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An Unknown Photographer’s Post-WWII Photos of Wedding Kisses in Hackney, East London

The history of London’s East End, famously the stomping grounds of Jack the Ripper and the Kray Brothers, is a vibrant mish-mash of crime, prostitution, and various influxes of immigrants, and has had, as a result, a rich street culture for many years. As part of his ongoing research on the area, photographer Stephen Gill purchased a lot of 9,000 negatives from the 1950s on eBay in hopes they would contain street photos reflecting the vibrancy of the area. Instead, he ended up the dubious owner of thousands of pictures of couples on their wedding day, all taken by the same unknown photographer, and which eventually led to publication of a book called Hackney Kisses.

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