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23 Eerie Photos Of 20th Century London Shrouded In Fog


Back in the early 20th century, London was at the mercy of something called ‘pea soup fog’. Also called ‘black fog’ or ‘killer fog’, it was caused by soot particles and poisonous sulfur dioxide produced by burning soft coal in homes and factories. It was lethal for the elderly and those with respiratory problems. In 1952 the dangerous fog culminated in the Great Smog and the Clean Air act was passed four years later. Unfortunately, this was enough time for an estimated 12,000 people to perish as a result of the air pollution.

These photos might look like something out of a movie but they were taken in the early part of the 20th century and show just how much London was at the mercy of the black fog.

A lamp lighter at work, Finsbury Park, London, 17 October 1935

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Fleet Street, 6 December 1952

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A man lighting his pipe, 23 December 1935

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Lincoln’s Inn Fields, 24 January 1934

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Central London, January 1936

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National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, 1 December 1948

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An Iceman Delivers In The Fog, 1 October 1919

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