Category Archives: East End crafts and craftspeople

Cigar makers of the East End of London

The trading vessels that set off for the New World, for Asia, and for the West and East Indies from the 16th century onward, brought back a number of goods, without which it’s impossible to imagine the London of today. … Continue reading

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Escaped tigers and white elephants … the Tobacco Dock story

IT SEEMED such a great idea. A prime chunk of derelict real estate, right at the epicentre of the coming Docklands boom. Just like in the Long Good Friday: what could go wrong? As the rubble of the demolished docks … Continue reading

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Dock deaths and the Poplar Hospital

THE NAME of the infirmary was tellingly blunt. The ‘Poplar Hospital for Accidents’ suggested that the East End of the 1800s was a dangerous place where bad things happened. And though it would become a refuge for East Enders suffering … Continue reading

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Strikes in the East End of London during World War 1

The years before the First World War saw more strikes in the East End of London than ever before, and it was little wonder that unrest centred on this part of London. A centre for industry and imports, with a … Continue reading

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Fleet Street moves to the East End

The second half of the 19th century was a great age for the press, as taxes on publications and newsprint were removed, new printing techniques made big print runs possible, and pioneering editors such as the pacificist WT Stead reinvented … Continue reading

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William Addis, inventor of the toothbrush

They are called Eureka moments, as chance and inspiration combine to create something great. Archimedes, the man whose overflowing bath led to his principle for discerning the volume of objects must top the list of course. And Einstein has to … Continue reading

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Lee Cooper in Petticoat Lane

It’s an iconic brand that started out in the early 1900s cladding the working man in denim, and then took jeans off the farm and out of the factory and onto the high street. Through canny marketing, this great survivor … Continue reading

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The glassmakers of Ratcliff

As you sip from your glass, read by the light of your window or crunch your way across a pavement carpeted with former car windows, you might reflect that glass is cheap, glass is everywhere. But it wasn’t always so. … Continue reading

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William Caslon, typesetter

When William Caslon set up shop in the Minories in 1716, he had his work, and his future, cut out. The young Caslon, who had been born in Cradley, Worcestershire in 1692, was a skilled engraver and toolmaker. He made … Continue reading

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Bow Pottery

Wedgewood, Meissen, Delft – all are world famous names in the world of pottery. But 250 years ago it was Bow pottery that was drawing the eyes of the world, and all thanks to a young Irish painter who settled … Continue reading

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