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Royal Commonwealth Society : Early views of the Gold Coast

Royal Commonwealth Society

<p style='text-align: justify;'>Little is known of the provenance of this album of photographs, but an inscription on the inside of the front cover, 'W. H. Himbury, Grosvenor Club, Piccadilly', suggests that its owner was Sir William Himbury (1871-1955). Himbury had a very successful career in the cotton industry and served as Chairman of the Council of the British Cotton Growing Association. In 1918, he was appointed to the Empire Cotton Growing Committee, and did much to promote cotton cultivation within the Empire and Commonwealth, travelling widely in Europe, America, Canada, India, and East and West Africa. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'> Some of the photographs are captioned, including images from the 1900 Asante Expedition (Y30448U/9, 16, 22, 30), which provides an approximate date for the album's creation. A number of photographs portray trading factories and the transportation of cotton bales (Y30448U/31-32, 40-41), suggesting that Himbury acquired the album through his work encouraging the African cotton industry. The signatures of commercial photographers stamped upon the reverse of some of the photographs are partially visible.</p>

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