Category Archives: Old Photos

Old Photographs and Lantern Slides

A Few Random Photos

I have been “downsizing” my collection of old photographs from various sources and selected a number that I really must keep and hear are five of them.

A Little Beauty

A delightful studio photograph taken in the Handsworth Studio of H Whitlock around 1900. In the early days of photography simple cameras for people to use were simply not viable, so the professional photographer set up a studio and the family went there for photographs, if they could afford it. Whitlock was a notable Birmingham photographer and one of his studios was in Handsworth. Initially exposure times were quite long so smiling was ruled out as it is difficult to keep a straight smiling face. Also small tables were provided for anyone standing to lean on to stop any movement. Here the exposure time must have shortened quite a bit as the children have nothing to support them, but it looks as though smiling was not encouraged although it was not far away.


NY Photographer

A print of a stereo photograph of a photographer taking a stereo photograph high above Manhattan in about 1915 and without seemingly any support. It makes me shudder!




Group Outing

A reproduction from a lantern slide by Marion Silverston in about 1900 that I have entitled “Group Outing”. Almost all the characters have a badge in the left lapel of their coat but I cannot read it. So who they are has not been determined but it has been suggested that the place may be Wenlock Abbey. I think the sharpness of the image and the delicacy of the contrast is quite remarkable. Marion Silverston was a significant Birmingham photographer who set up a studio in Edgbaston and concentrated on photographing children.


Lady Disdain

“Lady Disdain”, so named by Marion Silverston, again an image from a lantern slide. I think that this must have caused quite a stir, with it’s black background and intriguing image..




A Goose Fair

The Goose Fair at Strettle. A small print, date unknown. This is intriguing for me because in the bottom right hand corner there is a small sign which states that “ This is a real photo”!

A Host of Angels

HomeA Host of AngelsA Host of Angels

A Host of Angels

A group of prints featuring angels, reproduced from Victorian lantern slides.

A Host of Angels

Lantern slides are a very good source for the depiction of angels. This is not surprising given that Church halls were frequently used for lantern shows.

So here is a selection, mainly rather beautiful, but in one case gruesome and beautiful at the same time.

Two of our slides, “Angels are near” and “the Spirits’ Flight” were used by Margaret Barker in her book “An extraordinary gathering of angels”.

Birmingham Photographs Gallery


Mostly lantern slides collected at random. The exposure times were a bit too long to get a sharp image of Princess Christian as she left New Street Station en route to open the General Hospital.

Famous People Gallery

HomeFamous People GalleryFamous People

Famous People

Personalities of the period, from lantern slides, engravings, cartes-de-visites and woodburytypes.

The Royal Family Gallery

HomeThe Royal Family GalleryThe Royal Family

The Royal Family

The first group are cartes-de-visites of the Royal family taken by Mayall including some dated 1st March 1861. The second group shows the Prince of Wales and the Princess of Denmark, to become Princess Alexandra, and her family. The next group includes the official photograph released for the Diamond Jubilee. The last two photographs are from stereocards of the funeral procession of the Queen and show the German Emperor, the Kaiser, walking on the right of King Edward, and the veiled ladies of the court walking behind.

Paris Gallery

HomeParis GalleryParis


Images taken from French glass stereo-positives. One looks as though it is taken from half way up Notre Dame and has an estimated date of 1855. Image 6 is included for the figure of a man on the roof of the hut!

Photographs by Marion Silverston Gallery

HomePhotographs by Marion Silverston GalleryPhotographs by Marion Silverston

Photographs by Marion Silverston

Probably Birmingham’s first female professional photographer. She had a studio in Edgbaston. Her name is written on a number of these lantern slides and they may have been exhibited at Birmingham Photographic Society.

Photographs by AGB Gallery

HomePhotographs by AGB GalleryPhotographs by AGB

Photographs by AGB

A selection from a stack of lantern slides by AGB found in a junk shop in Erdington. Those selected look to be from holidays in this country, and the Alps.

Photographs of London by WLFW Gallery

HomePhotographs of London by WLFW GalleryPhotographs of London by WLFW

Photographs of London by WLFW

We know the photographer’s initials, WLFW, and we know the date, 1910, but that is all. An obvious ‘eye’ for a good photograph.

Miscellaneous Images Gallery

HomeMiscellaneous Images GalleryMiscellaneous


A miscellaneous collection picked to show some of the contrasts of the day. The ‘Promenade’ might well be the Sunday afternoon parade at Scarborough.