Tuesday, July 05, 2016

A Bicycle Tour Around Some Edwardian Faces

I bought an Edwardian half-plate glass negative on eBay which shows a group of cyclists dressed in typical Edwardian cycling costumes. The joy of these old half-plate negatives is their size (six and a half by four and a half inch) and therefore the quality of the image once they have been scanned. And glass negatives tend to be more resilient to scratches and tears. The quality of the image will, of course, depend on the quality of the original camera, but in my experience the larger the negative size (whole plate or half plate) and the better the quality of the camera.

The level of detail you get with a high resolution scan of such a large negative is rather impressive. This could almost be a modern group of cyclists dressed in Edwardian costume indulging in some kind of historical re-enactment. No doubt the cyclists out there will recognise the bicycles and I suspect that they will be harder to source these days than costumes.

Who they were or what outing they were on will remain a mystery. But the quality of the image almost allows us to join them on their day out. Take a few moments to click and enlarge the original scan and take a tour around those Edwardian faces. But don't take too long: it will soon be time to get back on your bikes and start peddling.


  1. I've never understood how women could ride bicycles in those skirts...

  2. A wonderful photo and neatly restored. I once met a lively old woman who lived in Wearhead, County Durham. When describing her younger life in the 1910-20s she waxed nostalgic about the liberating freedom of a bicycle. No problems with bus fare, expensive autos, or tedious walking. For a young woman of that era, the bicycle offered the first opportunity for true independence.


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