Snapshot: 21 Photos of 1920s London

While life in the period drama Downton Abbey seems picturesque for the most part, London during the 1920s was less than idyllic. The 1921 coal miner’s strike sent the city into a state of emergency; the 1926 labor General Strike ended with no benefits for workers; and the River Thames flooded Central London in 1928. Even though Londoners faced daily strife, war time restrictions had been lifted with World War I ending in 1918, welcoming new advancements like the BBC transmitting its first radio broadcast in 1922 and the first traffic lights being installed at Piccadilly in 1926. This snapshot of 1920s London gives us a feel of what life was like:

1920, Winston Churchill (right) and Albert Thomas leaving 10 Downing Street. (AP)

Winston Churchill (right) and Albert Thomas leaving 10 Downing Street, 1920. (AP)

1921, Soldier in London

A volunteer of the civilian Defense Force is on duty during the coal strike, 1921. (AP)

1922, Newlyweds

Heiress Edwina Ashley and Lord Louis Mountbatten on their wedding day, 1922. (AP)

1922, Author Rudyard Kipling

Author Rudyard Kipling and his wife arrive to Westminster Abbey, 1922. (AP)

1925, fire ...

The Museum of Madame Tussaud following a disastrous fire, 1925. (AP)

1926, Bank of England

Gridlock near The Bank of England, 1926. (AP)

1926, Armored cars

Armored cars stand by at Hyde Park during the General Strike, 1926. (AP)

London General Strike 1926

Extra police are on detail outside 10 Downing Street, 1926. (AP)

1926, London Strike

Police hold off strikers, 1926. (AP)

1926, Hyde Park

Pedestrians walk by Hyde Park after its been closed to the public, 1926. (AP)

1926, Hyde Park gates

Pedestrians talk to sailors through the Hyde Park gates, 1926. (AP)

1926, London car stranded

Police help a stranded car, 1926. (AP)

1928, Mums with their babies

Mums with their children hang out on the stoop, 1928 (AP).

1928, Two caners fixing a chair.

Two caners fix a chair, 1928. (AP)

1928, Outside a pub

A couple share a pint outside of the local, 1928. (AP)

1928, Churchyard

A bastion of the Old Roman Wall in St. Giles’ Churchyard, Cripplegate, 1928. (AP)

1928, Buckingham Palace

Crowds wait for news of King George V outside Buckingham Palace, 1928. (AP)

1928, Airplane

Imperial Airways Calcutta Flying boat is moored on the River Thames, 1928. (AP)

1929, Barges and ships

Barges and ships are moored in the Pool of London, on the River Thames, 1929. (AP)

1929, London Bridge looking over the River Thames. (AP)

Pedestrians stand on the London Bridge watching boats being unloaded, 1929. (AP)

1929, Newspaper headline of imminent war.

The newspaper headline reads of imminent war, 1929. (AP)

Do you feel gritty after looking through the snapshot?