PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHERS OF THE STROUD AREA 1856 -1939
Research note by Howard Beard Copyright
First published in ‘A Millennium Miscellany’ in 2000 by Stroud Local History Society
The purpose of this short study is to lay the foundations for an index of the professional photographers working in the Stroud area before the Second World War. My research was based on two main sources, surviving examples of photographers’ output and trade directories. Some work was also carried out on National Census Returns for the period 1851 – 1891. Clearly, however, for a study of this subject to be definitive, detailed analysis of newspaper archives, probate and other classes of record would also be necessary. Within the time currently available this has not been possible. However, it is hoped that future students of local history will build on what is included here. Additional information will be most welcome.
The following list of photographers is divided into two sections, covering time periods of roughly equal length. The first of these runs from the late 1850s up to 1901, the second from 1902 to 1939. That the break between the two is marked by the end of Queen Victoria’s reign is coincidental. It is, in fact, determined by the arrival of the full-size picture postcard, for it was in 1902 that Post Office regulations first permitted the use of the whole of one side of a postcard for the image. Previously the address had enjoyed this privilege,
while the picture and the message had to share the space on the other side. This concession, of course, led immediately to a huge increase in the manufacture of picture postcards and encouraged large numbers of photographers, nation-wide, to produce them professionally.
In using the index the following points should be noted.
1. In order to make clear the extent of a photographer’s output, his work is listed on a scale ranging from rare to prolific.
2. Many photographs carry no photographer’s signature, so their origin must remain unsure.
3. Some photographs carry only a set of initials, or unknown handwriting. Such examples have not been included.
4. Several photographers, such as P.L. Smith, were not full time. If they sold their work
professionally they are listed below, although they will have earned their principal income in other ways.
5. The name printed on the reverse of many postcards is that of the publisher or vendor. If it has not been possible to prove that he was also the photographer, his name has been omitted.
SECTION A: PHOTOGRAPHERS WHO STARTED WORKING BETWEEN 1856 and 1901
Ainsworth, W. Nailsworth? c. 1890
Ainsworth describes himself as ‘West of England Photographer’. The location of his studio is not known, but a few photographs of Nailsworth people and locations exist. Rare.
Batiste, M. Cainscross c. 1870
Information from directory entry. No example seen
Bowers, H.T. Stonehouse c. 1856
Information from newspaper advertisement. No example seen.
Calcott, Christian name unknown. Stroud c. 1870s
(See Hughes, F). Rare.
Colbourne, Frank. Forwood and Bownham, Minchinhampton c. 1890
Clarke, T. Stroud c. 1880
Only one example seen.
Elliott, John H. Stroud c. 1889 – c. 1902
Born c. 1853 Nailsworth, son of John Elliott, later printer and stationer of Stroud; in 1881 working for E.T. Gibbs; studios in George Street, Union Street, later at 10 Russell Street. Prolific.
See Gibbs, E.T.
Fullaway, John. Stroud c. 1863 – c. 1889
Born c. 1831 Dursley; 1861 draper, High Street, Stroud; 1863 studio at 6 George Street, later 7 George Street; 1891 living at Callowell; appears at an earlier period as Stroudwater Photographic Rooms, 16 High Street and Threadneedle Street. Prolific.
Gibbs, Edmund Thomas. Stroud c. 1863 – c. 1885
Born c. 1841 Canterbury; 1881 living at same address as J.H. Elliott, probably working for him; studios at 18 and 19 George Street, Stroud, later also at 123 Southgate Street, Gloucester; the back of one photograph back says Gibbs and Freke. Prolific.
Hale, Edwin. Stonehouse c. 1870
Only one example seen.
Hughes, F Stroud c. 1870 – c. 1885
(See also Calcott, Tongue, Ruffles H.G. and Pym W.H. Douglas.)
This group of photographers might be called the Swan Street Group, since they all worked there in various combinations and signed their photographs as follows: F Hughes, Hughes and Calcott, Calcott and Tongue, Tongue and Ruffles, W.H. Douglas Pym. All are uncommon.
Hunt, Ernest. Stroud c. 1895
Worked from addresses in Bath Road, Anchor Road (probably the same building) and 6 Slad Road. Rare.
Latham, R.M. Stroud and Nailsworth c. 1889
Listed at Nailsworth in 1889 directory; the back of one photograph says 7 George Street Stroud. Rare.
