Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Mela Koehler-Broman

I love to look at the inspirational and colourful prints and postcards of the Viennese artist, Mela Koehler-Broman.  The delightful illustrations  of  this painter, graphic artist and illustrator are surprisingly modern even though Koehler began her career in the Edwardian era.

Born on November 18, 1885, Leopoldina Melanie Koehler studied at the Hohenberger art school and the Vienna Arts and Crafts School.  She was a student of Kolomon Moser, an important person in the Viennese art world, and the confident and talented young woman even held an exhibition in London while she was studying.

The Viennese workshop, Wiener Werkstatte, employed Koehler.  Founded by Josef Hoffman and Moser, the workshop had a philosophy that artists should create well-designed and beautiful objects that would be part of everyday life.  Koehler is mostly famous for her fashion illustrations on postcards and in fashion magazines..  These often featured women in large picture hats in delicate floral prints walking their dogs. Many of them can be seen at the collection of the Metropolitan Museum in New York.  Her beliefs in women's suffrage and the Reform Dress movement influenced her designs. However, Koehler also illustrated postcards with bright holiday themes, and she also worked on books of fairy tales.

The artist emigrated to Stockholm in 1931 and married in 1932.  She continued working and she even designed costumes for the Swedish Royal Academy.  Koehler-Broman died in 1960.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Distance Education at the Australian Christian College, Southlands

Would you like your child to study at home?  This option is available at the Australian Christian College, Southlands. Distance education means that a student is enrolled in a registered school and studies at home supervised by a parent. Home provides an ideal place to learn for many students, because they can study in familiar and comfortable surroundings, and they can be surrounded by supportive family and friends.

Another big advantage of distance education is that the student receives a lot of individual attention from his or her teachers and parents.  This may not occur at a large school where a pupil can sometimes become just 'one of a number' and even fall behind because of being neglected by teachers.  

The Australian Christian College provides two programs by which a student can complete school.  The Online Learning Program is similar to an actual school, because students listen to podcasts, watch videos, and interact online with other pupils.  They also study the Australian Curriculum.

The other choice is the Correspondence Program.  This is tailored to the student and paper-based.  The student uses instructional workbooks.  This option suits those who want a more traditional type of education.

Pupils do not have to live in regional areas to study at the college.  Distance education is also available for those who live in big cities and large regional towns.

Why not visit the website today?

Saturday, October 5, 2013

(The fleet sets off)
Teddy Roosevelt watched proudly as his Great White Fleet set off from Hampton Roads, Virginia for its voyage around the world. Like Henry VIII, Roosevelt, the President of the U.S., thought that the prestige and power of a nation largely depended on its navy, and he wanted to impress people with his fleet of steel warships.  The President especially wanted to impress Japan, because he feared that the Japanese wanted to dominate the Pacific.  He had good reason for these fears, because the Japanese had recently defeated mighty Russia.  This was largely because of the strong Japanese navy which wreaked havoc on Russia at Port Arthur in 1905.

Australia’s Prime Minister Alfred Deakin, also feared the Japanese, partly because Australia did not have its own navy.  He felt that he couldn’t rely on Great Britain to defend Australia from the Japanese, because Britain made a treaty with heavily armed Japan.  Evading protocol,  Deakin decided to invite the Great White Fleet to visit the Great South Land, and outraged the Foreign Office.

A public holiday was called to celebrate the arrival, and almost the whole city rushed to the beautiful, tree-covered headlands and hills surrounding the city to view the American fleet, which contained 16 steam-powered steal ships and 14,000 sailors. The fleet sailed into Sydney in August 1908, led by the flagship USS Connecticut which passed North Head firing a 21-gun salute.  The view of the white ships with their gilded bows must have been an impressive sight. 

The festivities lasted a week with parades, reviews, balls,  banquets and fireworks.  The city streets were brightly illuminated at night.  Huge crowds turned out to see a parade through the city and a review in Centennial Park where there was a parade of Australian and American  the largest meeting place in the world.  It also had three impressive galleries.

Apparently, Australians have not changed that much since 1908.  They were determined to know whether the Americans liked Sydney, and they’re still inclined to ask visitors that question almost as soon as they get off the plane!  One sailor became worn out by all of the festivities and these constant questions.  He went to sleep in a Sydney park. 

             ‘Not wanting to be disturbed, he posted a sign above his head which read:
              “Yes, I am delighted with the Australian people.
              “Yes, I think your park is the finest in the world.
              “I am very tired and would like to go to sleep.”1.

The fleet also visited Melbourne, Australia’s largest city, and Albany in Western Australia.  Soon afterwards, the Royal Australian Navy was formed, the first independent navy in the British Empire.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Menacing Hat Pin

The young woman walked hurriedly along the dimly-lit street near Zeehan in Tasmania, because she heard the sound of footsteps behind her, but a masked man pulled her into the scrub and attempted to assault her.  Only 21, she bravely fought him off with her hat pin, which snapped in her hand.  Luckily, her sister and brother lived nearby.  They heard her cries for help, and they raced to her rescue, so the man ran away.

This incident occurred in 1913.  It is just one of the many cases in which women defended themselves against attacks with their long and sharp hat pins.  Unfortunately, women may have found this difficult after a fracas arose in countries all over the world about the menace of hat pins in public places.  Several people were injured by hat pins, which could be up to 14 inches long.  Even the Australian Federal Attorney-General was injured by a protruding hat pin in 1912 under his eye, and this caused a long gash on his face.

Byelaws were passed by councils in cities worldwide, including Sydney.  Fines were issued to women who refused to place protectors on their long and fashionable hat pins.  Hat pins were actually taken away from suffragettes who went to jail in Britain, in case they used them as weapons.

