19th Century

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: Street Scenes of São Paulo, Brazil (1862 -1887)

Vintage: Street Scenes of São Paulo, Brazil (1862 -1887)

After Brazil became independent from Portugal in 1822, as declared by Emperor Pedro I where the Monument of Ipiranga is located, he named São Paulo as an Imperial City. In 1827, a law school was founded at the Convent of São Francisco, these days a part of the University of São Paulo. The influx of students and teachers gave a…
Vintage: Everyday Life of Norwegians (late 19th Century)

Vintage: Everyday Life of Norwegians (late 19th Century)

In 1886 20-year-old Ellisif R. Müller (1866-1949) married her cousin, regional doctor Andreas Wessel. The marriage led her to Kirkenes, where they lived out their lives. It was there, in her new home, that she made her debut as a photographer. In Finnmark Wessel encountered a reality which stood in stark contrast to that of her protected bourgeois youth. She…
Vintage: 19th Century Sexual Revolution by Sexologist Richard von Krafft-Ebing

Vintage: 19th Century Sexual Revolution by Sexologist Richard von Krafft-Ebing

Richard von Krafft-Ebing’s (1840 – 1902) principal work is Psychopathia Sexualis: eine Klinisch-Forensische Studie (Sexual Psychopathy: A Clinical-Forensic Study), which was first published in 1886 and expanded in subsequent editions. The last edition from the hand of the author (the twelfth) contained a total of 238 case histories of human sexual behaviour. This book popularized the terms sadism (derived from…
Vintage: Everyday Life of Egypt (late 19th Century)

Vintage: Everyday Life of Egypt (late 19th Century)

Egypt under the Muhammad Ali dynasty remained nominally an Ottoman province. It was granted the status of an autonomous vassal state or Khedivate in 1867, a status which was to remain in place until 1914. The Suez Canal, built in partnership with the French, was completed in 1869. Its construction led to enormous debt to European banks, and caused popular…
Vintage: Historical Photos of Harvard University (19th Century)

Vintage: Historical Photos of Harvard University (19th Century)

Established originally by the Massachusetts legislature and soon thereafter named for John Harvard (its first benefactor), Harvard is the United States’ oldest institution of higher learning, and the Harvard Corporation (formally, the President and Fellows of Harvard College) is its first chartered corporation. Although never formally affiliated with any denomination, the early College primarily trained Congregational and Unitarian clergy. Its…
Vintage: Models in Victorian Era (19th Century)

Vintage: Models in Victorian Era (19th Century)

Toward the end of the era (about the 1890s) women’s fashions became simpler and less extravagant and bustles fell out of fashion. The new, looser dresses gave way to a more flowing look. Corsets were still worn, but became slightly longer to provide the slimmer shape that was coming into fashion.
Vintage: Snow Removal in the New York City (late 19th Century)

Vintage: Snow Removal in the New York City (late 19th Century)

Snow removal was a daunting task at the time, without the more sophisticated equipment that we have today, removing snow meant shovels and carriages. They were still testing out methods of removal, and it wasn’t always quick and efficient. For the most part, you would see masses of snow shovelers out on the street, who would load snow into horse-drawn…
Vintage: U.S. Classroom Scenes (late 19th Century)

Vintage: U.S. Classroom Scenes (late 19th Century)

Frances Benjamin Johnston (1864-1952) was born during the American Civil War. Her 60-year career as a photographer began with portrait, news, and documentary work then turned to a focus on contemporary architecture and gardens, culminating in a survey of historic buildings in the southern United States. In the 1880s, Johnston studied art in Paris and then returned home to Washington,…
Historic B&W photos of Lyon, France in 19th Century

Historic B&W photos of Lyon, France in 19th Century

Thanks to the silk trade, the Lyon became an important industrial town during the 19th century. In 1831 and 1834, the canuts (silk workers) of Lyon staged two major uprisings for better working conditions and pay. The 1831 uprising saw one of the first recorded uses of the black flag as an emblem of protest. In 1862, the world’s first…
Vintage: Historical views of American National Parks (19th Century)

Vintage: Historical views of American National Parks (19th Century)

By the Act of March 1, 1872, Congress established Yellowstone National Park in the Territories of Montana and Wyoming “as a public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people” and placed it “under exclusive control of the Secretary of the Interior.” The founding of Yellowstone National Park began a worldwide national park movement. In the years…
East of the Mississippi: Nineteenth-Century American Landscape Photography

East of the Mississippi: Nineteenth-Century American Landscape Photography

When photography arrived in the United States in 1839, it landed first in a few east coast cities and New Orleans, and then spread north and west into the American interior. The proliferation of photography studios and photographers coincided with the beginnings of massive cultural, commercial, and transportation projects that would ultimately reshape much of the American landscape. Photography quickly…
Historic B&W photos of London, England (19th Century)

Historic B&W photos of London, England (19th Century)

London was the world’s largest city from about 1831 to 1925. London’s overcrowded conditions led to cholera epidemics, claiming 14,000 lives in 1848, and 6,000 in 1866. Rising traffic congestion led to the creation of the world’s first local urban rail network. The Metropolitan Board of Works oversaw infrastructure expansion in the capital and some of the surrounding counties; it…
Vintage: Everyday Life in Norway (19th Century)

Vintage: Everyday Life in Norway (19th Century)

Life in Norway (especially economic life) was “dominated by the aristocracy of professional men who filled most of the important posts in the central government”. There was no strong bourgeosie class in Norway to demand a breakdown of this aristocratic control of the economy. Thus, even while revolution swept over most of the countries of Europe in 1848, Norway was…
Vintage B&W photos of Paris, France (late 19th Century)

Vintage B&W photos of Paris, France (late 19th Century)

After the fall of the Commune, the city was governed under the strict surveillance of the conservative national government. The French government and parliament did not return to the city from Versaillles until 1879, though the Senate returned earlier to its home in the Luxembourg Palace. On 23 July 1873, the National Assembly endorsed the project of building a basilica…
Vintage: Ottawa – Capital City of Canada (late 19th Century)

Vintage: Ottawa – Capital City of Canada (late 19th Century)

Starting in the 1850s, large sawmills began to be erected by entrepreneurs known as lumber barons, and these became some of the largest mills in the world. Rail lines erected in 1854 connected Ottawa to areas south and to the transcontinental rail network via Hull and Lachute, Quebec in 1886. The original Parliament buildings which included the Centre, East and…
Vintage: Gum Bichromate Process by Robert Demachy (late 19th Century)

Vintage: Gum Bichromate Process by Robert Demachy (late 19th Century)

Robert Demachy was the leading French proponent of Pictorialism and the director of the Photo-Club de Paris, the French parallel to the American Photo-Secession (led by Alfred Stieglitz), the Viennese Kleeblatt, and the British Brotherhood of the Linked Ring. Like his American and European counterparts, Demachy produced and promoted a type of photography that self-consciously evoked drawing and painting-part of…