'Slate Pier, Trefriw', c 1857.
© NMeM / Royal Photographic Society / Science & Society Picture Library
Photograph by Roger Fenton (1819-1869) of the pier at Trefriw in North Wales, showing stacks of slate from the nearby quarries, waiting to be loaded onto a waiting cargo boat. The slate industry was very important to North Wales. Ports like Porthmadog and purpose-built harbours of Port Dinorwig and Port Penrtyn shipped Welsh slate around the world. Roger Fenton was a founding member of the Royal Photographic Society and one of the most influential photographers of the 1850s. He is best known as one of the first war photographers, from his work in the Crimea in 1855. However, he also took many highly-regarded photographs of the Royal Family and the collections of the British Museum as well as many superb landscapes, architectural studies and still lifes.