Ten Minutes of Victorian Street Scenes

Here’s an astonishing Pathe lineup of – almost entirely – Victorian English streetscape. Because the bulk of this was shot in 1896-7, the camera was too bulky to manouvre but too new to be recognised for what it was, lending these scenes an intimacy, almost an anonymity, that Mitchell and Kenyon would neither seek nor enjoy four years later.

Pathe lists the contents as follows:

Sunderland Bridge (1896) – Poor pedestrian, horse drawn carts, wagons and bus travel across bridge at Sunderland, Tyne and Wear.
Boar Lane, Leeds (1903) – Pedestrians, horse carts wagons and electric tram cross large open cross roads near Boar Lane, Leeds, Yorkshire.
Outside The Bank of England, London (1897) – Dense horse drawn traffic in front of the Bank, a few pedestrians try to pick their way between the buses and carriages.
Hyde Park Corner, London (1897) – Hyde Park corner looking towards the park gates, pedestrians crowd the pavements, carriages and horse buses pass by.
Newcastle Street, Tyne and Wear (1903) – Motor wagon, motor car, and horse drawn wagon pass along street, pavement is lined with onlookers.
Westminster Bridge, London – View across bridge to House of Parliament and Big Ben. Traffic passes in foreground.
Tower Bridge, London – Views of horse drawn buses and traffic crossing Bridge.
Empire Theatre – Ext of cinema showing Lumiere films. Handsome cabs draw up.
Piccadilly Circus, London – Statue of Eros. People walk in foreground. Buses carry adverts for Cadbury’s and Lipton’s. (Some shots repeated).
Horseguard’s Parade, London – Short bleak shot of cavalry soldiers riding.
Bradford Square, Yorkshire (1903) – Square at Bradford crowded with pedestrians, civilian band crosses square watched by small crowd a steam tram also crosses the square.
London Bridge, London (1896) – View across the bridge with horse drawn vehicles and pedestrians crossing the bridge.
Street Entertainers (Minstrels) – Blacked up entertainers sing and dance to a small crowd in the open street.


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4 Replies to “Ten Minutes of Victorian Street Scenes”

  1. Good fun – thank you. And thank you too for identifying the steam tram – I’ve never heard of it!

    P.S. “Hansom cab”, after its designer.

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