'Old Houses, Fleet Street'
© Science & Society
A photograph of old houses in Fleet Street, London, taken by Alfred and John Bool in 1884. The home of the 'London Daily News' can be seen, as well as a booksellers and publishers and a fishmongers. Many of London's historic buildings were lost in the Victorian period as the city expanded and modernised. Between 1875 and 1882 a concerned amateur society, The Society for Photographing Relics of Old London, commissioned a systematic photographic record of threatened buildings in an effort to save them. The Bool brothers were portrait painters who took up photography in the early 1870s. In the late 1870s, Henry Dixon (1820-1893) was also employed by the Society to photograph historic buildings threatened with demolition. He printed both his photographs and those taken earlier by the Bool brothers as permanent carbon prints. These were issued to subscribers together with printed notes on the histories of the buildings depicted.