Tower Bridge, 1889

London, United Kingdom

Tower Bridge was begun in 1881 and opened in 1894, to designs by Sir Horace Jones. It was designed so that the central section could be raised to allow the passage of ships to and from the busy wharves of London.

The 11,000 tonnes of steelwork would be eventually clad in Portland stone and Cheesewring granite from Cornwall which can be seen at the base of the bridge. The numerous ships and skiffs lurking in the background are all sourced from contemporaneous paintings of the era.

Original Photograph: English Heritage/Heritage Images/Getty Images, Hulton Archive
Digital Color Reconstruction: Dynamichrome

This image appears in our upcoming book The Paper Time Machine co-authoured by Wolfgang Wild of @Retronaut and Dynamichrome’s Jordan Lloyd, in collaboration with Getty and @Unbounders.

Find out more about the book and make a pledge at

Original Photograph | Unknown Photographer
Format | Possibly Glass Negative
Source | Courtesy of the English Heritage/Heritage Images/Getty Images, Hulton Archive
Color Reconstruction | Dynamichrome
Words | Wolfgang Wild, Jordan Lloyd

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