Born in Hamburg, Germany, son of a British father and German mother, Bill Brandt grew up during World War I, during which his father, who had lived in Germany since the age of five, was interned for six months by the Germans as a British citizen. Brandt later disowned his German heritage and would claim he was born in South London.
In 1933 Brandt moved to London and began documenting all levels of British society. This kind of documentary was uncommon at that time. Brandt published two books showcasing this work, The English at Home (1936) and A Night in London (1938). He was a regular contributor to magazines such as Lilliput, Picture Post, and Harper’s Bazaar.
Lamplighter, Kensington, ca. 1930.
Eva and Lyena, 1934.
Early Morning on the Thames, London, 1939.
Flower Seller in Hampstead, 1931-1935.
An Epsom Bookmaker, Derby Day, 1933.
Domino Players, North London Pub, 1935.
A Lyons Nippy (Miss Hibbott), 1939.
Policeman in a Bermondsey Alley, 1938.
A Snicket in Halifax, 1937.
East End girl dancing the Lambeth Walk, 1939.
Misty Evening in Sheffield, 1937.
Rainswept Roofs, ca. 1930s.
Battersea Bridge, ca. 1930s.
Tic-Tac Men at Ascot Races, 1935.
Girls looking out of a window, ca. 1930s.
Hatter’s Window, Bond Street, ca. 1931-35.
Gold Cup Day at Ascot, 1933.
Cook and Kitchen Maids Preparing Dinner, ca. 1936.
Epsom Races, 1933.
East Durham, ca. 1937.
Grand Union Canal, Paddington, ca. 1938.
Piccadilly Circus, 1934.
Evening in Kew Gardens, London, ca. 1932-1935.
Street scene, 1936.
Sunday Evening, 1936.
Family Fireside, 1936.
Parlourmaid and Underparlourmaid Ready to Dinner, London, 1933.
Children in Sheffield, ca. 1930.