The Leaning Tower, Pisa, Italy


This photochrome print of the Leaning Tower in Pisa is part of “Views of Architecture and Other Sites in Italy” from the catalog of the Detroit Publishing Company (1905). Also known as Il Campanile, the marble and granite structure was built to serve as the bell tower (campanile) of the Cathedral of Pisa. Construction began in 1174 according to a design by the architect Bonnanno Pisano, but was interrupted numerous times. The tower was not completed until 1350, nearly two hundred years later. Fifty-seven meters high, the tower is built in the Pisan-Romanesque style. It has eight stories and approximately three hundred steps. The tower’s characteristic lean—the top of the tower is more than four meters out of line with its base—is attributed to the unstable soil on which the structure was built. The tower is also known for the experiment said to have been performed in 1589 by the scientist Galileo Galilei, who dropped two cannon balls of different masses to demonstrate that heavier and lighter objects fall at the same speed.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Detroit Publishing Company, Detroit, Michigan


Additional Subjects

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 photomechanical print : photochrom, color


  • The Detroit Photographic Company was launched as a photographic publishing firm in the late 1890s by Detroit businessman and publisher William A. Livingstone, Jr., and photographer and photo-publisher Edwin H. Husher. They obtained exclusive rights to use the Swiss "Photochrom" process for converting black-and-white photographs into color images and printing them by photolithography. This innovative process was applied to the mass production of color postcards, prints, and albums for sale to the American market. The firm became the Detroit Publishing Company in 1905.
  • Title from the Detroit Publishing Co., Catalogue J--foreign section, Detroit, Mich. : Detroit Publishing Company, 1905.
  • Print no. "8555".

Last updated: February 12, 2016