In The Pool, Donald Shaw MacLaughlan captured the bustling activity of the River Thames. The tall, vertical composition catalogues the myriad watercraft that navigated the river each day. At the top, just beyond Tower Bridge, is a steamer heading out to sea. In the middle ground, sailing vessels battle for space while, fanning out in the immediate foreground, smaller barges are loaded with cargo and sailors. MacLaughlan named the smaller boats, possibly in recognition of family and friends. The print is packed with details, relaying the teeming atmosphere of this working river.