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April 17, 2022

Stunning Black and White Photos of Life in London in the 1950s

Casparus Bernardus Oorthuys (1 November 1908 – 22 July 1975), known as Cas Oorthuys, was a Dutch photographer and designer. Oorthuys first took up photography after he joined the free-thinking Dutch Association of Abstinent Students in the architecture department of the Haarlem MTS.

In 1936, Oorthuys became permanent photographer at De Arbeiderspers. He produced photography and graphics for communist and anti-fascist organizations; and in the tradition of "workers' photography" he documented poverty, police violence, the unemployed, homeless people and evictions for magazines, book illustrations and book covers and exhibitions.

During the German Occupation, Oorthuys became involved in the Personal Identification Centre established in 1942 and made passport photos for fake ID cards. In May 1944, Oorthuys was arrested by the Germans and imprisoned in camp Amersfoort. Unexpectedly, he was released again in August. On release Oorthuys connected with De Ondergedoken Camera and documented the activities of the German occupiers, and also the awful Hongerwinter, the Dutch famine of 1944–45. During the postwar recovery he recorded the Nuremberg war crimes trials and the rebuilding of his homeland.

Take a look at London in the 1950s through these 23 stunning black and white photographs taken by Oorthuys:

Oxford Street

Regent Street

Lower Regent Street

Middle Temple Lane

An orderly queue for the number 8 bus at London Bridge Station

Northern Line

Bull and Mouth, Aldersgate

Blowing soap bubbles

High Holborn

Lombard Street

Piccadilly Circus

Pensioners' rally at Trafalgar Square

Outside the Ritz, Piccadilly

George Tippins newspaper seller, Piccadilly

Fleet Street

Berwick Street market

Caledonian Market

Bank of England

Shop in Rupert Street

St Paul's Cathedral

Prince of Wales Theatre

Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square at night




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