In 1914, an adventurous young photographer Ted Reichenbach, better known as  Ryko , bicycled to Darwin from Adelaide following the Overland Telegraph Line! At 22 years old, he made the journey in the record time of 28 days and 7 minutes. Ryko supported himself by selling many of his photographs as postcards (such as this one). In his time in the north he formed close relationships with many Aboriginal people. They would sometimes help him by  staging photographs of excitement, danger and humour that would sell. He went on to open a bike shop and studio in Cavanagh Street in Darwin but began using the nickname Ryko due to growing anti-German sentiment at the time. The postcards remain much sought-after by collectors, libraries and museums.

Image: Karilyn Brown Collection, Northern Territory Library


Published 24 April 2016

Forgotten Territory was a weekly photo column of historic images in the Northern Territory News which I curated from 2016 until 2019 supported by the collections of the Northern Territory Library and other cultural institutions around Australia, as well as local history Facebook groups. 

Click on the images to read the story behind the image.

Warning: May contain images of people who have died.

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These works were made on Arrernte, Larrakia, Gaddigal and Lenape land that was never ceded