Today marks the anniversary of the discovery of the first of Jack the Ripper’s victims, Mary Ann Nichols, in 1888.
Although 2 previous murders are sometimes linked to the serial killer, Nichols is the first of the “Canonical Five” – the murders believed to all be by the same hand, the victims all fitting the same profile, the murders and mutilations all similar.
In 1888, Whitechapel was one of the most impoverished areas of London. Located east of the city walls, it was an area where “less fragrant” businesses like slaughterhouses, tanneries and foundries set up their work. Living was cheap there, and so it was also populated by less savory characters and newly-arrived immigrants.
Today Whitechapel is still a favorite with immigrants, making it one of London’s most multicultural neighborhoods. The cobblestone streets remain, and nightly tour guides give visitors a flavor of the still unsolved murders of Jack the Ripper.
Here is a map of London from 1836 by the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (1826-1846), a British organization aimed at making information broadly available via its publications.
Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.
Visit his antique map boutique world-on-paper online. Watch for his daily feature Steve Kovacs: Antique Maps & Fun Facts here on Loveland Beacon.