Robert Longden

'Coventry Power Station and Canal-Side Laundry'

Robert Longden/Copyright RLPA


When I was a kid I wanted to live on a Canal barge (and become an astronaut - yes, at the same time). Robert Longden, a factory worker in Coventry in the mid 1900's did the next best thing and photographed people who lived and worked on the Canals in Coventry (I don't know if he had any aspirations toward space travel).

An exhibition of his work is up at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum which I found out about through an article and a slideshow on the Guardian website. Check it out if you have the chance to see a way of life that pretty much no longer exists. People still live on barges, but seldom do they work on them in the way they did back then. Trucks have long since replaced that mode of transporting goods. A shame if you ask me. But then I have a romantic and probably completely inaccurate view of things like that.

It's also interesting to note that the originals are Lantern Slides, which if you've never seen them are amazing objects...



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