1912: Spitalfields Nippers

13 Responses

  1. Marc Brans

    I wonder what it is “written” on the cart wheel… “109…”?

  2. Chris

    Used to practically live and breath in Spitalfields in London… great place now but some areas, streets were totally poverty stricken for a long time, used to have 10 families too a house a room shared as well plus this is in the middle of Jack the Rippers stalking ground.

  3. kate

    Poor wee things, the boy leaning against the wall really looks so sad…

  4. Thorby

    Compare these to the Russian royal family photos posted about the same time. The difference between the haves and have nots is growing once again.

  5. The Golden Latrine

    These photographs are incredible. It’s funny, they look like they’re existing in such poverty, and yet you can almost project their faces into modern Whitechapel, with its posh vintage shops and lomography outlets.

  6. agitadora60

    poor lower class children then, compare them to poor lower class children now…only difference is that now the pictures are in color…we havent evolved much, have we?

  7. Mark

    On the contrary. The “poor” now have food stamps, clothes, televisions, cars, air conditioning and any number of other benefits that the kids in these pictures would’ve considered luxuries only the rich could have. Indoor toilets! And water from faucets! Conditions are HUGELY better now. Let’s not bring politics into this place too.

  8. Eddie

    If these are of interest to you, look up mitchell and kenyon on YouTube – the films they made in the same era are incredible, and equally moving.

  9. Chris Siddall

    A lot of these kids would have been Toshers and Mudlarks, when they weren’t looking after younger brothers or sisters. Scouring the streets, railway embankments, riverbanks and docks for anything they could find that could be sold or used at home. Actually going to School would be either a be a seemingly unattainable dream or like prison without the benefits of learning a “trade” off the older lags.

  10. Marie

    I don’t think “politics” enters into making a factual statement that the very poor of the industrialized nations today DO have access to health care, food stamps, education, etc. These kids in the photographs would died by the thousands in a flu epidemic or even in a very cold winter.

    Great pics though, and the kids really, for the most part, don’t look like starved….but imagine bare feet yr round ! And the one young child carrying a baby all wrapped up, with the little fingers sticking out….they all probably had to work or do something (even if illegal as the other commenter said) to help their families get by.


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