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Meet The Ancestors

This site contains images of East Enders from the 1860s to 1900. These East Enders of yesteryear are just ordinary people from the Working or Middle Classes.

The images are taken from 'Carte-de-Visite' photographs taken by Tower Hamlets photographers. These photographs, the snapshots of the period, are about two by four inches in size and mounted on cardboard. They date from forty to fifty years before most people had the means to take photographs themselves. To get your portrait 'done' it was necessary to visit one of the many local photographers.

In most cases these unique images are the only trace left of the individuals shown. Excepting a few cases even their names are lost to us.