Turn of the century London was the world's busiest port.
By 1880, London docks were a hub for world trade. Until the outbreak of the Second World War, the sheds and warehouses that lined the river Thames housed every conceivable commodity.
Drugs were smuggled into the Port of London in sandals. These shoes have a secret compartment to hide opium. They were confiscated from a Chinese seaman.
The docks kept a sample of every good they imported. These allowed dockworkers to identify cargo if it was mislabelled.
Until 1889, dockworkers were paid just 5 old pence (2.5p) an hour. The great dock strike of 1889 fought for the dockers' tanner, pay of 6 pence an hour.