Cover image for Herbert John King (Hj King)
Herbert John King (Hj King)
Agency Number:
Start Date:
01 Jan 1892
End Date:
31 Dec 1973
Herbert John King (1892 - 1973), photographer and field naturalist, born in Hobart, third son of John King, cycle manufacturer. The family moved to Launceston in 1903, where from 1931 until his retirement in 1951 Herbert was employed in the family business which manufactured and imported bicycles and motorcycles.
Herbert with his wife Lucy Minna (nee Large) enjoyed exploring remote Tasmanian wilderness areas on motorcycles, King being a member of the first party to use motorcycles to reach Gustav Weindorfer's Waldheim chalet at Cradle Mountain.
King joined the Northern Tasmania Camera Club, having taken up photography as a boy. King's photographs were technically innovative and experimental with colour and he won many prizes and exhibited his photographs both in Australia and abroad. He was also a pioneer of aerial photography techniques.
During the years of World War II he made a series of colour-movies on natural history for the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery in Launceston, where he was to be honorary photographer (1958 - 62). His passion for Tasmanian's natural history led him to membership of the Royal Society of Tasmania and to founding membership and presidency of the Launceston Field Naturalists' Club. His pioneering efforts in listing, collecting and photographing Tasmania's flora prompted Lord Talbot de Malahide to finance and publish in six parts The Endemic Flora of Tasmania (London, 1967 - 78.) 
Survived by his wife and two daughters, King died on 18 Feb 1973 at Launceston.
Information Sources:
Australian Dictionary of Biography; Historian Nic Haygarth, Feb 2020.