1800s

Vintage: Smith and Telfer Studio in Cooperstown, New York (1865-1885)

Vintage: Smith and Telfer Studio in Cooperstown, New York (1865-1885)

Washington G. Smith (1828-1893) and Arthur J. Telfer (1859-1954) spent almost one hundred years photographing people, events, and scenes in and around Cooperstown. At the time of his gift Telfer was 93 years old and was widely thought to be the oldest working photographer in the United States. Washington Smith worked with partners while he learned the daguerreotype and ambrotype…
Vintage: Portrait Photos of Cambridge University Men (late 19th Century)

Vintage: Portrait Photos of Cambridge University Men (late 19th Century)

The colleges at the University of Cambridge were originally an incidental feature of the system. No college is as old as the university itself. The colleges were endowed fellowships of scholars. There were also institutions without endowments, called hostels. The hostels were gradually absorbed by the colleges over the centuries, but they have left some indications of their existence, such…
Vintage: Frances Louisa Clayton (19th Century)

Vintage: Frances Louisa Clayton (19th Century)

Several hundred women disguised themselves as men and took the bold step of leaving the comforts of home to serve their country during the Civil War. Frances Clalin Clayton disguised herself as a man and took the name Jack Williams in order to fight in the army. For several months, she served in Missouri artillery and cavalry corps. Frances Clalin…
Vintage: Street Scenes of the Munster Region, Ireland (late 19th Century)

Vintage: Street Scenes of the Munster Region, Ireland (late 19th Century)

Munster is one of the provinces of Ireland situated in the south of Ireland. In early Ireland, the Kingdom of Munster was one of the kingdoms of Gaelic Ireland ruled by a “king of over-kings”. Following the Norman invasion of Ireland, the ancient kingdoms were shired into counties for administrative and judicial purposes. In later centuries, local government legislation has…
Vintage: Views of San Francisco by G. R. Fardon (1856)

Vintage: Views of San Francisco by G. R. Fardon (1856)

Originally published in 1856, George Robinson Fardon’s San Francisco Album is the earliest existing photographic record of an American city. An unmatched historical document of San Francisco during its years of rapid growth and burgeoning prosperity in the wake of the Gold Rush, the album is aesthetically compelling as well. Fardon (1806-1886), arrived in San Francisco at age 43. He…
Vintage: Montparnasse Train Derailment in Paris (1895)

Vintage: Montparnasse Train Derailment in Paris (1895)

At first glance, the photos look like stills from an old disaster movie or a spectacular example of theme park scenery welcoming visitors to some wild new ride. However, these extraordinary images are actually testament to a real-life tragedy, the derailment of the Granville-Paris Express that on October 22, 1895 tore through the façade of the Gare Montparnasse, injuring a…
Vintage: Russian Beauties in Traditional Costumes (late 19th Century)

Vintage: Russian Beauties in Traditional Costumes (late 19th Century)

These photos were taken in the end of 19th century and now are kept in the collection of the Russian Museum of Ethnography. The women in the photos are wearing traditional costumes of different regions of Russia. And though you can see many regional differences in the outfits there are two similar basic elements – sarafan and kokoshnik. Sarafan is…
Vintage: Portraits of American Ladies by Mathew Brady (1863)

Vintage: Portraits of American Ladies by Mathew Brady (1863)

During the Civil War, Mathew Brady and his associates traveled throughout the eastern part of the country, capturing the effects of the War through photographs of people, towns, and battlefields. Additionally, Brady kept studios in Washington, DC and New York City, where many influential politicians and war heroes sat for portraits. Brady photographed many subjects in the time of the…
Vintage: Everyday Life of Ontario, Canada by Reuben R. Sallows (late 19th Century)

Vintage: Everyday Life of Ontario, Canada by Reuben R. Sallows (late 19th Century)

At the turn of the 20th century, when most cameras and photographers operated out of a studio, Ontario-based photographer Reuben R. Sallows (1855-1937) took his heavy, cumbersome equipment outside. He photographed people at work and play in the small towns, farmlands and in the expansive Canadian wilderness of Ontario, the western rovinces and northern Quebec. A rogue photographer, Sallows did…
Vintage: Everyday Life of France by Amélie Galup (late 19th Century)

