In Tuesday’s post (I missed yesterday, sorry), we caught a glimpse of late-nineteenth-century Frankfurt, Germany, which sits alongside the Main River.

Today, let’s look at late-nineteenth-century views of two other rivers.

This first photo, of Hamburg, Germany (on the Elbe River), doesn’t have any horse-drawn vehicles in it … but the second photo, of London, has LOTS …

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This photo’s caption in the book reads as follows:

“Hamburg is located on the river Elbe at the mouth of one of the tributaries of that stream — the Alster. Its harbor is a very extensive one, but, as it now [in 1892!] exists, it is a modern creation. At first this city was at some distance from the main branch of the Elbe, and the mouth of the Alster served as its port, but owing to vast engineering enterprises, the principal current was diverted to its present course. The quays of Hamburg now cover a distance of about three miles, and beside some of them are pleasant promenades planted with trees. Vessels drawing fourteen feet of water come up to the city itself, and their cargos are distributed by means of barges to the warehouses, which line the numerous canals which intersect the town, and make more than sixty bridges a necessity. This harbor of Hamburg presents, as the illustration before us makes evident, a very animated scene. The river is always covered with a multitude of ships and steamers, some of them close to the shore. There is said to be room here for 400 ocean vessels, and for twice that number of river craft. We can hardly be surprised, therefore, to learn that Hamburg ranks first of all the seats of commerce on the continent, sending its ships and steamers out to every portion of the world. Hamburg is a very ancient city, having been founded probably by Charlemagne in the year 809. In its vicinity are many pretty villages, beautiful promenades, and charming villas.”

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From Germany, and the Elbe River, we head over to England, and the Thames:

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The book’s caption for this photo reads:

“Of all the bridges which cross the Thames within the city limits none is so famous as this which characteristically bears the name of ‘London.’ It was opened to traffic by King William IV in 1831. It is of granite and its cost was about eight millions of dollars. The lamp-posts on its sides are said to have been cast from cannon captured from the French during the Spanish war. It has the distinction of being the last bridge on the Thames or the one nearest to the sea, which is about sixty miles away. The restless tide of human life ebbing and flowing across this granite thoroughfare is a suggestive sight. Dickens was fond of studying here by day and night those widely differing phases of humanity, which can be seen in this world-metropolis better than anywhere else on earth. This bridge is never deserted, and during twenty-four hours it is estimated that 20,000 vehicles and 120,000 pedestrians cross here from one side of London to the other. The roadways are so arranged that those who desire to drive rapidly follow one course, and those whose wishes or whose horses are more moderate must take the other. Standing on this connecting link between the two great sections of the world’s metropolis, one realized the immensity of London. Nearly five millions of people live within its mighty circuit. Twenty-five hundred are born and about two thousand die here every week. One hundred million gallons of water are used here every day, in spite of the multitude of the ‘great unwashed.’ If the people of London were placed in single file, eighteen inches apart, they would extend 1,200 miles, or further than from Boston to Chicago. There are in London more Roman Catholics than in Rome, more Scots than in Edinburgh, more Irishmen than in Dublin. The poverty and wretchedness in certain quarters of the city are as extreme in one direction as the magnificent display and wealth of the West End are in the other. Yet no great city in the world is better paved or better governed.”