Aug. 11, 1939 A searchlight scans the sky above Westminster. Westminster Bridge in the foreground is a river of automobile light across the Thames, while the river itself looks like a modern highway with the tracks of passing river transport. This picture, like the other images of the Blackout in this selection, had a very long exposure time of up to 15 minutes. IMAGE: AP PHOTO
On the 1st September 1939, two days before the outbreak of war, Britain was blacked out. The Blackout imposed on all civilians in all cities was absolute. No chinks of light, no see-through curtains, no car headlights. Even the red glow of a cigarette was banned. Britain was plunged into complete darkness. This photo shows the setting of the Blackout hours for a particular day.