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The Victorian Photo Album Offering A Gentleman's Guide To Self-Defense Maneuvers, 1895

These vintage photographs come from an untitled album from the 1890s which records various self-defence hand-to-hand manoeuvres.

The two finely dressed gentlemen demonstrate a variety of defensive moves that involve chokeholds, body slams, kicks, chops, and arm twists.

Each two-picture spread depicts the moment of confrontation between two glowering men followed by the appropriate manoeuvre, although what they are doing ranges from the bizarre and the obscure to the plainly improbable.

The album provides a rich example of a late Victorian instructional handbook, produced during a period when photography was tapped by thousands for its pedagogical potential.


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