Party of spectators preparing for the solar eclipse at Jeur, India, 1898.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Photographic plate by Stewart taken from the 'Illustrated London News'. Solar eclipses have always inspired fascination, awe, and indeed terror in ancient times. In the 19th century, expeditions were dispatched around the world to make scientific observations of eclipses, and today a dedicated band of 'eclipse tourists' is prepared to travel to almost any location where the phenomena can be experienced. This picture shows mainly British observers sitting in the shade, or under parasols, in a railway siding at Jeur in the Maharashtra region of India, awaiting the total eclipse of January 22nd 1898.