What Sydney looked like in the 1890s

The 1890s was a time of significant change and growth in Sydney, Australia. The city’s population had grown rapidly, and new opportunities and challenges came with this growth. The economy was booming, and many new businesses and industries were established. The city’s infrastructure was also expanding, with new buildings, roads, and transportation systems being constructed.

One of the most noticeable changes in the city during this time was the growth of the working-class population. Many new immigrants arrived in Sydney, seeking better opportunities and a better life. The city’s working-class population lived in densely populated areas, often crowded and unsanitary. This was a significant concern for health officials struggling to control outbreaks of diseases such as tuberculosis, diphtheria, and cholera.

The city’s wealthy population also grew during this time, with many new homes being built in the suburbs. The suburbs were seen as a place of luxury and comfort, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The wealthy population of Sydney enjoyed a comfortable lifestyle, with many of the luxuries that came with wealth, such as fine dining, entertainment, and shopping.

The 1890s also saw the development of new forms of transportation in Sydney. The city’s first electric tram system was established, providing residents with a fast and convenient way to travel around the city. The introduction of the tram system was a major milestone in the city’s development, and it helped transform the way people lived and worked.

Despite Sydney’s many changes and developments during the 1890s, the city also faced significant challenges. The economic boom was not without its downsides, and many people found themselves struggling to make ends meet. Unemployment was high, and many people were forced to live in poverty. The city’s working-class population was especially vulnerable, and many were forced to rely on public assistance to get by.

#1 King and Elizabeth Street corner from Sydney, 1890

#7 A chimney sweep walking across Pyrmont Bridge Sydney, 1888

#9 Woman selling fruit from small barrow Sydney, 1880s

#10 Street scene. Phillip Street, 1885-90 Sydney, 1880s

#13 Horsedrawn ambulance outside Civil Ambulance & Transport Brigade headquarters, corner of George & Pitt Sts opposite the Benevolent Asylum, now Central Square, 1889

#28 Advertising hoarding for McLean, Rigg from Sydney, 1880s

#34 Arrival of Governor Sir Robert Duff, Circular Quay, Sydney, June 1893

#52 Carts parked along the sidewalk with a small wooden shed atop a mound of earth

#55 Sydney street with steam powered tram and horse carriages, 1890s

#57 Sydney Ferry LEIPOA Perdriau’s Balmain ferries, 1890s

#59 Arrival of Governor Sir Robert Duff, Circular Quay, Sydney, 1893

#61 ‘The Departure of Lord and Lady Carrington from Sydney for England, 1890s

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Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

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