Mining Photography: The Oficina Alianza and Port of Iquique 1889

Louise Purbrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In 1899, Mr Smail, the representative in Chile of the British merchant Company Antony Gibbs and Sons sent an album of photographs titled Oficina Alianza and Port of Iquique 1899 to the head of the firm, Henry Hucks Gibbs. This article offers an analysis of the photographic imagery of the album, in particular the use of conventions of industrial topography to represent Chilean nitrate mining and the depiction of the laboring bodies of nitrate miners. It also considers the function of the photographic album within the nitrate trade, its place in the circulation of the nitrate traffic between Britain and Chile.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-274
Number of pages28
JournalAnales del Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2017


  • Chile
  • mining
  • nitrate
  • Industrial photography


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