Bring back some good or bad memories

September 23, 2013

Old Pictures of London in Victorian Era

1888: Traffic on Regent Circus, now known as Oxford Circus, London, facing east along Oxford Street. In the foreground is a man towing his barrel organ on wheels. (Photo by London Stereoscopic Company/Getty Images)

A cyclist riding a penny farthing over Hammersmith Bridge, London. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

circa 1890: Exterior of Liverpool Street Station in London which is run by Great Eastern Railway and connects passengers with the South East. (Photo by London Express/Getty Images)

An Italian harpist entertaining local children on the street. Original Artwork: From 'Street Life In London' by John Thomson and Adolphe Smith (Photo by John Thomson/Getty Images)

The Temperance Sweep' and a barefooted boy small enough to fit inside narrow passages. Original Artwork: From 'Street Life in London' by John Thomson and Adolphe Smith - pub. 1877 (Photo by John Thomson/Getty Images)

circa 1890: Regent Street in central London. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

A Victorian shellfish stall holder selling oysters and whelks. Original Artwork: From 'Street Life In London' by John Thomson and Adolphe Smith (Photo by John Thomson/Getty Images)

20th April 1891: Victorian trick cyclists performing a balancing act. 'Auckland' (Photo by London Stereoscopic Company/Getty Images)

circa 1875: On the left, Scotland Yard, in the centre with horse drawn cabs outside is the Public Carriage Office. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

1877: A street locksmith mending locks at his stall on the spot. Original Publication: From 'Street Life In London' by John Thomson and Adolphe Smith - pub. 1877 (Photo by John Thomson/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

circa 1890: Horse drawn buses passing a group of sandwich board men down Regent Quadrant, London. (Photo by London Stereoscopic Company/Getty Images)

1877: Victorian 'Mush-Fakers' and ginger beer makers with their cart. Original Publication: From 'Street Life In London' by John Thomson and Adolphe Smith - pub. 1877 (Photo by John Thomson/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

1877: Victorian flower women selling bouquets at Covent Garden market. Original Publication: From 'Street Life In London' by John Thomson and Adolphe Smith - pub. 1877 (Photo by John Thomson/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

1877: Victorian bill stickers paste placards advertising Madame Tussaud's waxworks museum in London. Original Publication: From 'Street Life In London' by John Thomson and Adolphe Smith - pub. 1877 (Photo by John Thomson/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

1873: A Victorian fruit seller shouts out 'strawberries, all ripe, all ripe' in a London street. Original Publication: From 'Street Life In London' by John Thomson and Adolphe Smith - pub. 1877 (Photo by John Thomson/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

circa 1890: Women shelling walnuts at Covent Garden Market in London. (Photo by London Stereoscopic Company/Getty Images)

1877: A street trader and shoeshine in Victorian London. (Photo by John Thomson/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Victorian public disinfectors sanitize the streets after an outbreak of smallpox. Original Artwork: From 'Street Life In London' by John Thomson and Adolphe Smith (Photo by John Thomson/Getty Images)

1890: A street game of skittles draws the attention of a group of schoolboys at the Chelsea Bridge Road Fair, London. If a player knocks down two pegs with one ball he wins a coconut. (Photo by General Photographic Agency/Getty Images)

A Victorian fancy wear dealer selling ornaments from his barrow. Original Artwork: From 'Street Life In London' by John Thomson and Adolphe Smith - pub. 1877 (Photo by John Thomson/Getty Images)

circa 1890: Children feeding swans in Victoria Park, Hackney, London. (Photo by Paul Martin/General Photographic Agency/Getty Images)

circa 1900: Traffic on the southern approach to Tower Bridge spanning the River Thames near the Tower of London. The bridge was completed in 1894, a monument to the Victorian Era. (Photo by Reinhold Thiele/Thiele/Getty Images)

A bus makes its way down Fleet Street towards Ludgate Hill Circus and St Paul's Cathedral, London, circa 1888. (Photo by London Stereoscopic Company/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

circa 1890: Prisoners walking around the exercise yard of Holloway Prison, London. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

circa 1888: A south west view of the Crystal Palace, the exhibition hall designed by Sir Joseph Paxton, after it was reconstructed at Sydenham in south London. (Photo by London Stereoscopic Company/Getty Images)

circa 1888: The south-east corner of the Crystal Palace after it was dismantled and moved from the Great Exhibition site to Sydenham in south London. (Photo by London Stereoscopic Company/Getty Images)

circa 1890: London's Harley Street, where many doctors maintain offices. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

