The People of Gibraltar

1890 - My Kodak Brownie – And George Eastman

I once owned a Kodak Brownie camera. But then I suspect that just about anybody my age in Gibraltar probably owned one as well. Long gone but I still have one or two of those very small white framed jaggy edged prints in some dusty album hidden away somewhere in my house. 

Kodak no longer produces film cameras but the George Eastman Museum – named as such in honour of the founder of the company - boasts a collection of some 450 000 photographs. Not all of them are as yet available for a digital on-line peak but those that have been digitized include a few on Gibraltar. Most of these are poor quality copies of larger gelatine on glass transparencies.  Where possible I have therefore used higher definition copies found elsewhere.

Gelatine on glass transparency

Some of the photos are the work of identifiable if rather obscure photographers or publishers. Others are from unknown sources.  Exact dates are unknown as all the photos are attributed an arbitrary 1890s-1910s date – which is definitely incorrect for those taken by Charles Chusseau-Flaviens.  Whatever the case here are the photographs.

J. Levy
León & Lévy was the name of a Parisian printer and photography editor of the late 19th century. The Léon bit referred to Moyse León and the Lévy to his father-in-law Isaac Lévy who was also known as George Lévy. To confuse the issue still further the company is often referred to as J. Lévy – or even Lévy Brothers - and the trade mark was “LL”. The photographs shown below are the only ones I have ever been able to trace as having been published by them. 

The Rock from a beach in Spain

The Town looking north towards Spain

The Devil’s Tongue

The road from Gibraltar to La Línea through the Neutral Ground

Gibraltar from the sea with the Line Wall clearly visible

Gibraltar from the Spanish frontier at La Línea

Similar photograph of Gibraltar from the Spanish frontier at La Línea possibly taken the same day by the same photographer – this one does not belong to the Eastman collection

The town looking north

The Rock from a Spanish beach

The south from the sea

Main Street  (See LINK

Charles Chusseau-Flaviens 

Landport Gate (see LINK) and the Moorish Castle (see LINK)  (1914 )

All told the collection includes nine transparencies which I have posted on a separate site.  (See LINK)  I have never been able to trace any other pictures by this photojournalist anywhere else. 

Francis Frith 
Apart from the three that form part of the Eastman collection, Frith produced a few more on Gibraltar. For more on Frith (See LINK).

Windmill Hill Barracks with the top of the “Sugar Loaf” still sporting the remains of O’Hara’s Folly (See LINK)   (1850s)

The Rock from the Western Beach   (1850s )

The Town looking north – this photo is often attributed to J.P. Napper  (1860s )

C.W. Biggs 

The Rock from the air looking south - the race course (see LINK) and the cemetery are clearly visible    ( Early 20th century )

T. Benzinger

Taken from somewhere near the Queen of Spain’s Chair with the Spanish border town of La Línea clearly visible in front of the Rock ( Possibly Late 19th century )

C Irvine Fisher 

Charcoal trader’s donkey

Unnamed Sources

Europa Road with another view of the “Sugar Loaf” and O’Hara’s Folly – I have not been able to identify the rather fancy looking tower on the cliff   ( Possibly Early 20th century )

Labelled as “Entrance into town” but probably taken just outside South Port Gates (see LINK)  ( Possibly late  19th century )

Also labelled as “Entrance into town” but again probably taken just outside South Port Gates  ( Possibly late  19th century )