'The Ways After The Launch of HMS Cornwallis At Blackwall', London, 1901.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
The slipway used to launch 'HMS Cornwallis' into the River Thames at Blackwall, taken by Edgar Tarry Adams (1852-1926), on 17 July, 1901. In January 1915 the Cornwallis was sent to the Dardanelles where she became the first British warship to open fire. After being hit with three torpedoes from a German U-boat, she sank off the coast of Malta in 1917. Adams, a wealthy and dedicated amateur photographer first took up photography in the 1880s. His father had encouraged his interest in boats from childhood, and Adams regularly documented the construction and launching of ships. He carried on taking photographs until after World War One, creating a fascinating social record of his family, friends and interests.