Town & Country
An Edwardian Tour with A.E. and J. Shaw
They could never have imagined it, never have believed such a thing could be possible. One hundred years ago when John William Shaw and son Alfred were setting up their cumbersome cameras and composing their pictures, they could never have conceived that one day the results of their efforts could be viewed by anyone anywhere in the world at any time, day or night.
When Alfred died the glass negatives, their lifetimes' work as professional photographers, were deposited in the library. For fifty years they lay in the strong room, almost forgotten about. Then the redoubtable Jim Halsall got on the case and as he catalogued the collection, it became clear what a treasure it was.
A major exhibition of their work was held at the Museum a few years ago and was launched simultaneously on the Internet. This was a unique event, reality and virtual reality side by side. It was all made possible by Cotton Town manager Andy Kirman, who was fired by Jim Halsall's enthusiasm and became determined that these images would be scanned and made available on the Cotton Town website, both to preserve them and promote them.