'Busy scenes on the Wharf, Cape Town, South Africa', 1900.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
One of a boxed set of stereoscope photographs which was produced for sale to the general public by a profesional firm of photographers, Underwood and Underwood. The Second Boer War (1899-1902) was the first war to be covered comprehensively by both film and still photography. This was the result of improved technology in both photographic equipment and printing techniques; cameras were more portable and magazines started to reproduce half-tone photographs. The Cape Colony was in British hands at the outset of the war, fought against the Boer republics of Transvaal and the Orange Free State. The port of Cape Town was vital as an entry point for supplies and reinforcements for the British forces.