1890: Edgware High Street, London. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

circa 1890: Traffic on the new London Bridge, opened in 1831, looking north; centre left is the Monument to the Great Fire of London of 1666; centre right is the spire of St Magnus the Martyr. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

circa 1890: The Speakers Chair in the interior of the House of Commons, in the Houses of Parliament, London. (Photo by London Stereoscopic Company/Getty Images)

circa 1890: Pedestrians on London's Cheapside, near the statue of Robert Peel. (Photo by William England/London Stereoscopic Company/Getty Images)

circa 1890: Palace Theatre at Cambridge Circus, London. (Photo by London Stereoscopic Company/Getty Images)

1888: London Royal residence, Buckingham Palace, as it appeared before its present-day facade was added. (Photo by London Stereoscopic Company/Getty Images)

circa 1890: Traffic on London Bridge. (Photo by London Stereoscopic Company/Getty Images)

circa 1890: Traders at London's busy market in Covent Garden. (Photo by London Stereoscopic Company/Getty Images)

circa 1890: Traffic on a street in London's Piccadilly. (Photo by Otto Herschan/Getty Images)

circa 1890: The Bank of England in Threadneedle Street, London. (Photo by London Stereoscopic Company/Getty Images)

circa 1890: Horse riders and carriages take a spin along the bridle path in London's Hyde Park. (Photo by London Stereoscopic Company/Getty Images)

1898: Victorian women's fashion was revolutionalised with the arrival of the safety cycle in 1884. Miss A Hughes in 'A Professor's Love Story'. (Photo by London Stereoscopic Company/Getty Images)



6 comments:

  1. lovely post... but its amazing how dirty nearly everyone looks! You wonder how often they bathed... me thinks once per week might be a little optimistic! We'd love to feature some of the images over on our website VintageShopper.com Would you perhaps be interested in guest blogging for us?

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  2. Mmmmmmmmm. Don't quite no where to start with this, you obviously don't know much about life before the bacteria therory took hold. In medieval times people did not wash. Period. The layer of grime was protective if you washed it off you opened yourself to the humours, By the time these pictures were taken people maybe bathed every year or so, if that. They stank, but it was your own stink and since a a family shared the same smell (same bacteria) it was fine, plus you could tell if a person was a stranger 'cos they smelt funny. Same thing nowadays when you go into someone else's home, there a subtly, or not, different pong to the way your house smells. Or you might be reminded of some other place because of smell's ability to prompt recall of other places and times. So these Victorian guys and women would smell, they'd be rankly offensive to modern notions of cleanliness, hygeine, you name it. It is only recently that I, an Englishman, have learned to shower daily, I grew up in an average middle class home in the 40's with the weekly bath, and a family towel that was changed when needed. And while I have learned to bathe more frequently, it is just within the last couple of months that I've learned to enjoy the pleasures of the shower. The fastidious American middle class might think times changed a long time ago, but it's just not quite as fast as they might hope. The people in these pictures never ever washed their clothes and dry-cleaning hadn't been invented. Much of London still looked like that when I first went there, the porters in Covent garden still carried those baskets on their heads, the buses - the railway trams- while petrol driven, still had back stairs like those in these photographs of Victorian London. And London was black, with soot a half inch thick in places. Not until October of 1958 when the new coal burning laws kicked in did the awful 'pea-soup' fogs stop. In1957, 15,000 old folk died in one memorable smog event, that's what help change the law. So take heed and succor - there's hope to clean things up in our time from the perils of modern diesel pollution, it can be done, because in my living memory things got better, cleaner, healthier. And people don't stink no mo.

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  3. Myth: People didn’t bathe in the Middle Ages, therefore they smelled bad

    Not only is this a total myth, it is so widely believed that it has given rise to a whole other series of myths, such as the false belief that Church incense was designed to hide the stink of so many people in one place. In fact, the incense was part of the Church’s rituals due to its history coming from the Jewish religion which also used incense in its sacrifices. This myth has also lead to the strange idea that people usually married in May or June because they didn’t stink so badly – having had their yearly bath. It is, of course, utter rubbish. People married in those months because marriage was not allowed during Lent (the season of penance). So, back to smelly people. In the Middle Ages, most towns had bathhouses – in fact, cleanliness and hygiene was very highly regarded – so much so that bathing was incorporated into various ceremonies such as those surrounding knighthood. Some people bathed daily, others less regularly – but most people bathed. Furthermore, they used hot water – they just had to heat it up themselves, unlike us with our modern plumbed hot water. The French put it best in the following Latin statement: Venari, ludere, lavari, bibere; Hoc est vivere! (To hunt, to play, to wash, to drink, – This is to live!)

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  4. Marvellous images! I have included in my post on Covent Garden, at http://londondiaryblog.wordpress.com where I am exploring London with Bradshaw's Hand Book of 1862

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