The Victorian and Edwardian Railway in Old Photographs

Publication Date15th November 2019

Book FormatPaperback





Author Anthony Dawson explores a fascinating collection of images of the Victorian and Edwardian railway.
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The steam locomotive, ‘the most potent symbol of nineteenth-century civilisation’, is perhaps the image that best sums up the Victorian and Edwardian eras. The year of Victoria's coronation saw the completion of the first links in the iron chain that made up the West Coast Main Line, and the opening of the first section of the Great Western Railway. By the time of her death sixty-three years later, the railways had not only spread to every corner of Britain, but across the globe. The travelling public were first both entranced and terrified of the new means of transportation, with many dire predictions about boiler explosions and suffocation in Brunel’s Box Tunnel. This fascination with railways, coupled with the growth of photography, meant that the railways became subjects for the photographer’s art, and, thanks to cheap printing later in the century, an excellent means of publicity through sets of collectable postcards issued by the likes of the London & North Western or Great Central. These images not only showed technological improvements on their lines, but prospective destinations for the traveller.

Here, Anthony Dawson presents Victorian and Edwardian photographs and postcards showing the railway at home and abroad, in all its splendour, with locomotives, carriages, stations and destinations giving a flavour of what it was like to travel during this golden age of the railway.
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