In his monumental documentary project ‘People of the 20th Century’, August Sander aimed to chronicle visually the radical social and political transformations of his time. Urban life was naturally a significant focus of his observation, meriting a category of its own entitled ‘The City’. Like many countries in Western Europe, Germany had been undergoing rapid modernisation since the late nineteenth century and its growing cities were places where this development could be seen in all its intensity, contradictions and problems. Sander’s pictures of urban life show social and political events as well as certain city ‘types’. This photograph is from the portfolio ‘The Street and Street Life’ classified in the group ‘The City’. Other urban characters included in the group are ‘the chauffeur’, ‘the street photographer’ and ‘the organ grinder’.