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Mystery early London photo - danmdan - Oct 8, 2014

Somewhere over 20 years ago a photo was published in (I think) the B.J. of Photography, and repeated in newspapers of the time.
It was tentatively identified as of a London bridge, but showed lamps that would have pre-dated the earliest known photograph of 1826/7.

Does anyone remember this and can tell me if the matter was ever resolved ?


RE: Mystery early London photo - Daniel_Champion - Oct 9, 2014

That's something new I never heard! Quite interesting, hope there is someone with more info.


RE: Mystery early London photo - danmdan - Oct 9, 2014

I think part of the alleged photo appeared in the Sunday Times or Observer of the day. The implication was of someone unknown having discovered photography earlier than Niepce, because the lamps on the bridge were of a type known in the late 1700s.


RE: Mystery early London photo - Daniel_Champion - Oct 9, 2014

If true, that's absolutly amazing...


RE: Mystery early London photo - danmdan - Oct 9, 2014

That is why it hit the newspapers. But I never noticed an explanation - was it a hoax ? a mistaken assumption ?

Oil lamps were removed from Westminster Bridge by 1814, and presumably also from others so lit - which of course was the reason why the image attracted much attention.

As I say - I have wondered for years what was the explanation for the image as published. Date would be somewhere between 20 and 40 years back.


RE: Mystery early London photo - danmdan - Oct 9, 2014

I found this in Google after much searching - apparently written about 10 years ago ---

"The picture and story was published in the British Journal of Photography,
and featured in several newspapers of the time - it would have been about 10
to 15 years back as far as I can remember. And yes - lamps appearing to
have oil in them was a significant feature, as were several buildings
demolished early 1800's.

It should be re-searchable for someone with access to newspaper files. I
do remember the owner only allowed newspapers to publish part of the
complete picture."


RE: Mystery early London photo - danmdan - Mar 26, 2016

Remember the newspaper publication was in days before the advance of digital photography and easy computer editing - so while it would be possible to fake such a picture, it would be considerably less easy than with today's equipment.

We need a researches with access to Sunday Times and Observer, and BJ libraries.