Penny farthings, a drunken rabble and vintage beachwear – Edinburgh in pictures

Our ever-expanding online image library, Capital Collections, has had a bit of a makeover recently. As well as a timeline and map there’s a zoom feature which is great for viewing pictures in detail. Click on the images below to get the full benefit of a close-up view.

First, a crowded Portobello beach in 1900, and not a bathing costume in sight. In fact the number of jackets and heavy coats on show suggest it might not have been the warmest of days.

porty beachThis lot are probably in even greater discomfort, riding their penny-farthings in formation down a cobbled George Street back in 1884. It’s a remarkable scene, and one that seems to have drawn a fair crowd of curious onlookers.

cyclistsThere’s a great deal of action in William Reed’s wonderfully detailed painting of an extremely boozy Leith Races. This is in fact the only recorded painting by the artist, although his obvious skill suggests he must have produced more.

Leith RacesOur next selection is of a group of photographers at Blackford Hill in 1890. Maybe I’ve watched too many westerns, but these guys look like they could be planning a bank robbery.

blackford hillOur final image is of the Freedom Bus. Use the zoom feature to see the cheeky wee face on the upper deck.

Freedom busWe’ll be showcasing more images from Capital Collections here soon but in the meantime why not take a look round the site and see what you can find?

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