Travel Marketing and Popular Photography in Britain, 1888–1939: Reading the Travel Image (Hardback) book cover

Travel Marketing and Popular Photography in Britain, 1888–1939

Reading the Travel Image

By Sara Dominici

© 2018 – Routledge

222 pages | 31 Color Illus. | 60 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138503113
pub: 2017-10-06
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315146881
pub: 2017-10-05
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This book explores how popular photography influenced the development of British travel marketing in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Taking as its touchstone the image archive of the Polytechnic Touring Association, a London-based, originally philanthropic, travel firm, the book reveals the role that people’s increasing familiarity with the camera played in the travel industry’s shift from using lens-based images to mixed media.

This investigation uncovers the photographic desires of a new group of camera users – the tourist photographers: what photographs they took and why, and how this shaped how they experienced an increasing production of travel images. Through an exploration of lantern shows; the photography, travel and advertising press of the day; the work of official tour photographers; tourists’ personal photographs; and commercial photographic competitions, the book charts how the educational concerns and commercial imperatives, which successively defined the expected function of travel images, responded to these desires. As the book reveals, the relationship between popular photography and travel marketing was shaped by the different desires and expectations that consumers and institutions projected onto photography, in what became, effectively, a struggle over the interpretation of the travel image itself.

Table of Contents


List of illustrations



1. Introduction: Reading Travel Images

2. Travelling and Photographing: Social Norms and Personal Motivations

3. The Education of Tourist Photographers

4. The Interwar Years: Tourists’ Desires and Photographic Competitions

5. Photography, Commercial Art and Branding

6. Conclusion: Towards New Photographic Histories


About the Author

Sara Dominici is a Lecturer in Cultural Studies and Course Leader for the MA in Art and Visual Culture at the University of Westminster, London. Her writing focuses on the history and culture of photography, the relationship between photography and the archive, and cultural studies.

About the Series

Routledge History of Photography

This new series will publish research monographs and edited collections focusing on the history and theory of photography. These original, scholarly books may take an art historical, visual studies, or material studies approach. Interdisciplinary books are encouraged.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ART / European
ART / History / Modern (late 19th Century to 1945)
ART / Popular Culture
HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain
HISTORY / Modern / 19th Century
HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century
PHOTOGRAPHY / Subjects & Themes / Regional (see also TRAVEL / Pictorials)
PHOTOGRAPHY / Commercial
TRAVEL / Pictorials (see also PHOTOGRAPHY / Subjects & Themes / Regional)