The World's Largest Public Domain Source

  • homeHome
  • searchSearch
  • collectionsCollections
  • camera_altMedia
  • infoAbout

  • account_boxLogin

Travel and Transport, By The National Archives UK

This exhibition of photographs from The National Archives was produced in 2000 as part of a larger exhibition put together by partners in the Safeguarding European Photographic Images for Access (SEPIA) project. Institutions from across Europe provided images from their own holdings showing transport of all kinds across the Continent.

The collection shows the technical development; the marvels of design and construction that improvements in transport spawned. Transport has fundamentally altered the world in which we live and these images cover everything from horsepower to airpower.
This train is now ready to depart
48 Media in collectionpage 1 of 1

This train is now ready to depart

Description: "Photograph of railway guard giving the signal to the engine driver." Photograph by RL Sirus...Date: 1884..Our Catalogue Reference: COPY 1/369/256 ( http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/cat... more

R101 and cows

Description: British R101 airship at mooring tower. The vessel was 237 metres long...Date: c.1929..Our Catalogue Reference: AIR 5/919 ( http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycataloguedetails.asp?C... more

Tilbury Steamer

Description: Tilbury Steamer on the River Thames...Date: 1883..Our Catalogue Reference: RAIL 437/37 ( http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycataloguedetails.asp?CATLN=6&CATID=3726944&Searc... more

Crossing Sweeper

Description: "Photograph of a Crossing Sweeping, holding broom in right hand." Photograph by RL Sirus...Sweepers cleared roadways for pedestrians in the hope of tips...Date: 1884..Our Catalogue Refer... more


Description: "Photograph of Fire Engine manned by seven fireman with a pair of horses." Photograph by RL Sirus...Date: 1884..Our Catalogue Reference: COPY 1/369/253 ( http://www.nationalarchives.gov.u... more

Mr. Tilling's Hansom

Description: "Photograph of hansom cab bearing the name 'T. Tilling' and standing outside Greenwich Railway station." Photograph by RL Sirus...Date: 1884..Our Catalogue Reference: COPY 1/369/249 ( htt... more

London Omnibus

Description: "Photograph of omnibus marked C.H. waiting for passengers with conductor on steps." Photograph by RL Sirus...Date: 1884..Our Catalogue Reference: COPY 1/369/232 ( http://www.nationalarchi... more

Met with St. John Ambulance

Description: "Photograph of two policemen standing alonside an ambulance in which a man is lying, strapped down with handkerchief and hood over his head." Photograph by RL Sirus...Date: 1884..Our Cata... more

University Boat Race 1886

Description: ""Photograph of Oxford & Cambridge Boat Race 1886, scene from 'the Doves'." [presumably The Dove, Hammersmith]. Taken by George Herbert Watkins (b.1828)..Cambridge won the race..... more

Tower Bridge (nearly)

Description: "A photograph of unfinished bridge (New Tower Bridge over the Thames)" taken by Sidney Alfred Beer...Date: 1892..Our Catalogue Reference: COPY 1/408/164 ( http://www.nationalarchives.gov.... more

Last train to Penzance

Description: "Photograph of train on Great Western Railway leaving Paddington Station, May 20th 1892 at 10.15 am, being the last Broad Gauge Penzance Train"..Date: May 20th 1892..Our Catalogue Referen... more

"At Humanity's Call"

Description: 'Photograph of the Wreck of the Steam Ship 'Escurial' at Portreath Cornwall. Title given to the picture 'At Humanity's Call'. Photograph taken by John Charles Burrow (1852-1914) of Camborne, Cornwa... more

Lady cyclists riding down hill

Description: "Group, lady cyclists riding down hill (Sittingbourne)" Photograph taken by Frederick Miller Rammell...Date: 1898..Our Catalogue Reference: COPY 1/435/62 ( http://www.nationalarchives.gov... more

A Streetcar Named 13

Description: Electric streetcars move along Moorshead (now 'The Moor'), Sheffield..Date: 1900..Our Catalogue Reference: COPY 1/448 ( http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycataloguedetails.asp?CATL... more

Westward Ho

Description: Photograph of Steamboat 'Westward Ho' bound from Bristol to Ilfracombe by John Rowland King...Date: 1900..Our Catalogue Reference: COPY 1/448 ( http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displayc... more

Underwater Rail

Description: Cullercoats railway station, North Tyneside "flooded after a heavy rain storm". Photograph by Burton Graham...Date: 1900..Our Catalogue Reference: COPY 1/448 ( http://www.nationalarchives... more

The Original Rolls

Description: "Photograph of the Hon. C.S. Rolls' autocar with HRH The Duke of York, Lord Llangattock [Rolls' father], Sir Charles Cust and the Hon. C.S. Rolls as occupants", taken by John Howard Prest... more


Description: Shamrock I sailing off the Scottish coast...Date: 1901..Our Catalogue Reference: COPY 1/452 ( http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycataloguedetails.asp?CATLN=6&CATID=250966&S... more

Rolls in a Basket

Description: "Photograph of the late C.S. Rolls and Hon. Mrs. Assheton Harbord in basket of balloon", by Horace Hall...Charles Stewart Rolls became interested in flying after he had already founded Ro... more

Express Delivery

Description: Early express parcel delivery van..Date: c.1905..Our Catalogue Reference: RAIL 254/32 ( http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycataloguedetails.asp?CATLN=6&CATID=5326641&Search... more

Freight is Great

Description: Heavily loaded Great Western Railway motor wagon..Date: c.1905..Our Catalogue Reference: RAIL 254/32 ( http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycataloguedetails.asp?CATLN=6&CATID=532... more

Paying the last turnpike toll

Description: "W. Ambrose Esq. paying last toll Burwell Nest Toll Bar, Cambs." Photo by Frederick Gillson's "Sunnyside Studios" in Burwell...In decline from the 1870s this photograph purport... more

Leader of the pack?

