Home >> Encyclopedia Americana, Volume 26 >> Swordfish to Tanning >> Sydney


australia, city, port, miles and system

SYDNEY, sid'ni, Australia, capital of New South Wales, on Port Jackson, was the first city founded in Australia, by British colonists. Its selection was due to the beautiful site and the advantages offered by streams and adjacent bays. The principal streets are lined by hand some residences and commercial houses. The important buildings include the government offices — of white stone in Italian style;— the magnificent town-hall, with a high tower and fine organ; banks; post and telegraph offices; government house, a castellated building or fine Gothic architecture; the university, a vast edifice, also Elizabethan Gothic; together with the associated colleges, including the Woman's College, Saint Mary's Cathedral (Roman Cath olic), a Byzantine synagogue, exchange, cus tom-house, mint,parliament houses, hospitals, asylums, and the Queen Victoria Market. Do main, Hyde Moore, and Centennial parks and the Botanical Gardens are extensive; the race course comprises 202 acres. The Australian Museum, founded in 1836, is the oldest institu tion of the kind in Australia. Its erection cost 159,000. It contains a very large botanical gar den, a technological exhibit, and a library, which, together with other libraries in the city, numbers 240,743 works. The slaughter-houses and water-supply system are owned by the city and the tramway system is owned by the state. There are manufactories of glass, pottery, wagons, boots and shoes, stoves, hardware, tobacco, etc.

The University of Sydney dates from 1852, receiving its royal charter in 1858. Women students have been admitted since 1881. Port

Jackson is of vast proportions, and accessible to the largest vessels, penetrating the country for 20 miles and sending out branches in all directions. the shores present a bold and rug ged aspect. Four companies operate ferries to and from Sydney over the waters of Port Jack son, which carry nearly 24,000,000 passengers annually. This service and equipment — the best boats are double-ended screw-boats— arc said to be the equal of any in the world. Sydney is near a coal-formation extending over several hundred miles in East Australia, and is the centre of trade for the pastoral and mineral regions of the western districts, connected with an extensive railway system. The various man ufacturing industries are well represented in the city, and its trade is large and growing. Sydney was founded in 1788. The discovery of gold in 1851 stimulated its development. On 1 Jan. 1901 the installation of Earl Hopetoun as first governor-general of the Australian Common wealth took place here, consummating the federation of Australia.

An outbreak of bubonic plague in 1900, sup posed to have been due to the introduction of plague-stricken rats brought in foreign vessels from afflicted ports, led, in 1901, to the forma tion of a board of port overseers, called the Sydney Harbor Trust. This conunission as sumed control of all the wharves, docks and harbors, and considerably improved shipping at Sydney. Sydney has 1033.4 miles of electric trarnways, mostly under municipal control. Pop. 648,746.