The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

The Cary Arms at Torquay

The Cary Arms at Torquay

A topographical carte-de-visite showing a view of the Cary Arms, an inn on the Devon coast at Torquay. Located at Babbacombe Beach, the hotel is still there today, though in much altered premises.

Photographed by Ward and Co, 'Pistolgraphists' of Torquay.

First introduced in 1856, and subsequently improved, by Thomas Skaife of Greenwich, the pistolgraph was an instantaneous camera which used a system of rubber bands to trigger the camera's spring shutter. The camera slightly resembled a pistol, hence its name; Skaife himself was nearly arrested when he attempted to photograph Queen Victoria with his invention.

Code: 126539
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