The last year of the Horse Age

July 11 2008

1903 was the last year in which there were no motorised buses on London streets.

A few motorised taxis appeared in 1903, but here you can see only one car of any kind, at the end in front of Mansion House. I remember animal-crowded urban (not only rural) streets much like this in Pakistan in 1978.

For a better soundtrack, substitute Elgar’s “cheerful and Londony, stout and steaky”, and poetic, Cockaigne (1900-1): here are Eduard van Beinum and the London Philharmonic in the opening.

(Possible book title: The City of London in the 20th Century: Cockaigne to Cocaine.)

A life in London.

5 Responses to “The last year of the Horse Age”

  1. davidderrick Says:

    The Horse Age had begun about 4000 BC on the Eurasian Steppe.

    I recommend actually playing this music with the film: the combination is powerful.

  2. davidderrick Says:

    Blackfriars Bridge in 1896 (select high resolution):


  3. […] the animal-crowded streets of enchanted late Victorian and Edwardian London had been full of surging, swaggering energy. The streets of the ’30s were also noisy and busy, […]


  4. […] horse-crowded streets of enchanted late-Victorian and Edwardian London had been full of swaggering energy. The streets of the ’30s were also noisy and busy, but in a […]


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