New to London? Here for business or perhaps a little shopping? Looking for a specific building? These days we might use the internet or our smartphones to find the right places and navigate around the city, technology of which the Victorian visitor to London could only dream.
What the 1840s visitor could use, however, for a few pence, were the series of 88 ‘London Street Views’ published by John Tallis that covered 74 of the most popular commercial thoroughfares in the capital. These guides included a local map, a history of a street, some adverts and best of all, elevation views of the given highway.
The Museum of London has digitised and put online 33 of these guides and is asking for volunteers to help us transcribe the business directories. Once complete there will be a searchable database of businesses (and business types) that will include a street view. Take a walk down Oxford Street, amble along Piccadilly and stroll by Old Compton Street and get a feel of the West End in the time of Dickens!