Spitalfields Life presents Horace Warner’s “Spitalfields Nippers” collection, photographed in 1912. It is an interesting portrait of children living in London almost 100 years ago.
These children lived on the outskirts of society, on the streets of the neighbourhood. They taught themselves to be capable and independent by doing chores and selling services / available items, leading to responsibility and attitudes beyond their years, which is reflected through these photographs.
There is not much history behind Horace Warner or his project, only 30 photos still exist, out of 240 taken. Here are some examples of Horace’s work;
A comparison to Horace Warner’s project can be found HERE. Colin O’Brien took photo’s of traveller children in 1987, although 75 years later these photo’s have a similar Victorian style to them, the children in the 80’s collection are in the main less stern, but the portrayal of life seems very comparable.
Colin O’Brien also has some other photo collections worth looking at on his website, depicting street life and street people in the “BLACK AND WHITE” section of his portfolio.
These are excellent photos, but I’m saddened that in today’s vast media-inspired cocktail of terrorism, paedophilia, truth, suspicion and paranoia, there will be distinctly fewer such photos of how we live – of how we are – to show to our grandchildren. FATman xxx