Full image caption
A steam-powered excavator, Royal Albert Dock. In 1912 work began to extend the Royal Albert Dock. Nearly 4 million cubic metres of material were excavated from the site, much of it using steam-powered machinery, such as this excavator which was photographed by John Avery on 11 September 1913. The outbreak of the First World War in 1914 diverted much of the workforce into the forces and the project was closed down. Work restarted after the war and in 1921 King George V opened the third of the Royal Docks. The King George V Dock was built to handle large steamships and passenger liners, and included vast refrigeration facilities.
© PLA collection/Museum of London