Saturday, March 22, 2014

Street Life in London by Scottish Photographer John Thomson - 1876-77

John Thomson (14 June 1837 – 29 September 1921) was a pioneering Scottish photographer, geographer and traveller. He was one of the first photographers to travel to the Far East, documenting the people, landscapes and artifacts of eastern cultures. Upon returning home, his work among the street people of London cemented his reputation, and is regarded as a classic instance of social documentary which laid the foundations for photojournalism. He went on to become a portrait photographer of High Society in Mayfair, gaining the Royal Warrant in 1881.
Know more about him in Wikipedia.

It all began with photographer John Thomson in 1876 with his monthly magazine Street Life in London, publishing his pictures accompanied by pen portraits by Adolphe Smith as an early attempt to use photojournalism to record the lives of common people.

Read the full book online in archive.org here or download PDF here.

A Convicts’ Home 

An Old Clothes Shop, St Giles

Caney the Clown 

Cast-Iron Billy

Cheap Fish of St Giles

Labourers at Covent Garden Market

Dealer in Fancy Ware (termed swag selling) 

Flying Dustmen

Italian Street Musicans

London Nomades

Mush-Fakers and Ginger-Beer Makers. 

Old Furniture Seller in Holborn 

Itinerant Photographer on Clapham Common

Public Disinfectors 

Strawberries, All Ripe! All Ripe!

Street Advertising

Street Doctor 

Survivors of Street Floods in Lambeth

The  ”Crawlers”

The Independent Bootblack 

The London Boardmen

The Seller of Shellfish

The Street Locksmith

The Temperance Sweep

The Wall-Workers (A system of cheap advertising whereby a wall is covered with an array of placards that are hung up in the morning and taken in at night)

The Water Cart 

Workers on the Silent Highway

Vintage Photographs of Beautiful Gypsy Women - 19th Century to Early 20th Century