History of Oxford Street in pictures

A gallery of images from the history of London's busiest shopping streets

Its hard to imagine that Oxford Street was once lined with independent traders selling their wares from small shops, while the main mode of transport wasn't the bus but horse and cart. Today, it is the capital's most famous shopping area, attracting millions of people each year to browse its department and flagship stores. Time Out takes a look back at images and facts about its history. Words by Abigail Lelliott

Selfridges

Selfridges, 1931 Selfridges, 1931

Founded by American busniessman Henry Gordon Selfridge, Oxford Street's most famous department store opened in 1909 and is the second largest store in London after Harrods. During the decandent 20's and 30's the store's roof hosted a terraced garden, cafes and an all girl gun club. Always a front-runner in new trends, the first public demonstration of a television was performed here by John Logie Baird in 1925. It was bombed 3 times during WWII causing extensive damage to the roof garden. The large display windows were bricked up as a safety precaution.

 

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The Street Marble Arch Selfridges HMV John Lewis The Plaza shopping centre Marks and Spencer Christmas Lights Diagonal Crossing Future developments

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