Tuesday, August 9, 2016

30 Ghostly Photographs of the Isles of Scilly Shipwrecks From Between the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries

From 1869 onwards, members of the family systematically recorded most of the great shipwreck disasters that occurred around the Isles of Scilly — a small group of islands off the coast of Cornwall in southern England.

Patriarch, seaman, and pioneering shipwreck photojournalist John Gibson established his first photographic studio in Penzance in 1860 before returning to the Scillies and bringing his sons Alexander and Herbert into the family business in 1865. As brothers and business partners, they were very close. Two more Gibson men — James and Frank — carried on the tradition until Frank passed away in 1912.


The Mildred, Gurnards Head, 1912, from Newport to London carrying slag.

The Suevic, The Lizard, a 12,500 ton steamship from Australia.

The Cviet, Porthleven, Cornwall, 1884, travelling from St Domingo to Falmouth with logwood.

The Earl of Lonsdale, St Agnes, Isles of Scilly, 1885, a 1,543 ton steamship travelling from Alexandria to Portishead.

The Granite Slate, Porthcurno, 1895, a Yankee windjammer making for Swansea.

The Horsa, St Martin’s, Isles of Scilly, 1893, from New Zealand with mixed cargo.

The James Armstrong, 1874.

The Minnehaha, Penninis, St Mary’s, 1874.

The Noisiel, Praa Sands, Cornwall, 1905, travelling from Cherbourg to Italy with 600 tons of armorplate.

The Seine, Woolpack point, St Mary’s, Isles of Scilly, 1900, from Iquique to Falmouth with saltpetre.

The Bay of Panama, Nare Point, Near Falmouth 1891, ran ashore in the Great Blizzard of 1891.

The T W Lawson, Annet, 1907, a seven masted Schooner from Philladelphia carrying barrels of oil.

The Albert Wilhelm, Lelant, 1886, a 202 ton German Brig travelling from the Isle of Man to Fowey.

The Glenbervie, The Lizard, 1902, travelling from the Thames to West Africa spirits and pianos.

The City of Cardiff, near Land’s End, 1912, travelling from Le Havre to Cardiff.

The Hansy, Hounsel Bay, The Lizard, 1911, from Sweden to Melbourne with timber and pig iron.

The Suffolk, Lizard, 1886, a steamship carrying general cargo and cattle from Baltimore to London.

The Pindos, Black Head, Lizard, 1912, in tow bound for Hamburg.

The Brinkburn, Maiden Bower, Isles of Scilly, 1898, carrying 9000 bales of cotton from Galveston to Le Havre.

The Voorspoed, Perranporth, 1901, travelling from Cardiff to Bahia.

The Aksai, White Island, St Martin’s, Isles of Scilly, 1875, Russian ship with coal travelling from Cardiff to Odessa.

The Cromdale, Under Lloyds Signal Station, Lizard, 1913, grounded in dense fog carrying nitrates.

Minnehaha, St Mary's, Isle of Scilly, 1874.

Seine, Woolpack Point, St Mary's, Isles of Scilly, 1900.

Albert Wilhelm, Lelant, 1886.

Granite State, Porthcurno, 1895.

Jeune Hortense, Eastern Green, Penzance, 1888.

Tripolitania, Penzance harbour, 1912.

Bay of Panama: Nare Point, near Falmouth, 1891.

Barca Khyber, 1905.

James Gibson at work.

(Images: © The Gibsons of Scilly / Royal Maritime Museum)

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