History with its flickering lamp stumbles along the trail of the past, trying to reconstruct its scenes, to revive its echoes, and kindle with pale gleams the passion of former days. ~Winston Churchill

29 October, 2012

The Zoo, 1900

A warning-- for a post featuring a lot of cute and beautiful animals, this is very depressing. Zoos in 1900 didn't quite have the animal standard of living we're used to...

The Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago, from glass plate negatives. 

From the collection of the Field Museum Library, Chicago. 

The Field Museum Library

The Field Museum Library

The Field Museum Library

10 October, 2012

A Proper Send-off

When a ship sets sail, it's important to say goodbye properly. And how do you do that? With streamers, of course!

George Jackman, State Library of Queensland

The Stratheden, Hamilton, Australia, 1930s-50s. Source

Sam Hood, Australian National Maritime Museum

The S. S. Ceramic, Sydney, c. 1925. Source

Sam Hood, Australian National Maritime Museum

The S. S. Ceramic, Sydney, c. 1925. Source

08 October, 2012

St. Andrews in the 1840s

A very long time ago I had a blog request for photos from Fife, Scotland-- I've lost the email so I don't recall the requester's name, but I haven't forgotten entirely! Hopefully the amazingness of these images will make up for my terrible delay. 

So, pictures of St. Andrews, Scotland, a town that is dear to my heart. Not only that, but pictures from the 1840s, essentially the first decade of photography. You may remember Hill and Adamson for their portraits of the 1840s; if not, have a look, they are amazing. 

Notes on the images: Hill and Adamson were using Talbot's calotype process, creating paper negatives (calotypes) and making prints from them (salt paper prints). I'd love to go into more detail about this but in the interests of actually getting a blog post done, I'll send the interested (somewhere). Some of these images are original salted paper prints; these have experienced noticeably more deterioration  with colour shift and fading and losing detail and other fun stuff that happens when photos deterioration. The others come from images of the negatives themselves, digitally transferred into positive images by the University of Glasgow Library (let us pause and thank them). Paper negatives are much more stable than salt prints, and much of the original detail and contrast is preserved. Originally, the salted paper prints would have looked like the digitally altered images. So, I thought I'd use both.

There are many more things to say, but enough with the text, let's look at the pictures!

From the special collections of the University of Glasgow. 

University of Glasgow

St. Andrews Cathedral and St. Rule's Tower. From negative. Source

University of Glasgow

The cathedral and tower, original salted paper print. Source

University of Glasgow

South Street, from negative. Source

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