British photographic history

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Adrian Andrews stereoscopy collection / Bristol: 10 April 2019

A collection of Victorian stereoviews of Clifton Suspension Bridge and other significant bridges from across the globe are being conserved and digitised thanks to support from The Murless Fund (SANHS) and the Aurelius Charitable Trust. 

In 2018 the archives of Adrian Andrews - an expert in the history of engineering and of the Clifton Suspension Bridge - were donated to the Clifton Suspension Bridge Trust. Within the archives was a collection of over two hundred stereoscopic photographic cards, one hundred of which feature the Clifton Suspension Bridge and the Avon Gorge area. Stereoscopic views were immensely popular from the late 1850s onwards. The technique uses two photographs taken from slightly different angles to replicate human vision; when seen through a viewer the illusion of a 3-D image is created. Within the Collection are images showing the Clifton Suspension Bridge’s abandoned towers and its completion from 1862 to 1864. These offer a rare visual record of its construction. The photographs show workmen atop the towers hauling up 24ft-long wrought iron links, and jib cranes, scaffolding, and other equipment taking materials up and across the Avon Gorge.

Once conserved, the images will be made available via our website in April. If you would like to see the collection and hear more about the project, then pop into the Visitor Centre at 2pm on Wednesday 10th April to meet the archivist and see the collection in person.  For more information about the project please contact Hannah Little, Archivist, email:

Find out more about the project here:

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