1800s

Vintage: Historical Photos of Harvard University (19th Century)

Vintage: Historical Photos of Harvard University (19th Century)

Established originally by the Massachusetts legislature and soon thereafter named for John Harvard (its first benefactor), Harvard is the United States’ oldest institution of higher learning, and the Harvard Corporation (formally, the President and Fellows of Harvard College) is its first chartered corporation. Although never formally affiliated with any denomination, the early College primarily trained Congregational and Unitarian clergy. Its…
Vintage: Helsinki in the late 19th Century

Vintage: Helsinki in the late 19th Century

During the 19th century, Helsinki became the economic and cultural center of Finland; as elsewhere, technological advancements such as railroads and industrialization were key factors behind the city’s growth. The first Helsinki railway station opened in 1862 with service to Hämeenlinna. Beginning from the late 19th century, the Finnish language became more and more dominant in the city, since the…
Vintage: Models in Victorian Era (19th Century)

Vintage: Models in Victorian Era (19th Century)

Toward the end of the era (about the 1890s) women’s fashions became simpler and less extravagant and bustles fell out of fashion. The new, looser dresses gave way to a more flowing look. Corsets were still worn, but became slightly longer to provide the slimmer shape that was coming into fashion.
Vintage: Snow Removal in the New York City (late 19th Century)

Vintage: Snow Removal in the New York City (late 19th Century)

Snow removal was a daunting task at the time, without the more sophisticated equipment that we have today, removing snow meant shovels and carriages. They were still testing out methods of removal, and it wasn’t always quick and efficient. For the most part, you would see masses of snow shovelers out on the street, who would load snow into horse-drawn…
Vintage: The Johnstown Flood – Great Flood of 1889

Vintage: The Johnstown Flood – Great Flood of 1889

When several days of heavy rain struck the area in late May 1889, club officials struggled to reinforce the neglected dam, which was under tremendous pressure from the swollen waters of Lake Conemaugh. The dam began to disintegrate, and on May 31 the lake’s water level passed over the top of the dam. Realizing that the dam’s collapse was imminent,…
Vintage: Glass Plate Negatives Portraits of Victorian Era Ladies (1860s-1870)

Vintage: Glass Plate Negatives Portraits of Victorian Era Ladies (1860s-1870)

Glass plates were far superior to film for research-quality imaging because they were extremely stable and less likely to bend or distort, especially in large-format frames for wide-field imaging. Early plates used the wet collodion process. The wet plate process was replaced late in the 19th century by gelatin dry plates. Glass plate photographic material largely faded from the consumer…
Vintage: Canadian Cowboys (late 19th to early 20th Centuries)

Vintage: Canadian Cowboys (late 19th to early 20th Centuries)

Southern Alberta was, and still is, ranching country, with millions of acres of grasslands providing pasture for hungry cattle. Many ranches were established in the province beginning in the 1880s, and cowboys were hired to help take care of the cattle, horses, and other livestock. They worked for large outfits such as the Bar U Ranch, the CC Ranch at…
Vintage: U.S. Classroom Scenes (late 19th Century)

Vintage: U.S. Classroom Scenes (late 19th Century)

Frances Benjamin Johnston (1864-1952) was born during the American Civil War. Her 60-year career as a photographer began with portrait, news, and documentary work then turned to a focus on contemporary architecture and gardens, culminating in a survey of historic buildings in the southern United States. In the 1880s, Johnston studied art in Paris and then returned home to Washington,…
Vintage: Helsinki in the late XIX Century (1890s)

Vintage: Helsinki in the late XIX Century (1890s)

During the 19th century, Helsinki became the economic and cultural center of Finland; as elsewhere, technological advancements such as railroads and industrialization were key factors behind the city’s growth. The first Helsinki railway station opened in 1862 with service to Hämeenlinna. Beginning from the late 19th century, the Finnish language became more and more dominant in the city, since the…
Historic B&W photos of Lyon, France in 19th Century

Historic B&W photos of Lyon, France in 19th Century

Thanks to the silk trade, the Lyon became an important industrial town during the 19th century. In 1831 and 1834, the canuts (silk workers) of Lyon staged two major uprisings for better working conditions and pay. The 1831 uprising saw one of the first recorded uses of the black flag as an emblem of protest. In 1862, the world’s first…
Vintage: Historical views of American National Parks (19th Century)

Vintage: Historical views of American National Parks (19th Century)

By the Act of March 1, 1872, Congress established Yellowstone National Park in the Territories of Montana and Wyoming “as a public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people” and placed it “under exclusive control of the Secretary of the Interior.” The founding of Yellowstone National Park began a worldwide national park movement. In the years…
Vintage: Great Boston Fire of 1872 (Exactly 145 years ago)

Vintage: Great Boston Fire of 1872 (Exactly 145 years ago)

The conflagration began at 7:20 p.m. on November 9, 1872, in the basement of a commercial warehouse at 83-87 Summer Street. The fire was finally contained 12 hours later, after it had consumed about 65 acres (26 ha) of Boston’s downtown, 776 buildings and much of the financial district, and caused $73.5 million in damage. Despite these devastations, only thirteen…
Historic B&W photos of London, England (19th Century)

Historic B&W photos of London, England (19th Century)

London was the world’s largest city from about 1831 to 1925. London’s overcrowded conditions led to cholera epidemics, claiming 14,000 lives in 1848, and 6,000 in 1866. Rising traffic congestion led to the creation of the world’s first local urban rail network. The Metropolitan Board of Works oversaw infrastructure expansion in the capital and some of the surrounding counties; it…
Vintage: Everyday Life in Norway (19th Century)

Vintage: Everyday Life in Norway (19th Century)

Life in Norway (especially economic life) was “dominated by the aristocracy of professional men who filled most of the important posts in the central government”. There was no strong bourgeosie class in Norway to demand a breakdown of this aristocratic control of the economy. Thus, even while revolution swept over most of the countries of Europe in 1848, Norway was…
Vintage: World’s First Fitness Machines (1892)

Vintage: World’s First Fitness Machines (1892)

The gyms of today have developed from a prototype designed by Doctor Gustaf Zander more than 150 years ago. Zander was born in Stockholm in 1835. In 1857, when working as a gymnastics teacher, he realised that he didn’t have enough time or energy to teach all of his students properly. His solution was to build a number of appliances…
Vintage: Nebraska Mug Shots (Late 19th Century)

Vintage: Nebraska Mug Shots (Late 19th Century)

The Nebraska State Penitentiary used photography beginning in 1867 to record the likeness of the state’s most infamous residents. The Omaha police photographed suspects when arrested. Whether the people depicted were guilty or innocent, behind every photograph is a human story. This glimpse back at some of the thousands of photographs in the Nebraska State Penitentiary and Omaha Police Court…
Vintage: Everyday Life of Atlanta, Georgia (19th Century)

Vintage: Everyday Life of Atlanta, Georgia (19th Century)

After the Civil War ended in 1865, Atlanta was gradually rebuilt. Due to the city’s superior rail transportation network, the state capital was moved from Milledgeville to Atlanta in 1868. In the 1880 Census, Atlanta surpassed Savannah as Georgia’s largest city. Beginning in the 1880s, Henry W. Grady, the editor of the Atlanta Constitution newspaper, promoted Atlanta to potential investors…