Monday, 5 March 2012

Britain's First Photo Album - Francis Frith

Britain's First Photo Album - Francis Frith: "Britain’s First Photo Album is a new ten-part BBC series presented by John Sergeant on the extraordinary achievement of Francis Frith, the pioneer Victorian photographer who embarked upon a colossal project to photograph the United Kingdom during the 19th century.
Britain’s First Photo Album follows John Sergeant as he retraces Frith's photographic journey through history, hoping to find the exact spots where forty photographs from The Francis Frith Collection were taken and then take his own pictures, capturing the mood of the place as it is now.
Watch on BBC2, every weekday at 6.30pm for two weeks, starting March 12th....

There is a book as well featuring Mr Sergeant at Stonehenge on the cover.

But there is a problem with at least one of the Francis Frith photographs they feature on their website:

(This is a scan of an actual postcard I own but it is the same picture)

It is a fake - Stone 56 is upright only because it has been drawn in on the negative - the clue is that Stones 21, 22 and their lintel 122 had collapsed before stone 56 was straightened. (If you are not a Stonehenge geek that probably was too much information!)

The original photograph was also used as a postcard, but I guess that when stone 56 was straightened in a welter of publicity they decided to alter the print, not knowing about the other changes they should have made.

The original.

UPDATE - From the Farncis Frith site ;
Thank you for the information, you are quite right. We often find older images in the collection have been altered to 'update them'. This is all part of the history of the archive so we cannot alter the position of the stone. However, your information has been noted in our database.

1 comment:

  1. there is an even simpler clue - Stone 56 wasn't straightened until 1901 !!