Historic City Views

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: 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: Everyday Life and Street Scenes of Nuremberg (1910s)

Vintage: Everyday Life and Street Scenes of Nuremberg (1910s)

Nuremberg held great significance during the Nazi Germany era. Because of the city’s relevance to the Holy Roman Empire and its position in the centre of Germany, the Nazi Party chose the city to be the site of huge Nazi Party conventions — the Nuremberg rallies. The rallies were held 1927, 1929 and annually 1933–1938 in Nuremberg. After Adolf Hitler’s…
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…
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 B&W photos of Paris, France (late 19th Century)

Vintage B&W photos of Paris, France (late 19th Century)

After the fall of the Commune, the city was governed under the strict surveillance of the conservative national government. The French government and parliament did not return to the city from Versaillles until 1879, though the Senate returned earlier to its home in the Luxembourg Palace. On 23 July 1873, the National Assembly endorsed the project of building a basilica…
Historic B&W photos of Copenhagen, Denmark, late 19th Century

Historic B&W photos of Copenhagen, Denmark, late 19th Century

In 19th century, Copenhagen experienced a period of intense cultural creativity known as the Danish Golden Age. Painting prospered under C.W. Eckersberg and his students while C.F. Hansen and Gottlieb Bindesbøll brought a Neoclassical look to the city’s architecture. In the early 1850s, the ramparts of the city were opened to allow new housing to be built around The Lakes…
Vintage: Everyday Life and Street Scenes of Nuremberg (1910s)

Vintage: Everyday Life and Street Scenes of Nuremberg (1910s)

Nuremberg held great significance during the Nazi Germany era. Because of the city’s relevance to the Holy Roman Empire and its position in the centre of Germany, the Nazi Party chose the city to be the site of huge Nazi Party conventions — the Nuremberg rallies. The rallies were held 1927, 1929 and annually 1933–1938 in Nuremberg. After Adolf Hitler’s…
Vintage: Everyday Life and Street Scenes of Nuremberg (1910s)

Vintage: Everyday Life and Street Scenes of Nuremberg (1910s)

Nuremberg held great significance during the Nazi Germany era. Because of the city’s relevance to the Holy Roman Empire and its position in the centre of Germany, the Nazi Party chose the city to be the site of huge Nazi Party conventions — the Nuremberg rallies. The rallies were held 1927, 1929 and annually 1933–1938 in Nuremberg. After Adolf Hitler’s…
Historic B&W photos of Florence, Italy in the 19th Century

Historic B&W photos of Florence, Italy in the 19th Century

Florence replaced Turin as Italy’s capital in 1865 and, in an effort to modernise the city, the old market in the Piazza del Mercato Vecchio and many medieval houses were pulled down and replaced by a more formal street plan with newer houses. The Piazza (first renamed Piazza Vittorio Emmanuele II, then Piazza della Repubblica, the present name) was significantly…
Vintage: Historic views of Melbourne (1800s)

Vintage: Historic views of Melbourne (1800s)

The decade of the 1880s was one of extraordinary growth, when consumer confidence, easy access to credit, and steep increases in the price of land, led to an enormous amount of construction. This ‘land boom’ was followed by a severe economic crash in the early 1890s which lasted until the end of the century. During the boom, Melbourne had reputedly…
Vintage Glass Plate images of Streets from Sydney City (1900s)

Vintage Glass Plate images of Streets from Sydney City (1900s)

The year 1840 was the final year of convict transportation to Sydney, which by this time had a population of 35,000. The municipal council of Sydney was incorporated in 1842 and became Australia’s first city.Gold was discovered in the colony in 1851 and with it came thousands of people seeking to make money. Sydney’s population reached 200,000 by 1871. Following…
Vintage: historic photos of Hamburg, Germany in the late 19th Century

Vintage: historic photos of Hamburg, Germany in the late 19th Century

Hamburg adopted in 1860 a democratic constitution that provided for the election of the Senate, the governing body of the city-state, by adult taxpaying males. Other innovations included the separation of powers, the separation of Church and State, freedom of the press, of assembly and association. Hamburg became a member of the North German Confederation (1866–1871) and of the German…
Vintage: historic views of Breslau in the late 19th Century

Vintage: historic views of Breslau in the late 19th Century

Breslau became part of the German Empire in 1871, which was established at Versailles in defeated France. The early years were characterized by rapid economic growth, the so-called Gründerzeit, although Breslau was hampered by protectionist policies of its natural markets in Austria-Hungary and Russia and had to turn to the German domestic market. Breslau’s population grew from 208,000 in 1871…
Historic B&W photos of Bruges, Belgium (19th Century)

Historic B&W photos of Bruges, Belgium (19th Century)

In the last half of the 19th century, Bruges became one of the world’s first tourist destinations attracting wealthy British and French tourists. Bruges has most of its medieval architecture intact. The historic centre of Bruges has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000.
Historic B&W photos of Chicago (19th century)

Historic B&W photos of Chicago (19th century)

In the 19th century, Chicago became the nation’s railroad center, by 1910 over 20 railroads operated passenger service out of 6 different downtown terminals. In 1883, the standardized system of North American time zones was adopted by the general time convention of railway managers in Chicago. This gave the continent its uniform system for telling time.
Historic B&W photos of Venice, Italy (19th century)

Historic B&W photos of Venice, Italy (19th century)

Venice became Austrian territory when Napoleon signed the Treaty of Campo Formio on 12 October 1797. The Austrians took control of the city on 18 January 1798. It was taken from Austria by the Treaty of Pressburg in 1805 and became part of Napoleon’s Kingdom of Italy, but was returned to Austria following Napoleon’s defeat in 1814, when it became…