Dudley blast furnaces OP02658
Blast furnace, Russell's Hall, Dudley, West Midlands, 1859. Mr Mills, dilute albumen print. Mr Mills, otherwise unknown as a photographer, recorded the blast furnaces at Russell's Hall, west of Dudley, when the industry was producing a vast number of iron products, including nails, boilers, vices and chains. Coal mining around Dudley had been recorded in the early 13th century and the area was famous for the manufacture of iron nails in the early 16th century. By the late 18th century Dudley was at the centre of England's iron industry, and the region was dubbed the 'Black Country' because of the blackening of the landscape by the coal and iron industries. Russell's Hall itself was pockmarked by clay pits and coal shafts, and significant urban development only took place after the Second World War.
© Historic England Archive
Consett Steel Works FF98_00247
Consett Steel Works, County Durham, 1945-80. Eric de Mare (1910-2002) cellulose acetate negative. Steel-making dominated Consett for 140 years from 1840, and the steelworks, employing 6, 000 workers in the 1960s, loomed over rows of terraced houses. Eric de Mare's elevated view of Consett Steel Works captures their gargantuan scale, echoing the work of pre-war photographers such as Albert Renger-Patzsch in Germany and Charles Sheeler in the United States who emphasised the strong forms of industrial structures. De Mare used colour photography here, recognising that this required a 'different vision' from black-and-white film. The massive tube in the foreground reflects his view that a close shot filling or almost filling the frame 'will usually be more effective and more interesting'.
© Historic England
Clink Wharf Ltd. AA98_05351
CLINK WHARF LIMITED, Clink Street, St Mary Overy's Dock, Southwark, London. The River Thames in London was lined with wharves into the 1950s. This created a townscape of massive warehouses and narrow streets. Photographed by Eric de Mare during the 1950s.
© Historic England