The first submarine photographs in history were taken at the Vigo estuary in 1870 and has found them in France the historian and journalist turbine Eduardo Rolland, who will show them soon to the public at a large format exhibition that is preparing with the City Council of the Galician city.
It is a collection of photographs that suppose the oldest portraits of the Ría de Vigo, the first images of underwater archeology in history around the world and the portrait of the Hippolyte Magen campaign to rescue the galleons of RANE, the same That inspired Julio Verne the publication of the novel '20 .000 Submarine Travel Leguas', where he dedicates a chapter to 'The Bay of Vigo'.
"We are facing photos that are a treasure at all levels," Rolland said after making his happy discovery public, which took place last summer while diving in Gallica, French digital library and one of the most important in the world, in Search for information for your investigations on Julio Verne.
Actually, the photographs appeared "by chance" by 2020, when a French attic in a noble family was emptied and everything there was auctioned in batches there.
In one of those lots, without major identifications, there were these photographs, which were acquired by the French municipality of Angers, in the department of the Loire, where it was Natural Ernest Bazin, an inventor engineer of an underwater bell, but who were not able to Analyze in all its context to have been taken in Vigo.
"There is so much context in this photo, the Rouquayrol respirator who carry the divers is the first time it is photographing, a photo taken three years before it had been presented at the Paris Expo," explains Roland.
The author of the photographs was the painter and pioneer of Photography Henri Durand-Brager, who was hired for the rescue expedition of the 1870 galleons.
In them you can see the divers in action, images of the pecios of the galleons of RANDE, to the protagonists of the campaign or the ship 'Le Vigo' who took care of the surveys.
The true meaning of this photographic treasure is obtained by comparing these photos with the memories of Hippolyte Magen's expedition, which prevailing technical advances such as underwater lighting electric lamps, or the aforementioned new Rouquayrol respirators for diving, In addition to the revolutionary underwater bell, within which several of the portraits were taken.
Until now, only recorded in French magazines about this expedition, and this is the first time it can be seen in photo to protagonists of that mythical campaign, as is the case of Engineer Ernest Bazin.
Rolland, after discovering these images, has cataloged them and described in detail by diving in the existing documentation, all which has gathered in a publication that also includes the reproduction of the photographs and that could serve to initiate new historical investigations.Updated Date: 08 November 2021, 15:35