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Glass Slides

1889 - 1900

Collection of 50 glass slides of Salford and Manchester taken by Samuel L. Coulthurst (1867-1939). Candid photos of life in Salford and Manchester.

Images of Salford and Manchester in the late 19th century. Taken with a hidden camera they reveal a glimpse of life rarely equalled in the history of British photography. One of the main areas of Salford photographed was around the Flat Iron Market, Sacred Trinity Church.

Together with James Higson, Samuel Coulthurst created a group to record urban life in Manchester and Salford before it changed beyond all recognition. They photographed a variety of social groups and activities.

Coulthurst attempted to record actions and situations where he could observe people unaware of his hidden camera, to record “our street trades such as the organ grinder, street artist, hawker, scissor grinder, etc. [which] will soon be objects of the past, and pictures of them will be of as much value as pictures of old houses”. He wanted to examine the “business life, habits of the people, and how the poor live”, in the region’s “crowded thoroughfares, busy markets and railway stations”.