Photographer: Coburn, Alvin Langdon (1882-1966)
Medium: Photographic print
"London, in a word, was in every way called to be a meeting-place, and especially a meeting-place of commerce. Not only because it occupied the crossroads of commerce within the island of Britain, but also because it was the place where trans-shipment of goods was necessary, and further because it stood opposite the junction of what are conventionally called the Teutonic and the Latin peoples.
Such a centre once formed, inhabited and developed, becomes itself the cause of its own further development. It tends itself to create new lines of commercial energy radiating from itself as a centre, and when the original conditions which called it into being change (as they have changed in the case of London), when new political groupings and new factors in commercial geography make of what was once a favourable position an unfavourable one, a great commercial town well fixed can, for some time at least, maintain and increase its wealth and status in spite of new routes and conditions theoretically favourable to its rivals. So it has been with London."
Text by Hilaire Belloc from the book 'London'