19th Century

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…
Historic B&W photos of Copenhagen, Denmark, late 19th Century

Historic B&W photos of Copenhagen, Denmark, late 19th Century

In 19th century, Copenhagen experienced a period of intense cultural creativity known as the Danish Golden Age. Painting prospered under C.W. Eckersberg and his students while C.F. Hansen and Gottlieb Bindesbøll brought a Neoclassical look to the city’s architecture. In the early 1850s, the ramparts of the city were opened to allow new housing to be built around The Lakes…
Vintage: Women’s Styles of Maine from the Late 19th Century

Vintage: Women’s Styles of Maine from the Late 19th Century

19th century fashions are highly romanticized in books and movies. Despite the prim and proper feminine ideal of the day, fashions in this period created an often exaggerated, ostentatious look. Tight corsets, gigantic hoop-skirts, and outrageous bustles make today’s fashion trends look sedate by comparison. These rare and interesting vintage photographs from Camden’s Knox Mill treasurer Charles W. Babb (1863-1956)…
Biography: 19th Century Architecture photographer Antonio Beato

Biography: 19th Century Architecture photographer Antonio Beato

Antonio Beato (1832 – 1906) was a British and Italian photographer. He is noted for his genre works, portraits, views of the architecture and landscapes of Egypt and the other locations in the Mediterranean region. He was the younger brother of photographer Felice Beato (1832 – 1909), with whom he sometimes worked. Because of the existence of a number of…
Vintage: Daguerreotypes of St. Louis from 1848-70 by Thomas Easterly

Vintage: Daguerreotypes of St. Louis from 1848-70 by Thomas Easterly

Thomas Easterly (1809-1882), a native of Vermont, was an itinerant photographer in Iowa and the upper Midwest until 1848 when he settled in St. Louis. He operated a daguerreotype studio in the city until the 1870s. Thomas photographed mostly portrait, but street and urban photography were parts in his work. Here are some rare photographs capturing everyday life in St. Louis…
Historic B&W photos of Berlin, Germany (19th Century)

Historic B&W photos of Berlin, Germany (19th Century)

The Industrial Revolution transformed Berlin during the 19th century; the city’s economy and population expanded dramatically, and it became the main railway hub and economic centre of Germany. Additional suburbs soon developed and increased the area and population of Berlin. In 1861, neighboring suburbs including Wedding, Moabit and several others were incorporated into Berlin. In 1871, Berlin became capital of…
Vintage: Dublin in the late 19th Century (1860s-1890s)

Vintage: Dublin in the late 19th Century (1860s-1890s)

Dublin, unlike Belfast in the north, did not experience the full effect of the industrial revolution and as a result, the number of unskilled unemployed was always high in the city. Industries like the Guinness brewery, Jameson Distillery, and Jacob’s biscuit factory provided the most stable employment. New working class suburbs grew up in Kilmainham and Inchicore around them. Another…
Vintage: Everyday Life of Cairo in the 19th Century (1860s-1880s)

Vintage: Everyday Life of Cairo in the 19th Century (1860s-1880s)

Under the Ottomans, Cairo expanded south and west from its nucleus around the Citadel. The city was the second-largest in the empire, behind only Constantinople, and, although migration was not the primary source of Cairo’s growth, twenty percent of its population at the end of the 18th century consisted of religious minorities and foreigners from around the Mediterranean. Still, when…
Vintage: B&W Photos of Scotland from between the 1840s and 1880s

Vintage: B&W Photos of Scotland from between the 1840s and 1880s

In 19th century Glasgow became one of the largest cities in the world, and known as “the Second City of the Empire” after London. After 1860 the Clydeside shipyards specialised in steamships made of iron (after 1870, made of steel), which rapidly replaced the wooden sailing vessels of both the merchant fleets and the battle fleets of the world. It…