Thursday, October 22, 2009

Theme Thursday : Traffic


The subject for Theme Thursday this week is "Traffic". So let us start out with a look at what traffic would have been like 100 years ago. The postcard comes from my collection and was published around 1904 or 1905 by Birn Brothers (BB) of London and it shows Regent Street which - for anyone unfamiliar with London - is one of the main shopping streets of the capital. The engraving shows almost exclusively horse-drawn vehicles although, by the time it was published, there must have been a number of automobiles driving through the streets of London. It does, however, clearly illustrate that traffic jams are not new and perhaps that congestion could be even more of a problem when you were sat behind a horse rather than horse power.
Let me complement the postcard with a shot I took this evening which shows traffic conditions on the M62 motorway which runs a few hundred yards away from where I live. Dusk was just falling and therefore all you can see is the light-trails of the vehicles. If you look in the centre-distance you can see how the motorway snakes over the foothills of the Pennines.

You can see other Theme Thursday contributions by following this LINK

22 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Sorry, Alan, I hate typos...So I'm seeing that a hundred years ago traffic was slow enough to paint... and today it is just a smear in the camera! -J

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  3. You're right. As perceptive as ever Jayne.

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  4. Traffic in those days was primarily horse drawn carriages and muddy streets. It's hard to imagine the mud, the horse dung, the smell that most have wafted off the many dusty roads world wide. Nice take on the theme.

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  5. love the postcard...i imagine someone complained of the traffic back then as well...if only they could see it now!

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  6. London was under threat of several feet of horse poo at one time.

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  7. It's true Alan.I remember traffic jams into Halifax (from Burnley Road) in the early 1960's.this was before the M62 was built.
    While on the subject,
    can I mention a book you might be interested in? Its called ' Walking the M62' by John Davies.......... here is a photo I took of the author in The Piece Hall..(I get a brief mention of him in his book!).He took a spiritual walk along the route of the motorway.

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  8. CalGirl : The mud .. the dung .. exhaust fumes smell better already.
    Brian : Empires come and empires go but complainers stay constant (and most of us have blogs!)
    Chairman B : Poo Mall, Poomsbury, Poo Gardens ... one could go on.
    Tony : Thanks for the suggestion ... I have ordered a copy today.

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  9. It looks as though you would stand a greater chance of being run over on Regent Street 100 years ago than you would today. Probably more from looking at the ground to see where you were stepping than the lack of pedestrian crossings!
    Like the photo. Cannot remember the last time I drove on a motorway.. *sigh*

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  10. love the comparative views.

    excellent contribution to theme thursday!! always nice to get a bit of history.

    happy theme thursday!

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  11. The first thing I noticed about the traffic 100 years ago was that there aren't any lanes! Everyone is just bunched up where ever they want to be.

    I love the photo you took and how you captured the motion! Watching traffic like that can be mesmerizing...my boys especially love to do that.

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  12. Love the comparison, but I have to wonder which version of traffic smelled better? :)

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  13. London has some serious traffic! I wouldn't use anything but the Tube there...

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  14. All in all, I'm glad I'm living in this day and age. I hate the smell of horse dung!

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  15. Road apples galore
    Make my nose sore
    And nothing with which to block it.
    I'll take my car
    With it's window's ajar.
    A fast roll up can stop it.

    Happy TT

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  16. Ugh. Traffic in L.A. is horrendous. Especially because I live in Santa Monica (on the beach) and anytime I want to drive in town it takes me ages! As a result I rarely leave Santa Monica. I suppose I'm lucky it's a beautiful city ;)

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  17. That postcard looks like it was hand tinted. It really is a wonderful view of that street. One sees the movie industry trying to duplicate that look of back then and they really are that congested and crazy.. Nice blog.

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  18. We go from crazy congestion with dung thrown in to the blur of too fast modern life...Thanks, AB, nice post!

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  19. The traffic doesn't look too bad for that time of night actually. I dont' mind the smell of horses actually . .

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  20. Excellent juxtaposition.

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  21. Wouldn't you like to travel back in time, though, just for a few minutes, to see and hear and even smell life from a time before you were born? I would - as long as I had a Home button to push (or a pair of ruby slippers to click).

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  22. The post card is absolutely beautiful...I long to be a part of that era on some level!

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