Street in the Old Town, II, Biskra, Algeria


This photochrome print of a palm-lined street in Biskra, Algeria, is part of “Views of People and Sites in Algeria” from the catalog of the Detroit Publishing Company (1905). Located on the northern edge of the Sahara, the town goes back at least to the time of the Romans, who valued the health-giving properties of the sulfur springs in the area and built a small fortification, which they called Vescera, close to the nearby oases. The French garrisoned the town in 1844 and constructed its modern parts. The 1911 edition of Baedeker’s The Mediterranean, seaports and sea routes: Handbook for Travellers praised Old Biskra for its clay-built villages and its oases “with some 150,000 date-palms and 6000 fruit-trees (apricots, figs, oranges), besides corn-fields and small kitchen-gardens.” According to Baedeker, Biskra “has grown into great favour of late as a winter resort,” becoming in effect the Nice of Algeria.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Detroit Photographic Company, Detroit, Michigan

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.
  • Print no. "6228".

Last updated: August 13, 2014