Stonehenge in 1875

Toronto. Stonehenge, that ancient rock pile in south England was and is a mystery. The stones align to let through the sun on the summer and winter solstice (longest and shortest day each year). This month, the BBC news for Wiltshire reported the possibly earliest photograph of Stonehenge – an 1875 family outing by the Routh family. BBC shows this photo plus others.

The missing detail in the sky of this 1875 photo confirms that it is an orthochromatc image – cannot record evenly across the spectrum. Such a sensitive medium would record the blue sky and cloud as black on the negative, and white on a positive image.

This photograph is another reminder of the importance of our art in recording historical times. Note that the outing is not by motor car in 1875, but by horse and wagon! My thanks to long time friend and PHSC member Russ Forfar (of Kominek Camera Repair fame).

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