19th Century

Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Valais, Switzerland (1890s)

Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Valais, Switzerland (1890s)

In the early 17th century, the aristocratic governors of the districts in the Upper Valais pressured the prince-bishop of Sion to abdicate secular power, which was achieved temporarily in 1613 and then permanently in 1634, when the country became the federal Republic of the Seven Tithings under the rule of a Landeshauptmann. The republic in its original form existed until…
Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Hartz, Germany (1890s)

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

As a young man, the famous German poet, Goethe visited the Harz several times and had a number of important lifetime experiences. These included his walks on the Brocken and his visit to the mines in Rammelsberg. Later, his observations of the rocks on the Brocken led to his geological research. His first visit to the Harz awakened in him…
Vintage: Historic B&W photos of County Donegal, Ireland (1890s)

Vintage: Historic B&W photos of County Donegal, Ireland (1890s)

The modern County Donegal was shired by order of the English Crown in 1585. The English authorities at Dublin Castle formed the new county by amalgamating the old Kingdom of Tír Chonaill with the old Lordship of Inishowen. However, although detachments of the Royal Irish Army were stationed there, the Dublin authorities were unable to establish control over Tír Chonaill…
Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Wernigerode, Germany (1890s)

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

Wernigerode was the capital of the medieval County of Wernigerode and Stolberg-Wernigerode. In 1815, after the Napoleonic Wars, it became part of the Prussian Province of Saxony. The Hasseröder brewery was founded in Wernigerode in 1872. After World War II, Wernigerode was included in the new state Saxony-Anhalt within the Soviet occupation zone (relaunched in October 1949 as the German…
Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Pomerania, Germany (1890s)

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

Prussia gained the southern parts of Swedish Pomerania in 1720, invaded and annexed Pomerelia from Poland in 1772 and 1793, and gained the remainder of Swedish Pomerania in 1815, after the Napoleonic Wars. The former Brandenburg-Prussian Pomerania and the former Swedish parts were reorganized into the Prussian Province of Pomerania, while Pomerelia was made part of the Province of West…
Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Towns in Bavaria, Germany (1890s)

Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Towns in Bavaria, Germany (1890s)

When Bavaria became part of the newly formed German Empire, this action was considered controversial by Bavarian nationalists who had wanted to retain independence from the rest of Germany, as had Austria. As Bavaria had a heavily Catholic majority population, many people resented being ruled by the mostly Protestant northerners of Prussia. As a direct result of the Bavarian-Prussian feud,…
Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Grisons, Switzerland (1890s)

Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Grisons, Switzerland (1890s)

In 1798, the lands of the canton of the Grisons became part of the Helvetic Republic as the canton of Raetia except Valtellina, which was separated in 1797 for joining the Cisalpine Republic. It was later part of the Empire of Austria in 1814 before joining the Kingdom of Italy in 1859. With the Act of Mediation the “perpetual ally”…
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 Lake Lucerne, Switzerland (1890s)

Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Lake Lucerne, Switzerland (1890s)

Lake Lucerne is singularly irregular and appears to lie in four different valleys, all related to the conformation of the adjoining mountains. The central portion of the lake lies in two parallel valleys whose direction is from west to east, the one lying north, the other south of the ridge of the Bürgenstock. These are connected through a narrow strait,…
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 Bernese Oberland, Switzerland (1890s)

Vintage: Historic B&W photos of Bernese Oberland, Switzerland (1890s)

In 1729, Albrecht von Haller published the poem Die Alpen about his travels through the alpine regions. This combined with other reports and alpine paintings started the tourism industry in the Bernese Oberland. By 1800 there were resorts on Lake Thun and Lake Brienz (especially at Interlaken between the two lakes). Shortly thereafter the resorts expanded into the alpine valleys…
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: Interiors of North German Lloyd ships (1890s)

Vintage: Interiors of North German Lloyd ships (1890s)

The German shipping company North German Lloyd (NDL) was founded by the Bremen merchants Hermann Henrich Meier and Eduard Crüsemann on 20 February 1857, after the dissolution of the Ocean Steam Navigation Company, a joint German-American enterprise. The new shipping company had no association with the British maritime classification society Lloyd’s Register; in the mid-19th century, “Lloyd” was used as…
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…