Directory of Early Photographers in Suffolk - S
He was working at 1 Providence Place, Lowestoft by 24th October 1857, according to an advertisement in 'The Norfolk News'. In the same edition he advertised for sale a fully-equipped 'portable Photographic Gallery' which was offered 'owing to the proprietor being obliged to remove it'. This suggests a period of itinerant operation before Saunders settled in Providence Place.
He is referred to as ‘James Saunders junior’ in KS1869. This may mark a transfer of the business from father to son, but the use of ‘junior’ in trade directories does not always seem consistent. A Saunders carte mount, dating from the late 60s, gives the 1 Providence Place address, and offers the spelling, ‘Kirtley’. ('Kirtley ' is also the spelling used in 'The Norfolk News'.)
SAWYER, J R
Sawyer was a Norwich photographer, details of whom can be found in the Norfolk Directory. One of his carte mount designs from the 1860s refers to an additional studio at 18 Brook Street, corner of Butter Market, Ipswich. An 'Ipswich Journal' advertisement of 31st March 1866 refers to the studio as Sawyer's 'New Establishment'. The same notice assures customers that there is 'A Lady Attendant and Dressing Room'. David Gobbitt has found that photography at Brook Street was managed for Sawyer by W A Smith (q.v.). An advertisement in the 'Ipswich Journal', 30th March 1867, records Sawyer's disposal of the business and Smith's launch of it under his own name.
David Gobbitt’s investigations of Sawyer, Smith and White at 18 (Upper) Brook Street, Ipswich, can be followed on Rootsweb’s Suffolk message board. See also the Sawyer & Bird studio folder.
SAYERS, Fras. H
WS1874 describes the business as 'photographer and fine art repos(i)t(or)y, and gives the Ipswich address as 'Park Place, 7 Norwich Road'.
‘J.P.’ is appended to his name in KS1916.
SELF & Armstrong
SEYMOUR, Jonas D
SHERBORN, Henry Robert
‘FRPS’ is appended to his name in KC1896. Described in TC1901 as 'also photographic dealer'.
SMITH, Thomas T
SMITH, Walter Azemberg
Originally acting as manager for J R M Sawyer (q.v.), Smith took over the business at 18 Brook Street in his own name in 1867. An advertisement in 'The Ipswich Journal' of 30th March 1867 (found by David Gobbitt) records the change of ownership. It rather looks as if the mention of '11 Brook Street' in MS1868 could be an error. '& Co’ is added to Smith's name in KS1883. SI1881 adds ‘corner of Butter Market’ to the address.
David Gobbitt has also supplied some biographical information:
The son of Marian Smith, he was christened Walter Azemberg Smith (not 'Azembey', as later given in some trade directories) in Norwich, Norfolk, on 3rd April 1838. He was practising as an architect when, on 14th December 1859, he married Emily Moore in Islington, Middlesex. He moved back to Norwich after the birth of a daughter in London in 1860, but before the 1861 census. He was still described in 1861 as architect and surveyor.
A report in the 'Norfolk News', 3 Oct 1863, sheds light on his transition from architect to photographer. He was working as assistant to the Norwich City Surveyor when he was engaged to design and project-manage the building of John Sawyer's new Italian Studio in Norwich - which was completed by early October 1863. He then joined Sawyer's artistic department as a colourist, and moved on to manage Sawyer's new Ipswich studio in the autumn of 1865.
When working in Ipswich, Smith won a silver medal for 'excellence in photographic portraits', at the Needham Market Fine Art and Industrial Exhibition of 1867 - an achievement to which he drew attention in a series of advertisements in the 'Ipswich Journal' from July to September of that year. In 1883 the Brook Street studio passed into the hands of John White (q.v.), and Smith subsequently entered into partnership with Edwin Debenham (q.v.) at 1 Sussex Place, Southampton, Hampshire. The partnership was dissolved in September 1887, and Smith carried on the business alone, despite keeping Debenham's name above the door. He was still in Southampton in 1911, when (still trading as 'Debenham and Smith) he had a studio at 149 Above Bar. He died on 3rd June 1918.
David Gobbitt’s investigations of Sawyer, Smith and White at 18 (Upper) Brook Street, Ipswich, can be followed on Rootsweb’s Suffolk message board.
SOUTHGATE, H J
Jarman relates that Spanton's ‘Repository of Arts & West Suffolk Photographic Establishment’, housed in a building of his own design in Abbeygate Street, was in operation by 1864. Versed in a variety of building and decorating trades, Spanton concentrated in the late 1860s on photography, framing and gilding. He died in 1870, aged 47.
SPANTON, William Silas
WS1874 adds 'and artists' colorer'. Jarman says that William Silas (the son of William Spanton, above) gave up art training in London to take over the business on his father's death in 1870. He diversified into the sale of art materials and built up a practice as an optician. He was prominent in local affairs, and was involved in the conversion of Moyses Hall, Bury, to a museum. As a photographer, he resisted the introduction of electric light in his studio until his retirement in 1901. A photograph of his north-light studio, dating from about 1900, shows some up-to-date props, but also shows natural lighting arrangements that would have looked much the same 30 or so years before.
An 'Ipswich Journal' advertisement of 13th July 1888 refers to him as 'St George Springthorpe', names the premises at 18 and 20 Tacket Street, and also refers to a further studio at 1 Great Wingfield Street, Ipswich.
Descendant Steve Clarke reports that Stainer had a studio on New Road, Saxmundham, in 1881. See, also, Stainer in the Norfolk directory.
STANLEY, Alfred H
See also Fred Stanley, below.
STANLEY, Fred H
‘Fred’ is a possible contraction of ‘Alfred’. See Alfred Stanley, above.
STEVENS, F W
More than one company produced ‘Sticky Backs’, which were small adhesive-backed portraits, taken by an early type of automatic photo system. Paul Godfrey draws attention to the Suffolk branches of a StickyBack chain run by Sidney Boultwood:
LowestoftBridge, Lowestoft 1912-1913
155 London Road, Lowestoft 1912-1913
49 St Matthew’s Street, Ipswich 1913
More information – both about the format and about Boultwood’s business – can be found on the Sussex Photohistory website.
Unless it records a fourth J Stokes, KS1858 seems most likely to refer to Josiah Stokes, below. KS1865 could refer to either Josiah or Joseph.
See also J Stokes, above.
See also J Stokes, above.
This entry seems likely to be a mistaken version of Thomas Stokoe, below.
KS1883 says that attendance at the Haverhill studio is ‘every Friday and first & second Saturdays in the month’. See also Thomas Stokes, above.
SYRETT, R J
Heathcote records that Syrett ran the Hatter Street studio from June 1853 until July 1854. A 'Bury and Ipswich Post' advertisement of 1st June 1853 promotes his 'Non-Inverted Photographic Portraits', which are 'Hermetically Sealed between Gols and Silver'. He subsequently formed part of the Gilliam & Syrett partnership that had premises in London Road, Lowestoft, in July 1855.
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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