December 14: The Summit and Observatory, Ben Nevis, 1885

Monday 14 December 2020

The Summit and Observatory, Ben Nevis, 1885 (JV-5393). A postcard from the James Valentine Photographic Collection.

Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the British Isles at 1345m (4413 feet). The Ben Nevis Meteorological Observatory was operational from 1883 to 1904. In the mid 1890s the Observatory Hotel was opened. Operational during the summer months, the Hotel provided refreshments for visitors to the summit. 

Valentines of Dundee produced prints and then postcards of topographical views for the emerging tourist market from the 1860s until the 1960s.

Postcards, were produced by a variety of methods from the 1860s, in black and white and colour. They were a cheap and simple method of communicating, their postage was less than a letter and a postcard would be delivered in the local area on the day of posting.  Postcards allowed people to send pictures of where they were to friends and family with a brief note.

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