The Hackney Tools blog celebrates not only the modern makers of east London, but also the rich history of industry that was drawn to the area throughout the 18th-19thc.
This map, drawn by cartographer Adam Dant, shows the variety of industry that occupied the area in the 1912.
“I chose 1912 because it precedes the First World War, when everything changed. It encapsulates Industrious Shoreditch,” explained Adam, “I started off with the major landmarks serving the industries of the time. For the main thoroughfares, I listed the concentrations of manufacturers, using lists of companies from the Post Office Directories. These are complemented by vignettes of people making things, and I filled the border with machines used for wood and metalwork.”
It was the First World War that saw many businesses move further out of London where they could get more space. I’ve seen the hangers-on, the hardware suppliers, the veneer suppliers steadily disappear recently, with sky-high rents and property prices turning the area into something completely different. The factory buildings that once housed men who made things, now house men who work in the City.
Hackney still has enormous creativity within it though. Many books and magazine articles have recently been published showing the new breed of makers and artisans. The area is still a hive to creativity and craft, although now you are likely to find it in a shared workspace or rented studio.