The Bootblack’s Lament



The song was written by Dave Cutler. I saw ‘The Last Bootblack in London’, as he styled himself, in the 1980s and wish I’d given him my custom and taken a photo. The top picture is the earliest reliably dated photograph of a person, taken in spring 1838 by Louis Daguerre. You’ll have to look hard to see the people at tables outside the cafés and find the bootblack. From The Photography Book, Phaidon Press, London, 1997.

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