Post Office Terrace Studio, Cambridge

Congratulations to the Cambridgeshire Collection Volunteers who have just catalogued another 400 plus boxes of negatives from the Post Office Terrace Studio, Cambridge. These negatives contain portraits, not seen since the 1890s, of around 2000 folks from Cambridge and elsewhere. Also transcribed are the diaries and an order book from the earliest years of the Ramsey and Muspratt partnership 1932-1935. All of this information joins the catalogue of over 900 other boxes of negatives recorded by Cambridgeshire Family History Society volunteers. The catalogues and a guide to the collection can be found at www.fadingimages.uk/POT1.asp

Frederick Sanderson

Having received from Cliff Bulcock copies of his excellent articles from “Photographica World” about Sanderson Cameras, it became apparent that the Sanderson entry on the site didn’t quite reflect the magnitude of his achievement. Over 26,000 cameras incorporating his inventions and bearing his name sold over some 44 years. Investigating Frederick’s inventions further revealed that there was another photographic inventor at work at the same time, whose surname, Sanderson, was associated with such photographic items as studio backgrounds, photographic shutters and time indicators, repeating camera backs, a patented photographic squeegee and non-slip rubber tripod feet. The other inventor, no relation to Frederick, was Alfred William Stainton Sanderson (1863-1932) born in Lincoln. A.W.S.Sanderson was the first Company Secretary of photographic manufacturers Thornton Pickard, before becoming the proprietor in 1901 of The Altrincham Rubber Company, also photographic manufacturers. The entry for Frederick Saunders has been updated accordingly and can be found here: http://www.fadingimages.uk/photoSa.asp .

New Stickybacks Site

The results of our research into the two Stickyback photographers in Peterborough in the early 20th Century were starting to skew our site away from its geographical base in Cambridgeshire. As a result we have moved all the material on stickybacks and other small portrait formats to a new site, which we hope you will enjoy. It is at http://www.stickybacks.uk

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Pair of small stickyback type of portraits, 1.5 x 2.3 inches, cut from a strip of identical images. Subjects and photographer unknown, c.1910?

Stanley and Co Peterborough – portrait of a group

Stanley and Co, photographers, of Peterborough, remain something of an enigma – it was possibly a business owned by Stanley Crippen from Bradford and managed by William Henry Simmons (see the entry for the firm at: www.fadingimages.uk/photoSt.asp.) More information about the firm would be helpful and so the recent discovery of the postcard portrait below by the firm was particularly welcome.

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Dated 1912, the studio portrait lists the names of the four smart young men shown as  “Walter Scott, Gordon Ames, Walter Lancing and Harold Goodwin”. The date, names and Peterborough location alone have not enabled us to identify these individuals. What was the occasion captured by this photo in 1912? Not far from Stanley and Co was St Peters College – where young men trained as teachers – could this be a group from the College? The  census return has all the students there listed in 1911, but it is not known whether any records survive from the following year. Does anyone have any other photos by Stanley and Co, or photos of St Peter’s College students they are wiling to share?

Unusual Stickyback – who is the photographer

The stickyback below, just over 1.5 x 1.5 inches, of an unknown young woman in a huge picture hat could be from around 1905-10. There is no “stickyback” sign board to identify the photographer. Instead, we have in the RH border a more complex numbering device, with numbers behind tiny windows, to link negative number and image together. The photo seems to have come from a strip and the torn edge on the left hand side suggests the images may have been in a side-by-side strip. On the reverse is a partial rubber stamp. This stamp is repeated side-by-side, with two partial images remaining. We can piece these together to read “Jack Leviss” (or Lewiss), “Tramways”, and the third word is possibly “Central”. Does anyone recognise the name and partial address as a local photographer?

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Cleethorpes 1931

I couldn’t resist this image at a recent sale. It’s a postcard with the name and address of the photographer on the reverse “Hardy’s Studios, 52 St Peters Avenue, Cleethorpes”. Clearly the couple are dressed up as Virginia Cherrill and Charlie Chaplin in the wonderful “City Lights” film which was released in January 1931. The photo is taken outdoors – there is just a hint of bunting along the top edge. Were the couple dressed in this way to attend some sort of outdoor fancy dress event ? Alternatively, was the photographer at some sort of outdoor venue offering clients a range of props to use in posing for a photo? Either way, I’m sure the couple were delighted with their portrait.

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Albert J. Mahomet (1858-1933), Wells Photographer

The cabinet photo below was bought, not because it is by a Cambridgeshire Photographer, but because I remembered reading something on Robert Pols’ website that Norfolk boasted the first British-born professional photographer of Asian descent, and I wondered if this was the photographer in question.  It turns out that this is one and the same person, and that he had a very interesting and varied life, from the workhouse to farming, blacksmithing, photographer and pastor. He has a wikipedia entry here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Mahomet and Robert Pols writes about him here: http://www.early-photographers.org.uk/Studio%20-%20Albert%20Mahomet.html .

The wikipedia entry has a photograph of Albert – and lo and behold, it looks to me like the cabinet photo below could be a self portrait. But I’m not very good with faces so – I’d welcome any other views on this. Many thanks

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Cabinet photo by Albert Mahomet, Wells, Norfolk, but is it a self portrait?