Vintage

Vintage: Street Views of Sweden (1900s)

Vintage: Street Views of Sweden (1900s)

Despite the slow rate of industrialisation into the 19th century, many important changes were taking place in the agrarian economy due to constant innovations and a rapid population growth. These innovations included government-sponsored programmes of enclosure, aggressive exploitation of agricultural lands, and the introduction of new crops such as the potato. Because the Swedish peasantry had never been enserfed as…
Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Peking, China (19th Century)

Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Peking, China (19th Century)

During the Second Opium War, Anglo-French forces captured the outskirts of the city, looting and burning the Old Summer Palace in 1860. Under the Convention of Peking ending that war, Western powers for the first time secured the right to establish permanent diplomatic presences within the city. In 1900, the attempt by the “Boxers” to eradicate this presence, as well…
Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Calcutta, India (1890s)

Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Calcutta, India (1890s)

Throughout the late 18th and 19th century, the city was a centre of the East India Company’s opium trade. By the 1850s, Calcutta had two areas: White Town, which was primarily British and centred on Chowringhee and Dalhousie Square; and Black Town, mainly Indian and centred on North Calcutta. The city underwent rapid industrial growth starting in the early 1850s,…
Vintage: South of India (19th Century)

Vintage: South of India (19th Century)

The appointment in 1848 of Lord Dalhousie as Governor General of the East India Company set the stage for changes essential to a modern state. These included the consolidation and demarcation of sovereignty, the surveillance of the population, and the education of citizens. Technological changes—among them, railways, canals, and the telegraph—were introduced not long after their introduction in Europe. However,…
Vintage: Portraits of Lucette Desmoulins by Biederer Brothers (1920s)

Vintage: Portraits of Lucette Desmoulins by Biederer Brothers (1920s)

Lucette Desmoulins was a French actress known for a few movies: Le bossu (1934), Un soir de réveillon (1933) and 77 rue Chalgrin (1931). She also appeared in muscials: Ma Femme (1927), Flossie (1929), Arsène Lupin, banquier (1930), Un soir de réveillon (1932), Loulou et ses boys (1933). Below her photos when she posed for Jacques and Charles Biederer.
Vintage: Portraits of Rudolph Valentino (1920s)

Vintage: Portraits of Rudolph Valentino (1920s)

Rudolph Valentino, byname of Rodolfo Alfonso Raffaello Pierre Filibert Guglielmi di Valentina d’Antonguolla, Alfonso also spelled Alfonzo, Raffaello also spelled Raffaelo, Pierre also spelled Pietro, and Filibert also spelled Filiberto (1895 – 1926), Italian-born American actor who was idolized as the “Great Lover” of the 1920s. When Guglielmi was 11, his father, a veterinarian, died from malaria. After being rejected…
Vintage: Portraits of Abraham Lincoln (19th Century)

Vintage: Portraits of Abraham Lincoln (19th Century)

Abraham Lincoln’s personal secretary John Nicolay believed that no photograph could capture Honest Abe’s essence: “There are many pictures of Lincoln,” he said, “[but] there is no portrait of him.” Over 130 photographs of Lincoln exist—here are a few you may not have come across before.
Vintage: Edinburgh, Scotland in Calotype (1840s)

Vintage: Edinburgh, Scotland in Calotype (1840s)

David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson were a pair of Scottish photographers working in the 1840s. They are best known for their wonderful portraits, but over the course of their sadly short partnership (Adamson died only five years in, aged 27) they also created quite a few city views. This blog has previously featured a selection of their photographs of…
Vintage: Decayed Daguerreotype Portraits by Mathew Brady (19th Century)

Vintage: Decayed Daguerreotype Portraits by Mathew Brady (19th Century)

Mathew Brady is one of the most celebrated 19th-century American photographers, best known for his portraits of celebrities and his documentation of the American Civil War which earned him the title of “father of photojournalism”. The Library of Congress received the majority of the Brady daguerreotypes as a gift from the Army War College in 1920. via The Public Domain…
Vinatge: Flooding in the Thames Valley, December 1915

Vinatge: Flooding in the Thames Valley, December 1915

During a House of Commons sitting in February 1915, the prime minister, Herbert Asquith, replying to a question about the damage caused by flooding, said: “The attention of the Government has been called from time to time to the serious injury caused by floods in the Upper Thames Valley and to the desirability of a careful inquiry into the matter.…
Vintage: The Globe Kittens (1902)

Vintage: The Globe Kittens (1902)

In 1895, an amendment to Canadian law allowed the British Museum to receive one copy of all Canadian intellectual property deposted for copyright registration. This situation persisted until 1924, when – as part of a general reworking of Canadian copyright law – the right of receipt was removed. During these thirty years, the Department of Agriculture – who administered copyright…
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…