Earthquake at Biwajima, Japan, 1891.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
The destruction in a suburb of Nagoya, from 'The great earthquake in Japan, 1891' by John Milne, (Yokohama, 1892?). Milne (1850-1913), a professor at the Imperial College of Engineering in Tokyo, described the scene: 'It is no exaggeration to say that the destruction was complete. The houses some tiled and some with thatch had for the most fallen across the street, the road was impassable. On all sides the rubbish lay in acres, and often the wreck of the most poorly built houses was so complete, that it was difficult to conceive how the heaps of rubbish that remained could possibly have represented a dwelling'. The earthquake was studied using modern seismological techniques developed by Milne, W K Burton, and their colleagues. Milne and Burton also took the photographs for the book.