'Lowestoft-Low Lighthouse', c 1855.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A photograph of the lower lighthouse on the sands at Lowestoft, by Samuel Smith. The low lighthouse worked in tandem with the high lighthouse situated futher inshore. Sailors had to line up the lightsfrom both to navigate a safe passage. Samuel Smith was a successful timber merchant who moved to Wisbech in Cambridgeshire in the late 1840s when he retired from business. He took up photography in the early 1850s and used his camera and the paper negative process to systematically record Wisbech during a period of dramatic growth and change. 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.