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 discontent because of the onerous taxation it required. In 1875 Ismail was forced to sell Egypt’s share in the canal to the British government. Within three years this led to the imposition of British and French controllers who sat in the Egyptian cabinet, and, “with the financial power of the bondholders behind them, were the real power in the Government.”

Other circumstances like epidemic diseases (cattle disease in the 1880s), floods and wars drove the economic downturn and increased Egypt’s dependency on foreign debt even further.

In later years, the dynasty became a British puppet. Isma’il and Tewfik Pasha governed Egypt as a quasi-independent state under Ottoman suzerainty until the British occupation of 1882.

Ancient transportation, Nile, Egypt

Ancient transportation, Nile, Egypt

Feed boats (trodden straw) unloading on the Nile, Egypt

Feed boats (trodden straw) unloading on the Nile, Egypt

Down Nile from Kasr-el-Nil (Nile bridge), Egypt

Down Nile from Kasr-el-Nil (Nile bridge), Egypt

Cairo New Hotel

Cairo New Hotel

Great Sphinx of Giza

Great Sphinx of Giza

Men ridding on their donkeys

Men ridding on their donkeys

Mit Rahine (statue Ramses)

Mit Rahine (statue Ramses)

In front of Temple of Amun gateway in Luxor

In front of Temple of Amun gateway in Luxor

Children on a horse wagon

Children on a horse wagon

People with their camels on the Nile

People with their camels on the Nile

People with their donkey cart

People with their donkey cart

Pottery shipping at Nile River

Pottery shipping at Nile River

The Great Sphinx of Giza

The Great Sphinx of Giza

The Great Sphinx of Giza

The Great Sphinx of Giza

The irrepressible donkey boys at Cairo

The irrepressible donkey boys at Cairo

Women with their donkey cart

Women with their donkey cart

A group of Bisharin before their tent at Wady Halfa, Egypt

A group of Bisharin before their tent at Wady Halfa, Egypt

People at a mosque in Cairo

People at a mosque in Cairo

Snake charmer

Snake charmer

Street in Cairo

Street in Cairo

Barber shop

Barber shop

Fellah women

Fellah women

Group of Sudanese in Egypt

Group of Sudanese in Egypt

Luxor, Ramesses II

Luxor, Ramesses II

Merchant women

Merchant women

Mobile Arab restaurant in Egypt

Mobile Arab restaurant in Egypt

Musicians with their stringed instruments

Musicians with their stringed instruments

via New York Public Library


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