Harwich Pier, c 1900.
© NMeM / Kodak Collection / Science & Society
A snapshot photograph of the pier at Harwich, Essex. In the foreground is an emporium offering 'Ladies' baths' with hot and cold sea water. Tickets for steamers are also on sale. Piers started out as simple platforms allowing people to venture out to sea without having to take a boat. The Old Chain Pier, Brighton was the first, built in 1823. Piers reached the height of their popularity at the end of the nineteenth century. Many offered a variety of entertainments such as theatres, dance-halls, restaurants and slot machines.