1800s

Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Thuringia, Germany (1890s)

Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Thuringia, Germany (1890s)

The modern German black-red-gold tricolour flag’s first appearance anywhere in a German-ethnicity sovereign state, within what today comprises Germany, occurred in 1778 as the state flag of the Principality of Reuss-Greiz, a defunct principality in the modern state’s borders. Some reordering of the Thuringian states occurred during the German Mediatisation from 1795 to 1814, and the territory was included within…
Vintage: Old Cincinnati Library

Vintage: Old Cincinnati Library

In 1874 the project of the “Old Main” Public Library was completed at 629 Vine Street with a capacity capable of holding close to 300,000 books. The interior was designed by J.W. McLaughlin and contrasted the bleak exterior of the library, by featuring checkered marble flooring, cast iron book alcoves, skylights and spiral staircases stretching stories high. At the entrance…
Vintage: Historic B&W photos of County Cork, Ireland (1890s)

Vintage: Historic B&W photos of County Cork, Ireland (1890s)

In the early 17th century, the townland of Leamcon (near Schull) was a pirate stronghold, and pirates traded easily in Baltimore and Whiddy Island. In the 19th century, Cork was a centre for the Fenians and for the constitutional nationalism of the Irish Parliamentary Party, from 1910 that of the All-for-Ireland Party. The county was a hotbed of guerrilla activity…
Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Bernese Oberland, Switzerland (1890s)

Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Bernese Oberland, Switzerland (1890s)

In 1729, Albrecht von Haller published the poem Die Alpen about his travels through the alpine regions. This combined with other reports and alpine paintings started the tourism industry in the Bernese Oberland. By 1800 there were resorts on Lake Thun and Lake Brienz (especially at Interlaken between the two lakes). Shortly thereafter the resorts expanded into the alpine valleys…
Vintage: Historic B&W photos of County Kerry, Ireland (1890s)

Vintage: Historic B&W photos of County Kerry, Ireland (1890s)

In the 17th and 18th centuries Kerry became increasingly populated by poor tenant farmers, who came to rely on the potato as their main food source. As a result, when the potato crop failed in 1845, Kerry was very hard hit by the Great Irish Famine of 1845–49. In the wake of the famine, many thousands of poor farmers emigrated…
Vintage: Interiors of North German Lloyd ships (1890s)

Vintage: Interiors of North German Lloyd ships (1890s)

The German shipping company North German Lloyd (NDL) was founded by the Bremen merchants Hermann Henrich Meier and Eduard Crüsemann on 20 February 1857, after the dissolution of the Ocean Steam Navigation Company, a joint German-American enterprise. The new shipping company had no association with the British maritime classification society Lloyd’s Register; in the mid-19th century, “Lloyd” was used as…
Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Helgoland, Germany (1890s)

Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Helgoland, Germany (1890s)

In 1826, Heligoland became a seaside spa and soon turned into a popular tourist resort for the European upper class. The island attracted artists and writers, especially from Germany and Austria who apparently enjoyed the comparatively liberal atmosphere, including Heinrich Heine and August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben. More vitally it was a refuge for revolutionaries of the 1830s and the…
Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Tessin, Switzerland (1890s)

Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Tessin, Switzerland (1890s)

In the early 19th century, the contemporary Franco-Danish scholar Conrad Malte-Brun stated that: “The canton of Tesino [Ticino] is the poorest, and the people the most ignorant of any in Switzerland. The finest silk in the district is obtained at Lugano, a small town situated on the banks of a lake.” Until 1878 the three largest cities, Bellinzona, Lugano and…
Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany (1890s)

Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany (1890s)

Contrary to the hopes of German Schleswig-Holsteiners, the area did not gain its independence, but was annexed as a province of Prussia in 1867. Also following the Austro-Prussian War in 1866, section five of the Peace of Prague stipulated that the people of Northern Schleswig would be consulted in a referendum on whether to remain under Prussian rule or return…
Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Towns in Scotland (1890s)

Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Towns in Scotland (1890s)

Industrialisation, urbanisation and the Disruption of 1843 all undermined the tradition of parish schools. From 1830 the state began to fund buildings with grants; then from 1846 it was funding schools by direct sponsorship; and in 1872 Scotland moved to a system like that in England of state-sponsored largely free schools, run by local school boards. The historic University of…
Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Anhalt, Germany (1890s)

Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Anhalt, Germany (1890s)

After the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, the remaining Anhalt divisions – Bernburg, Dessau and Köthen – were elevated to duchies by Napoleon while the Electorate of Saxony became a Kingdom; all were part of Napoleon’s Confederation of the Rhine until 1813. In 1813 the Kingdom of Prussia occupied large amounts of Saxony’s territory in the Battle…
Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Lubeck, Germany (1890s)

Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Lubeck, Germany (1890s)

Humans settled in the area around what today is Lübeck after the last Ice Age ended about 9700 BCE. Lübeck is famous for having been the cradle and the de facto capital of the Hanseatic League. Its city centre is Germany’s most extensive UNESCO World Heritage Site. While the city’s symbol is the Holsten Gate, Lübeck’s skyline is dominated by…
Vintage: Young Winston Churchill (1884-1904)

Vintage: Young Winston Churchill (1884-1904)

Churchill was born at the family’s ancestral home, Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, on 30 November 1874, at which time the United Kingdom was the dominant world power. Direct descendants of the Dukes of Marlborough, his family were among the highest levels of the British aristocracy, and thus he was born into the country’s governing elite. His paternal grandfather, John Spencer-Churchill,…
Vintage: The Forth Bridge Construction (1890s)

Vintage: The Forth Bridge Construction (1890s)

Construction of the bridge began in 1882 and it was opened on 4 March 1890 by the Duke of Rothesay, the future Edward VII. The bridge spans the Forth between the villages of South Queensferry and North Queensferry and has a total length of 8,094 feet (2,467 m). When it opened it had the longest single cantilever bridge span in…
Vintage: Shropshire Shop Fronts by Joseph Lewis della-Porta (1888)

Vintage: Shropshire Shop Fronts by Joseph Lewis della-Porta (1888)

Joseph (Lewis) Della Porta was from a family of shopkeepers. His father, also called Joseph, was an immigrant from Northern Italy. He settled in Shrewsbury in about 1848 and established a small shop on Princess Street. The business prospered and expanded into adjoining shops including Lloyds Mansion, the Tudor building which stood on the corner of the Square. The store…
Vintage: Alaska (1896 – 1899)

Vintage: Alaska (1896 – 1899)

Various scenes in Alaska in such areas as Devil’s Lake, Skagway, Miles Canon, Chilcoot Pass, Lake Bennet, and Sitka by an unidentified amateur, taken between 1896 and 1899, and held by the DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University.
Vintage: Portraits of Vietnamese People by Émile Gsell (1880s)

Vintage: Portraits of Vietnamese People by Émile Gsell (1880s)

Émile Gsell was born in Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines, Haut-Rhin, France on 31 December 1838. He served in the military from 1858 to 1866, during which time he learned photography and travelled to Cochin China (now Southern Vietnam). In Cochin China, Gsell was hired by the Commission d’exploration du Mékong, directed by Ernest Doudart de Lagrée (b. 1823 – d. 1868), to photograph…
Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Holy Land, Syria (19th Century)

Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Holy Land, Syria (19th Century)

In 1516, the Ottoman Empire invaded the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt, conquering Syria, and incorporating it into its empire. The Ottoman system was not burdensome to Syrians because the Turks respected Arabic as the language of the Quran, and accepted the mantle of defenders of the faith. Damascus was made the major entrepot for Mecca, and as such it acquired…