Nostalgia: The Blind Musician is what Franklin Dailey titled this charming snapshot from 1907. *Photo by Franklin Dailey, courtesy of Warner Dailey/Bermuda Historical Society
Nostalgia: The Blind Musician is what Franklin Dailey titled this charming snapshot from 1907. *Photo by Franklin Dailey, courtesy of Warner Dailey/Bermuda Historical Society

An old photo album from more than a century ago has provided a unique insight into Bermuda’s past.

The vintage collection of black and white pictures details Franklin and Edith Dailey’s honeymoon trip to the island in 1907.

And the album has been donated to the Bermuda Historical Society by the couple’s grandson, Warner Dailey.

The Daileys travelled to the island from their home in New York on board The Bermudian to celebrate their wedding over 105 years ago.

And Mr Dailey, a keen photographer and collector, documented all the locations and sites the couple visited during their stay.

The album includes rare shots of the Imperial Hotel, the Watford swing-bridge and Hamilton Cathedral at a time when people travelled by horse and cart.

Cedar Avenue is shown lined with perfect rows of cedar trees and the ‘Unfinished Church’ in St George’s is pictured as a much more complete structure than it actually is today. The incredible album features traditional Bermudian traders and characters who Mr Dailey gives titles such as ‘the blind musician’ and ‘the vegetable man’, pictured below.

And it also shows the newly wed couple at the Natural Arches and boarding the Bermudian to head back to the US.

Andy Bermingham, president of the Bermuda Historical Society, described the album as a fantastic glimpse into what Bermuda was like over a century ago.

He added: “We are hugely grateful to Warner Dailey for donating this incredible album to the society. It really is an incredible record of what life was like here all that time ago.

“The quality of the pictures is fantastic and to see places like the Unfinished Church and Hamilton Cathedral is a real treat for anyone with an interest in the island’s history.

“Our secretary John Cox has described it as a ‘treasure’. The album shall now be put into the archives where it can be preserved for future generations.

The Society will now look at the possibility of publishing the historic album as a book. 

Photo album remained largely untouched for half a century

Franklin and Edith Dailey’s honeymoon album from Bermuda in 1907 has never been published before.

The unique collection of photographs has remained largely untouched for the last half century.

It had been stored in the loft of their son, Harry Dailey’s New Jersey home, which he shared with his wife, Dorothy, for most of the 20th century.

The couple’s son, Warner Dailey, travelled to the US in 1994 after his mother died to salvage any family memorabilia and he brought the album back, along with many other items, to his home in London. 

It remained undisturbed in his loft until this year when Mr Dailey visited Bermuda with his wife, Fiona.

Mr Dailey told the Bermuda Sun: “I had such fond memories of visiting Bermuda as a five-year-old in 1950 with my parents that I had always wanted to come back again.

“It just took 63 years for me to get around to doing it. While I was in Bermuda in October I met Andy Bermingham and our meeting pricked my memory about my grandparents’ album.

“I have no heirs and so I thought it was only right that I donate this album of photos to the people of Bermuda.

“I’m just really pleased that there is an interest in the album and I hope that Bermudians can enjoy the photographs.”

Once Mr Dailey returned from his trip to Bermuda he posted the old album to Mr Bermingham.

And it arrived in Bermuda intact earlier this month.