Family business documented shipwrecks 
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Family business documented shipwrecks 

The National Maritime Museum in London recently acquired a dramatic shipwreck photo collection from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

John Gibson (1827–1920) started a family photography business in the 1860s and took his first photograph of a shipwreck in 1869. He apprenticed his two sons Alexander and Herbert, who created some of the most evocative images of misadventure at sea. The Gibson archive of images was assembled over 125 years (1872 to 1997) by four generations of the family. 

Check out a sample of the collection in our gallery. The images show the enduring power of photography to chronicle history. 

Above: 1874, Minnehaha: St Mary's, Isle of Scilly (Courtesy of Sotheby's/National Maritime Museum)