Eruption of Vesuvius, Italy, 4.30 pm, 26 April, 1872.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Photograph showing a masive plume of dust and ash ejected from the cone of Vesuvius on the Bay of Naples, Italy. Vesuvius is best known for its devastating eruption of 79 AD which buried the Roman towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The volcano erupted frequently in the 19th century, much to the fascination of scientists of the day, and remains potentially active today, although it has not erupted since 1944. From a collection of 57 albumen photographs of rock and glacial formations in the United Kingdom, Europe, North America and Asia.