1800s

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…
Vintage: Italy (19th Century)

Vintage: Italy (19th Century)

In many ways, the roots of several well known aspects of Italian culture find their origin in the 19th century. The land, the food and the people were all shaped by warfare, struggle and the desire for independence. Most of the men who fought for freedom during this period were peasants, seeking a chance for something better. Northern Italy, mostly…
Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Benares (Varanasi), India (1890s)

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

The Kingdom of Benares was given official status by the Mughals in 1737, and continued as a dynasty-governed area until Indian independence in 1947, during the reign of Dr. Vibhuti Narayan Singh. In the 18th century, Muhammad Shah ordered the construction of an observatory on the Ganges, attached to Man Mandir Ghat, designed to discover imperfections in the calendar in…
Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Bombay, India (1890s)

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

From 1782 onwards, the city was reshaped with large-scale civil engineering projects aimed at merging all the seven islands of Bombay into a single amalgamated mass by way of a causeway called the Hornby Vellard, which was completed by 1784. In 1817, the British East India Company under Mountstuart Elphinstone defeated Baji Rao II, the last of the Maratha Peshwa…
Vintage: Greece (late 19th Ccentury)

Vintage: Greece (late 19th Ccentury)

Greece remained a very poor country throughout the 19th century. The country lacked raw materials, infrastructure and capital. Agriculture was mostly at the subsistence level, and the only important export commodities were currants, raisins and tobacco. Some Greeks grew rich as merchants and shipowners, and Piraeus became a major port, but little of this wealth found its way to the…
Vintage: Douglas County, Colorado (19th Century)

Vintage: Douglas County, Colorado (19th Century)

Douglas County was one of the original 17 counties created in the Colorado Territory by the Colorado Territorial Legislature on November 1, 1861. The county was named in honor of U.S. Senator Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois, who died five months before the county was created. The county seat was originally Franktown, but was moved to California Ranch in 1863,…
Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Delhi, India (1890s)

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

In 1757, the Afghan ruler, Ahmad Shah Durrani, sacked Delhi. He returned to Afghanistan leaving a Mughal puppet ruler in nominal control. The Marathas again occupied Delhi in 1758, and were in control until their defeat in 1761 at the third battle of Panipat when the city was captured again by Ahmad Shah. However, in 1771, the Marathas established a…
Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Singapore (1890s)

Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Singapore (1890s)

Raffles arrived in Singapore on 28 January 1819 and soon recognised the island as a natural choice for the new port. The island was then nominally ruled by the Sultan of Johor, who was controlled by the Dutch and the Bugis. However, the Sultanate was weakened by factional division and Tengku Abdu’r Rahman and his officials were loyal to Tengku…
Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Madrid, Spain (1890s)

Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Madrid, Spain (1890s)

On 27 October 1807, Charles IV and Napoleon I signed the Treaty of Fontainebleau, which allowed the passage of French troops through Spanish territory to join the Spanish troops and invade Portugal, which had refused to obey the order of international blockade against England. As this was happening, there was the Mutiny of Aranjuez (17 March 1808), by which the…
Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Middle East (19th Century)

Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Middle East (19th Century)

Large parts of the Middle East became a warground between the Ottomans and Iranian Safavids for centuries starting in the early 16th century. By 1700, the Ottomans had been driven out of Hungary and the balance of power along the frontier had shifted decisively in favor of the West. The British also established effective control of the Persian Gulf, and…
Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Lisboa, Portugal (1890s)

Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Lisboa, Portugal (1890s)

In the first years of the 19th century, Portugal was invaded by the troops of Napoléon Bonaparte, forcing Queen Maria I and Prince-Regent John (future John VI) to flee temporarily to Brazil. By the time the new King returned to Lisbon, many of the buildings and properties were pillaged, sacked or destroyed by the invaders. During the 19th century, the…
Vintage: Historic B&W photos of India (19th Century)

Vintage: Historic B&W photos of India (19th Century)

The rush of technology and the commercialisation of agriculture in the second half of the 19th century was marked by economic setbacks—many small farmers became dependent on the whims of far-away markets. There was an increase in the number of large-scale famines, and, despite the risks of infrastructure development borne by Indian taxpayers, little industrial employment was generated for Indians.…
Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Barcelona, Spain (1890s)

Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Barcelona, Spain (1890s)

While Cerdà’s Extension was being built and filled out, the city began to plan how it could host the 1888 Great Exhibition. This event was seen as an opportunity to put Barcelona on the world stage, to show all the other countries of the world that Barcelona could be in the same class as London and Paris. The Exhibitions had…
Vintage: Scotland’s Landscapes (19th Century)

Vintage: Scotland’s Landscapes (19th Century)

The whole of Scotland was covered by ice sheets during the Pleistocene ice ages and the landscape is much affected by glaciation. From a geological perspective, the country has three main sub-divisions. The Highlands and Islands lie to the north and west of the Highland Boundary Fault, which runs from Arran to Stonehaven. This part of Scotland largely comprises ancient…