In this arresting image, the supervisor playing dare with the edge of that precipitous drop – bashed out of the limestone years before by an army of navvies – helps convey the incredible scale that Victorian engineers were working at. The picture is from the Crewe Works collection, which has plenty more like it – photos that demonstrate the dizzying contrast between us tiny, vulnerable-looking humans and the enormous and imposing things we’ve built. (Click for a closer look.)
By the way, this is the railway from Liverpool Lime Street to Edge Hill (below), and the photo is taken at one of the points where the line dives into a tunnel – can anyone from the area work out exactly where?
For more photos from our archive, explore the railway photos section of our website. We added 500 new photos last week, so we’re up to over 4000 Creative Commons-licensed images from our collection that you can browse at leisure.