The Victualling Office, Plymouth, Devon, from Mount Edgcumbe, Maker, Cornwall. 23rd September 1845
Fox Talbot 'sun picture' or Talbotype view from Mount Edgcumbe looking over to the Royal William Yard, Plymouth, Devon. The image shows a gentleman looking through a telescope and three ladies standing beside some cannon. The gentleman in the picture is possible Captain Corry and members of the Edgcumbe family. William Henry Fox Talbot's sister, Lady Caroline Augusta was married to the Earl of Mount Edgcumbe and he was staying there when the photograph was taken on 23rd September 1845. This is one of the earliest photographs taken in Cornwall and is the first photograph to be used as an illustration in a periodical. It is contained in 'The Art Journal,' Volume 8, 1846, to illustrate a description of Fox Talbot's process of using sunlight on sensitised paper to create multiple copies of an image and it was a start of photo-journalism. Photographer: William Henry Fox Talbot.
© From the collection of the RIC
Limekiln, Quay Street, Lostwithiel, Cornwall. 1980
A general view of the limekiln. The Grade II listed limekiln is thought to date from the early-mid 19th century. Building work is underway and the store and office to the left are being converted into a house. The kiln in the photograph is termed a draw kiln, usually of stone structure. The chalk or limestone was layered with wood, coal or coke and lit. As it burned through, lime was extracted from the bottom of the kiln, through the draw hole. These are the three arches to the right of the houses being converted. The kilns were loaded at the top and access to load was usually by a ramped track or, as in this case, probably just a track as the kilns are built into the side of rising ground at the rear. Early on, the coal and lime stone would be delivered to the harbour by ship, but as the industrial revolution and and railways spread it is likely that coal and lime stone arrived by rail. Kilns made 25-30 tonnes of lime in a batch. Typically the kiln took a day to load, three days to fire, two days to cool and a day to unload, so a one-week turnaround was normal. Because it is so readily made by heating limestone, lime must have been known from the earliest times and all early civilisations used it in building mortars and as a stabiliser in mud renders and floors. Knowledge of its value in agriculture is also ancient, but agricultural use only became widely possible when the use of coal lowered the cost. Photographer: Charles Woolf.
© RIC, photographer Charles Woolf