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Thread: The City Engineer?s Department and Photographic Archive

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    Creator & Administrator Kev's Avatar
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    Exclamation The City Engineer?s Department and Photographic Archive

    The Engineer?s Department was formed as a result of the Liverpool Sanitary Act of 1846. This Act enabled the appointment of three officers to suggest and implement solutions to problems connected with sanitation, public health and housing in Liverpool. A Medical Officer of Health, a Borough Engineer and an Inspector of Nuisances were appointed in 1847. James Newlands was appointed the first Borough Engineer. Dr. William Henry Duncan became the first Medical Officer of Health in Britain. James Newlands worked closely with Dr. Duncan, planning reform of cleansing, sewerage and road improvements throughout the city. Mr. Fresh was appointed Inspector of Nuisances. The passing of the Liverpool Sanitary Act in 1846 gave statutory support to a progressive policy of improvements.

    In 1896 the Department decided to keep a photographic record of its work. The City Engineer began commissioning photographs in 1897 to document aspects of the Department?s activities. This resulted in the development of a major photographic archive, assembled between January 1897 and November 1995 and consisting of 158,383 images. A selection of these images is included on this CD-Rom.

    The photographs were initially used to record and support the work of the City Engineer, the Surveyor, the Housing Department and the Medical Officer of Health, showing everyday work such as road improvements, refuse collection and the laying of sewers. There is a record of major projects, such as the infilling of Georges Dock to build the Liver Building and the reclamation of land to construct Otterspool Promenade. There are also photographs of the work of other departments, major events and general developments in the City. This wider coverage increased rapidly from the 1940s onwards. A total of 20,000 photographs were taken up to 1960, but by 1970 the overall total had increased to 45,000 and by 1980 to 90,800.

    This collection is of immense value nationally, as well as locally. It represents a detailed profile of almost every aspect of the development of the city. Liverpool was significant as the second commercial city in England for much of the period in question. The collection provides a comprehensive record of the work of the City Council, which in the first half of the twentieth century provided services such as water supply, electricity supply and hospitals. It is particularly important on a national level in recording the city?s pioneering work in town planning, housing, public health and transport. It also records in detail the multi-faceted and outstanding work of Professor John Alexander Brodie, City Engineer from 1898 to 1926.

    The collection consists of 158,383 photographs with both negative and contact prints for the majority of the photographs. Most of the earliest negatives up to about 1960 are glass plate. The first 9,400 in the series are 8.5 x 6.5 inches, whilst the later series are 7 x 5 inches with some 5 x 4 inches. At some point in the past some of the glass negatives were scrapped. However, an almost complete series of high quality contact prints survives. The latter part of the collection is a mixture of 35 mm and 3 x 2 inch negatives. The photographs are black and white up to the late 1970s and colour thereafter.

    Liverpool City Engineers Department ? Suggested Reading:

     Liverpool City Council ? A Century of Progress 1847-1947: An account of the development of the Liverpool Water Supply Undertaking.
    H352.4 WAT

     An account of the development of the Liverpool City engineers and surveyors department.
    H352.5 CIT

     An account of the development of the Liverpool Public Health Department.
    H352.4 HEA

    Source: Liverpool City Council Records Office


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    Senior Member steveb's Avatar
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    20,000 of these photo,s were put on a CD which LRO sold for about ?8
    however, it is no longer available, despite me asking them to re-issue it

    Steve

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    Senior Member xkopite's Avatar
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    Very interesting about this CD.
    Does anyone have a copy to share some images with us.
    Or has the LRO re-released it as yet.
    I would just love to see those 1897 images.

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    Re-member Ged's Avatar
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    It was called the 'Pool' and also contained the documentary 'Home for the workers'

    This page contains quite a lot of the images

    http://inacityliving.piczo.com/?g=44922707&cr=7

    and this is a youtube excerpt of the film made in 1938

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEg8QK23NTk




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    Senior Member xkopite's Avatar
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    Thanks Ged,

    Last year I was visiting the Maritime Museum, they had a film footage showing of the horsedrawn traffic at the docks early 1900s I think.
    Would anyone know what dvd this may be on please.

