Steep Street, Bristol ⎯ Demolished in 1871

Steep Street, Bristol ⎯ Demolished in 1871

Demolished in 1871, the former cobblestone Steep Street in Bristol is seen in this cityscape taken in 1866 by Bristol photographer John Hill Morgan. (1833-1888)

The photograph is a platinum print laid down on a card. Surviving engraving on the lower mount margin reads:

Steep Street, Bristol _____ Demolished in 1871.
From a Negative taken by the late John Hill Morgan in 1866. Published by Frost & Reed, Bristol, in 1891.
Negative destroyed___100 Copies printed

condition: A rare survivor, there is nonetheless substantial staining to this image, and with what appears to be three worm holes through print and support on lower part of image.  Additional worm damage and losses to lower margin and corners of cardstock mount.

John Hill Morgan  1833-1888


The following biography of Morgan appears in the volume Impressed by Light: British Photographs from Paper Negatives, 1840-1860, By Roger Taylor, Larry John Schaaf. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2007:

Morgan’s father died while he was young, enabling him to live off the income of the family’s property in the Clifton area throughout his life. Photographically, Morgan made excellent use of these resources, becoming one of the most prolific exhibitors in England and Scotland from 1856 through 1864. His last known public showing was in the 1865 Dublin International Exhibition. All of his works were done from collodion negatives. Presumably they were conventional negatives except for a frame of four views of the Avon submitted to the 1858 Photographic Society exhibition in London. These were done with “John H. Morgan’s Sugar Process.” Sugar, honey, and other culinary substances were used to retain moisture on the plate, a technique more versatile for use in the field than the conventional wet process. Although he does not seem to have exhibited these, some of Morgan’s early work was from paper negatives and was highly accomplished. Where he started practicing photography is uncertain, but Morgan’s work was known within the Welsh photographic circle of John Dillwyn Llewelyn. (p. 350)

note: 1888 has been included as Morgan’s year of death as deduced by a legal notice for him printed in The Law Times, August 11, 1888 advertising for challenges to Heirs-At-Law and Next of Kin. See p. 266.

Steep Street, Bristol ⎯ Demolished in 1871

Image Dimensions25.2 x 19.9 cm

Support Dimensions31.1 x 21.1 cm