Museum for London

Museum for London The only museum to tell the story of the world's greatest city and its people.
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The Museum of London is the only museum to tell the story of the world's greatest city and its people. Page terms and conditions: 1. Users are prohibited from posting any content which is defamatory, infringes third party intellectual property rights, is offensive or otherwise unlawful. 2. We reserve the right to remove posts or comments we deem unlawful, or for which we receive complaint. Please note, for enquiries, please email info(at)museumoflondon(dot)org(dot)uk.

“I particularly like pilgrim’s items such as badges or ampullas as they not only show a belief in miraculous remedies, b...
30/05/2020

“I particularly like pilgrim’s items such as badges or ampullas as they not only show a belief in miraculous remedies, but also a need for exploration, adventure, new experiences and knowledge. Through pilgrimages (and less humane Crusades) many new inventions, foods and cures arrived to Europe and England. This particular ampulla is the Canterbury ampulla, containing holy water tinged with St Thomas Becket’s blood. The blood had been collected from his wounds by the monks of the cathedral after Becket had been murdered on 29 December 1170. The Holy water became a miraculous cure for all kinds of diseases and was said to bring the dead back to life – as well as being a popular pilgrim souvenir.” – Joanna, Visitor Experience Administrator

The photography series Waged London by Larry Herman, sought to document the working lives of some of the millions of peo...
30/05/2020

The photography series Waged London by Larry Herman, sought to document the working lives of some of the millions of people who through their work in healthcare, transport, manufacturing, tourism and in many other jobs, underpin the entire London economy. Here we have a portrait of a fighfigter in Islington, representing the work of the emergency services in London #FrontlinersFromHistory

📸: Larry Herman, Firefighter, Islington, from the series Waged London, 2005-2015, © Larry Herman

Incarcerated Suffragettes were resourceful as well as heroic. From fashioning playing cards out of postcards, to writing...
30/05/2020

Incarcerated Suffragettes were resourceful as well as heroic. From fashioning playing cards out of postcards, to writing letters and diaries on a particularly fragile material - toilet paper! Discover how these inexhaustible campaigners survived their time in jail: https://bit.ly/3c3PRez

Keeping the streets we walk on clean, here we have a photograph of a female street cleaner as she walks along the paveme...
29/05/2020

Keeping the streets we walk on clean, here we have a photograph of a female street cleaner as she walks along the pavement in Stratford. #FrontlinersFromHistory

📸: Larry Herman, Street sweeper, Stratford, from the series Waged London, 2005-2015, © Larry Herman

29/05/2020
#LondonsFashionAlphabet: T - Tailoring

When we reached T in #LondonsFashionAlphabet, we knew it couldn't stand for anything else other than, tailoring. From the very beginnings of Savile Row, to the glorious garments made there in the 70s, watch this episode with curator, Beatrice Behlen, for a snapshot of London's most fashionable menswear.

28/05/2020
Follow the Fleet

Sink beneath the streets with us for a sneak peek at London’s last open sewer turned hidden river: The Fleet.

More than 18 miles of previously hidden/unnatural/inaccessible river has now been rewilded or restored back to as natural a state as possible and London Rivers Week highlights these rewilded places so more Londoners can explore and enjoy them.

Find out more about the rescheduled London Rivers week happening Saturday 24 October - Sunday 1 November here: https://www.thames21.org.uk/joinacampaign/londonriversweek/

28/05/2020

This silk dress was worn by Ann Fanshawe, daughter of the Lord Mayor in 1753. Can you imagine wearing something like this? Pop on your favourite clothes, strike a pose and take a photo to show us. Bonus activity: look for old family photos! What are people wearing? #MuseumofFundon

Here we have a photo documenting a cleaner mopping the floor of an operating theatre in University College Hospital, Eus...
28/05/2020

Here we have a photo documenting a cleaner mopping the floor of an operating theatre in University College Hospital, Euston Road. It's part of the series 'Waged London' through which Larry Herman, over a period of ten years, sought to document the working lives of some of the millions of people who through their work in healthcare, transport, manufacturing, tourism and in many other jobs, underpin the entire London economy. #FrontlinersFromHistory

📸: Larry Herman, University College Hospital Operating Theatre, Euston Road, from the series Waged London, 2005-2015, © Larry Herman

“One of the most poignant, yet heart-warming aspects of the current crisis has been the use of technology and video call...
28/05/2020

“One of the most poignant, yet heart-warming aspects of the current crisis has been the use of technology and video calls to enable loved ones to chat briefly with those in hospital, whilst visits are not permissible. A humble postcard on display in our People’s City Gallery has reminded me that keeping in touch with friends and family in hospital has always been a key concern for Londoners. The postcard was one in a series produced by the City of London Hospital for Consumption and Chest diseases, partly to raise funds in the pre-NHS era but also for use by patients and friends. This postcard includes the reassuring message 'I have seen A in hospital he will be well looked after it is a lovely place nice gardens.’

