This video of life in downtown Reykjavík, was shot by Burton Holmes in 1926. Holmes was an American who traveled the world in the early 1900s and filmed. You can read more about him here. This video shows both Reykjavík inhabitants as well as some of the 350 passengers on the cruise. Notice how the
There are a few interesting things you can see.
Arrival in Reykjavik: Notice that the ship is reaching shore at midnight. Since this is in July, the sun is out 24 hrs. And since the coming of 350 foreign visitors is quite an event, the harbor is full of curious people. Some of the houses you see by the docks are still there. The most prominent, behind the ramp, was owned by the Eimskip shipping company. This house is now the 1919 Hotel.
The men you see with the white hats are students. There are also a couple of women wearing the Icelandic national costume.
Dómkirkjan and Alþingi: After the three police men are shown you can see Dómkirkjan, the Icelandic national church. most of the surrounding buildings still exist. Right thereafter you see the Parliament building next to the church. I reckon that the man with the umbrella on the Icelandic horse is a tourist, as all Icelanders know that umbrellas are useless in Icelandic wind.
Women washing clothes: This is filmed in the Laugardalur valley which in 1926 was in the outskirts of town. These pools called Þvottalaugar (Washing Pools) are actually full of naturally warm geothermal water and were used for washing clothes for centuries. Most homes in Reykjavík were connected to the geothermal heating system in the 30’s, but some kept using the pools well into the 20th century. You can still see the old washing pools, but you can also have a bath at the nearby Laugardalslaug swimming pool.
Glíma wrestling: Two young Icelanders display their skills in Iceland’s national sport Bændaglíma (Farmers Wrestling). You can read more about the sport on Wikipedia.