1800s

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…
Vintage: Tight Corset (Victorian era)

Vintage: Tight Corset (Victorian era)

The corset has been attributed to Catherine de’ Medici, wife of King Henry II of France. She enforced a ban on thick waists at court attendance during the 1550s. For nearly 350 years, women’s primary means of support was the corset, with laces and stays made of whalebone or metal. Other researchers have found evidence of the use of corsets…
Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Monaco (1890s)

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

Designated as a protectorate of the Kingdom of Sardinia in 1815 by the Congress of Vienna after Napoleon’s defeat, Monaco’s sovereignty was confirmed by the Franco-Monegasque Treaty of 1861. France accepted the existence of the Principality of Monaco, but annexed 95% of its former territory (the areas of Menton and Roquebrune). Monaco’s military defense since then has been the responsibility…
Vintage: Portraits of American Ladies by Mathew Brady (1863)

Vintage: Portraits of American Ladies by Mathew Brady (1863)

During the Civil War, Mathew Brady and his associates traveled throughout the eastern part of the country, capturing the effects of the War through photographs of people, towns, and battlefields. Additionally, Brady kept studios in Washington, DC and New York City, where many influential politicians and war heroes sat for portraits. Brady photographed many subjects in the time of the…
Vintage: Street Scenes of the Munster Region, Ireland (late XIX Century)

Vintage: Street Scenes of the Munster Region, Ireland (late XIX 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: Russian Beauties in Traditional Costumes (19th Century)

Vintage: Russian Beauties in Traditional Costumes (19th Century)

These photos were taken in the end of 19th century and now are kept in the collection of the Russian Museum of Ethnography. The women in the photos are wearing traditional costumes of different regions of Russia. And though you can see many regional differences in the outfits there are two similar basic elements – sarafan and kokoshnik. Sarafan is…
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 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…
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…