Manchester Ship Canal

PhotographerThomas Birtles


MediumWoodbury gravure

PortfolioPhotographs of the Year 1891 - The Photographic Society of Great Britain

AtelierWoodbury Permanent Photographic Printing Co. (Castle Bar - Ealing (London)


View Additional Information & Tags

Boats, Commerce, Documentary, Harbors, wharves, Marine, Rivers, Smoke, Supports, Transportation


Image Dimensions: 12.8 x 18.6 cm
Support Dimensions: 28.6 x 39.0 cm shown cropped to plate marks with represenative tinted border

Commenting in the accompanying catalogue letterpress, Henry Peach Robinson writes of this plate:


Views on Manchester Ship Canal (192, 193). T. Birtles. Poetical pictures of a prosaic subject. In the Academy this year Mr. Leader showed us the pictorial capabilities of the canal; now Mr. Birtles shows us what capital subjects for the camera can be found in the great cutting, and how it is possible to combine pictorial effect with practical engineering value. The one we select for illustration shows how much beauty there is in such an ugly thing as smoke.


Biography: Thomas Birtles: 1832-1914

Thomas Birtles was born in 1832 and after training at Warrington School of Art became a professional photographer. His business flourished from his studio on the corner of Legh Street and Sankey Street. His work was of very high quality and in 1895 he was made a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society. He died in 1914, but the firm was carried on by his son until 1951. (Warrington Museum & Art Gallery online resource accessed December, 2017)

Manchester Ship Canal