About Francis Frith and our Company


If you are reading this it is likely you will already have viewed part of the vast archive of images that comprise The Francis Frith Collection by browsing this website and searching for photographs of places of interest to you.

As well as reminding you of the places that have been important in your life, you will have been drawn into the detail of the images, the buildings, the mode of transport of the era and the fashions worn by the countless people captured forever in a photograph as they went about their daily business – perhaps at a more leisurely pace than we experience today! You may have found images of buildings now demolished – or been surprised by how a scene has changed very little, except perhaps for the cars.

But did you know that the excitement you feel as you enter this world and marvel at the number of photographs and the social history they contain is matched in the story of the Collection itself? It is a story of a man who was a successful entrepreneur, an adventurer, a man who took a camera to parts of the world that had not been photographed before and then had the vision to create a record of Britain - through a period of enormous change.

This is also the story of how these images were almost lost to the world – but saved within a week of the bulldozers moving in and destroying them forever...!

John Buck
Managing Director of The Francis Frith Collection.

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