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The sack has it: rare photo ends ages of Santa speculation

Date

Ian Warden

Santa Claus at the Canberra Airport circa 1929.

Santa Claus at the Canberra Airport circa 1929. Photo: Alexander Collingridge

There is controversy about where Santa Claus lives but those of us who have always been sure that it's Iceland (the belief that it's the uninhabitable North Pole stretches credulity) are vindicated at last by this photograph discovered in the collection of the National Library of Australia.

It is Alexander Collingridge's 1929 picture of Santa with his light plane (thus casting doubt on the old sleigh and reindeer theory) at Canberra Airport. The legend on Santa's sack of toys clearly shows that he's come from Iceland. He's en route to his workshop at an Australian department store.

The National Library is so proud of this rare and history-changing snap that it is using it at the moment, with Santa's ensemble a little tinted by hand, as its Christmas card.

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