THIS photograph is of Ann Williams, landlady, her family and staff of the New Inn. This photograph is taken from an old glass slide within the Torfaen Museum Trust’s collection in their Dobell-Moseley Library and Archive.

During the early days of photography in the 1840s and 1850s, the most common type of photography was a Daguerreotype (named after its inventor Frenchman Louis-Jacques Daguerre) which involved a special process and meant the object of the final glass photograph had to stand still for quite some time.

The museum research shows that this is a very early photograph of the Daguerreotype and if you look closely at the photograph you can imagine Mrs Williams, stood in front of the door and her (possible) daughters (one holding a dog to her left) and the others standing very still for a long time – probably several minutes. Not like today's selfies.

The girl to Mrs Williams right (possibly a daughter) is wearing a dress with ‘leg o mutton’ sleeves which were fashionable in London society in the 1830s but probably still very much worn outside fashionable cities (and dresses handed down from older female relatives) still in the 1850s.

The New Inn would already have been a centuries old Coaching Inn by the time this picture was taken in the mid nineteenth century.

Situated on The Highway, which was then the main road from Usk and Pontypool towns down to Croesyceiliog and on to Newport, it would have been a prosperous public house with accommodation.

Torfaen Museum’s library and archive has within its collections many thousands of photographs, negatives, slides, glass slides and a few Daguerreotypes of local people and places.

Nostalgia is provided by Torfaen Museum.