On the 19th of October, one of the greatest 20th-century photographers, Walter Nurnberg, sadly passed away. Born on April 18th of 1907, Nurnberg was raised in Berlin, Germany. He studied photography and moved to England in 1933 to open up his own advertising studio. With his inherent talents and intellect, Nurnberg quickly established himself as one of the leading industrial photographers in the country, going on to publish his own book, entitled ‘Lighting for Photography: Means and Methods’ in 1940.
He became an ‘honorary Briton’ for his services to the country and actually fought for Great Britain in the Second World War. Nurnberg’s legacy is unmatched in the field of industrial photography and he continued to take countless memorable photos of British industry and workers performing all kinds of jobs, many of which seem alien to us today.
Brewery Cleaners Had a Lonely Life
This photo shows a brewery cleaner working at The Taylor Walker brewery in East London. The brewery was founded way back in the 1700s and was one of the major players in the capital’s brewing trade.
The 1940s and 50s were actually very important times for beer production in Great Britain, with Winston Churchill, a keen drinker himself, actually pushing to provide beer rations for soldiers on the front lines. Brewery cleaners like the man in the photograph would have to spend many long hours inside huge copper tanks and other metal vessels, using brooms and other cleaning implements to scrub down the walls and ensure that the insides were as clean as possible. It was a lonely job and definitely unsuitable for people with claustrophobia.