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Kittel Tronerud’s Glass Negatives

Kittel Tronerud

My maternal grandfather, Kittel Johannes Tronerud, was born in 1870 in Norway – the son of Jorgen Tronerud, school teacher and church singer, and Karen Mathea Tronerud. In 1889 Kittel jumped ship while in port in Melbourne and made his way to Tasmania where he married and raised his first family of five children on the North Coast before being widowed. His naturalisation papers note his profession as Photographer.

Kittel raised his second family of around 10 children – fathering my mother and Aunt Rita in his mid-60s – to a much younger wife. Much earlier on King Island, he had shot extensive photography between 1900 and 1911 and died at the age of 69 (when my mother was 4 years old) after not recovering from surgery.

Two attached PDFs [number 1 and number 2] outline Kittle’s family tree from the early 1800s… one brother emigrated to New York.

Mrs Dorothy Crow of Grassy, King Island wrote a letter (attached) to my sister in 1988 describing how her husband had come by Kittel’s (also known as Joe Tronerud) original camera and glass negatives from a local farmer. Her husband printed 100 of the negatives and they were exhibited on King Island then were exhibited for a further two weeks in the Queen Victoria Museum in Launceston. Kittel’s camera and photographs are now housed in the King Island Museum.

A scan of a 1988 clipping from the King Island newspaper (also attached) shows four of the reproduced glass negatives.

Eventually I’d like to pursue these negatives and my familial relationship to King Island. The questions that I would like to address relate to the way Kittel, an impoverished professional Photographer with dirt floors and a large family to feed, saw the world around him. I would like to revisit some of his key photographs and investigate the difference or sameness in culture and landscape on King Island exactly one century since some of these shots were taken. This would involve visiting King Island Museum and hunting down familial links in the local community.

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About the Author

Steven Clark Steven Clark - the stand up guy on this site

My name is Steven Clark and I live in the Derwent Valley in Southern Tasmania. I have an MBA (Specialisation) and a Bachelor of Computing from the University of Tasmania. I'm a mazer & a yeast farmer (making beer, fruit wine and mead as by-products of continuous improvement in my farming practices). I'm a photographer, although my film cameras are currently silent. I do not tolerate idiots. I do not tolerate bigotry. I do not tolerate excuses. Let's be clear, if you sit with my enemies you my are my enemy for life.

Blogger. Thinker. Brewer. Drinker. Life partner to the amazing and incredible Megan.

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