Victorian photographer Peter Henry Emerson’s images of The Norfolk Broads

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Emerson 1 Emerson 3

This is a small sample of a larger collection of delicious photos of East Anglia taken by Victorian-era American photographer Peter Henry Emerson published this week on the 70.8% weblog.

The activities shown are catching eels and harvesting the famous Norfolk reed for use in making thatched roofs for houses and other buildings – and one shows one of the Broads’ wherries making its way along a dyke.

There are lots more to see at 70.8% so do go over to have a look!

My thanks to 70.8% weblogger Thomas Armstrong for pointing this one out via the 70.8% Facebook group.

PS – A Ward has written in to recommend Emerson’s book, which is available from Amazon. See the comment below. Needless to say, my copy is on order…

PH Emerson photos from the Fens and East Anglian coast appear on Retronaut


Photos taken by the Victorian photographer PH Emerson and published in the book Pictures from Fen and Field, dated 1887. More great shots by Emerson of fishing boats and turf boats can be found on the wonderful Retronaut, and and also here, and prints to hang on you wall can be bought here.

The yachting photos of JS Johnston

JS Johnston photo collection Osprey and Sirene

JS Johnston photo collection Mayflower JS Johnston photo collection Merlin JS Johnston photo collection Volunteer

These fabulous old photos of old racing yachts come (with permission) from the JS Johnston collection of photographs taken by John S Johnstone of New York in the 1880s and 90s.

Although his work is widely acknowledged – he’s recognised for his cityscapes as well as yachting photos – but not too much seems to be known about the man, except that he lived until 1899, and was a keen canoeist.

An obituary described him as an old-time disciple of the legendary leisure canoeing pioneer MacGregor, and as having taken up the sport as a boy in England.

Johnston died of heart trouble at Niagra Falls after catching a cold photographing racing between Columbia and Shamrock – apparently he travelled there to recuperate. Photos of these races appear on the collection website.

For more posts about MacGregor and his canoes, click here.