Footage of London streets, 1903

There is much that is compelling about this BFI footage of London from over 100 years ago - the horses, the congestion, the clothes - and the sheer number of advertisements for brands which we still buy today.

But there is one moment which is more than that. A hundred years on, we know this moment - replicated hundreds of times around the world - was the moment when everything changed. Its at the very end (3:53)…

If you like this, try:

9 comments to Footage of London streets, 1903

  • 過去へのタイムトラベラー | 写真家鈴木豊のブログ 日々の雑感

    [...] たとえば、1903年のロンドンの様子は・・・、http://www.howtobearetronaut.com/2010/02/compelling-1903-film-of-london-streets/ [...]

  • amber

    aah yes, the motorcar! Fantastic post! hauntingly beautiful…

  • Graham

    The seemingly free form and random movement of all the carriages is astonishing, there seems to be no stopping or giving way; just a seamless ballet set in streets that appear to be full of horse droppings.
    I bet the smell was something else.
    The motor car is interesting as it is using wagon/cart wheels, and as traditional to the cart, it is using much larger wheels on the rear than on the front.
    It’s a pity the BFI do not make footage like this available to those outside the UK even for a fee.
    Thanks for sharing this.

  • Ginny

    Really enjoyed this! Those open omnibuses- didn’t it ever rain in the early 1900′s?! And that busy little motorcar, foretelling the knackers yard for all those lovely horses.

  • Phil

    Nestles seemed to have the bus advertising sewn up.

  • ak

    Whats that music playing? SO GREAT

  • admin

    Hi Ak. Thanks for commenting - the music is a composed and performed by James Pearson with the Ronnie Scott’s All Stars.

  • [...] film is only two years older than the 1903 footage of London featured on How to be a Retronaut and yet in that time city traffic has entirely [...]

  • Phil

    The clip of Charing Cross looks like it is taken from nearly the same spot as when it appears in the colour VE Day film!

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