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Jul21TueThe Salvation Army has been making headlines for a century and a half, as these rarely seen photos and illustrations demonstrate. July 21, 2015 by Ken Ramstead
"In the late 19th century, and well into the 20th, William Booth was one of the most instantly recognized names in the British Empire,” writes acclaimed Salvation Army historian R.G. Moyles. “As founder and first General of The Salvation Army—the man whose genius had created the organization and through which he had launched one of Britain's most ambitious social-reclamation schemes—his name consistently claimed headlines in almost every newspaper in the English-speaking world. And the likeness of this tall, gaunt man with the large nose, silvered hair and long grey beard could be seen in any number of pictorials and print shops.”
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Almost from the moment of its founding 150 years ago, The Salvation Army had a knack for making news and staying in the news. The British public, at first skeptical of its goings on, eventually warmed to the organization that did so much good for so many. And as the Army spread around the globe, from the Australian outback to the Canadian prairie, the slums of the Indian subcontinent and points in-between, their exploits were reported to a vast and receptive readership.
Salvationist was recently contacted by Royce Tennant of Nanaimo, B.C., a rare-book collector who had unearthed a treasure trove of newspapers relating to The Salvation Army. These have been passed on to the Territorial Archives for safekeeping.
Here in these rarely seen illustrations, we see the Army as it was seen then, more than a century ago.
CLICK PHOTOS TO ENLARGE (OPENS IN A NEW TAB)
The high emotion of a 1906 congress is captured in this illustration of General Booth leading a hymn sing in front of Salvationists from around the world
This remarkable photo from 1906 captures General William Booth at work with his personal secretary
This series of pen-and-ink portraits vividly illustrates an evening Army service
The fervour and faith of early Salvationists is evocatively captured in this moving illustration
A portrait of William Booth from 1906
The death of the Army's founder in 1912 elicited a global outpouring of grief
Scenes from the early days of The Salvation Army's Hadleigh Farm in Essex
The wedding of Commissioner George Scott Railton