The hospital, built in 1848 was located within the grounds of Victoria Park - affectionately referred to as ‘the lung of the East End’. Although the hospital closed in 2015, its long history is a clear reminder that the struggle to keep London’s vast population healthy and free from disease remains one of our most enduring challenges.” - Beverley, Curator

28/05/2020
Should we dig up London buried rivers?

There is nearly 400 miles of waterway running through the capital, the same distance as that between Brighton and Edinburgh. This is a huge resource for people and wildlife in our capital - but much of it is hidden and in some places, buried. Would you join the movement for 'daylighting' London's lost rivers? #LoveLondonsRivers

Taken from the series 'Waged London' by Larry Herman. Here we have a documentation of a day in the life of a London Ambu...
27/05/2020

Taken from the series 'Waged London' by Larry Herman. Here we have a documentation of a day in the life of a London Ambulance Paramedic, resting after a shift in Islington. #FrontlinersFromHistory

📸: Larry Herman, London Ambulance Paramedic, Mess Room, Islington, from the series Waged London, 2005-2015, © Larry Herman

"This is a sample of soap nuts, produced c. 1900-1935, and imported through the London docks from the West Indies. When ...
27/05/2020

"This is a sample of soap nuts, produced c. 1900-1935, and imported through the London docks from the West Indies. When I came across this object in our collections I was fascinated as I had no idea that soap nuts even existed or that they are often used in the manufacturing of soap. I like the idea that such a small object can still surprise and would have played an essential part in the lives on Londoners for centuries both in times of illness and health." - Emily, Media Officer

Uncover London's lost waterways. Once vital to Londoners' lives, many of these rivers have been abandoned or concealed b...
27/05/2020

Uncover London's lost waterways. Once vital to Londoners' lives, many of these rivers have been abandoned or concealed beneath our streets. Take a look here to see how two of these, the Rivers Wandle and Lea, have changed over the centuries: https://bit.ly/2A5Xh3F

Nurses and Midwives unite! Did you know that on the 27th of April 1909, an International Woman Suffrage conference took ...
26/05/2020

Nurses and Midwives unite! Did you know that on the 27th of April 1909, an International Woman Suffrage conference took place to represent 'voteless' professions and tradeswomen. As depicted in this image, Nurses and Midwives marched for over half an hour into the Albert Hall to join the Conference delegate. The 'Votes for Women' newspaper even reported that 'From the women doctors in their blazing scarlet hoods, to the pitbrow women in their shawls, every branch of women's work was represented' in the Pageant. #FrontlinersFromHistory

📸: Christina Broom, Nurses and midwives in the Pageant of Women's Trades and Professions, 1909 © Museum of London

When an awful stench and disease overwhelmed the city of London, Joseph William Bazalgette came to the rescue. He built ...
26/05/2020

When an awful stench and disease overwhelmed the city of London, Joseph William Bazalgette came to the rescue. He built a new extensive underground system of sewers. These sewers are still in use today but sadly facing problems of their own. Not designed for our current population and waste, some of them have since been blocked by fatbergs.

Read more about Bazalgette and the London sewers here: https://bit.ly/3d19LbK

26/05/2020
Disease X Online

London has been hit by many epidemics over the past decades. Our 2018 exhibition 'Disease X' looked back through our collections to find out more about them. What could these previous epidemics tell us about the impact of future epidemics on the lives of Londoners? Experience the virtual exhibition here. https://bit.ly/3bQYnhb

25/05/2020

Fancy trying a 150-year-old craft activity? The Victorians loved decorating their own 'penny plains' - souvenir images of famous actors or heroes. Try it yourself using felt tips and colouring pencils - or embellish your pictures with sequins and glitter! https://bit.ly/36nteRa #MuseumofFundon

Taken in 1980, this gentleman was originally from Barbados and had worked as a bus driver in London for the past five ye...
25/05/2020

Taken in 1980, this gentleman was originally from Barbados and had worked as a bus driver in London for the past five years. #FrontlinersFromHistory

📸: Henry Grant, Bus driver, 1980 © Museum of London

The first fully automatic post sorting machines were not introduced until 1979 and until this date sorting had to be com...
24/05/2020

The first fully automatic post sorting machines were not introduced until 1979 and until this date sorting had to be completed by hand, as we see in this photo taken c. 1965 at the Royal Mail Mount Pleasant Sorting Office.

