From Weaver to Web: Online visual archive of Calderdale History
Welcome to the online visual archive of Calderdale history, giving access to over 23,000 images, accompanied by supporting historical information.
The Calderdale area includes the towns of Halifax, Brighouse, Elland, Hebden Bridge, Sowerby Bridge and Todmorden.
From Weaver to Web provides access to a wide range of material which may be particularly useful to local and family historians interested in this area.
You will find photographs and postcards, maps, trade directories and handbills, among many other types of historical sources.
Postcard of a print from 1893 drawn by Joseph Rideal Smith and printed by Stott Brothers, lithographers of Halifax, from Smith's series of a dozen views, "Old Halifax", the set selling for 50 shillings. So commercially successful were Smith's drawings that he became known as 'Old Halifax'.
From the postcard: "(Shewing portions of Silver Street, Copper Street and Swine Market.) This View is by permission respectfully dedicated to His Worship the Mayor (Mr. Alderman James Booth), The Members of the Town Council and Burgesses of the Borough of Halifax, by their humble fellow townsman, J.R. Smith."
Joseph Rideal Smith was born in 1837 at the Waggoner's Inn, which was on the top side of Northgate. He studied as an architect, but due to ill health returned to Halifax in 1870, gaining employment at the Duke of Bedford's estate. After this he worked as the town's first sanitary inspector, he had great influence in building the Halifax goyte* system. He married Miss Empsall of Craven Edge in 1873 and they had one daughter. Smith died in 1915.
After showing one of his sepia drawings based on an old photograph to Alderman Ramsden of the Waggoner's Inn, Ramsden was so impressed that he encouraged Smith's work. Smith went on to produce a set of prints bound into books with the original print on the front cover. Each print was dedicated to local patrons and people of standing.
*goyte - man-made underground passage to channel water.