Thursday, July 24, 2014

Old Photographs of Britain in the Mid-19th Century

Francis Bedford (1816 - 1894) was a prolific and well-respected photographer of the mid-19th century. He is best known for his numerous topographic and architectural views of Britain.

In 1857 Bedford became a member of the Photographic Society and in 1862 he was invited to accompany the Prince of Wales, the future Edward VII (1841 - 1910), as official photographer on a tour of the Middle East. During the 1860s and 1870s Bedford travelled extensively throughout Britain, taking hundreds of views of British scenery. He was assisted by his son, William (1846 - 1893) whose work is almost indistinguishable from that of his father. From the 1870s onwards, William seems to have assumed responsibility for running the family business and many photographs of this later period are more likely to be the work of William rather than that of his father.

Torquay, Babbacombe Bay, from the Inn

Torquay, The Giant Rock at Watcombe

The Queen's Hotel, Aberystwyth

Torquay, Victoria Parade From the Pier

Torquay, St. Luke's Church, From Croft Road

Peak-a-boo bathing girls, Revere Beach, Boston, ca. 1920s

Photographer: Leslie Jones (via)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Vintage Photographs of Street-railroads in Boston, Massachusetts before 1940s

Boston Elevated Railway. Sullivan Square Station. 1901.

Boston Elevated Railway. Equipment. Bunter and car at Charles River Bridge draw. 1912.

Boston Elevated Railway. Equipment. Multiple unit surface car.

Boston Elevated Railroad. Sullivan Square Station. 1913.

Boston Elevated Railway. Equipment. Subway train.

Broadway Advertising, 42nd St., New York City, ca. 1909

Color Photographs of Caribbean in 1968

Physiognomic Portraits of Patients from Surrey County Asylum, ca.1855

Dr. Hugh Welch Diamond was one of the most important figures in early British photography. He made his first photographs in April 1839, just three months after the announcement of photography’s invention. In the 1840s he befriended one of his patients, Frederick Scott Archer and subsequently became one of the first people to use Archer’s collodion process.

In May 1856 Diamond presented a paper to the Society called 'On the Application of Photography to the Physiognomy and Mental Phenomena of Insanity' when he was a physician at the Surrey County Asylum and Secretary to the Photographic Society of London.

Diamond stated that photography was invaluable in the treatment of mental illness. He proposed that by studying the faces of patients, physicians could identify and diagnose mental complaints. These beliefs were rooted in the pseudoscience of physiognomy, where the face was seen as the mirror of the soul. For Diamond, the faces of the patients represented 'types' of mental illness such as melancholia and delusional paranoia.

Dog Riding a Tricycle, ca. 1905

Photographer unknown (via)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Pictures of America in Crisis and Cure in the 1970s

By the late 1960s, the American landscape was ravaged by decades of unchecked land development, blighted by urban decay in the big cities, and plagued by seemingly unstoppable air, noise, and water pollution. In November 1971, the newly created Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a monumental photodocumentary project to record changes in the American environment. DOCUMERICA resulted in a collection of more than 20,000 photographs by its conclusion in 1978. Here's a selection of color pictures of America in crisis and cure in the 1970s.

Water cooling towers of the John Amos Power Plant loom over a home located across the Kanawha River, near Poca, West Virginia, in August of 1973. (Harry Schaefer/NARA)

One of four bicyclists holds her ears against the roar of the jet taking off from National Airport in Washington, D.C., in May of 1973. (John Neubauer/NARA)

Clark Avenue and Clark Avenue bridge, looking east from West 13th Street, obscured by industrial smoke, in Cleveland, Ohio, in July of 1973. (Frank J. Aleksandrowicz/NARA)

Balloon logging in the Culp Creek drainage area of Oregon, near Eugene. (NARA)

A mountain of damaged oil drums lies in a heap in an Exxon refinery near Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in December of 1972. (John Messina/NARA)

Black & White Photos of HMV Shop in Oxford Street, London in the 1950s

Procession in celebration of the crowning of Queen Elizabeth, 2nd 1953

Christmas 1956

Interior of store, 1958

Shop floor, 1958

Household appliance section on lower ground floor, 1950s

A couple of Mickeys, ca. 1940