Some comfortable others poor
March 18, 2019 12:06 PM Subscribe
The Maps Descriptive of London Poverty are perhaps the most distinctive product of Charles Booth's Inquiry into Life and Labour in London (1886-1903). An early example of social cartography, each street is coloured to indicate the income and social class of its inhabitants.
What Were the Poverty Maps?
The 12 Maps Descriptive of London Poverty, 1898-9 cover an area of London from Hammersmith in the west, to Greenwich in the east, and from Hampstead in the north to Clapham in the south. The Charles Booth archive at LSE Library contains a possible thirteenth sheet, covering Woolwich (archive reference number: Booth/A/49). This sheet is not included in the map presented on this site, but an image of it can be viewed on LSE Library's Flickr account.Part of Charles Booth's London, a digital exhibition from the London School of Economics Library. (Previously, previouslier.)
The City of London was not included in the street level survey because it did not house any significant number of residents. For this reason, the City of London remains uncoloured and unclassified on the maps.
Also from the LSE Digital Library:
Street Life in London (1876-7)
Street Life in London, published in 1876-7, consists of a series of articles by the radical journalist Adolphe Smith and the photographer John Thomson. The pieces are short but full of detail, based on interviews with a range of men and women who eked out a precarious and marginal existence working on the streets of London, including flower-sellers, chimney-sweeps, shoe-blacks, chair-caners, musicians, dustmen and locksmiths. The subject matter of Street Life was not new – the second half of the 19th century saw an increasing interest in urban poverty and social conditions – but the unique selling point of Street Life was a series of photographs ‘taken from life’ by Thomson. The authors felt at the time that the images lent authenticity to the text, and their book is now regarded as a key work in the history of documentary photography.
London Municipal Election Posters, 1907.
The cartoon in this poster shows a political meeting and a speaker shouting to an audience. The Speaker has 'Municipal Reform' written on his belly and is saying (in speech bubble) 'Our Policy is- All for us, and, the remainder-for our friends!'. He is flanked by two men to his right, who are marked 'Capital Trust'. To his left, seated behind a table marked 'Municipal Reform', are three figures, one of whom declares, 'That's what I've always done!'. At the bottom of the cartoon are the heads of the audience from the back. On these heads are written various terms, such as 'Gas Trust', 'Landlords Trust' and 'No Parks and Music for the People, Primrose League'.
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