Panorama of London circa 1890

Panorama of London circa 1890

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Originally published by Harpers Weekly in 1890, this view shows London in the latter years of the Victorian era, by now indisputably the world's greatest city. The population had risen from around 250,000 in 1600 to over 4,000,000 by 1890.

London has always been a city of immigrants. Initially mainly from the rest of Britain, then from all over the world. With them came ideas and skills that were a major contribution to making London the first 'world city'.

The view shows London bridge thronged with traffic, the old bridge being demolished 60 years earlier. The view of 1616 shows the church towers and steeples dominating the skyline, now factory chimneys belching smoke have joined them, the London fogs now well and truly established. Much evidence are the railways. Pouring into London from all quarters they only added to the pollution.

St Paul's dominated the skyline of London in 1890, just as Old St Paul's did in Visscher's panorama of 1616. Upstream London Bridge had been joined by five others, three of which carried railways. The old medieval bridge was demolished in 1831 to be replaced with the new bridge, designed by John Rennie and opened in the same year.

Just next to the bridge to the right is the Monument. This structure marks the spot where the Great Fire of London began in a bakers shop on Pudding Lane in 1666.

London had grown enormously since Visscher published his view nearly 300 years previously. Life expectancy had only risen from 35 years in 1600 to the mid 40's by 1891 but in the poorer areas like Whitechapel it was still only in the 20's for labourers.

Comes rolled in a covered tube.

Size: 48" x 10"