Back in 1880s, it was Paul Martin (1864-1944), by trade a wood engraver for prints in magazines, developed an interest in photography. He started taking everyday photos of the people he encountered. Around 1890 it became possible to combine fast-dry plate negatives with a fairly small camera — the Fallowfield Facile camera of London, England was one of the newest types using this process. Martin started using a Facile in 1892, which could be disguised as a parcel or carried in a leather box. People had no idea, it looked like a brown paper parcel. It did not have to be opened between exposures to change plates, which enabled Martin to take candid shots of people at work and play, without them aware he was doing so. No longer did people need to stand still or pose for a long period of time.
Martin’s collection covers the 1890s to about 1910 around the London, England area. These can be viewed, showing very typical English life in those vintage times. One is with the Mashable.com, another collection with the Museum of London and a third with Vandaimages. Click on each image to enlarge it.
Photos: The Fallowfield Facile camera advertisement.In 1898, a group of children and adults gather around a drink fountain at a fairground in Hampstead Heath near London, England and a street police and traffic in 1890s.
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