!

    July 21, 2011 at 6:48 pm
  • Mick Broomfield says:

    The 1946-47 willys jeep station is a jeep but its a 2nd world war MB/GPW 1942-45 that has been converted to a station wagon there was a company doing this back then and the sides are actually real wood

    January 26, 2012 at 7:34 pm
  • Jenny Fawbert says:

    There were certainly were enclosed bodies [various styles of wooden, canvas and/or metal] grafted on to the open bodied wartime Willys MB and Ford GPWjeeps, but the vehicle in the photo surely is surely a civilian model “Universal” of 1946-1950ish. Built by Willys USA and based on their MB series wartime jeep front end and engines, but with chassis extended to 104ins. and with some creature comforts in the all-steel body fashionably and expensively painted to look like a wooden body. 1942-45 MBs, had a wheelbase of 80ins., the station wagon in the photo has extra length from the step plate on the firewall to the rear wheel arch that the Universal CJ models have, on a ex-WW2 MB there is barely one door length let alone two as on this wagon or ‘woody’ civilian jeep [I get in and out of a restored 1942 MB jeep quite regularly so I can vouch that there’s not a lot of ‘doorway’ space!]
    Useful reference: Station Wagon Uses Jeep Engine. (1947, February 11). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1956), p. 8. Retrieved October 29, 2012, from

    October 29, 2012 at 5:49 pm