Skip to comments.Lost film footage of Edwardian London discovered
Posted on 10/24/2008 9:39:38 PM PDT by 6SJ7
A historian has discovered film footage of Edwardian London that includes fascinating snapshots of people going about their everyday lives.
The film was shot in 1904 as a 'travelogue' for Australians curious about life in what was "one of the most exciting cities anywhere", according to Professor Ian Christie. He discovered the 12 minute reel while trawling through archives in Canberra. Prof Christie said: "It's a rather clever mixture of what we would expect to see - such as the Embankment, Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square - but it also has these wonderful close ups of individuals.
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
Hey, at least it's not yet another poll! ;-)
That is pretty cool. I wish I could see more than just the one minute clip!
Wow! Way Kool!!
I would love to see it too...London WITHOUT a single mosque.
Times were different back then.
I was just thinking something along those same lines - London when it was still English.
Fascinating! It looks just like it does in my head while reading Sherlock Holmes stories.
“I have often walked... down this street before...”
I’ve been looking at it. Thinking about things.
There are no motor vehicles. Even the double-decker bus is horse-drawn. The smell of the poo from all those horses must have been overpowering.
None of the people in it, except maybe the baby-in-arms during the girls’ dance, is still alive. Probably not the baby either.
The little boys posing on the bridge and jumping in the river would have been of military age, if not at the outbreak of WWI, then at least at its end. Survivors might have formed the backbone of Britain’s WWII strength.
The only functioning airplane in existence was owned by two brothers in Dayton, Ohio.
Hitler was 15 or 16; his father had just died the previous year, and this year he would drop out of school.
Winston Churchill met his furure wife at a dinner.
I’ll let others add as they see fit.
“Feed the birds, twopence a bag...”
Jeez, you are a downer.
And I’m sure half the children you see in the clip died of whooping cough or scarlet fever or measles or polio or tuberculosis before they made it to eighteen.
There, feel better?
Here is a bit more of that time-
Those WACKY Edwardians~
“The people you see here lived in the time of King Edward.
Rich or poor, handsome or ugly, they are all equal now.”
Oops- bad link its the top left Swimming Gala-
I was told by an elderly gentleman years ago that the reason was that if you were photographed smiling, it was thought the people would think you were a fool.
It is interesting looking back. There it was, just 10 years before The Great War, and as you say, many of those young boys probably fought and died in that war that in 1910 was not even a glimmer on the horizon. It is bittersweet to see those images.
I prefer to think that most of them, except war caualties, lived long, productive, even happy lives. The film captures a moment so long ago that anyone over five years old was born in the nineteenth century, and to expect them to last into the 21st would be wishful thinking at best.
Historical perspective is a dish best seasoned with truth, sweet and bitter.
It is amazing how the world has changed in just over 100 years. What a fascinating glimpse into the past. I would love to see the whole clip.
I find it interesting that this clip doesn’t make everyone look like they’re going 100 mph like most film of that era.
Well, for most formal portrait photographs just about anywhere in the world during this time, it seemed like you were expected to put on an expression like you had just passed a porcupine...
That’s what gives the film clips their special informal, spontaneous quality.
That’s wild. Those guys would fit right in on any of today’s reality shows.
That would be the result of taking film that had been hand-cranked through a camera at 12-15 fps and running it through a motorized projector at 18 or even 24 fps.
Bump for later viewing.
HAha! Ya know I thought the exact same thing.
Funny how nothing ever seems to change ...
“...doesnt make everyone look like theyre going 100 mph like most film of that era.”
My old man splurged for their honeymoon trip back in 1939 and bought a home movie camera. Of course my old man was a lot smarter than most folks, so in order to make it look “normal” he had my mom (and him) move VEEERRRRY slowly - walking around the hotel suite, sitting on the bed, brushing her hair, etc.
Of course when they got it developed (or whatever they did with those long spools of film) it showed them doing everything in slow motion! My 90 year old mom can barely tell that story due to all of her laughing!
Someone in that clip could have sailed on the Titanic in 1912.