Authorities in Stockholm in Sweden solved this problem in an innovative way.  Conductors of street-cars in the city offered ladies with menacing hat pins point-protectors at a cheap price.  6000 were sold out in a single day!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

An Intrepid Australian Titanic Survivor

Titanic Memorial Voyage

Imagine the scene.  You're in a crowded lifeboat with no lantern, water, or provisions on a freezing night.  Shots are ringing out all around you, and men and women are fighting with each other to get on the lifeboat, which is already full.  You can see the Titanic sinking. This terrifying scenario happened to Charles Dahl, an Australian survivor of the Titanic.

Born in Norway in 1866, Dahl was one of eight children.  He emigrated to Australia in his twenties to work as a joiner, and lived in South Australia.  Dahl decided to return to Norway, but he changed his mind, and chose to visit his mother and some of his family in South Dakota instead.  He joined the Titanic as a third-class passenger on the way to South Dakota.

On the day of the crash, the sight of rows of icebergs worried Dahl.  He counted nineteen.  One was five miles long, he said.  He stated that no ship could cut a path through the sea, because it was 'full of icebergs'.

However, Dahl was in bed when the crash occurred.  He put on warm clothes, and raced to the deck, but he was surprised to find that he was in one of the lifeboats later.  He said that he must have jumped into it.  His whole fortune was in a wallet on board the sinking ship.

After visiting his mother and family, Dahl travelled for two years.  He returned to Norway and married a Norwegian lady.  They then moved to Australia.  Dahl died at 76 in 1933.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Hello everyone,
I'm having a bad time at the moment, but I hope to write a new post soon.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Oscar Hammerstein's Beautiful and Successful Australian Wife, Dorothy

This isn't an Edwardian story, but I couldn't resist it.  I was astonished to learn that Oscar Hammerstein II, the famous lyricist and librettist who wrote such musicals as South Pacific and The Sound of Music with Richard Rodgers, married an Australian!

Born in Tasmania in 1899, Dorothy Blanchard was brought up in Williamstown in Victoria.  The daughter of a ship's captain, she lived a comfortable life at a house called Mandalay with her four sisters.  As a young girl, she loved to wander around the quaint shops in the town, including an antique shop.

At just 23, Dorothy won a beauty pageant and decided that she wanted a career in the movies.  The intrepid young woman set out for London, but she eventually lived in America.  There she won a part in a musical called 'Charlot's Revue'. She married Henry Jacobson in 1925, and she had two children.  However, she fell in love with the unhappily married Oscar Hammerstein II on a cruise, and they married in 1929.  This marriage was supremely happy, and they had a son, James. They lived in a six-story New York townhouse full of servants, a very different life from her life in Australia.

Dorothy was not only beautiful and married to a famous man; she also had her own highly-regarded career.  She became a sought-after interior designer, and furnished houses for many stars, including Norma Talmadge.  She said on a visit to Australia that: 'She was crazy for colour'. The successful interior designer also remarked that young people should be surrounded by colour, and not live like their grandparents.  One wonders if the antique shop with its 'dim,  mysterious recesses' that continuously fascinated her influenced her decision to become an interior designer.

 Dorothy Hammerstein's Obituary in The New York Times described her as 'formidable', but Christopher Plummer thought that she was a 'lovely and warm Australian lady'. (Maybe he didn't find her formidable, because he is formidable!) She died in 1987.  Her grandson, Andy, is extremely interested in her story, and he visited her old house when he came to Australia recently.

[Richard Rodgers, Dorothy Rodg... Digital ID: 1818367. New York Public Library

Dorothy is third from the left.

Here is a 
beautiful picture of the couple on their wedding day.

Unfortunately, the present owner of the heritage-listed house is having trouble maintaining it: Historic House Alive With The Sound Of Crumbling

Friday, March 29, 2013

Shop At For Your Hotel Supplies

Find all of your hotel equipment and supplies at  This hotel supply online website offers several highly regarded brands at reasonable prices.  Here you can buy everything that you need for your hotel, including furniture, kitchen equipment, banquet supplies, and office paraphernalia.  The site even includes disposable items, and a wide range of cleaning items. 

This Atlanta hotel supply website has an extensive range of items to suit your needs.  The company will make it easy for you to furnish your hotel lobby, bedrooms, and restaurant.  Starting a new hotel would be simple with this company! also has a large collection of hotel bar supplies.  These include such items as bar fronts, bartender supplies, and bar glasses.

Look at today!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

New Post Soon!

I am really sorry that I haven't posted for so long.  I hope to write a new post next week.

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Dorothy Restaurants

Isabel Cooper-Oakley, the ‘personification of the New Woman of the eighties’, founded her Dorothy Restaurants in the late 1880s.  A theosophist who attended Girton College in Cambridge, Cooper-Oakley started the restaurants when her millinery business founded.  These restaurants were for women only.  One of the restaurants was for ladies and the other was intended to be for working women.

The first Dorothy Restaurant on Mortimer Street, decorated with cream-coloured walls, Japanese fans and umbrellas, may have been the one for shop girls and other women who were employed in the city.  Here they could eat cheap, wholesome fare, after paying an eightpenny dining ticket at the entrance.

The exotically-dressed and beautiful Constance Wilde and other celebrated women attended the opening of the second Dorothy Restaurant on Oxford Street in 1889.  Many of them apparently smoked while they waited to enter.  This restaurant was much more lavish.  It was decorated with rich Indian curtains, a deep red ante-room and it also featured a large luncheon room with tables covered with pristine white tablecloths and vases of fresh flowers.  Obviously the one for ladies!