'Looking Upstream: Part Of The River At Low Water...', c 1861.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A photograph of sailing ships moored on the River Nene, in Wisbech, by Samuel Smith in about September 1861. Smith probably took this photograph as part of a series used to illustrate engineer Thomas Page's report on the development of the Nene Valley. The full title reads 'Looking Upstream: Part of The River At Low Water Which Will Form Portion Of Proposed Dock'. Smith was a successful timber merchant who moved to Wisbech in Cambridgeshire in the late 1840s when he retired from business. Although his photography was confined to barely more than a decade of his long life he is regarded as one of the pioneers of documentary photography.