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    It's the lumiere bros from France who shot some of the first ever moving footage including the overhead and lime st and it's available on dvds in the Albert dock gift shop, BBC shop - Hanover st and probably most dvd outlets in the city.
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    Senior Member Sirob's Avatar
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    The Engineers photographs are in the LRO online catalogue up to 1961. there are also pics from other sources, eg The National Trust.
    I enquired at the LRO about the rest of them, but was told that there was no money available to sort the remaining 40000, so they were not available.
    Unless Ged, or somebody else, knows different!
    You take them for granted - until one day they're gone!

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    Martin hmtmaj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xkopite View Post
    Thanks Ged,

    Last year I was visiting the Maritime Museum, they had a film footage showing of the horsedrawn traffic at the docks early 1900s I think.
    Would anyone know what dvd this may be on please.
    do you mean this one ?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i5ApsjD46o
    unofficially of course

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    Local Historian Cadfael's Avatar
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    Got this on CD somewhere - the Pool Project. I'll dig it out.

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    Mart. Yes, that's part of it, loads of great old Liverpool stuff on youtube including what you put up of the trams in the swan etc - well done.

    Sirob. Yes, I believe that is the case which is why I try to upload stuff onto my site that hasn't been seen before if I can in that way which shows that if an individual can do it, then why not their staff in the course of their normal working day?
    www.inacityliving.piczo.com/

    Updated weekly with old and new pics.

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    Senior Member xkopite's Avatar
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    hmtmaj,
    No its not that one, I have the one on youtube.
    The one I saw on the screen was not one I had seen before.
    As I said there was scenes of horse drawn vehicles just missing the locals who just had eyes for the camera.

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    Senior Member Samp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ged View Post
    Mart. Yes, that's part of it, loads of great old Liverpool stuff on youtube including what you put up of the trams in the swan etc - well done.

    Sirob. Yes, I believe that is the case which is why I try to upload stuff onto my site that hasn't been seen before if I can in that way which shows that if an individual can do it, then why not their staff in the course of their normal working day?
    You are quite right there Ged. I do some voluntary work at the museum each week. The library could do the same, there must be plenty of 'silver surfers' who could scan the photos in as a voluntary group.

    I bet Gregs Dad could do that.

    How about it GD!

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    Is right Samp. As they're theirs anyway, I could donate everything i've ever scanned/photographed from there which is in the region of 3000 photographs to add to their already extensive online catalogue. As you say, there must be plenty others who have done likewise. They'd only need to stipulate that for every image you scan for yourself personally or for none profit websites like mine, then you have to supply them with a digital image.
    www.inacityliving.piczo.com/

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    Senior Member xkopite's Avatar
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    Ged

    Out of all you pictures would you happen to have some early 1900s photograps of street scenes with horse drawn traffic any part of Liverpool or Toxteth Park please.
    If you do could you root them out when you get the time.
    I am very interested in the photographs of these for a modelling diorama project.
    ie, bakers vans, Co-op etc
    Fingers crossed.

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    Re-member Ged's Avatar
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    Here's some. All pre-war - all LRO.
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    www.inacityliving.piczo.com/

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    Senior Member xkopite's Avatar
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    Thanks Ged
    If you find anymore please post.
    Thank you

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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Queens Square!!! Whoever ordered it pulled down needs shooting. As a kid we would walk through the fruit market and you could eat apples galore for nothing.

    Such an attractive square.

    It?s difficult not to conclude that, in its relentless post-war economic decline, Liverpool became consumed by a hatred of its own past - Dr Gavin Stamp 2007
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    Re-member Ged's Avatar
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    I well remember the Stork Hotel and years later worked right by where it was when doing the rear of St. Johns house up.
    www.inacityliving.piczo.com/

    Updated weekly with old and new pics.

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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    The Stork was saved for a while and quite isolated as the rest was demolished.

    Look at London's Covent Garden and that is what that area was. So much lost.
    The new Amsterdam at Liverpool?
    Save Liverpool Docks and Waterways - Click

    Deprived of its unique dockland waters Liverpool
    becomes a Venice without canals, just another city, no
    longer of special interest to anyone, least of all the
    tourist. Would we visit a modernised Venice of filled in
    canals to view its modern museum describing
    how it once was?


    Giving Liverpool a full Metro - CLICK
    Rapid-transit rail: Everton, Liverpool & Arena - CLICK

    Save Royal Iris - Sign Petition

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