Bent Street, Paddington, is one of the most curious streets in Sydney history. Although having only 32 houses in the street by 1920, this small street contained a cross section of Australian life during the time examined, from 1890 to 1920. The street contained shops, a coal depot, magistrates, landlords, labourers, miners, tenants, and all the other groups of people that inhabited the streets. In it also resided the first Australian Labor Party Prime Minister, John Christian Watson.
The street came into prominence when an article appeared in the Sydney Mail, 9 August 1916, p.12. It was inspired by the local ALP M.L.A., Mr. Osborne, who collected 29 portraits of soldiers from Bent and sent them Sydney Mail.
The album describes the named inhabitants of each house over the period from 1890 to 1920. In addition, the 29 pictures are named with a brief military biography attached to them. Where ever possible, they are located at the house in which the person lived.
The street numbering created a great deal of confusion amongst the information collectors. Where a dual number appears, this was the result of number confusion. For example, there never was No. 6 Bent Street but this did not prevent people from describing No. 8 as No. 6. In addition to that, in 1900, houses were built at numbers 23, 25, and 27. However No. 27 was further subdivided into three houses named "Osraston", "Matlock", and "Chellaston". This created its own confusion until the numbers were corrected in 1919. So the houses from 29 onwards have two numbers, the pre and post 1919 house number.
A full listing of the Bent Street Album may be found at:
Number – 23; Named Residents, 1890 – 1920
1890 Electoral Roll -
1891 Census -
1895 Electoral Roll -
1900 Electoral Roll -
1901 Census -
1903 Electoral Roll -
1905 - Brockway, Vincent
1906 - Brockway, Vincent
1906 Electoral Roll - 198. Brockway, Florence, home duties; 199. Brockway, Vincent, clerk
1907 - Brockway, Vincent
1908 Electoral Roll -
1909 - Morkham, Miss Florence, milliner
1909 Electoral Roll - 392. Collins, Adelaide Lillian, saleswoman; 397. Collins, Hugh, salesman; Collins, Solomon George, commercial traveller
1910 - Collins, Solomon G
1911 - Collins, Solomon G
1912 - Collins, Mrs. Jane
1913 - Collins, Mrs. Jane
1913 Electoral Roll - 553. Collins, Jane, home duties; 557. Collins, John, coach painter
1914 - Collins, Mrs. Jane
1915 - Collins, Mrs. Jane
1915 Electoral Roll - 417. Collins, Harold Emmanuel, storeman; 419. Collins, Jane, home duties; 425. Collins, Louisa Evelyn, packer & 1261. Levi, Adelaide Lillian, home duties; 1262. Levi, Cecil Alberto, tailor
1916 - Collins, Mrs. Jane
1917 - Collins, Mrs. Jane
1918 - Collins, Mrs. Jane
1919 - Collins, Mrs. Jane
1920 - Collins, Mrs. Jane