[Mexico City and various places in Mexico: ca. 1900]. Ninety-two original photographs, each approximately 3 x 4 inches. Oblong folio album. Original black cloth, gilt lettered, string-tied; heavy card leaves with pocket mounts. Boards with minor wear and staining. Light mirroring to many images; occasional yellowing at edges. A few blurred shots, but mostly crisp images. About very good. Item #1713
Lovely vernacular photograph album containing over ninety original images of a family journey by rail through Mexico at the turn of the 20th century. The group, depicted in a small handful of shots, seems to have consisted of three women, usually in somewhat elaborate Victorian dress, at least two men, and a young boy, who favored a sailor's outfit. Their tour began in Ciudad Juarez, whence they traveled to Mexico City via the Mexican Central Railway.
The first series of images document some of their time in Mexico City, with several shots of a bullfight and street views, as well as two shots of the Juarez and Mexico City train stations. The Mexican Central Railway began operating its main line that connected the two cities in 1884. The remainder of the album contains photographs of their travel by rail in the region around Mexico City, including a stop in Puebla, where the photos show the Cathedral and the Monumento de Nicolas Bravo, as well as other scenes in the city. The album also includes photographs from stops in many small town and villages, and contains numerous candid and posed shots of local inhabitants at work and at leisure. Some of these seem to have been taken at brief stops during their rail journey, and many of the images incorporate tracks, rail cars, and stations into the shot. A number of images, a few rather blurred, seem to have been taken from the moving train, as well; but overall, the photographer had a keen eye for composition, and many of the images are quite attractively taken.
A vernacular album notable for its variety, style, and early date for the subject matter.