Joseph Tangye (1826-1902) on a velocipede, probably Wolverhampton, West Midlands. Around 1870
The velocipede in the photograph is very similar to the one in the collection of the Royal Cornwall Museum (TRURI : 1937.34). Tangye's Cornwall Works in Birmingham built large numbers of velocipedes, paying a royalty to the French Velocipede Company in order to make the bicycles. The five sons of Joseph Tangye senior, an Illogan miner, commenced their engineering and manufacturing business together in Birmingham in 1856. James (1825-1912), the eldest, was very skilled with the lathe; Joseph (1826-1902) was the creative engineer; Richard (1833-1906) dealt with public relations and sales; George (1835-1920) was the businessman; while Edward (1832-1909), a Quaker, soon left to found his own business. Velocipedes, also known as ‘Boneshakers', due to their iron ‘tyres', were one of the many things that were manufactured at the Cornwall Works. The business also provided the hydraulic rams required to launch the Great Eastern, Brunel's ill-fated steel ship in 1857-1858, and to raise Cleopatra's Needle to its present position on the London Embankment in 1878. The first direct-acting steam pumps in Europe were made at the Cornwall Works in 1867 and the firm produced James Tangye's horizontal steam engines from 1869. By 1876 the firm employed 1300 workers. The Tangyes were also philanthropists and from 1880 were founders and major benefactors of the Birmingham Art Gallery and Museum and the Birmingham School of Art. Photographer: Edward Hill, 39, Darlington Street, Wolverhampton.
© From the collection of the RIC
Mr A.W. Gill's motor vehicle on a cart after being destroyed by fire. Liskey Hill, Perranporth, Cornwall. June 1906
On Sunday returning from Perranporth just as the car was negotiating Liskey Hill, there was a sudden jerk and then a continuance of motion as if everything was right. But almost immediately Mrs Gill saw flames coming through from the lower part of the car at the bottom of the steering gears. Mr and Mrs Gill and a man who accompanied them were out of the car in time to see the vehicle burst into flames. It was a complete wreck. The fire was apparently caused by a breakage of the supply pipe which caused the petroleum to leak onto the hot exhaust. The car is not covered by insurance. Referenced from the Royal Cornwall Gazette, 28th June 1906, page 8, column 2. Photographer: Arthur Philp.
© From the collection of the RIC
19th Century Barge, Lostwithiel, Cornwall. September 1992
River widening work on the River Fowey, just below Coulson Park at Lostwithiel, unearthed a 19th century barge buried in the river bank. Cornwall Council archaeologists, with Charlestown Heritage Shipwreck Society, brought diggers, note takers, measurers and photographers to the site. The barge was once used on the busy river to carry limestone for the kilns on Lostwithiel Quay, along with sand, seaweed and other cargoes. It was one of a fleet of four owned by the Liddicoat family. The barge was measured at 12 metres by 4 metres and was made of timber. Archaeologists worked on the boat for around a week before it was buried again to allow the contractors to finish the work on the river bank. Photographer: Jonathan Barker .
© RIC, photographer Jonathan Barker