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Outhouse Relics

In the 1970s photographer James Maxwell Davies discovered a collection of photographic images in an old outhouse. Although the discarded glass slides were badly damaged, Davies was able to restore more than 100 images originally captured for posterity by Tom Mathias.

Mathias’ collection depicts rural Cardiganshire life in the late 1800s to the early 1900s. Among the photographs are images of coopers to coppers, hay harvesting to bridge building, servants to gentry, and even a Girl Guide patrol leader. The collection includes a rare photo of coracle, pictures of women in traditional Welsh costume, and portraits of local people and their families. Mathias also took many pictures of buildings, slate quarries, and horse-drawn delivery vehicles.

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