Just as the greatest legacies of 19th century Britain are accomplishments in civil engineering, the finest photographs were made not in the name of art but industry, registering the achievements of human endeavour using the core properties of the newly invented science: clarity and detail.
Only now, a century and a half later, are these early photographs being celebrated for their aesthetic quality. Clearly composed, devoid of ambiguity, uncensored by an artist and unencumbered by stylistic flourishes, record pictures established and defined a new genre - the photographic landscape.
Contained within the archives of the ICE are some of the finest examples of these 19th and early 20th century photographs. A past president of the ICE, Charles Blacker Vignoles, was a founder member of the Royal Photographic Society and one of the first to commission comprehensive photographic records of his projects.