Directory of Early Photographers in Norfolk, E - G
EDGAR & Co
(Regent Road studios)
EDIS, Miss O
In addition to running a fashionable studio, Olive Edis (1876-1955) also created a photographic archive of the Sheringham fishing community. The only female photographer to be thus singled out, she was commissioned to record the work of the Womens' Services at the end of the First World War. Norfolk historian Christopher Pipe draws attention to the collection of her photographs - including some autochromes - at the Cromer Museum, and to the book 'Face to face, Sheringham, Norfolk: the remarkable story of photographers Olive Edis and Cyril Nunn' by Alan Childs, Ashley Sampson and Cyril Nunn (Tiverton: Halsgrove, 2005). (Cyril Nunn, who carried on her work, falls outside the timescale of this directory.) A small selection of her photographs can be found on the Cromer Museum website.
An ambrotype, probably from 1859 or 1860, gives the following information: ‘C Edwards, Photographer, three doors east of Catholic Church, Regent Road, Great Yarmouth; established 1852.’ The same date of establishment has also been found on a carte de visite mount dating from the 1870s. His advertisement in FP1859 urges readers to 'go to Edwards' Ambrotype Portrait Establishment ... where you will obtain a first-class portrait - warranted not to fade - in frame complete, from 6d each. N.B. Oil paintings, engravings and photographs copied'. (Regent Road studios)
London-born Elliott took over the studio at 7 Blackfriars Street, Kings Lynn – formerly run by William Woodhouse (q.v.) and Wallis & Manders (q.v.) – in 1881. At the time of the census he was shown as ‘photographer’ boarding in Priory Lane. Though only 25, he was already a widower. His business seems to have been short-lived, and no evidence has been found of a subsequent photographic career.
ELY, T H
Ely was the first Norfolk licensee of the daguerreotype process, and a picture of his activities can be built up by combining information given by Adamson and Heathcote. He opened a studio at Royal Bazaar, St Andrew’s Street, Norwich, on 8th December 1843. This studio was retained until August 1844, but during that time he also made forays into other towns. From February 1844 to Mid March 1844 he had a studio in the New Market Rooms, Market Place, King’s Lynn, and from June or July until September 1844 he put his name to a Yarmouth studio in Victoria Road, near Victoria Parade. A second Norwich studio was established at 1 Exchange Street from 11th July 1845 until some time in October. He also worked briefly in Swaffham during 1845. Further information about Ely can be found on the 'Early Norfolk Photographs' website.
EMERSON, Peter Henry
1856-1936. Particularly active in Norfolk in the 1880s and early 1890s.Though well known for his images of the county, Emerson was not a studio photographer. A champion of the naturalistic approach to photography, he became noted for his photographs of East Anglian scenery and life. He spent much time on the Broads, and his pictorial books include ‘Life and Landscape on the Norfolk Broads’ (1886) and ‘Idylls of the Norfolk Broads’ (1887).
FARROW, F W
Listed by Cory at 72 King Street, Norwich, 1894-1896.
FINCH, Eugene Arthur
Austin identifies him as the third son (1857-1883) of William Henry Finch senior (below). He acted as assistant to his father during the 1870s, when the business was based in Acle. In the early 1880s he went on to run his own studio in Southwold, Suffolk, where he used the name Arthur Aegena Finch.
FINCH, Walter Juan
Described as ‘photographer & artist’ in HN1872, HN1877. Identified as the second son (1843-1888) of William Henry Finch senior (below) by Austin, which notes that the Red Lion Street studio was established by 1871. Walter Finch was also found by Cory at 32 St Giles Street, Norwich, 1886. (This is confirmed by a carte de visite mount, dating from the 1880s and giving St Giles Street as the studio address.) Austin also mentions the studio at 32 St Giles Street, but believes it was preceded by an earlier Norwich studio at 39 Prince of Wales Road. (A mount from the 1880s names contemporaneous studios at Red Lion Street, Aylsham, and Prince of Wales Road, Norwich.)
Like his father, Finch did not confine himself to the studio. A tintype of three children at the seaside bears on its mount the handwritten inscription: ‘W J Finch, Cromer Beach, Augst 10th/76’. This is an example of Finch's itinerant work with portable tintype equipment. It would not have been necessary to return to Aylsham to process the picture.
FINCH, Wiliam Henry, senior
(Information derived from Austin - see 'Sources & Conventions' page for details.) Originally a whitesmith and later a portrait painter, Finch (1816-1883) had become a 'photographic artist' in Norwich by 1857. His address in 1861 was Sparkes Yard, Norwich. He was in business in Acle by 1871 (and had probably made the move around 1863). He undertook some conventional studio work there, but Acle also became the base from which he travelled around East Norfolk under the pseudonym of 'Aegena Fynch'. This itinerant work may well have been commissioned as a project to document contemporary rural life.
FINCH, William Henry, junior
Austin identifies him as the eldest son (1840-1899) of William Henry Finch senior (above). He was working in his father's Norwich-based business by 1861, but by 1869 he had his own studio at Magdalen Gates, Norwich, where he operated under the pseudonym 'Signor Henri Aegena'. He went on, as Aegena (q.v.) to run a studio in Thetford in the 1870s and 1880s.
FISHER, William T
According to Heathcote, Fisher was at St George’s Road from 1853 until 1855 or later, and then at the Yarmouth address until 1859 (Regent Road studios). He was still in Norwich when his daguerreotypes were praised by 'The Norfolk News' on 16th July 1855.
Fisher belongs to the generation of photographers that made the change from daguerreotypy to the wet collodion process. He went on to advertise his collodion solutions for sale nationally. In his advertisement in FP1859 he presents himself primarily as an optician, but he also 'invites attention to his Photographic Portraits, taken by his improved method'. He refers to 'Fisher's Unrivalled Collodion' and offers 'photographic chemicals and apparatus, and an elementary lesson given to purchasers of sets of instruments'.