Loveland, Albert. Stroud c. 1894
Studio at 24 London Road. Only one example seen.
Merrett, George and Mark. Stroud 1884 – 1940s
Traded as Merrett Brothers; George left the business in the 1890s; business began in Exchange Buildings, a wooden structure in the Corn Exchange yard off the High Street; later at top of Russell Street; additional premises at 7 George Street; Mark retired in 1923, but continued business for some twenty years in his home in Belle Vue Road. Prolific.
Merrett, Rayner. Stroud c. 1910 – 1929
Younger brother of George and Mark; also worked at Gloucester; studio in Lansdown. Stroud work uncommon.
Pym, W.H. Douglas. Stroud c. 1885?
(See Hughes F) Only one example seen.
de Rozier, Alfred Jean. Nailsworth c. 1870s
Born c. 1833 Germany; also teacher of languages, music and drawing. Rare.
Ruffles, Henry George. Stroud c. 1885
Listed in Union Street in 1885 directory; worked earlier in Swan Street; (see Hughes, F.). Rare.
Smith, Alfred Newland. Stroud c. 1861
Born 1812 London, died Stroud 1876; better known as an artist; father of Oliver C. and Paul L. No example seen.
Smith, Joseph. Stroud c. 1894 – c. 1900
No proven relationship with other Smiths. Prolific.
Smith, Oliver Claude. Stroud 1857 – 1884
Born c. 1839 Ebley; son of Alfred Newland Smith; 1861 lodging in Bath Place with brother Paul L.; premises in London Road, later 18 George Street, later still 3 and 4 Lansdown; died 1884; his widow continued the business up to c. 1889. Prolific.
Smith, Paul Lionel. Stonehouse and Nailsworth c. 1880 – c. 1902
Born 1845 Woodchester, son of Alfred Newland Smith; educated South Kensington; worked part-time as a photographer; also teacher of chemistry and natural history; lecturer at Cheltenham Town Hall; died 1932; 1880s output appears to be from Stonehouse premises, later work from Nailsworth; photographs almost invariably cabinet-size. Prolific.
Stanley, A.E. Stroud c. 1894
Studio in Lansdown. Rare.
Tongue, Christian name unknown. Stroud c. 1870s
Worked as Tongue and Ruffles, Calcott and Tongue; (see Hughes, F.). Rare.
SECTION B: PHOTOGRAPHERS WORKING BETWEEN 1902 AND 1939
Adams, William H. Rodborough Mainly 1920s and 1930s
Born Stroud 1884; died 1967; unsigned topographical postcards of the Stroud area; (for further information see ‘Five Stroud Photographers’ , Chalford Publishing Company 1995). Prolific.
Allman, C.A. Gloucester, Stonehouse, Nailsworth, Cirencester etc. c.1910
Premises known as Paris Studios. Rare.
Barton, Miss Maude. Gloucester and Painswick c. 1903 – c. 1915
Printed postcards are prolific; real photographic topographical output rare; based mainly in Gloucester, but one photograph says Painswick.
Benson, J.F. Stroud c. 1906
Studio at 7 George Street. Uncommon.
Chappelow, T.H. Painswick c. 1905
Printed topographical postcards. Rare.
Chapman, EJ. Stonehouse c. 1939
Listed in trade directory. No example seen.
Chew, Mrs G. Stroud c. 1939
Listed in trade directory at 11 Lansdown. No example seen.
Colville, Frank. Chalford c.1905 – c. 1912
Believed to be successor to Mrs C..A. Dover q.v.; moved later to Swindon, Wilts. Also known at Marlow, Bucks. Prolific.
Comley, Henry John. Stroud c. 1902 – c. 1922
County Studio, 10 Russell Street; successor to J.H. Elliott, predecessor of Peckhams; (see ‘Five Stroud Photographers,’ Chalford Publishing Company 1995). Prolific.
Conway, Eustace Price. Nailsworth c.1905 – c. 1927
Born 1874 Abergavenny; died 1946 Mitcheldean; lived at Locksley, Bath Road, Nailsworth; wooden studio behind number 4 Victoria Villas. Both topographical postcards and portraits prolific. (See ‘Around Nailsworth and Minchinhampton,’ Chalford Publishing Company 1994).
Cook, Stanley R. Chalford c. 1930s
Topographical real photographic postcards, mostly with a 4-digit serial number. Cook was prolific and covered most of the Stroud area..
