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Rare Color Photos Of England In 1928 Caught In Autochrome

The following photos of England in 1928 were caught by photographer Clifton R. Adams. In the late 1920s and early 1930s National Geographic sent him to capture its farms, towns and cities, and its people at work and play. Adams recorded it all in color using the Autochrome process.

The Autochrome was an early color photography process patented in 1903 by the Lumière brothers in France. The main ingredient of the process were potatoes. Tiny grains of dyed potato starch coated a glass plate. The gaps between the grains filled with lampblack, and the coated layer allowed the exposure to capture a color image.

In 1928 England, farming was a very significant part of life. Many of Adams’ autochromes show women. That year British women attained full voting equality with men, via the Equal Franchise Act.

Take a look at the Clifton R. Adams’s photos of 1928 England below.

1. A policeman directs buses in the intersection of Trafalgar Square, London.

England In 1928 england-a-policeman-directs-buses-in-the-intersection-of-trafalgar-square-london

2. An English woman points pridefully to her farm cart, in Cambridgeshire, England. Wicks of Wisbech constructed horse-drawn caravans used by Romany families traveling throughout Britain.


3. An informal portrait of a farmer and his cart, in Crowland, Lincolnshire. Decoy Farm is now the site of a recycling centre and a housing estate.


4. A police constable passes the day with farmers gathering hay, in Lancashire.


5. Two women rest for lunch in a Lancashire hayfield.


6. A young girl plays in the sand at Sandown, Isle of Wight.


7. Actors dress for a pageant as Britannia and her knights.


8. The characters of Britannia and her colonies and dependencies, in Southampton, Hampshire.


9. Two women buy ice cream from a vendor out of his converted car, in Cornwall. Kelly’s ice cream is still in production today.


10. A woman sticks her head out of her bridge house window, in Ambleside, Lake District, Cumbria, England.


11. A war veteran sells matches on the street, in Canterbury, Kent.


12. A young girl sells artificial flowers for charity on Alexandra Day, in Kent.

The first Alexandra Rose Day was held in 1912; it commemorated the arrival in Britain of Princess Alexandra of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, from Denmark, in 1862. She was betrothed to Prince Edward, later King Edward VII, and they married the next year. Her admirers wished to mark the 50th anniversary of her arrival and she proposed marking it by the sale of paper roses in aid of her favourite charities. The day became an annual occasion.


13. Women selling Queen Alexandra roses for charity, in Seaford, East Sussex.


14. Two bus drivers stand in front of a tour bus in Ulverston, Cumbria.


15. In Oxford, the corner of High street and Cornhill is bustling.


16. A view of the Cunard SS “Mauretania” at dock, in Southampton, Hampshire.


17. A view of a vine-covered house on a Stratford-upon-Avon street, in Warwickshire.


18. A young woman mails a letter at the pillar box, in Oxford.


19. Women have tea in front of the Clock House, originally a hospice, in Buckinghamshire.


20. A little boy mails a letter in the hedgerow, in Sussex.


21. A London double-decker bus stops to allow people aboard.


Source: Image: Clifton R. Adams/National Geographic Creative/Corbis

Share yout thoughts about England in 1928 and check out Photos of England In 1939 Before World War II.

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Geralt Nowak

There will be something about me. I'm too lazy now.

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