Bonus info: In the 1960s and 70s the Mount Pleasant Sorting Office in Clerkenwell was thought to be the largest in the world covering an area of 7.5 acres. #FrontlinersFromHistory

📸 Henry Grant, Employee at work sorting letters at the Royal Mail Mount Pleasant Sorting Office, c. 1965 © Museum of London

Bagnigge Wells was a popular meeting place in St Pancras, especially after the discovery in 1760 of two spas that were g...
24/05/2020

Bagnigge Wells was a popular meeting place in St Pancras, especially after the discovery in 1760 of two spas that were good for health and a treatment for disease. The attractions of the spa were soon outweighed by its reputation as a meeting point for couples. This mezzotint shows the gardens (with the fountain in the background) which became a favourite place for romantic encounters. A party dine under the shadow of a colonnade on the lake as couples walk around the gardens. The river Fleet played an important part in the enjoyment of the visitors, as can be seen by the presence of the lake and the fountains. The springs were thought to be beneficial because of the mineral content in their water; it varied from spring to spring, so sometimes it did help, sometimes it did nothing - and sometimes, when the level of arsenic was high, it was poisonous. - Kate, Curator

The rivers of London have always been intertwined with Londoners' lives. This watercolour depicts Jacob's Island, but wh...
24/05/2020

The rivers of London have always been intertwined with Londoners' lives. This watercolour depicts Jacob's Island, but what can this image tell us about what life was like in the slums and what role the river played? Download our Secret Rivers exhibition catalogue here and find out the answer to this question and get an in-depth look at the most fascinating objects we displayed: https://bit.ly/2LMIIES #LondonRiversWeek

Major diseases have struck London throughout its history, from the Black Death that devastated the medieval city, to Spa...
24/05/2020

Major diseases have struck London throughout its history, from the Black Death that devastated the medieval city, to Spanish Flu which struck the city in 1918.

Back in 2018 our exhibition Disease X was about what we might learn from the past to tackle the diseases of the future, this feels more relevant now than ever.

So what might we learn from these past epidemics that could help us now? https://bit.ly/3e6bRH9

Here we see a 1954 Henry Grant image of a nurse on the ward at the Hospital of St. John and St. Elizabeth Hospital. Foun...
23/05/2020

Here we see a 1954 Henry Grant image of a nurse on the ward at the Hospital of St. John and St. Elizabeth Hospital. Founded in 1856, 'John and Lizzies' is one of the country's largest independent charity hospitals and the UK's foremost Catholic Hospital. #FrontlinersFromHistory

📸: Henry Grant, A nurse on the ward at the St. John and St. Elizabeth Hospital, 1954 © Museum of London.

Are you a laid back Lea, a well-to-do Westbourne, or more of a fun-loving Fleet? Take out online quiz to find out this #...
23/05/2020

Are you a laid back Lea, a well-to-do Westbourne, or more of a fun-loving Fleet? Take out online quiz to find out this #LondonRiversWeek: https://bit.ly/3bVgyly

Many people have heard of the Black Death of 1348 and the Great Plague of 1665, but what exactly is a plague? And what e...
22/05/2020

Many people have heard of the Black Death of 1348 and the Great Plague of 1665, but what exactly is a plague? And what effects did these and other outbreaks have on the lives of Londoners? Explore London's plagues in this family-friendly pocket history guide: https://bit.ly/3gd3nzO

Introducing Frontliners from History, photographs from our collection highlighting the capital's frontline workers who'v...
22/05/2020

Introducing Frontliners from History, photographs from our collection highlighting the capital's frontline workers who've kept the lifeblood of the city flowing, just as they do today. First up is this picture from 1975. The first women to work as 'clippies' or bus conductors did so as early 1916 however it was not until the Second World War that they became a regular sight and it was not until 1974 that the first female bus driver was employed by London Underground. #FrontlinersFromHistory

📸: Henry Grant, Bus conductor, 1975 © Museum of London

21/05/2020
Disease X online exhibition

Life has changed in a way almost unimaginable when we created our Disease X exhibition back in 2018. Now we are sharing the stories, objects and words of that exhibition online, to demonstrate what the past can tell us about epidemics and their impact on London, as well as the resilience of Londoners to come through them. Take a visit: https://bit.ly/3g7CvRP

“This box of sterile disposable hypodermic needles was collected at Dr F Barber’s surgery at 38 Brookfield Park. A small...
21/05/2020

“This box of sterile disposable hypodermic needles was collected at Dr F Barber’s surgery at 38 Brookfield Park. A small device of great importance, the hypodermic needle was the revolutionary device that enabled doctors to do intravenous injection, crucial for the insertion of vaccines. For example, Louis Pasteur used an older model to immunise his first patient against rabies in 1885. These were first mass produced in the United States to enable the mass vaccination of children with the new polio vaccine in 1954. The disposable sterile hypodermic we see here was developed in the 1960s and is still used today. This last development helped it to become more widespread and cheaper while meeting strict hygiene standards enabling a greater potential to treat and immunise patients in any situation, worldwide.”
– Anna, Conservation Student Placement

"The Great Fire of London did one good thing by wiping out the plague, right? Wrong!While it makes for an excellent stor...
20/05/2020

"The Great Fire of London did one good thing by wiping out the plague, right? Wrong!

