Victorian Oldham in Pictures
Booklet published by Oldham Educational & Cultural Services in 2003, 42 pages. Large A4 size rectangular booklet (N5383)
From the introduction: We live in an age where photographs are so commonplace, whether they are in newspapers, magazines, books and television or on the Internet, that they have lost the sense of magic that greeted early photographs. The photographs presented in this publication still have that sense of magic. They allow us to glimpse back over a hundred years, to Oldham scenes which are now long gone, and yet somehow familiar.
They make us question: Where is that building? Does it still stand? When was it pulled down? What's on that site now? For many, the simple pleasure of this book will be to sit and browse, to try to work out the answers to these varied questions.
History is very much about asking questions and searching through evidence and these photographs are part of that quest. They can however only answer a part of that story but can act as a catalyst to other thoughts. We must half close our eyes and look at them as in a dream to try to see some of the reality of the time: to imagine the noise and dust around the worker in the mill, the tension of the demonstration and the body rattle on those early buses as they travel down the cobbled streets.
Though photography was invented in the 1840s, it wasn't until the 1860s that it had started to establish itself. Local photographers, both professionals who ran portrait studios and amateurs, took all the images in this book. Unlike today's cameras that can fit in your back pocket, the cameras needed to take these photographs were very heavy and cumbersome. To take these images outside of the studio, the photographer would have to drag around a heavy plate camera, glass negatives and a substantial tripod. So each of these images is a tribute to the time and patience given by Oldham's photographic pioneers and a lasting tribute to their artistic eye.
The photographs in this book come from a collection of glass negatives and lantern slides held at Gallery Oldham. They are made available to the public on the Oldham Image Bank, a computer database of scanned images and information, at Oldham Local Studies and Archives. The paintings come from the fine art collection at Gallery Oldham. Oldham Council is delighted to bring this collection of photographs to the public eye. We hope you enjoy looking at them and sharing them with friends.
Condition of the booklet is generally excellent. The covers are clean and bright, with very minimal wear along the edges and corners, the staple spine is tight and intact and all pages are clean, intact, unblemished and tightly bound. There is a small price sticker on the rear side cover.