Photographing the New

Photographing the New

Lots Road Power Station

Lots Road Power Station, London, 1905
© English Heritage: BL18939

By the 1890s the firm was photographing far more new architecture than old. While other photographers continued to favour the antique or picturesque, Bedford Lemere & Co. now specialised in recording the vast range of contemporary buildings springing up around them.

It was a time of extraordinary change. The years between 1890 and 1930 saw the introduction of the motor car, the telephone, electric light, wireless, motion pictures – and all the buildings involved in their manufacture and distribution. Architecture was revolutionised by the introduction of steel frames and reinforced concrete. These developments, and increasing national prosperity, gave rise to a wave of new building, much of which was photographed by the firm.

By exploiting the market for pictures of contemporary architecture, Bedford Lemere & Co. had developed a new photographic genre.

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