Messene: The Laconian Gate
|Collection||BSA SPHS Image Collection|
|Reference No.||BSA SPHS 01/0262.1487|
|Description||Film negative, smaller than half plate size, an original negative.|
|Dimensions||12 x 10 cm|
Caton, Dr Richard C.
|Scope and Content||Part of a group of images donated by the Argonaut Camera Club, taken on excursions and cruises in Greece and Asia Minor. The original description in the SPHS negative register reads: "Messene: Lakonian gate".|
|Notes||The image may come from an Easter cruise of the Hellenic Travellers Club on the S.Y. Argonaut ca. 1903-1904. According to the Times account of the first "Argonaut" schoolmaster cruise in 1901 (April 26, 1901, p. 11), Messene was not on the itinerary. Therefore, dates must be either 1903 or 1904 as there were no schoolmaster cruises in 1902.|
|Further information||Hellenic Travellers Club
The Hellenic Travellers Club consisted of school teachers and others interested in educational cruises to the Eastern Mediterranean. Initiated by Henry Lunn, the club was formalised in 1905, but grew out of experimental cruises called Argonaut Cruises (after the steam yacht) - first in 1901 and then in 1903 and 1904. Annual spring cruises began in 1905, continued until the First World War and resumed in 1924 before finally halting with advent of the Second World War
Many of the passengers from 1901 onward were keen photographers - initially referred to as the Argonaut Camera Club - and a number of their images were donated to the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies or made their way into private collections. The Hellenic Travellers Club produced annual proceedings which published many of the lectures given on board, illustrated with photographs from the tours. See: Harlan, D. 2018. "More than Armchair Travellers" ARGO 8: 19-21.