Starting with the video below, we have five chances to look back at daily life in the very early twentieth century. All five of these videos were created by an Edwardian-era film company that made “everyday life” movies, which were commissioned by the owners and operators of traveling fairs in the U.K.

These five films, and all the other daily-life films made by the same company (showing soccer matches, bicycle races, and much more) gave the “actors” a chance to see themselves on film and to see their friends and co-workers and hometowns. After the films were made and viewed, they were, inexplicably, stored in barrels and forgotten … for nearly a hundred years. In the early 1990s, they were re-discovered and the British Film Institute has been working to preserve them and the unparalleled view of daily life they offer.

Each of the five clips that I’ll be posting here includes narration about the film company, the films themselves, their initial showings, etc.

I hope you enjoy watching all five of these.

The first is a bustling street scene in Manchester, England, in 1901: