Paul Frecker
Fine Photographs


Building the railway in Mozambique

Two albumen prints showing a large group of workers building the railway in Mozambique, which when these photographs were taken in the 1870s or 1880s was a Portuguese colony, though areas were contested by the British. In 1889, another dispute arose between Portugal and the United Kingdom over the Portuguese seizure of the railway running from the bay to the Transvaal. This dispute was also referred to arbitration and in 1900 Portugal was found liable and ordered to pay nearly £1,000,000 in compensation to the railway company's shareholders

A pencilled inscription in one margin reads ‘Delagoa Bay.’ A pencilled inscription in the other margin reads ‘Delagoa Bay, Railway Workers.’ Now called Maputo Bay, the inlet is the location of the island’s capital, Maputo.

Dimensions: the print showing the group of workers measures 5.4” by 7.9” (13.7 cm by 20.1 cm); the print showing the railway line (scan on request) measures 5.3” by 8.1” (13.4 cm by 20.6 cm). The page measures 7.3” by 9” (18.7 cm by 23 cm).

Condition: one print presents a loss of tone along its lower edge; the other print presents some dark, underdeveloped areas at its left and right edges. The two prints are mounted recto and verso on the same album page. The page is slightly warped and presents some pale foxing in its margins. 

price:  £120
code: cat010
black history, black history month, Mozambique, Delagoa Bay, Delagoa, Maputo, Maputo Bay, railway, railways