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Closing of the Stock Exchange in London at the start of WWI

Closing of the Stock Exchange in London at the start of WWI


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Closing of the Stock Exchange in London at the start of WWI

The prospect of widespread European war naturally brought down stocks and shares with a run, so to prevent further fall, the London banks urged the closing of the Stock Exchange, and consequently the suspension of all dealings in stocks and shares until the international horizon had brightened. Crowds of out-of-work stockbrokers and their clerks gathered in Throgmorton Street shortly after the closing of the London Stock Exchange on 13th July 1914. Date: 31st July 1914

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Media ID 14154607

© Mary Evans Picture Library

Banks Boater Brought Clerks Closing Crowds Exchange Finance Gathered Start Stock Stocks Suspension Throgmorton Stockbrokers


EDITORS COMMENTS
This evocative photograph captures the somber mood in Throgmorton Street, London, on 31st July 1914, as crowds of out-of-work stockbrokers and their clerks gathered in anticipation of the reopening of the London Stock Exchange. Just over two weeks earlier, on 13th July, the banks had urged the closure of the Stock Exchange and the suspension of all dealings in stocks and shares due to the prospect of widespread European war. The fear of further financial losses brought on by the impending conflict had caused a significant run on the markets, leading to the historic decision to close the Exchange. The image shows a sea of top hats and boater hats, a common sight in the finance district at the time, as the men awaited news of when they might be able to return to work. The uncertainty of the international situation hung heavy in the air, and the once bustling center of British finance stood eerily quiet. The First World War, which began on 28th July 1914, would bring about unprecedented changes to the world, and the London Stock Exchange would remain closed until 1st February 1915. This photograph serves as a poignant reminder of the far-reaching impact of the war on the financial world and the lives of those employed in it.

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