Street Photography of 19th Century London
This is the work of British photographer John Thomson (1837-1921) and it is known that he traveled the Far East taking photographs during much of the period between 1860-1879. When he returned to London, he began taking documentary photographs of everyday people on the streets of London. Photography during that time was a time intensive process with bulky cameras and glass plate negatives. These street photographs had to be taken with care, and in almost all cases, Thomson would have to ask his subjects to pose and stand still.
Collaborating with journalist Adolphe Smith, who did interviews of the street subjects that Thomson shot, they published a book called Street Life in London, 1881. That book, and one other by the pair titled Street Incidents, stand today as a well-respected social commentary on the everyday, working poor of London.