The young David Evans has been busy with lots of research projects of late, and one in particular seems like a good story to run in the mid-Christmas lull – so can you help identify these mystery photos, please?
These two images were supplied by a local family following the passing of their owner, and nobody seems to have any clue who the child and lady featured are.
If you can help, please do comment here or mail me – BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.
Cheers to David for the legwork here, Bill Mayo for his wise eye and the family concerned for their generous donation.
This sweet little photo measure 4 inches by 2½ inches. IN conversation with our wonderful local historian Bill Mayo I understand that Caddick’s photo studio was on Brownhills High Street, opposite present day Aldi store
But the ‘American Studio’ had us both baffled.
This second photo measures 5½ inches by 3½ inches and the details are fascinating. What is the dress/ uniform? What breed of dog is the good lady holding?
The reverse of the photo has, praise the Lord, some dating information:
There was no stamp attached, suggesting that the photo was given. But who was Emily?
My thanks are extended to the local Brownhills family who have very kindly given these images.
days gone by photographers travelled around the districts and rented a front room parlour for a day or so to use as a studio hence dad in his sunday best plus gold guard and watch mother and children best white frock and posh hat looking so serious waiting for the birdy and flash
another American Studio was in High Street Chasetown…owned by Mr Tilsley..closed down some ten years ago. Given the size of the small contact print I wonder if a (then) new process or camera..American..had recently been imported to England. Please can the keen amateur photographers help to unravel this mystery
Mills was a well known travelling photographer ..some of whose images have appeared in the blog
Many thanks to Bill Mayo for this additional information on this subject.
I’ve found references, via Google, to “American Studios” in Edinburgh, Wolverhampton, Rhyl and Sydney, during Victorian and Edwardian times. I’m guessing the term describes a photographic gallery-cum-studio with plush furnishings and stage scenery where folk could have their portraits taken, wearing their best clothes and surrounded by apparent opulence.
A name that keeps coming up is John Plumbe, who franchised a string of daguerreotype galleries and studios in the USA during the 1840s.
“The public portrait” – pages 27–30 of “The Oxford History of Art: American Photography” – might be of interest; it can be found in Google Books.
very many thanks for your research. We tend to take photography for granted nowadays and ignore the pioneers, sadly. Some of the early studio photos are so clear and well-lit
Then the outdoor photos especially the amazing Australian WW1 front line images.Here the American Studios family images will have been treasures of their times
kind regards and a very happy New year to your goodself
Around 1900s there was a photograph studio in Hall Lane, Walsall Wood.
there was many years ago at 115 lichfield road another photographer i thin k his name was mr davies i recaled last night seeing a great number of glass plate negatives throne away from his shed when they moved house i was just a boy and i found them fasanaiting more grey matter gobly goo thanks god bless
The outfit, or uniform, looks like that of an Edwardian housekeeper.
When I was looking at first name frequency I found that Emily was quite rare, so I thought I would look at the 1911 census, assuming that Emily was a resident of the Brownhills area.
A search of Brownhills finds not one Emily, but Norton Canes finds one Emily Rushbrook, 40, single, housekeeper, living with Isaac Charles Cooper, widower, colliery banksman, and family (Including 3 working sons) at Hednesford Road, Norton Canes. The lady in the portrait could be 40? No obvious connection to a Sue or Susan or similar.
November 1911. Armistice?
3 records away WillIam Rushbrook, also colliery banksman, and family, with Albert Cooper, boarder.
Happy New Year!
and a very happy New Year To you also. Many thanks for your excellent research..possibly the name Brookes and collieryman may be a connection here. I just wonder if Norton Hall figures in all of this.
This wonderful blog and its super researchers/ helpers never ceases to amaze! Whata cracking start to the year.
just a coment in the 1930 s there was a rushbrook family living inthe avenues of lich field road one daughters name was eileen as i recall she went to school with my late wife
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