What Did Jamaica Look Like in 1891?

By Dana Niland
CJ Contributor

MIAMI — HistoryMiami will soon be opening a new exhibition in Miami called “Awakening Jamaica,” which will feature photographs of the island from 1981 that sought to promote commercial enterprise and tourism to the island.

The images, like the one of Port Royal, above, were taken by the world-famous photography studio Valentine & Sons of Scotland, displayed at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago, and are now part of the private collection of photo archivist Patrick Montgomery, who began tracking down the prints ten years ago.

“This was an ambitious project for the time and, while it unfortunately did not directly lead to the economic development for which it was intended, this project is historically relevant as an invaluable documentary record of Jamaica at the end of the 19th century,” said President and CEO of HistoryMiami, Stuart Chase.


Curiosity about the project began in 2013, after Montgomery donated a portfolio of eight prints, a historical map of Jamaica, and a facsimile copy of the 1893 book, World’s Fair, Jamaica at Chicago.

Visitors will have the opportunity to view over 50 original prints and additional items from Montgomery’s collection, as well as items related to the Valentine & Sons studio and the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.

The exhibition includes 50 prints from the original 116 that were produced.

— CJ


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