Tuesday, 7 December 2021

Mass Transit in Victorian Britain

There are 20 visible passengers, including the coachman, piled high in defiance of gravity on this horse-drawn carriage.  Some look sullen, some apprehensive while others appear quite pleased with themselves.  Another 17 bystanders, plus a groom, line the foreground and face the camera. More socially diverse than the passengers behind, they look as if they just drifted into the frame. There are no clues as to location anywhere on the card but the buildings, with their extensive rustication, suggest a business district in a substantial city around the turn of the twentieth century.  The camera operator has achieved a remarkable degree of focus enabling each of these faces to be seen in surprising detail.  I read somewhere that Apple has a team of 6,000 employees working on the development of the iPhone camera yet they might struggle to produce a better image than this.


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