Vintage: Everyday Life of France by Amélie Galup (late 19th Century)

Amélie Galup (1856-1943) taught herself photography in 1895 at the family home in Saint-Antonin-Nobleval, where she spent her vacations, turning the basement into a darkroom. She developed and printed the pictures she took of her husband, their two children and her family. Galup constructed a set in one room of the house, recreating the conditions of a portrait studio, backdrop…
Vintage: Chinese People from Qing Dynasty (1860s)

Vintage: Chinese People from Qing Dynasty (1860s)

When the Tongzhi Emperor came to the throne at the age of five in 1861, these officials rallied around him in what was called the Tongzhi Restoration. Their aim was to adopt Western military technology in order to preserve Confucian values. Zeng Guofan, in alliance with Prince Gong, sponsored the rise of younger officials such as Li Hongzhang, who put…
Vintage: Everyday Life of New York by Wallace G. Levison (19th Century)

Vintage: Everyday Life of New York by Wallace G. Levison (19th Century)

Wallace G. Levison was a chemist, inventor, and lecturer who founded the Departments of Mineralogy and Astronomy at the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences in the latter half of the 19th century. As the dawn of the 20th century approached, newer, more sensitive film emulsions were developed that allowed pictures to be taken with faster and faster shutter speeds.…
Vintage: Swedish churches from 1100-1900 AD

Vintage: Swedish churches from 1100-1900 AD

This set shows photos of Swedish churches from 1100-1900 AD – a mix of stone and wooden churches, cathedrals and chapels – country churches as well as city churches. We think that these pictures well describe the wide range of churches to be found all over the country in the 1800s. They also show the surrounding landscape or environment, often…
Vintage: Victorian Fashion (19th Century)

Vintage: Victorian Fashion (19th Century)

During the Victorian Era, a woman’s place was at home. Unlike in the earlier centuries when women could help their husbands and brothers in family businesses, in the nineteenth century, the gender roles became more defined than ever. Their dress styles reflected their lifestyle. Victorian fashion was not intended to be utilitarian. Clothes were seen as an expression of women’s…
Vintage: Volcanoes and Avalanches by Tempest Anderson (1900s)

Vintage: Volcanoes and Avalanches by Tempest Anderson (1900s)

Tempest Anderson (1846 – 1913) was an expert amateur photographer and vulcanologist. He was the world’s first volcano-chaser, scaling the world’s most dangerous slopes in his quest to photograph volcanoes as they erupted. He was a member of the Royal Society Commission which was appointed to investigate the aftermath of the eruptions of Soufriere volcano, St Vincent and Mont Pelee,…
Vintage: Battle of Antietam (1862)

Vintage: Battle of Antietam (1862)

he Battle of Antietam, also known as the Battle of Sharpsburg, particularly in the Southern United States, was fought on September 17, 1862, near Sharpsburg, Maryland and Antietam Creek as part of the Maryland Campaign. It was the first field army–level engagement in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War to take place on Union soil and is the…
Vintage: Railroad Bridges With Timber Trestles

Vintage: Railroad Bridges With Timber Trestles

In the 1830s, the railroad boom started a new era in the building of railroad bridges pushing engineers to build towering wooden bridges that have become synonymous with the era. Timber trestles were one of the few railroad bridge forms that did not develop in Europe. The reason was that in the United States and Canada cheap lumber was widespread…
Vintage: Amsterdam Streets by George Hendrik Breitner (1890s-1900s)

Vintage: Amsterdam Streets by George Hendrik Breitner (1890s-1900s)

George Hendrik Breitner (1857 – 1923) was a Dutch painter and photographer. An important figure in Amsterdam Impressionism, he is noted especially for his paintings of street scenes and harbours in a realistic style. He painted en plein air, and became interested in photography as a means of documenting street life and atmospheric effects – rainy weather in particular –…