Streetmuseum app updated

First launched in 2010, the Museum of London’s Streetmuseum app has just been updated with 103 new locations. And to mark the update, a series of ‘hybrid’ images showing historic and contemporary views of the capital has also been released

Duncannon Street, Westminster; 1902, photographer: unknown © Museum of London. A view of Duncannon Street decorated with bunting and banners for the coronation ceremony of Edward VII. There are pedestrians and vehicles in the foreground and the National Gallery is visible in the distance.

First launched in 2010, the Museum of London‘s Streetmuseum app has just been updated with 103 new locations. And to mark the update, a series of ‘hybrid’ images showing historic and contemporary views of the capital have also been released…

Cheapside; 1893, photographer: Paul Martin © The Estate of Paul Martin. A street seller of sherbert and water is photographed on Cheapside completely unawares of the camera. Paul Martin was the first photographer to roam around the streets of London with a disguised camera taking candid pictures such as this solely for the purpose of showing ‘life as it is’.

Developed once again with creative agency Brothers and Sisters, the new app has improved functionality and the option to order prints of some of the images featured from Museum of London’s website. (Our post on the app’s launch four years ago is here.)

Covent Garden; c.1930, photographer: George Davison Reid © Museum of London. A street scene in London’s Covent Garden with the underground station and a horse and cart in the background. George Davison Reid photographed activity in the marketplace from opposite Covent Garden Underground station on Long Acre. The long established market place was under pressure to move. The congested facilities were described at the time as ‘altogether inadequate to the necessities of the trade’. The fruit and vegetable market relocated in 1973.

As before, the app works across various sites in London. When users open up Streetmuseum on an iPhone, a map reveals their position and details the locations of where the nearest “hidden histories” are. Using it in-situ, with the phone’s camera and the ‘3D view’ enabled, the app then overlays a historic image from the Museum’s extensive photographic collection over the screen.

Palace Theatre; 1958, photographer: Bob Collinsn© Estate of Bob Collins/Museum of London. A night shot outside the Palace Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue, before an evening’s performance. Collins created a number of night-time photographs playing with the bright lights of the West End to record people enjoying the buzz of fifties nightlife.

Byward Street (Tower Hill); c.1930, photographer: George Davison Reid © Museum of London. This photograph shows Byward Street near Tower Hill, looking west with the church of All Hallows by the tower on the left and the former Mark Lane Underground station on the right. Reid photographed the streets and buildings of London and the activity in them in the 1920s and 1930s.

To mark the increased points from which the images ranging from 1868 to 2003 can be accessed, the museum has released 16 hybrid images of London, nine of which are shown here.

According to the Museum the images for the 2014 update were taken by renowned late 19th and 20th century photographers including Henry Grant, Wolfgang Suschitsky, Roger Mayne and George Davison Reid, and include locations in London “which have changed dramatically in the intervening years”, such as Blackfriars station c.1930, Victoria Station in 1950, the view of London’s skyline from Tower Bridge c.1930, and Brick Lane in 1957.

Charing Cross Road; c. 1935, photographer: Wolfgang Suschitzky © Wolf Suschitzky/Museum of London. An evening street scene outside Foyles book shop on Charing Cross Road, c.1935. The street is renowned for its specialist and second-hand bookshops and Suschitzky was attracted by the extensive array of these, along with the teahouses, and the crowds that flocked to them. The resulting series of photographs are amongst Suschitzky’s most acclaimed work.

Bow Lane; c.1930, photographer: George Davison Reid © Museum of London. A view of Bow Lane, off Cheapside in the City of London, looking south to the crossing with Watling Street and St. Mary Aldermary in the middle distance. ‘Ye Olde Watling’ tavern was originally built just after the Great Fire of 1666. George Davison Reid supported the Society of Antiquaries of London, which promoted the study of London’s architecture, and was interested in photographing older architecture and locations. He took this photo of Bow Lane in the late 1930s.

Victoria Station; 1950 photographer: Henry Grant © Henry Grant Collection/Museum of London. Boy shining shoes outside the Tea Room at Victoria station. A group of porters can be seen with their trolleys waiting to help travellers with their luggage.

“The new locations also expand to the suburbs and outer boroughs of London,” say the Museum, “from Richmond mods in 1964, Brent Cross road construction in the 1970s to Ealing Suffragettes in 1912 – providing an even more comprehensive reach for the app.”

Streetmuseum 2.0 can be downloaded for both iPad and iPhone here. Caption information supplied by the Museum of London.

Piccadilly Circus; June 1953, photographer: Wolfgang Suschitzky © Wolf Suschitzky/Museum of London. Piccadilly Circus on Coronation Day, 2 June 1953. Crowds gather to witness the Coronation procession of Elizabeth II. The coronation went ahead in Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953, and at the Queen’s request, the entire ceremony was televised throughout the Commonwealth, and watched by an estimated twenty million people.

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