FLOWER, Burrell &
FLOWER, Joseph George
A family connection with Daniel Folkes, below, seems possible, and a misspelling of the surname in one or other directory is suspected. (Kelly is usually fairly reliable, while TC1901 is far from error-free.)
Unrecorded, but suspected of existing. See George Foakes above.
FORD, James Pearce
(Regent Road studios)
FREEMAN, Herbert S
Two generations of photographer could, in theory, be involved here, since HN1863 lists ‘W Freeman Jun’ and WN1864 lists ‘W P B Freeman’.
According to announcements in 'The Lynn Advertiser' and 'The Norfolk Chronicle', Oct 11th 1856, W Freeman junior set up his studio at 3 Rampant Horse Street as successor to Oliver Sarony (q.v.). More information about Freeman can be found on the 'Early Norfolk Photographs' website.
Professional alias of William Henry Finch senior (see above).
Austin points out that 'Eugenia' is an error. The entry should read 'Fynch, Aegena', which was the professional alias of William Henry Finch, senior (see above).
GAINSBORO’ Photo Co/GAINSBOROUGH Photo Company
Two businesses calling themselves the Gainsboro’/Gainsborough Photo Co(mpany) operated in Lynn within a short space of time.
One (known from a report in the Lincolnshire Echo, 11th May 1907) was run by George Mason and Foster (first name unknown) in Norfolk Street, using rooms let by Charles Holman, tobacconist. They left his premises hurriedly in January 1907 and subsequently became franchisees of a ‘Stickybacks’ studio in Ipswich.
The second Gainsborough studio (photographer or photographers unidentified) was at 20 St James’ Street, and advertised its services in a local directory/yearbook for 1908. A photographer from this studio was present at the opening of the 1909 Mart.
Other Gainsborough studios are known to have existed in England and Scotland, so it is conceivable that (like Mason and Foster’s later venture), these businesses were part of a franchise chain.
GATHERCOLE, William E
Born 1885, King’s Lynn; died 1951, Willesden, Middlesex. A carpenter by trade, Gathercole also set up in the early 1900s as a publisher of postcards based in West Lynn (where his mother and stepfather ran the Freebridge Hotel from 1902). The personalised serial number on surviving views (e.g. ‘SER:95 WEG’) show that he was taking his own pictures, rather than just retailing views marketed by a national publisher.
GAVIN & Banger
GAVIN, John W
Cory lists Gavin at this address from 1894.
GAZE, W W
GIBSON, Thomas Borrman
In 1896 a Thomas Borrman Gibson of 3 Purfleet Street Kings Lynn registered a picture for copyright at Stationers’ Hall, naming himself as both copyright owner and copyright author of the image. Gibson is known to have been a bill poster, and the picture, ‘Photograph of sandwich boy entitled The Young Advertiser’, may have been a one-off for promotional purposes, rather than evidence of a sustained career in photography.
GIDNEY, C M
Shown by Cory at Bank Plain, Norwich, 1886-1888. David Gobbitt has identified him as Mortimer Charles Gidney (operating as C M Gidney), who took over the studio of Robert Green (below), and who was succeeded by Bond & Newman (q.v.). Gidney's occupation of the studio was probably briefer than Cory supposed, since a copyright registration found by David Gobbitt indicates that Bond and Newman were already at the Bank Plain address by October 1886.
Sylvia Shankland, Gilkes' great-great-grandaughter, reports the family tradition that he was, at some point, a theatrical scenic artist in Norwich. He died on 22nd March 1868, aged 45, but Cory shows him still in Westlegate Street in 1872. Sylvia Shankland suggests (very tentatively) that a son, also a William, may have carried on the business for a time after his father's death.
GOODCHILD, Percival Macdonald
Born 1877, Leamington Spa; died 1959, Lynn. The main part of Goodchild’s career lies beyond the scope of this directory. In 1901 he was working as a photographer (perhaps, at that stage, a photographer’s assistant) in Leamington. Kelly’s Warwickshire, 1908, lists Goodchild & Co, photographers, at 2 Colonnade, Victoria Terrace, Leamington. By 1911, he was in Lynn and working as assistant to Amy Purdy (q.v.) at 84 London Road. He bought the studio from her on her retirement in 1929. His family business continued into the next generation, and at a series of addresses, for well over half a century.
GRAY, George C
(Regent Road studios)
Green was the manager of the London Photographic Company at the above address.
Since it is believed that the Bank Street studio was on the corner adjoining Bank Plain, it is very likely that this photographer is the same as Robert Green, below.
A mount describing Green’s Bank Street studio as the ‘Great Eastern Photographic Establishment’ states that the business was founded in 1854.
See also R Green, above. The studio was subsequently taken over by C M Gidney, above,
GRIFFITH(S), David Knox
According to Cory, Griffith(s) was employed earlier in the decade at this address, when Robert Hindry Mason (q.v.) was running the studio. Peter Klein points out that he was advertising his studio (‘late Mason & Co.’) in the Norfolk press as early as July 1868.
GRIMWOOD, Burgess &
According to 'The Norfolk News' of 23rd December 1865, they had just opened their Queen Street studio the day before.
Thomas Henry Grimwood appears in KN1865 as a tailor, draper and hatter at 5 Lower Goat Lane, Norwich, where John Middleton Burgess had his earlier photographic studio.
www.earlyphotostudios.uk is a non-commercial web site for local and family historians, listing photographers operating 1840-1916, in Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire, Leicestershire, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Rutland and Suffolk. The original site was researched and written in 2011 by the late Robert Pols, photo historian and author, and this re-constructed site is dedicated to his memory.
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