Description: "Photograph of motor cyclists on Twyn Square, Usk", taken by Henry Dunning...Date: 1910..Our Catalogue Reference: COPY 1/550 ( http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycatalogu... more

Menai Suspension Bridge

Description: "Photograph of Menai Suspension Bridge with SS Snowdon" taken by Arthur Priestley...Date: 1911..Our Catalogue Reference: COPY 1/556/195 ( http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/disp... more

Cross Channel Pioneer

Description: "'Photograph of Mons Pierre Prier in the cross channel Bleriot monoplane" taken by John Edward Fletcher...Prier was the first person to fly non stop from Paris to London, completing the f... more

Charging a drift of snow

Description: "Photograph of effect of three engines & snow plough charging a five feet drift of snow at Altnabreac, Caithness." Photograph by James Johnston...Date: 1895..Our Catalogue Reference: ... more


Description: Open top tourist bus..Date: 1920..Our Catalogue Reference: PRO 30/89/40 ( http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycataloguedetails.asp?CATLN=6&CATID=4604468&SearchInit=4&Sea... more

Airship Infrastructure

Description: Britain's R 101 airship under construction at the Royal Airship Works, Cardington...Date: c.1928..Our Catalogue Reference: AIR 11/233 ( http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycatalogue... more


Description: William Evelyn Wylie [?] (Irish High Court Judge) skating in Switzerland...Date: 1930..Our Catalogue Reference: PRO 30/89/23 ( http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycataloguedetails.a... more

Zeppelin over St. Paul's

Description: German Graf Zeppelin flies over St. Paul's Cathedral while on a press visit to London...Date: 1930..Our Catalogue Reference: AIR 11/237 ( http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycatalog... more

Zeppelin over the Thames

Description: View across Lambeth to the Palace of Westminster with German Graf Zeppelin overhead...Date: 1930..Our Catalogue Reference: AIR 11/237 ( http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycatalogue... more

Building Bridges

Description: Reconstruction of bridge over River Loughor at Pontardulais in Wales...Date: c.1935..Our Catalogue Reference: BT 219/115 ( http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycataloguedetails.asp?C... more

The Future of Travel

Description: Photograph of Frankfurt airport collected by the Joint Intelligence Bureau Library...Date: Before 1937..Our Catalogue Reference: WO 252/257 ( http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycat... more

Thirsty Lady

Description: Pickfords tankers fuelling RMS Queen Mary..Date: c.1940?..Our Catalogue Reference: RAIL 1133/146 ( http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycataloguedetails.asp?CATLN=6&CATID=2422961... more

Sleeping Beauty

Description: Underwater photograph of experimental motor submersible canoe 'Sleeping Beauty'...Date: c.1945..Our Catalogue Reference: DEFE 2/1144A ( http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycatalogue... more

Stolen Volkswagen Beetle

Description: Car stolen by Ludwig Bayer. Photograph used in evidence at his subsequent trial...Date: c.1950..Our Catalogue Reference: FO 1060/1405 ( http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycatalogue... more

To me, to you

Description: Pickfords removers load furniture onto a waiting aeroplane...Date: 1948-50..Our Catalogue Reference: RAIL 1133/146 ( http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycataloguedetails.asp?CATLN=6... more

Sweetie Machine

Description: Station concourse automated dispenser..Date: c.1950..Our Catalogue Reference: AN 15/2 ( http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycataloguedetails.asp?CATLN=6&CATID=460725&SearchI... more

The last grain race

Description: In the early 20th century sailing ships would compete to be the first to bring a grain cargo from Australia to the UK. Built in 1911 S.V. Passat was the winner of the final race in 1949/50, reachin... more

Heathrow Star

Description: Aerial photograph of Heathrow Airport..Date: 1955..Our Catalogue Reference: BT 219/115 ( http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycataloguedetails.asp?CATLN=6&CATID=350820&Search... more

Aerial Photography before Google

Description: Aerial photograph of Aberdeen from the records of Naval Intelligence (UK Beach Intelligence) on a survey of Girdle Ness to Rattray Head...Date: 7th May 1956..Our Catalogue Reference: ADM 326/1279 (... more

Ready to go Multistorey?

Description: Building research photograph from the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research showing a multistorey car parking experiment...Date: c.1958..Our Catalogue Reference: DSIR 4/3533 ( http://www... more

Number 16 Bus

Description: London bus queue. Photograph taken for the Ministry of Housing...Date: c.1963..Our Catalogue Reference: HLG 131/100 ( http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycataloguedetails.asp?CATLN=... more


Description: Experimental Hovercraft SRN-1 during trials by the Royal Navy...Date: c.1963..Our Catalogue Reference: ADM 1/28993 ( http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycataloguedetails.asp?CATLN=6... more

Going Underground

Description: Commuters on the Underground. Photograph taken for the Ministry of Housing...Date: c.1963..Our Catalogue Reference: HLG 131/100 ( http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycataloguedetail... more

To the Rescue

Description: "A Whirlwind Mk10 helicopter of RAF Coastal Command demonstrates the double lift rescue technique". RAF photograph used to illustrate 1964 Defence White Paper...Date: 1963..Our Catalogue ... more


Description: Section of North Sea oil rig being towed to out to sea...Date: 1966..Our Catalogue Reference: POWE 46/4 ( http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/searchresults.asp?fldLettercodeRef=POWE&fl... more

The Milkman

Description: "Photograph of a milk cart with 'Devonshire Dairy' [10 Royal Hill, Greenwich] painted on the side, and man handing can of milk to a boy." Photograph by RL Sirus...Date: 1884..Our Catalogu... more