Monday, July 14, 2008

Ancient and modern
O G S Crawford (1886-1957) belonged to the same generation as Mortimer "Rik" Wheeler and Gordon Childe and was thus among Britain's earliest professional archaeologists. He founded and edited the quarterly journal Antiquity. A tireless recorder, he was a sort of one-man Mass Observation movement. From 1920 until 1946, he worked for the Ordnance Survey at its headquarters in Southampton, a city whose chapels, warehouses and hoardings he photographed relentlessly. A socially gauche, obstinate, often ill-tempered bachelor who reeked of roll-ups, he lived with numerous cats in the outer suburb of Nursling where, in his garage, he stored much of the OS's archive, having correctly anticipated that its offices, situated not far from the port, would be bombed.

Sounds like an interesting character, but I admit I'd never heard of him before.