Evelyn George Carey

The Forth Bridge. Inchgarvie South Cantilver (September 21st 1889 (print by Michael and Barbara Gray 2007))

About this artwork

The building of the Forth Bridge was celebrated in its day as “a triumph of engineering skill to eclipse the Ship Canal which has turned Africa into an island and a work which will reduce the pyramids to mere child’s play”. Following the disastrous collapse of the Tay Bridge in 1879, the engineers, John Fowler and Benjamin Baker, proposed a revolutionary design. The project was observed and controlled through photography. The official photographer was Evelyn George Carey, who was the assistant engineer from 1883-90. His pictures express the labour, tensions and hazards of the project. Together, his photographs create a sequence, following and examining the course of the construction with a critical eye, and offer an understanding of the later, Modernist fascination with such structures.

  • title: The Forth Bridge. Inchgarvie South Cantilver
  • accession number: PGP 383.22
  • artist: Evelyn George CareyScottish (1858 - 1932)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • subject: Engineering and construction Bridges
  • materials: Digital inkjet print from negative
  • date created: September 21st 1889 (print by Michael and Barbara Gray 2007)
  • measurements: 46.40 x 58.00 cm (framed: 94.50 x 74.30 x 2.80 cm)
  • credit line: Commissioned 2007
  • copyright: © National Records of Scotland

Evelyn George Carey

Evelyn George Carey

Although Evelyn George Carey trained as an engineer, it is for his photographs of the construction of the Forth Rail Bridge that he is perhaps best known. Carey was first employed by engineering firm Messrs, Hathorn, Davey & Co. of Leeds from 1879 for two and a half years. He was then engaged by consulting engineers John Fowler and Benjamin Baker, as an engineer with the special responsibility of compiling a comprehensive photographic documentation of the construction of the Forth Rail Bridge from 1882-90. The result of this appointment is an incredible record of the erection of this dominating structure. From 1888-1922, Carey worked for Sir William Arrol & Co. at the Dalmarnock Iron Works in Glasgow. He then briefly operated as a consultant engineer before retiring.