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Charles W Cushman’s London

November 22, 2020
by the gentle author

American Photographer Charles Weaver Cushman (1896-1972) visited London only a couple of times and yet, alongside shots of landmarks such as Big Ben & Trafalgar Sq, he recorded these rare and unexpected images of markets and street vendors in Kodachrome. He bequeathed over 14,000 of his images to Indiana University, where the entire range of his work may be explored in the Charles W. Cushman Photograph Collection.

Aldgate huckster, April 30th 1961

Bell Lane, April 30th 1961

Petticoat Lane, April 30th 1961

Petticoat Lane, April 30th 1961

Petticoat Lane, April 30th 1961

New Goulston St, April 30th 1961

At St Botolph’s Bishopsgate, April 30th 1961

Liverpool St Station, June 26th 1960

Liverpool St Station, Sunday May 30th 1965

Liverpool St Station, Sunday May 30th 1965

Finsbury Sq, May 30th 1965

St Giles Cripplegate, June 26th 1960

Moorgate, April 30th 1961

Sunday morning on London Bridge, June 26th 1960

Gas lamp cleaners London Bridge, May 29th 1965

Looking east from London Bridge, May 29th 1965

Smithfield Market, May 2nd 1961

Leather Lane, April 28th 1961

Leather Lane, April 28th 1961

Leather Lane, April 28th 1961

Covent Garden, June 26th 1961

Covent Garden, June 26th 1961

Covent Garden, June 26th 1961

Covent Garden, June 26th 1961

Covent Garden, June 26th 1961

Covent Garden, June 26th 1961

Buskers, Leicester Sq, May 14th 1961

St. Martin in the Fields, Trafalgar Sq, June 19th 1960

Photographs copyright © The Trustees of Indiana University

You may also like to take a look at

Izis Bidermanas’ London

Marketa Luskacova’s Brick Lane

11 Responses leave one →
  1. November 22, 2020

    Fantastic GA. What memories of Petticoat Lane when I was young. Trainspotting at Liverpool Street. And black and white pictures I took back then of buskers at Leicester Square. Still got them somewhere.

  2. Richard Smith permalink
    November 22, 2020

    Truly ‘the past is a foreign country they do things differently there………..’

  3. Federico Bonfanti permalink
    November 22, 2020

    Thank you it was a most rewarding ‘journey’ in the past of my adopted City since 1966.

  4. November 22, 2020

    Greetings from Boston,

    GA, thanks for unearthing this great collection of London scenes. Back in those days, folks really did dress up a bit on Sundays. Love the pic at Bishopgate of the two young boys with their natty outfits and well-worn shoes.

  5. Linda Granfield permalink
    November 22, 2020

    First thing that struck me? Where are all the men’s hats?!

    A few flat caps but lots of bare/bald pates. The fedoras of the past decades have disappeared.

    The fellow with the six cartons of flowers balanced on his head—wonderful!

    Thanks for sharing these marvelous, vivid, snapshots.

  6. Adele Lester permalink
    November 22, 2020

    Some great memories in these photos, mostly of going down ‘the Lane’ on Sunday mornings, and Liverpool St station. Thanks GA, and happy and safe Thanksgiving to all members here who have made the USA their home, but will never forget growing up in London.

  7. Lizebeth permalink
    November 22, 2020

    What wonderful images. Although I don’t know the East End of London so well, the photos of Covent Garden, and the bus in Trafalgar Square, especially resonate with me, as that is my neighbourhood. It is sad to think that so many markets are on their way out today (although I have to say that Liverpool Street Station has benefitted from modern cleaning!). Thank you so much for sharing them.

  8. November 22, 2020

    Well, knock me over with a feather. It never even entered my mind that petticoats would be sold on Petticoat Lane. Whaaaaaat? Seeing that frothy array of crinolines reminded me of — goodness! — so many things. Shirtwaist day dresses, strapless prom gowns with yards of netting, those wonderfully “thematic” felt circle skirts (so-called poodle skirts), and of course taffeta cocktail dresses. The frilly/silly rustle of those under-skirts is a long-forgotten memory.
    Thanks for a wonderful photo array, so rich in details.

  9. Mark permalink
    November 22, 2020

    Thanks for showing them.
    Love Cushman.
    His archive is really good.
    Wondrous Kodachrome. Vivid.
    Like a time tunnel.

  10. Brnie permalink
    November 22, 2020

    While agreeing or at least sympathising with most of the other comments about these images I am also struck by the carelessness with which they generally appear to have been framed. Am I being over-critical?

  11. November 22, 2020

    What a Great Journey!  I love these KODACHROMES for reminding me to the phantastic Pics in “THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINES” I got once from the 1950s. They animated me to my own Trips to England and Scotland from 1978 on! I repeated the “Stroll to John O’Groats”, which was discribed in that one Item from July 1956. 

    Love & Peace

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