Daguerrotype of Wellington

Daguerrotype of the Duke of Wellington.

The extraordinary new technology of photography became commercially available in 1839 – just one of dozens of inventions that were reshaping people’s lives.

Railways, the penny post and the electric telegraph made travel and communication much faster. Britain and the world were industrialising, increasing the production of weapons and machinery.

The Battle of Waterloo had been fought using weapons and tactics from the 18th century – the design of the British Army’s muskets had barely changed for eighty years. Now, technology was creating a new world, where radical ideas could spread like wildfire, and huge armies could be armed and assembled quicker than ever before.