Monday, May 19, 2014

Rare Photograph of the Australian Mermaid found on a dive through archives

Kellerman at the age of 19

Rare Blood N Bubbles Picture Found

Flickr, the social media service for photographers, is working with archives around the world to make their digital photo archives available to the world. Recently I took a dive through the New South Wales (AU)  library files and found this picture of 18-year old Annette Kellerman.
Kellerman, an Aussi by birth was a champion swimmer and starred in a number of dive/ mermaid films at the turn of the last century. In 1905 she invented the streamlined one-piece swimming costume for women, a liberating garment, which became her trademark. 
Known as the 'Diving Venus' and the 'Australian Mermaid', Annette Kellerman (1887–1975) was an athlete as well as a vaudeville and movie star, one of the most famous women of her day. She offered a powerful mix of innovative underwater performances, perfect physique, revealing costumes, skilful handling of publicity, and record breaking athletic feats.
Some of her movies that included underwater scenes included: A Daughter of the Gods (1916), Venus of the South Seas (1924) and Neptune's Daughter (1914).
According to the Australian Government's posted history of Kellerman, her best underwater scenes are to be seen in "Venus of the South Seas (1924), her final film, shot in beautiful locations in New Zealand. Venus of the South Seas is remarkable in a number of ways. It contained one full 20-minute reel filmed entirely underwater, and in colour. It was the last film made using the Prizma colour system. This system employed two colours, red and green, rather than the three-colour system introduced in the 1930s. Fortunately this film still exists in its entirety.:
Photograph Courtesy Hilton Cordell Productions and National Museum of Australia.