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Photograph - Paddle steamer in dry dock
  • Paddle steamer in dry dock
    Jones, Calvert Richard Rev., born 1802 - died 1877
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Paddle steamer in dry dock

  • Object:

    Photograph

  • Place of origin:

    Bristol (made)

  • Date:

    1851 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Jones, Calvert Richard Rev., born 1802 - died 1877 (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Salted paper print from calotype negative

  • Credit Line:

    Purchased 1983

  • Museum number:

    PH.56-1983

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case X, shelf 353, box C

This view of a paddle steam is an example of early photo reportage. The SS Demerara was the second largest vessel in the world. In a nationally reported incident, she was ran aground and was badly damaged on her way to have her engines fitted. Newly build by William Patterson, who assisted Brunel with both his Bristol built ships, the Demera was towed back to this dry dock for repair.

Calvert Jones made many marine studies in watercolour as well as by photography. He was one of the first to learn of W.H.F. Talbot's photographic discoveries of the late 1830s through Talbot's friends and relations who lived near Jones in South Wales. His work stands out in the early development of photography because of his ability to fuse his technical skill with the influence of his training as a watercolorist.

Physical description

Paddle Steamer photographed in a dry dock. In the foreground left, behind overlapping planks of wood, a man in top hat stands with his foot on a gang plank. The paddle box is in the centre of the image, blurred shapes in the foreground next to it indicate the movement of objects. The damage to this starboard side of the ship is evident. There is a works building at the end of the quay on the right.This is a deep brown print with a good tonal range, there is evidence of fading to the corners of the image..

Place of Origin

Bristol (made)

Date

1851 (made)

Artist/maker

Jones, Calvert Richard Rev., born 1802 - died 1877 (photographer)

Materials and Techniques

Salted paper print from calotype negative

Dimensions

Height: 20.6 cm, Width: 16.4 cm

Object history note

Calvert Richard Jones was one of the first to learn of W.H.F. Talbot's photographic discoveries of the late 1830s through Talbot's friends and relations who lived near Jones in South Wales. Subsequently, Jones became one of the few Britons to produce a substantial body of calotypes in Britain and abroad. His work stands out in the early development of photography because of his ability to fuse his technical skill with the influence of his training as a watercolorist.

Many of Jones' marine studies were made at a time of transition in shipping from sail to steam. His photographs demonstrate a movement from predominately picturesque studies of boats to shipyard records and early photo reportage. The newly-built paddle steamer was the second-largest vessel in the world, she was badly damaged on her way to have her engines fitted and towed back to this dry dock for assessment and repair.

Historical context note

The photograph shows the paddle box and starboard side of the SS Demerara, where the damage from the stranding in the tidal River Avon is apparent. The tall building on the right is the engine works of the Great Western Steamship Company.

The Demarara was not built in this dock, but was returned here by William Patterson, the Bristol ship-builder, who built her. She was adapted as a sailing ship between 1853 and 1855 when she was undocked under a new name, the British Empire. Bristol Museum and Art Gallery hold a painting of her dated 1853.

Descriptive line

Paddle Steamer in Dry Dock by Calvert Richard Jones (British, 1804-1877); salted paper print from calotype negative; Britain; 1840s.

Subjects depicted

Works; Paddle steamer; Dry dock

Categories

Images Online; Photographs

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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