This photograph is believed to depict the first flagship of the Royal Australian Navy, HMAS AUSTRALIA I, moored in Sydney Harbour after the vessel's maiden voyage to Australia in 1913. A newspaper article describes the scene of the Australian fleet at night:
'The flagship Australia, with its thousand electric lights, was the centre of the picture, a thing of dazzling beauty.... the Australia and all of them burst into light, their lines, from hull to fore, and mainmast, picked out with countless electric lights. It was a veritable blaze of splendour.'
('Warships Illuminated', The Sydney Morning Herald, 6 October 1913)
For more information on lightshows of the past, see our blog
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The ANMM undertakes research and accepts public comments that enhance the information we hold about images in our collection. This record has been updated accordingly.
Object number: ANMS0823
Owner: Australian National Maritime Museum on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons