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Upstairs, (falling) Downstairs
March 28, 2010 9:53 AM   Subscribe

Edwardian Drunkards
posted by grumblebee (63 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite

 
First: these pictures are great. Second: "Edwardian Drunkards" just has a nice ring to it. Thanks for the post, g-bee.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:57 AM on March 28, 2010


"She was a 38-year-old ‘woodchopper and prostitute’ "

there's a joke here someplace...
posted by HuronBob at 9:59 AM on March 28, 2010


How strange that the police noted each drunk's peculiarities, yet photographed almost everyone wearing their hats.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot at 9:59 AM on March 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


A lot of the guys look like townies from around where I live, but better-dressed.

Also, isn't Tamar Edwards the only married woman on here? I do like her get-up.
posted by dunkadunc at 10:05 AM on March 28, 2010


How strange that the police noted each drunk's peculiarities, yet photographed almost everyone wearing their hats.

Asking them to remove their hats and expose their entire heads would be pretty salacious, don't you think?
posted by Mayor Curley at 10:06 AM on March 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Grandad! You may be arseholed but you've kept your titfer straight. Does the family proud.
posted by Abiezer at 10:08 AM on March 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


They don't want to expose their criminal brows and anarchist-leaning head bumps.
posted by The Whelk at 10:08 AM on March 28, 2010 [9 favorites]


Also, the peelers' over-reliance on this dubious new 'photography' technology can only lead to miscarriages of justice. In my day a billy club and a pathological hatred for the Irish was all that a bold upholder of the Law required, be God.
posted by Abiezer at 10:12 AM on March 28, 2010 [14 favorites]


These whores are getting me hot.
posted by ColdChef at 10:25 AM on March 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Was "bedstead polisher" a real job or some kind of euphemism? They use "prostitute" freely enough.
posted by dilettante at 10:27 AM on March 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Also: I'm pretty sure The Whelk lists his occupation as "tube drawer."
posted by ColdChef at 10:27 AM on March 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Something interesting in The Daily Fail. Wonders will never cease.
posted by idiomatika at 10:30 AM on March 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Are you related to any of these people? ... If so, then tell us your story

This is every genealogists nightmare--finding out your great grandmother was a habitual drunkard and prostitute.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 10:32 AM on March 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also: I'm pretty sure The Whelk lists his occupation as "tube drawer."

Process Dirty-joke potential. Analysis:Overwhelmed. Forced Shut down.
posted by The Whelk at 10:33 AM on March 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


Leonardo Decaprio.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:45 AM on March 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


The first thing I thought when looking at this was that all these people look a lot more normal to my 21st century eyes than the people in stiffly posed family portraits of early 1900s that I'm used to.

Also, I would love to be able to see close-ups of tattoos of the time. What was the significance of having 'dots' tattooed on your arms, as several of the men had?
posted by frobozz at 10:46 AM on March 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm currently running a World War I role-playing game, and this is the ultimate motherlode of NPCs. Thanks!
posted by MrVisible at 10:49 AM on March 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


What was the significance of having 'dots' tattooed on your arms, as several of the men had?

In reserved and understated Edwardian England, it meant you were Yakuza.
posted by Mayor Curley at 10:53 AM on March 28, 2010 [6 favorites]


Get a brain, Moran!
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 10:53 AM on March 28, 2010


"Leonardo Decaprio."

I thought that on first glance too, then I figured "Nah, you're drunk".
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 10:54 AM on March 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


MrVisible, I was just thinking this would be a wonderful resource for someone writing a period piece. Charwomen and boatmen and tube drawers complete with photos and descriptions of tattoos!
posted by darkstar at 10:57 AM on March 28, 2010


But if you're just writing them as characters, you won't get to do the voices. Just looking at these faces, I can tell how I'd do their dialog. And besides, who wouldn't want to menace the party as a slightly inebriated British Bob Hope?
posted by MrVisible at 11:04 AM on March 28, 2010


I am shocked that there's something worthwhile on the Daily Mail website. Those are some interesting looking characters.

Joseph Allsopp looks like he was a bit of a card.

Tamar Edwards
Profession or occupation- married.

ha!
posted by ClanvidHorse at 11:07 AM on March 28, 2010


Lookit these fucking hipsters.
posted by klangklangston at 11:10 AM on March 28, 2010 [7 favorites]


"She was a 38-year-old ‘woodchopper and prostitute’ "

there's a joke here someplace...



Either way, somebody's gettin' wood.


I said good DAY, sir!
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 11:11 AM on March 28, 2010 [5 favorites]


Brummies always have been, and always will be, awesome.
posted by MrMustard at 11:11 AM on March 28, 2010


And nowadays we have Faces of Meth.
posted by sciurus at 11:15 AM on March 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Somewhat related I suppose, and something I was browsing earlier - Food Industry Mugshots.
posted by vacapinta at 11:18 AM on March 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


great, another database of personal and private information leaked onto the internet...
posted by sexyrobot at 11:18 AM on March 28, 2010


Something interesting in The Daily Fail. Wonders will never cease

I am shocked that there's something worthwhile on the Daily Mail website


The Daily Fail consistently features stunningly lulz-worthy stuff, although this selection is my favorite since the photo spread from Aintree Ladies' Day.
posted by sallybrown at 11:19 AM on March 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Shocking how old most of them look for their ages. I guess that's the result of decades of laborious work.

And were jobs so specialized back then that one's sole profession would be to polish bed posts?
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 11:42 AM on March 28, 2010


And were jobs so specialized back then that one's sole profession would be to polish bed posts?

think about it, honey. think very very hard.
posted by sexyrobot at 12:06 PM on March 28, 2010


Why do their rap sheets state their age instead of date of birth?
posted by sourwookie at 12:20 PM on March 28, 2010


The profession names dovetail nicely with that recent FPP about lost industries.
posted by clockzero at 12:27 PM on March 28, 2010


This is every genealogists nightmare--finding out your great grandmother was a habitual drunkard and prostitute.

Or it could be the best episode of "Who Do You Think You Are?"* ever.

*And really, as I discovered last week when watching the Matthew Broderick episode, the bar is set pretty low. Watching celebrities reading and feigning interest over census records and muster rolls does not make for captivating television.
posted by Dr. Zira at 12:28 PM on March 28, 2010


a slightly inebriated British Bob Hope

Curiously enough, Bob Hope was born in Britain, just a month before that picture was taken.
posted by Phanx at 12:32 PM on March 28, 2010


...OR SO WE THOUGHT.
posted by sallybrown at 12:37 PM on March 28, 2010


Jappaner, you don't see many want ads for those any more
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:44 PM on March 28, 2010


This is every genealogists nightmare--finding out your great grandmother was a habitual drunkard and prostitute.

That statement reminds me of this Mad TV skit.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 12:50 PM on March 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Are you related to any of these people? ... If so, then tell us your story by contacting news@dailymail.co.uk

They're kidding, right?
posted by digsrus at 12:50 PM on March 28, 2010


"I feel sorry for these poor people. Although you have to admit that Joseph Allsopp looked a bit shifty."
posted by ovvl at 12:54 PM on March 28, 2010


'Edwardian Drunkards' makes a great band name.
posted by ericb at 1:27 PM on March 28, 2010


Or it could be the best episode of "Who Do You Think You Are?"* ever.

I really like that program, as I do Prof. Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s PBS series 'Faces of America.'
posted by ericb at 1:31 PM on March 28, 2010


Leonardo Decaprio.

Yep...like his character depicted in 'Gangs of New York.'
posted by ericb at 1:34 PM on March 28, 2010


Did anyone else notice - these people are tiny? Even a lot of the men are down around 5' 2".
posted by dunkadunc at 2:28 PM on March 28, 2010


I like the way that the Daily Mail can headline this article 'Binge Britain 1904: The rogues' gallery that shows war on booze is nothing new', while at the same time running scary articles on Binge Britain: An epidemic that is destroying lives to convince its readers that they are living in the middle of an unprecedented social meltdown.
posted by verstegan at 2:43 PM on March 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Poor childhood nutrition, dunkadunc. That's why the clothing, furniture and armor in museums seem so small to us. I've read somewhere that, of all populations properly measured, the English of the 18th century were the shortest average people on record. I don't have a cite for this, though.

As someone with experience in genealogy, I would love to find out that one of these were my ancestors. These career choices would be a step up from some of the Walker Evans photography I'm descended from. Plus, a single one of these cards is a gold mine of corroborating information for a genealogist.

