Christopher Pratt

Christopher Pratt

Taken during the early part of the twentieth century by eminent Bradford industrialist Christopher Pratt, these images give a unique view of the city's society and industry just prior to the First World War.

Christopher Pratt, like his father and grandfather before him, was a strong Methodist. Many of the photographs he took were to illustrate the work of the Methodist Church; a popular alternative to the Church of England in the Bradford area.

The name of Pratt is synonymous with Bradford. Christopher Pratt and Sons was established as a company of cabinet makers in 1880, and remained in Bradford until the move to Leeds in 2003.

During Queen Victoria's long reign, the changes forced on Bradford by the Industrial Revolution were enormous as it grew from country town to industrial giant. The wealth generated by textiles enabled the creation of an extraordinary city, with its grand industrial, civic and religious buildings. However, dire environmental and sanitary conditions were endured by a majority of the population. By the beginning of the 1900s much had been done to improve Bradford's environment but it continued to be a city of contrasting fortunes. Pratt's photographic work is unique in that it illustrates both of these aspects of life in Bradford.

During the First World War, in partnership with Phoenix Dynamo Manufacturing of Bradford, the company's woodworking skills were put to use in the construction of aeroplanes.

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