A Victorian traveller's previously unseen photo album that features remarkable images of a frozen Niagara Falls has come to light. Briton Russell Colman captured scenes including one of well-dressed revellers playing in the snow below the giant Canadian waterfalls - which lie near the border between Canada and the US - during the winter months of 1885
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A Victorian traveller’s previously unseen photo album that features remarkable images of a frozen Niagara Falls has come to light.

Briton Russell Colman captured scenes including one of well-dressed revellers playing in the snow below the giant waterfalls – which lie near the border between Canada and the US – during the winter months of 1885.

Looming above them, the torrents of water that would splash down on to them at any other time of year have been turned to ice in the freezing conditions. 

Due to the velocity of the water, Niagara Falls has only ever completely frozen once on record, in 1848.

Even partial freezing, as has occurred in these black and white photos, is an extremely rare occurrence.

The photos were taken by Mr Colman, of the famous Colman’s Mustard family, during a tour of Canada, the US and Hawaii in 1885.

A Victorian traveller's previously unseen photo album that features remarkable images of a frozen Niagara Falls has come to light. Briton Russell Colman captured scenes including one of well-dressed revellers playing in the snow below the giant Canadian waterfalls - which lie near the border between Canada and the US - during the winter months of 1885

A Victorian traveller’s previously unseen photo album that features remarkable images of a frozen Niagara Falls has come to light. Briton Russell Colman captured scenes including one of well-dressed revellers playing in the snow below the giant Canadian waterfalls – which lie near the border between Canada and the US – during the winter months of 1885

A man is seen walking beneath the partially frozen waterfall. Due to the velocity of the water, Niagara Falls has only ever completely frozen once on record, in 1848

A man is seen walking beneath the partially frozen waterfall. Due to the velocity of the water, Niagara Falls has only ever completely frozen once on record, in 1848

Even partial freezing of Niagara Falls, as has occurred in these black and white photos, is an extremely rare occurrence. Above: A shot from Mr Colman's collection that shows water still flowing at another part of the falls

Even partial freezing of Niagara Falls, as has occurred in these black and white photos, is an extremely rare occurrence. Above: A shot from Mr Colman’s collection that shows water still flowing at another part of the falls

The album, containing 60 images, features other scenic snapshots of the varied locations he visited.

There are views of a wintry Montreal, with an ice flow almost reaching City Hall, people on horseback in Colorado and a gathering outside the Iolani Palace in Honolulu, Hawaii. 

Also seen is Minerva Terrace at Yellowstone National Park 

The album has emerged from the estate of the later Sir Timothy Colman, who was married to the Queen Mother’s niece Lady Mary Colman. 

Sir Timothy was the grandson of Russell. He passed away in September 2021, eight months after his wife. 

It is going under the hammer with London-based Forum Auctions and is tipped to fetch £2,000.

Niagara Falls, which is a group of three waterfalls, is seen from a higher vantage point. The falls span the border between Ontario in Canada and the state of New York in the United States

Niagara Falls, which is a group of three waterfalls, is seen from a higher vantage point. The falls span the border between Ontario in Canada and the state of New York in the United States

Also seen are the Minerva Terraces at Yellowstone National Park's Mammoth Hot Springs. A man is seen climbing the feature

Also seen are the Minerva Terraces at Yellowstone National Park’s Mammoth Hot Springs. A man is seen climbing the feature

Pulpit Terraces at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park. The terraces were created by hot springs

Pulpit Terraces at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park. The terraces were created by hot springs

One of the Yellowstone Falls is pictured at Yellowstone National Park.  The image features in Russell Colman's album

One of the Yellowstone Falls is pictured at Yellowstone National Park.  The image features in Russell Colman’s album

Victorian visitors are seen watching the Old Faithful Geyser in action at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. It was named in 1870 during the Washburn¿Langford¿Doane Expedition

Victorian visitors are seen watching the Old Faithful Geyser in action at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. It was named in 1870 during the Washburn–Langford–Doane Expedition

The residents of a palatial home are seen lined up outside it. It is not clear where the image, which features in Russell Colman's album, was taken

The residents of a palatial home are seen lined up outside it. It is not clear where the image, which features in Russell Colman’s album, was taken

A man is seen sitting at the Gateway to the Garden of the Gods rock formation in Colorado. The formation stands between two canyons

A man is seen sitting at the Gateway to the Garden of the Gods rock formation in Colorado. The formation stands between two canyons

Temple Block (now known as Temple Square) in Salt Lake City is seen above. The image shows a partially built Salt Lake Temple (right), the largest place of worship of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Also seen is the Salt Lake Tabernacle (centre) and Salt Lake Assembly Hall

Temple Block (now known as Temple Square) in Salt Lake City is seen above. The image shows a partially built Salt Lake Temple (right), the largest place of worship of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Also seen is the Salt Lake Tabernacle (centre) and Salt Lake Assembly Hall

Rupert Powell, specialist at Forum Auctions, said: ‘It would appear that Russell Colman travelled extensively and far afield.

‘The photos all give a fascinating insight into a 19th century gentleman’s journeyings and exploration abroad, with views of natural phenomena presumably never before encountered at home such as magnificent waterfalls and geysers, as well as some human-interest studies.

Colman's Mustard was created by former miller Jeremiah Colman in 1814

Colman’s Mustard was created by former miller Jeremiah Colman in 1814

‘With the North American album in particular, the sheer scale of the size of the continent and its geographical diversity, from Salt Lake to Grand Canyon, traversed by the man-made railway, must have been breath-taking to observe.

‘Captured and preserved in an album, they now offered to the public for the first time in almost 140 years.’

Niagara Falls consists of three waterfalls which form from the gorge’s southern side.

Total freezing was reported on March 29, 1848, due to an ice jam on the river.

Colman’s Mustard was created by former miller Jeremiah Colman in 1814 and was sold as a powder for people to mix into a paste. The product is still sold in this form today and is also popular in ready-mixed form. 

Colman’s nephew James joined the company in 1823 and the firm was rebranded as J. and J. Colman.

In 1830 James Colman had a son, Jeremiah James, who joined Colman’s when he was 17.

He eventually went on to take over the manufacturing of the mustard in 1854 aged just 24, after his father and great-uncle died.

In 1850 Jeremiah James moved the business to a much larger factory in Carrow in Norwich because it had good access to train links and the river for exports.

Popularity for the spicy condiment went from strength to strength and in the 1880s they began to offer different types of containers for customers to buy it in.

These ranged from tins costing just one penny to collectible, pictorial packages with the bright yellow label.

In 1995 Colmans Mustard was purchased from Reckitt and Colman PLC and it became part of Unilever. 

Russell Colman is pictured with the Duke of Kent in 1931

Sir Timothy passed away in September 2021, eight months after his wife (the pair pictured together above)

Russell Colman is pictured left with the Duke of Kent in 1931. The album has emerged from the estate of the later Sir Timothy Colman, who was married to the Queen Mother’s niece Lady Mary Colman. Sir Timothy passed away in September 2021, eight months after his wife (the pair pictured together right)

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