In conclusion I can't favorite this post enough. I could spend all day with these cards, even though I know I'm no kin. Alice Loxley's face is particularly haunting. She looks so full of potential, somehow, still so young. And James Doyle -- you know that's a face that struck terror in a wife and a houseful of young children somewhere.
posted by Countess Elena at 2:43 PM on March 28, 2010


When they say it goes on your Permanent Record, this is what they are talking about...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 3:33 PM on March 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


what on earth is a bedstead polisher?
posted by Philby at 4:00 PM on March 28, 2010


One of the details I love about Deadwood is the great costumes-- the hats with holes, the fraying jackets, the tattered dresses. Outside of the homeless, you just don't see people today wearing their clothes with holes like the coat on Richard 'Dirty Dick' Flemming which is more absent than it is present. While I mourn the loss of style, the availability of cheap clothes and shoes has made a big difference to the lower classes.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:03 PM on March 28, 2010


my favorite since the photo spread from Aintree Ladies' Day.

Ah! I always wondered what happened to the "From Ladette to Lady" crowd.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 4:07 PM on March 28, 2010


Those Edwardians!—they do enjoy their m–dash and n–dashes,
     semi-colons, italics and bold-faced fonts, don't they? To say
     nothing of the egregious usage of tab-stops. Oh! the marvels of
     this new type-writer invention!

     Thank the Lord they lacked a <blink> key.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:35 PM on March 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Did anyone else notice - these people are tiny? Even a lot of the men are down around 5' 2"

Not nearly as shocking as their ages. 38 years old? That's what I call a hard-luck life.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:46 PM on March 28, 2010


I can only imagine what kind of toll it must take on the body and soul to constantly inhale sooty air, work with harsh caustic cleansers, toil laboriously in a trade 12 or 14 hours every day and have to do without even the simplest of conveniences that we take for granted nowadays.

I guess 38 must have felt like twice as old.
posted by darkstar at 5:10 PM on March 28, 2010


Yeah, don't forget that on average people died in their 50s back then, especially the working classes. So, proportionally, they look about right.
posted by DecemberBoy at 5:24 PM on March 28, 2010


Andy Garcia

Christopher Plummer
posted by bwg at 5:39 PM on March 28, 2010


This dude claims to know what the professions were.
posted by dirigibleman at 6:03 PM on March 28, 2010


A book called Death scenes : a homicide detective's notebook, [ISBN 0922915296] includes mug shots, probably from people living in Los Angeles ca 1921 to 1950. It doesn't include specifics of the people, just what they were (maybe) booked for: bunco, hold up, ind. exp., lesbian, procuress, mental case, hit and run, embezzlement, badger game, theft, murder, sodomy and carnal abuse. Katherine Dunn wrote the text.
posted by goofyfoot at 6:51 PM on March 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


"She was a 38-year-old ‘woodchopper and prostitute’ "

there's a joke here someplace...


An intoxicated woman with an axe -- there is a horror movie in there someplace...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 8:21 PM on March 28, 2010


people in stiffly posed family portraits of early 1900s

Victorian studio photographers used to put metal pincers behind the subjects head, on the neck out of sight of the lens, to keep the person still for a long exposure. It had the effect of making people look overly stiff and morgue-like, not to mention unhappy. But when you consider the problem of blurred photos, and the high cost incurred for each shot, it really did make sense.
posted by stbalbach at 9:16 PM on March 28, 2010


Perhaps in these crime photos, they could keep the people still long enough simply with threats of a sound beating, a leering billy-club just out of camera shot.
posted by stbalbach at 9:18 PM on March 28, 2010


the English of the 18th century were the shortest average people on record.

No doubt. This is a famous picture of dead bodies from the Paris Commune uprising. Commentators at the time remarked they had the bodies of children and the heads of adults.
posted by stbalbach at 9:26 PM on March 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


This is every genealogists nightmare--finding out your great grandmother was a habitual drunkard and prostitute.

This is my favorite thing about genealogy. My ancestors were mostly pretty awful, in and out of jails and poorhouses, living in decrepit slums, condemned to insane asylums, fraudulently applying for war pensions, sued for alimony by wives they married in matrimonial ads, crushed by streetcars while drunk...

Sure, it was unbelievably awful at the time, but thanks to its distance from the present I just call it "street cred."
posted by zvs at 12:03 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


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