Seeing London 1920

By sizemore Last edited 163 months ago
Seeing London 1920

There's PLENTY to see over on the Internet Archive: The original Nosferatu, Night of the Living Dead and Lon Chaney Jnr in The Indestructible Man... and much more than old horror movies - we've just got a one track mind.

It's very American centric of course, but once the Beeb open up their own archives (and the current download trials are a step in the right direction) that imbalance will finally be checked. In the meantime it's interesting to dig out some of the more British flavoured offerings so we'll do just that from time to time.

First off is this wonderful footage of London from 1920. It's amazing to see just how little has changed in this thirteen minute silent film, but also strange to see more horses crossing Tower Bridge than cars, the "first American big store in London", old landmarks when they were still a novelty ("The new Admiralty Arch adorns Trafalgar Square") and that tourists even back then were willing to pay for a quick tour atop one of the new fangled motor busses. And it's nice to see so many Londoners mugging for the camera and grinning at us from beyond the grave.

The film finishes somewhat bizarrely with a baseball match of all things, but then this was produced for the people back home in the US so a game of fancy rounders between the US Army and Navy probably made more sense than the weird sports we played. How odd that they take the time to point out the similarity between King George and an umpire.

The Internet Archive then, built for noble purpose, but perfect for watching old Republic serials when the boss isn't looking...

Last Updated 06 June 2005