Deavin and Newman. Chalford Hill c. 1910
Real photographic postcards. Uncommon.
Dover Mrs. C.A. Chalford c. 1905
(See Colville, F.)
Eastmont, W. Nailsworth c.1905
One photograph seen.
Hampton, A. Chalford? c. 1920
One photograph seen.
Jones, Fenning E. Minchinhampton c. 1905 – c. 1910
Died 1916. Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths, Clerk to Minchinhampton Parish Council. Printed topographical postcards. Fairly common.
Lee, William F. Stroud c. 1902 – c. 1912
Born 1886 Cardiff; died 1965 Kingswood, Bristol; printed postcards common; studio portraits rare. Real photographic postcards uncommon.
Lewis and Godfrey. Stroud 1920s
Portraits produced as a side-line by the well-known Stroud drapery firm. Uncommon.
Lewis, Walter G. Eastington c.1905 – c. 1920
Born c. 1874, died 1957. Name impressed into real photographic postcards, but no mention of Eastington. Fairly common.
Lockyer, Henry. Stonehouse c.1905 – c. 1920
Lived at The Knoll, Leonard Stanley. Uncommon.
Lodge, David M. Brimscombe c. 1910
Liddiatt, George Victor. Kings Stanley c. 1910
Several postcards of Leonard Stanley exist and include the initials G.V.L. Although they are of the neighbouring village it is assumed that they belong to G.V. Liddiatt who ran a cycle dealership in Kings Stanley. Rare.
Major, Frederick. Bisley c. 1905 – c. 1915
Major produced two series of postcards, the printed ones signed. Real photographic postcards are recognisable by his distinctive handwriting on the fronts. Both series are common.
Malakoff Photo Co. Thrup c. 1910
May,B. Avening c. 1905 – c. 1910
Real photographic postcards. Rare.
Margrett, Henry S. Nailsworth c. 1908 – c. 1914
Studio in Horsley Road. Rare.
Moss, W. Dennis. Stroud c. 1922 – c. 1927
Worked mainly in Cirencester; in partnership with his son-in-law, Edwin C. Peckham, in Stroud; after 1929 Peckham continued the business in his own name; studio in King Street 1920;by 1924 at 10 Russell Street. Common.
Peckham, Edwin Charles. Stroud c. 1920 – 1959
Born 1887 Cirencester; studio in King Street 1920 in partnership with his father-in-law, W. Dennis Moss; moved to 10 Russell Street in 1924 and continued the business in his own name from 1929; topographical views, portraits and postcards. Prolific.
Penn, Christian name unknown. Nailsworth c. 1910
Pinnock, A.C. Stonehouse
Also worked at Cheltenham. Stonehouse work is rare.
Restall, Frederick J. Stonehouse c. 1910 – c. 1927
Restall, Gilbert? Bisley c. 1910
Postcards say simply Restall, but are thought to be the work of Gilbert Restall, who was licensee of The New Inn, now The Stirrup Cup. Fairly common.
Reynolds, E.O. Stroud c. 1922 – c. 1924
Successor to H.J. Cornley; succeeded by W. Dennis Moss and Peckham. Uncommon.
R.H.S. Series. Stroud c. 1920
Real photographic postcards, thought to be the work of R.H. Stephens. Uncommon.
Sparrow, E. Nag’s Head, Avening c. 1931
Trade directory entry. No examples seen.
Stone, Adele and George. Stroud c. 1902 – c. 1949
Adele, born Ada Ellen Barnes, at Ashford, Kent, 1866; George Stone, born 1864; worked for Ada’s father at his photographic business; George and Adele worked in Devizes, Leamington Spa and Swindon before moving to Stroud; studio at 56 London Road; George died 1942; Adele died 1949. Prolific.
Tanner, H. Ebley c. 1905 – 1910
Real photographic postcards. Uncommon.
Timbrell, G.W. Stonehouse c. 1920s
Real photographic postcards. Fairly common.
Young, K. France Lynch c. 1910
Real photographic postcards. Young was probably a photographer, though it is possible he merely published the postcards that bear his name. Rare.
I am grateful to Wilfred Merrett for his help and advice and to my wife, Sylvia, for typing the text.
Examples of photographers’ handwriting.
A research note from the SLHS digital archive added Aug 2014. Copyright