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Thomson, J. (John), 1837–1921
Street life in London : with permanent photographic illustrations taken from life expressly for this publication / by J. Thomson and Adolphe Smith.
London : Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington, [1877-1878]
Physical Description:
100 p., [36] leaves of plates : ill. ; 28 cm.
Rare Books and Manuscripts
DA688 .T46 1877+ Oversize
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Photographs (36 mounted woodbury-types) by John Thomson; text by Adolphe Smith.
Each image accompanied by descriptive letterpress and guard sheet.
Originally issued in 12 monthly parts.
Printed by Gilbert and Rivington, 52, St. John's Square, London.
Gernsheim, H. History of photography, p. 447
Johnson, W. Nineteenth-century photography, p. 631
Seaborne, M. Photographers' London, 1839-1994, p. 67
BAC: British Art Center copy bound in publisher's original gilt- and blind-stamped pictorial green cloth, with gilt edges.
"Constitutes the first photographic documentation of any kind ... The accompanying articles, some by Thomson and some by Smith, concerned the living and working conditions of the subject."--Gernsheim.
"Pioneered the genre of photojournalism, combining hard-hitting, albeit posed, street photography, with documentary-style prose."--DNB.
Subject Terms:
London (England) -- Pictorial works.
London (England) -- Social conditions -- 19th century.
Photojournalism -- Great Britain.
Poor -- England -- London.
S. Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington -- Publisher.
Street life -- England -- London.
Working class -- England -- London.
Woodburytypes -- 1877-1878.
Smith, Adolphe.
IIIF Manifest:

  • A convict's home
  • Black Jack --"Caney" the clown
  • Cast-iron Billy
  • Clapham common industries
  • Covent Garden flower women
  • Covent Garden labourers
  • Dealer in fancy-ware
  • Flying dustmen
  • Halfpenny ices
  • "Hookey Alf" of Whitechapel
  • Italian street musicians
  • London cabmen
  • London nomades
  • "Mush-fakers" and ginger-beer makers
  • November effigies
  • Old furniture
  • Public disinfectors
  • Recruiting Sergeants at Westminster
  • Street advertising
  • Street doctors
  • Street floods in Lambeth
  • The cheap fish of St. Giles's
  • The "crawlers"
  • The dramatic shoe-black
  • The independent shoe-black
  • The London boardment
  • The old clothes of St. Giles
  • The seller of shell-fish
  • The street fruit trade
  • The street locksmith
  • The temperance sweep
  • The "wall worker ''
  • The water-cart
  • "Tickets" the card-dealer
  • Workers on the "Silent Highway".

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