Waterfront photos from the distant past that will captivate you

by | Sep 7, 2020 | Latest Post, Photography, Shipping

Why anyone would want to linger inside a mall mystifies me. Malls are cold and boring, even dispiriting. There is more life, more energy on the piers and wharves as the following old photographs show. Time has taken its toll on some of these pictures. Yet each one still speaks volumes about the vibrancy of commerce on the waterfront and the sedulous stevedores who keep the cargoes moving.


There’s a certain energy, a rhythm that doesn’t seem to falter even when the shipment is colossal.”

~ ‘Rickmers-Linie is cool with coldboxes’, Marine Café Blog

 

(Click on the photos to enlarge them)

SS Kent moored opposite the Kings Head Hotel at Circular Quay Sydney, circa 1900
Photo by William Joseph Macpherson (1866-1923)
Courtesy of the State Library of New South Wales

Queen Elizabeth at City Quay, Dublin, circa 1900
Courtesy of the National Library of Ireland

Unloading whaleback, Buffalo (New York), between 1890 and 1901
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, USA

Hong Kong dock workers, between 1890 and 1930
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, USA

Free Labourers loading baskets of coal during the big strike, Sydney, 1917
Courtesy of the State Library of New South Wales
Additional note from the State Library of NSW: Between 2 August and 8 September 1917, around 100,000 workers went on strike across Australia. Often called the “Great Strike” it especially affected the railway and waterside workers in Sydney.

Fishing boats unloading the day’s catch at the Fulton Fish Market (New York, N.Y.), 1939
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, USA

SS Ulysses at a Sydney wharf loading wheat, circa 1934
Courtesy of Australian National Maritime Museum, Samuel J. Hood Studio Collection

Wool bales being loaded through hold of Magdalene Vinnen, 1933
Courtesy of Australian National Maritime Museum, Samuel J. Hood Studio Collection

Cargo hold in Magdalene Vinnen with crew men securing wool bales, 1933
Courtesy of Australian National Maritime Museum, Samuel J. Hood Studio Collection

New York, N.Y., banana docks, between 1890 and 1910
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, USA

Unloading bananas, New Orleans, between 1920 and 1926
Photo by Arnold Genthe (1869–1942)
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, USA

Steamer J.T. Hutchinson leaving Sault St. Marie, 1903
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, USA

~ Barista Uno

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