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Biblioteca nacional do Brasil.

The arrival of the daguerreotype in Rio preceded by six months the formal assumption of power by Pedro, the first native-born ruler of Brazil. Furthermore, it offered the self-styled citizen-emperor a means to exhibit himself to his largely illiterate subjects throughout his vast dominions. With the exception of Queen Victoria, no other monarch explored or exploited the new technology as vigorously as the Brazilian emperor.

As the emperor assumed the role of godfather of Brazilian science, photographers took their place alongside the Imperial Observatory, the State Laboratory and the School of Medicine as objects of his attention. From , photographs featured in exhibitions held at the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts. In , he appointed the Frenchman Abraham-Louis Buvelot as court photographer, two years before Queen Victoria created an equivalent position. Visiting practitioners from Europe and North America were invited to make portraits of the emperor, his beard — as befitted a philosopher-king — ever greyer.

Royal solemnities, galas, and visitations were all carefully recorded and several photographers were admitted to the Order of the Rose. Pedro II donated his collection of over 21, photographs, including records of native plant specimens, to the National Library of Brazil.

By the s, photography had become a mark of status in Brazil. Wealthy citizens flocked to have their portraits taken; with the development of reliable reproduction techniques, they began to use cartes de visite featuring their likenesses too. But a small cohort sought to document the country, with one eye on the tourist market and another on the interest in official circles in the scientific potential of the camera. Alongside panoramas of Rio and other areas, Stahl and Klumb produced pictures of local folk carrying out everyday tasks, dressed in traditional costume — popular souvenirs among foreign visitors.

The most innovative practitioner, however, was Marc Ferrez, a Carioca by birth who lived in France until the early s. He developed new equipment, including a camera capable of capturing panoramas of up to degrees. In he accompanied a mission of the Imperial Geological and Geographical Commission to record the flora, fauna, and topography of Bahia. But after extensive research English tram historian J. Ralph Forty]:. The drawing below, published in a London magazine in , shows two trams on the Tijuca line after it had been acquired in by the U.

The view is authentic and the drawing professional, but the lettering on the trams is amateurish and was no doubt added later. Was the original engraving made in ? Does it show Wright's trams? Note that both have three axles and are running left-handed [D. Anderson, Eco Americano, London; col. Two horse trams on a 7 km route did not provide good service and meager revenues did not keep the line in working order.

These were allegedly the first tramway locomotives in South America [ Grace's Guide ]:. The other three machines were named Ireneo, Evangelista and Ajudante. But all four derailed frequently on the flimsy rails and the line closed on 28 November But the banks were disillusioned by the failure of the Tijuca line and investors scarce.

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How photography came of age in Brazil

The Santa Teresa line ran only in the flat downtown area of the city. The Carioca line built a funicular and a separate, isolated, tram line atop the hill, which evolved into the tramway system that survives today. Most of Rio's early tramway companies purchased vehicles from John Stephenson Co.


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But there were exceptions. But the trams seem to have been built — and may have been the first trams built in South America. The Jornal do Commercio published this announcement that year:. The article describes this 5-bench model [col. It was time to change the horses pulling this tram of the C.

Companhia Vila Isabel. The steeds on the right seemed very aware of the camera. Unlike the animals, the coachman is barefoot [col.

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It is not exactly a tram — but it is not really a train, either. It was the first tourist railway in South America and still runs today [AM]:. EG may also have built trams for Rio de Janeiro, but no photographic or written evidence has been found [col.


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The vehicle above was lengthened and rebuilt as an electric "Luxo Car" in [col. In the Vila Isabel company ordered three open trams like this from J.

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Brill Co. The ironwork made the vehicles more durable, but also heavier and harder for the horses to pull, and Vila Isabel did not order more [col. Most of the trams that the public rode in the late 19th and early 20th centuries were small and made of wood. Avenida Central opened in and was renamed Avenida Rio Branco in , so this postcard was made between and The view is south. The tram is traveling east: Sugar Loaf mountain is visible in the distance [see map ] [col.

This was the commercial center of the city at that time and the terminus of several horse tram lines [col. This postcard shows a special "bagagem" tram, which carried both baggage and passengers [col.