Listen: The story behind Ipswich’s most famous image

Biggingee Sorabjee Poochee was one of Ipswich’s first photographers.

Indian born, Mr Poochee established his first Australian photography business on the corner of Bell and Union Streets, Ipswich in October 1863.

He later moved to Brisbane Street which later became the premisies for F.A. Whitehead Studios.

While practising and living in the Ipswich area, Mr Poochee was also reported to have taught famous Ipswich photographer Francis Whitehead the art of portrait photography. Mr Whitehead would later established Whitehead Studios.

Mr Poochee’s studio neighboured the Whitehead family’s Brisbane Street address and Mr Whitehead was often found in Mr Poochee’s company as a young boy, observing the wonderful photographic process.

As a photographer in Ipswich, he often photographed prominent families and buildings and was also commissioned to produce his most famous work entitled Panorama of Ipswich in 1865.

At the time this panorama displayed the growth and change occurring in the Ipswich area while showcasing some of Ipswich’s most famous landmarks including Gooloowan, Limestone Hill, and the School of Arts building.

Mr Poochee won several awards for the panorama including one presented at the Great Centennial Exhibition in America in 1876, which followed accolades at the Melbourne at the Inter-Colonial Exhibition in 1866.

The Ipswich panorama was later thought to be presented to the mayor of the time in 1865.

The lithograph is now part of the Ipswich Art Gallery collection.

Ipswich Libraries Digital Archivist Melanie Rush has complied the above video on Mr Poochee and the Panorama of Ipswich.

Hear Ms Rush give details of Ipswich’s first buildings as she breaks the panorama down into sections.

Find out what the English lithographer did to Mr Poochee’s original work of a modern industrial town, our Ipswich.

These images can be found in Picture Ipswich.

This logo is on the reverse side of the photograph of Ipswich Grammar School. It reads ‘Photographed by Biggingee Sorabjee Poochee, Brisbane Street, Ipswich’.  Images courtesy of Picture Ipswich.

A compilation of portraits done by Biggingee Sorabjee Poochee, between 1864 and 1877. 

Ms Rush will be giving a presentation about Early Ipswich Photographers at the Ipswich Historical Society on Sunday 26 May at 10.30am.

Cooneana Heritage Centre, 1041 Redbank Plains Road, New Chum.

Entry is $7 for members of the public and $5 for members.

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