Residents in Little Collingwood Street: c.1900
4 0 c m
 
30cm
actual image size: 22cm x 30cm

Residents in Little Collingwood Street: c.1900

John Galt

© Ian Galt/ Museum of London

Full image caption

This photograph was taken by John Galt, a missionary with the London City Mission and shows the cramped housing conditions of the labouring classes in the East End. These homes in Little Collingwood Street, Bethnal Green, stood only 2.74 metres apart. The photograph also suggests the sense of community amongst the residents. By the 1880s, London's shortage of decent housing was understood to be a principal cause of the degradation of the poor. Crammed into filthy, foul-aired slums, the physical and moral decay of the labouring classes was viewed as inevitable. The degenerating conditions of city life became the primary subject of social debate.
In 1903, Galt's contemporary Charles Booth published his completed social survey on wealth and poverty across London. According to Booth, the people who lived in Little Collingwood Street included costers, fish curers, and some thieves, many of whom were children.
This photograph was one of many that Galt produced to show conditions in the East End and the work of the London City Mission. His intention was often to show that, contrary to popular middle-class belief, the people of the East End were worthy of salvation.
 

Artist/Photographer/Maker

 

Date

1900 AD - 1907 AD
 

Image Number

004486
 

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