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

21 January, 2013

Iceland in Former Days


With all the incredible institutions on the Flickr Commons, it's easy to overlook some of the smaller ones. Luckily, this means that it's also easy to dip in and find all sorts of new stuff every time. Today's example is the Reykjavik Museum of Photography (Myndavefur Ljósmyndasafnsins in Icelandic), with a small but striking collection of pictures of Iceland in the early 20th century. Some very striking photographs of a striking country. 

Despite all the information in the captions being bilingual, the actual titles are only in Icelandic for the most part. I've followed the lead a dear follower took on an earlier Icelandic caption here and put them into Google Translate... then tried to figure out what that mess of words actually means. If anyone speaks Icelandic, do share! 

Pictures all from glass plate negatives by photographer Magnús Ólafsson, about whom no more information is given, unfortunately. 


Reykjavík Museum of Photography

Geyser, 1900-1920. Source



Reykjavík Museum of Photography

A sheep in front of a sod barn, 1902. Source



Reykjavík Museum of Photography

Children playing on the ice, 1910-1915. Source




Reykjavík Museum of Photography

A horse and card on a bridge (Google translate just gave me nonsense with the actual caption), c. 1910. Source



Reykjavík Museum of Photography

Men in costumes for the Parliament festival, 1930. Source



Reykjavík Museum of Photography

Bakers with pastries at a hotel in Kirkjustraeti, 1910-1920. Source



Reykjavík Museum of Photography

Ships in port, 1917-18. Source



Reykjavík Museum of Photography

Not sure what the caption says. 1907-1912. Source



Reykjavík Museum of Photography

Workers laying out fish to dry, I think, c. 1910. Source



Reykjavík Museum of Photography

A horse pulling a sled of ice blocks [I think?], 1909-1916. Source




Reykjavík Museum of Photography

Buildings in Akranes--the building in the centre was the first shop in the town, c. 1900. Source



Reykjavík Museum of Photography

A crowd at the cornerstone laying of "Vífilsstaðaspítala" [?], May 31, 1909.  Source



Reykjavík Museum of Photography

A train at the harbour in Reykjavik, 1913-1917. Source



Reykjavík Museum of Photography

A group of men resting at a mountain lake, 1910-1920. Source



2 comments:

Unknown said...

I'm not sure where you would like to accept some Icelandic translations so I will post them on the Flickr comments for the photos if that works for you.

Anna said...

That's terrific! Great idea, then people finding them directly on Flickr can benefit as well. Looking forward to it--Google translate does make a mess of Icelandic! Thank you!

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