The Tricycle and the Camera: New Technologies for Self-Determination

Starting in the late 1870s, the leisure opportunities of a growing body of affluent middle-class photographers were expanded by the development and mass production of new photography and transport technologies: the dry-plate camera and three- or four-wheeled self-propelled machines (tricycles or quadricycles). While the former had removed the need to attend to the glass-plate immediately before and after exposure, as was the case with the wet collodion process, the latter enabled a new experience of mobility as an alternative to

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New Agenda – Katharina Boehm and Josephine McDonagh, ‘Urban Mobility: New Maps of Victorian London’

‘The Uncommercial Traveller, whose urban explorations by foot, coach and train lead him from genteel Bond Street to the muddy thoroughfares of the East End, and from London’s ‘shy neighbourhoods’ to the docks by the Thames, reminds us of the mobility of Victorian city dwellers. Like Dickens’s compulsive traveller, countless fictional and historical Londoners experienced the city and its material cultures on the move.’  Introducing the New Agenda on ‘Urban Mobility’, Katharina Boehm and Josephine McDonagh survey the scholarship on the

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New Agenda – David L. Pike, ‘Afterimages of the Victorian City’

The Victorian street and underworld have had remarkable afterlives in twentieth-century reinterpretations of Victorian cityscapes. In JVC 15.2, David L. Pike explores what persists in our vision of the nineteenth-century city well over a century after it was, so to speak, first seen, and how what persists impacts on our attempts to reconstruct that act of seeing. He sees spectral ‘afterimages’ of the Victorian street  and underground, in a variety of contemporary sources, ranging from Gary Sherman’s Death Line (1972)

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New Agenda – John Stokes, ‘”Encabsulation”: Horse-Drawn Journeys in Late-Victorian Literature’

In 1900 there were some 50,000 horses working in London, although by 1914 with the coming of motorized transport that number was down to 1,400. Focusing on one of the primary ways that Victorians moved around London, John Stokes examines the perils and social niceties of hailing a horse-drawn cab in the nineteenth-century city. Click here for John Leech’s cartoons for Punch on the hazards of taking a cab (and on many other topics) To read the full article, visit

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