While it makes for an excellent story, in reality the plague was mostly over by the time the fire hit. Peaking in the summer of 1665, the death toll was in decline from the autumn, and when King Charles II returned to London in 1666 it signified that the city was reasonably safe again.

Secondly, as this amazing map from our collection shows, the areas worst hit by the plague (largely outside of the City of London such as Whitechapel, Clerkenwell and Southwark) were untouched by the Great Fire of 1666. But you can appreciate how two catastrophes happening in such close proximity leads people to a connection.

So what does that say about the future of COVID-19 in the history books? What factors will be most remembered in its elimination? What 'fake news' will be remembered through the centuries and be left to future museums to myth bust once again?" - Simone, Audience Lead

“This is a street vendor of cough lozenges and healing ointment, c. 1877. This vendor described to the photographer how ...
19/05/2020

“This is a street vendor of cough lozenges and healing ointment, c. 1877.
This vendor described to the photographer how he believed his recovery from blindness was due to the ointment he received from a similar street 'doctor'. Thus he, in turn, set up in business with the man. Despite the increasing number of free hospitals where the poor could consult qualified doctors, many continued to opt for solutions to their ailments from such 'quacks' both to retain independence and because of a lack of time. This is from a series of 37 photographs published in the book, 'Street Life in London' (1877), with text written by John Thomson and the journalist Adolphe Smith.” – Rosalie, Project Manager

Did you know that Romans had shoes for every occasion? From leather sandals to sturdy boots, discover Roman footwear in ...
19/05/2020

Did you know that Romans had shoes for every occasion? From leather sandals to sturdy boots, discover Roman footwear in our latest Discover article: https://bit.ly/3e5SIFz

This thin sheet of lead was rolled up and worn as a charm to protect the wearer, Demetrios, from dying in a pandemic tha...
18/05/2020

This thin sheet of lead was rolled up and worn as a charm to protect the wearer, Demetrios, from dying in a pandemic that ravaged much of the Roman Empire in the 160s and 170s CE.

The text, which was scratched in Greek, contains the words of a prayer: “Send away the discordant clatter of raging plague, air-borne … infiltrating pain, heavy-spiriting, flesh-wasting, melting, from the hollows of the veins. Great Iao, great Sabaoth, protect the bearer. Phoebus of the unshorn hair, archer, drive away the cloud of plague. Iao, God Abrasax, bring help … Lord God, watch over Demetrios.”

Read more about its history here: http://ow.ly/aCw850zJjY1

"I rather like this humble soap ticket. I can imagine the roll of perforated tickets, each one being torn off and handed...
17/05/2020

"I rather like this humble soap ticket. I can imagine the roll of perforated tickets, each one being torn off and handed over to the people of Stepney coming to use the public bathing facilities. I am not sure how it has survived; was the bar of soap not picked up or did the person at the bathhouse forget to take in the ticket?

The council were trying to instil new habits in the population to prevent the spread of disease. Just like the campaigns to encourage better hand washing routines that we see today 100 years later. How lucky we are to have our own baths, showers and washing machines! When I lived in Germany in the early 1990s the paper conservation studio where I worked had a toilet on the "halbe treppe" which was down the stairwell from the flat. And later in Paris, I lived in a flat which had a shared toilet on the landing and no shower. The flat would have been an old "chambre de bonne" where the maids lived.

Those were the days, using the local swimming baths to get a good shower before swimming a few lengths each morning. This inconvenience produced a habit of exercise which in itself was disease preventing." - Rose, Paper Conservator.

Find out more about this item here: https://bit.ly/3fUIsBo

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150 London Wall
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EC2Y 5HN

Museum of London: 150 London Wall, London EC2Y 5HN Tube: Barbican, St Paul's and Moorgate Train: Liverpool Street and City Thameslink Bus: 4,8,25,56,100,172,242 and 521 Museum of London Docklands: 1 Warehouse, West India Quay, London E14 4AL Tube: Canary Wharf DLR: West India Quay, Canary Wharf or Westferry Bus: D3, D7, D8, 277, N50, D6, 15, 115, 135

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Tuesday 10:00 - 18:00
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Friday 10:00 - 18:00
Saturday 10:00 - 18:00
Sunday 10:00 - 18:00

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