Historic City Views

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

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

Around 1800, large swathes of the Harz were deforested. The less resistant spruce monoculture, that arose as a consequence of the mining industry in the Upper Harz, was largely destroyed by a bark beetle outbreak and a storm of hurricane proportions in November 1800. This largest known bark beetle infestation in the Harz was known as the Große Wurmtrocknis, and…
Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Blackpool, England (1890s)

Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Blackpool, England (1890s)

The most significant event in the early growth of the town occurred in 1846, with the completion of a branch line to Blackpool from Poulton on the main Preston and Wyre Joint Railway line from Preston to Fleetwood. Fleetwood declined as a resort, as its founder and principal financial backer, Peter Hesketh-Fleetwood, went bankrupt. In contrast, Blackpool boomed. A sudden…
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: 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 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: 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: Historic B&W photos of Brussels in 1908

Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Brussels in 1908

During the 19th century, the population of Brussels grew considerably; from about 80,000 to more than 625,000 people for the city and its surroundings. The Senne had become a serious health hazard, and from 1867 to 1871, under the tenure of the city’s then-mayor, Jules Anspach, its entire course through the urban area was completely covered over. This allowed urban…
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: 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: 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…