Amazing images of Johannesburg from late 19th century and early 20th century (1880s – 1900s) have surfaced online – this is how the city looked in its early life.
The images were collected and compiled by former SABC TV news anchor, Friedel Hansen, and posted to an album on Facebook.
While Hansen doesn’t explicitly state the sources of the images (“Literally all over,” he said), many can be found in the digital archive of The European Library,and the National Library of the Netherlands.
The photos show that South Africa’s biggest city had humble beginnings, but even 120 years ago was showing its growth potential.
The greater Johannesburg area, including Pretoria, is one of the largest metropolitan areas in Africa, behind Cairo (Egypt) and Lagos (Nigeria).
Johannesburg was formally established by the Boer government in 1886, after gold was discovered along the Witwatersrand reef.
By the time the Anglo-Boer war kicked off, the city had already grown significantly, with a working railway system, horse-drawn trams and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in full operation.
In 1900 – around the time shown in the images – the city was captured by British troops, and remained under their control until the end of the war in 1902.
Wanderers Cricket grounds
The Rand Club
Joburg Market Square