I have recently been purchasing first editions of old books on London that show the streets of the Capital as they were in the 19th century, around the time of the Jack the Ripper murders.
I have done this in order to have original contemporary photographs for the films on the Whitechapel atrocities that I am producing for my YouTube channel.
The photographs give the channel a form of exclusivity in that many of the books that I have acquired are extremely rare publications, meaning that the images that my viewers will see on my videos about Jack the Ripper, and he many other aspects of Victorian and early 20th century history, are unique to my channel.
THE CITY OF LONDON THEN AND NOW
The first video I have produced using one of these books is “The City Of London Then And Now.”
The publication from which the contemporary images were sourced for this video is, “The Descriptive Album Of London”, published in November 1894.
THE METROPOLIS OF THE WORLD
A paragraph in the book’s “Introduction and Dedication” has this to say about the streets of the Victorian metropolis, and, I have to say, in my opinion, this sentiment is still as true today as it was back then:-
“London does not thrust her attractions obtrusively into notice. Her choicest treasures must be sought out, and lose nothing of their charm for the seeking.”
THE THEN AND NOW VIDEO
The book actually contains 108 photographs, taken all over London between June and October 1894.
Obviously, featuring all 108 locations would make for a somewhat unwieldy and lengthy video, so instead a chose ten location, which I limited, geographically to those in the City of London.
LET THE FILMING BEGIN
Once I had chosen by ten locations – I took the book with me, and I tried to photograph the locations as close to the originals as was possible.
In a few of the cases, this proved impossible, since to do so would have involved me standing in the middle of a busy main roads with the traffic coming at me from all angles!
But I did get them as close to the originals as I could.
Once I had filmed them, I placed them side by side and created then and now shots of all ten places.
In each scene viewers can see the 1894 images, followed by the same scene as it is today, and then I used spilt screen to show the two views side by side so that viewers could enjoy a then and now comparison.
I hope you enjoy the video that I have created as much as I enjoyed making it.
This will be the first of a series of similar videos that will over the coming months and years take you all over London.
After all, my recent buying spree has given me almost two thousand Victorian views to work with!