26/01/2018 16:06 SAST | Updated 27/01/2018 10:24 SAST

IN PICTURES: Johannesburg 100 Years Ago

A historic photo album on auction this month gives a sense of Johannesburg in the late-Victorian / early-Edwardian eras.

Kathy Munro

A rare collection of photographs dating from 1890 to 1910 goes under the hammer next week and reveals a history of the city rarely seen in visuals.

The album, titled "Souvenir Of Johannesburg", contains 16 hand-coloured images that historians suspect may be postcards from Victorian Johannesburg, which locals used to advertise that Johannesburg was safe and good-looking to prospectors interested in moving to town.

"The circulation of this type of souvenir album highlighted the accessibility of the town, the bustle on its streets, the functioning of public transport and the normal look of peaceful suburban houses with laid-out streets, trees and neatly fenced yards," says architectural historian Kathy Munro, who is an honorary associate professor in the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of the Witwatersrand.

"Substantial business premises with decorative touches as well as turrets and clock towers revealed Johannesburg as a place of promise," Munro adds.

Modern photographs show the monumental change in Johannesburg today, like the famous Rissik Street Post Office, which is currently vacant.

Jellyfish Tree

Heritage Portal


Doornfontein has seen significant growth in the past 100 years.

Kathy Munro

Gauging Tourism Authority

Check out some of the other photos from the fascinating album, like Commissioner Street, below -- now one of Johannesburg's most high-density thoroughfares.

Kathy Munro

And this image of Main Reef Road.

Kathy Munro

The auction takes place at the end of January. See all the lots here.