My first thought was the opening scene to "My Fair Lady" ... and anyone that has worked horses can appreciate how markets were worked back in those days.
Line spoken by Rex Harrison in "My Fair Lady" bemoaning the cockney accent in England and the 'loss' of the English language.
I suspected the reason was something like that but I wasn’t sure. Thanks.
Ha! Good story.
The Brits had a hop in their step, and why not? Britannia ruled the waves, and the sun never set on the British Empire!
As I had no idea what Bovril Vinolia meant, I looked it up.
Vinolia was a soap, manufactured by Pears. You can still buy it: The Soap of the Titanic
Bovril was a beef extract, originally called "Johnston's Fluid Beef." While something called Bovril is still manufactured, it sounds like the product succumbed to modernity in 2004. From Wikipedia:
In November 2004, the manufacturers, Unilever, announced that the composition of Bovril was being changed from beef to a yeast extract, both in the hope of allaying fears of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), and to make the product suitable for vegetarians and vegans. According to Unilever, "in blind taste tests, 10% didn't notice any difference in taste, 40% preferred the original and 50% preferred the new product."
I have a reel of 16mm home movie film from around 1946 from a friend's attic; the people in it are probably relatives of her late husband, but she has no contact info. I wonder what the best way is of tracking down people in movies? The children in the movie would be getting old, but they could still be alive.
Old candid movies are neat. They provide a glimpse into another era.
Portrait photographs often used exposure times measured in seconds. Any movement would blur the shot. Maybe some people could hold a smile sufficiently motionless to take a good picture, but less cheerful expressions were easier to keep still.
Actually for a brief moment you can see a “horseless carriage” in the very first sequence maneuvering between the wagons.
Other things come to mind—notice how many people are walking, unlike our modern times where most people are moving by car. The scenes are just packed with people. Gives you a whole different feeling for what living in an urban area then must have been like.
Also fascinating is the scene where you can see a train complete with steam locomotive moving on an elevated rail system. It must have been much noisier than we probably think of those times as being. (And smellier, as you’ve pointed out.)
Finally, watching the people closely is fun. The one who cracks me up the most is the young man with big moustache who starts clowning for the camera. And watch the little boy on the bridge doing the same thing.
Here’s a similar thing from almost the same time period: riding on a streetcar in Berkeley in 1906. If you watch this one closely, you will see they had wackos in Berkeley even back then:
Wonder what the story behind all that was?!? Bonus points if you recognize where in Berkeley the streetcar is (the road still looks like that, except without the streetcars of course).
I’m happy to say Bovril is still going strong there is nothing quite like a cup of boiling hot bovril with a big dash of pepper in it at a football (soccer to you heathens!) match during the winter warms the cockles of your heart so and it does.
Saw the clip. Its really beautiful.
I would start with something as simple as a current phone book of jer late husband’s hometown. If she can remember married names of his sister(s) if any or his mother’s maiden name, look up those as well....
My mom did genealogy for years as a hobby, and found some descendants of our ancestors— and more information— basically cold calling people of the same name in the target area. Works best if the name is a little unique (like a Scarpelli in a sea of Vanderhoogs, rather than a Smith).
My cousin recently got some old silent color 8mm from the family of our grandfather’s brother. Included was a party for our gt.grandparent’s wedding anniversary in 1954. When we screened it, I knew very few— my cousin was better at IDing folks— but I recognized my dad (d.1999) at the age of 16, goofing off for the camera.
The area immediately around London had had shallow underground trains (steam powered) for about 40 years, and London itself had just added the first deep-tunnel electric underground trains.
There were even some "trick" films being done before the turn of the century; my favorite is L'home de têtes (1898), a film which would be hard to re-create without CGI.
Thanks Founding Father!
Edwardian London Comes to Life (Amazing Movie footage from 1904)
Powerline | 10/24/2008 | John Hinderaker
Posted on 10/24/2008 11:58:14 AM PDT by mojito
Thanks Founding Father and Fiddlstix.
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