Ealing’s Victorian photographic studios and early photographers

I am starting to pull together all the information I can find about Ealing’s early photographic studios.  This is just a first attempt – very much work in progress – to share this information with others who may be interested and especially for anyone who may be able to contribute.

Cabinet Card by Wakefield, 1 High Street, Ealing, early 1900s

Ealing is a suburb about nine miles due west of the centre of London.  I have lived there, in four different houses now, for nearly 20 years so it seemed an obvious topic to cover!  For the purposes of this article I am restricting ‘Ealing’ to the areas of Ealing Broadway, South Ealing, North Ealing, and Northfields.  I will probably also include Hanwell and Boston Manor, as that is where I live, and then in time look to expand it to cover areas such as Acton, Brentford, Greenford and and Southall.  By early photographers I mean pre World War 1.  And by their nature, most of these studios were portrait studios, so most examples are of unknown individuals rather than old views of Ealing itself.

Photographic studios

Here’s a first stab at a simple list of all the Ealing photographic studios I have found, and a summary of what I know about them so far.  Initial  sources are:

1. Photographer listings on www.photolondon.org.uk
2. Items seen listed on eBay
3. Items shared by other users on Flickr
4. My personal collection as shared on Flickr
5. Miscellaneous sources

Note that I have not yet consulted the excellent (but not free) www.victorianphotographers.co.uk which I am sure will fill in a lot of gaps and answer many questions, especially in relation to dates.  I will also try to undertake some genealogical research, and have made contact with the Ealing Local History Centre where I will aim to look at local trade directories, maps etc.

Bell, Edwin

Reverse of carte de visite by Edwin Bell, 31 Denmark Villas

Reverse of carte de visite by Edwin Bell, 31 Denmark Villas (click on image to view front)

Listed as a photographer living in Ealing in 1881, 1891 & 1901 census records. Formerly assistant with Lock & Whitfield. [1a]

Exhibited at the Royal Photographic Society in 1881 and 1887. [5]

Examples: Cabinet cards [2, 2, 2]

Bridge, E.L.

There is no mention of EL Bridge on www.photolondon.org.uk [1]; the only reference to this studio I have found so far is from the carte de visite that was listed on eBay (see below)

Examples: Carte de visite [2]

Hopgood, E.

Edwin James [Jas] Hopgood b1862, or father Edward (both photographers).  Check comments in source link for further location info, provided by Flickr user Paul J Hilton [3j]

Neither Edwin nor Edward Hopgood is listed on www.photolondon.org.uk [1]

Sandringham Studio, High St [3k]

Examples: Carte de visite [2, 3v (6 images)]

Lock & Whitfield

Unknown woman by Lock & Whitfield, The Common, Ealing

A well known and sizable studio, first based in central London and then opening a branch in Brighton.  I am not sure as yet when the Ealing studio opened, but I suspect it was around 1880.

Samuel Robert Lock and George C Whitfield [3s]

“printing establishment moved from Kensington to Ealing March 1869; still in operation 1908.” [1b]

When sold in 1908 address given as Burlington House, Uxbridge Road, Ealing Common [1b]; this address, assuming it to be the same, is now a council run care home and is situated as you leave Ealing Broadway heading east (into London) along the Uxbridge Road, just before Ealing Common.

Also at 178 Regent Street, September 1856 – 1894 [1b]; shown on cabinet cards – see examples below

See also George Carpe Whitfield, in Additional Names section below – I now believe that this is the Whitfield related to the Lock & Whitfield studio.

Examples: Cabinet card [2, 2, 2, 2, 4c]; unknown format(CdV?) [3u]; Woodburytypes [3t (many images)]

McLanachan, J.L.

Likely John Lorimer McLanachan; b. 1845 Ayrshire [3b]

2 The Mall [3c]

It is suggested that he may have only been in Ealing for a couple of years c. 1881 (possibly after which EC Porter took over at 2 The Mall) – see comprehensive comments from Flickr user Paul J Hilton[3b]

There is no mention of JL McLanachan on http://www.photolondon.org.uk [1]

Examples: [3w (5 images)]

Muir, Samuel John

78 Uxbridge Road [2]; 78 Uxbridge Road, Ealing 1895 – 1904 [1c, 3n]

In 1891 he is recorded as living at 67 Eccleston Road, Ealing (I suspect far too small to run any sort of business – I used to live at 84), and then in 1901 at the studio address at 78 Uxbridge Road [1c]

Percy John Muir, Samuel’s son, is listed in 1901 as a  photographic assistant living at 78 Uxbridge Road, Ealing [1d]

Examples: Carte de visite [3n]; Cabinet card [2]; Real photo postcard [3p]

Unknown woman by EC Porter, The Mall, Ealing

Porter, Edward Cecil

6 The Esplanade [3e, 3i, 3m]
2 The Mall [3g]
20 The Mall [2]

Census records show him at 2 Cumberland Terrace in 1892 as an artist/painter, then as a photographer at 2 The Mall in 1891, then 20 The Mall in 1901.

Kelly’s Directory for Ealing records (accessed via www.historicaldirectories.org):
1889-90: 2 The Mall
1893-4: 20 The Mall and then states “photographer (Holcombe)” which I’m not too clear on the meaning of.
1907: 21 The Mall

There are several records of the surname Porter on www.photolondon.org.uk, but none for Edward Cecil. The most notable is Mary Ann who was a photographic mounter living on Windsor Road in 1891 and 1901 – I have a feeling she will be a relative of Edward [1e]

Examples: Carte de visite [2, 3f, 3h, 3l, 3o, 4a]; Cabinet card [3a, 2, 2, 2, 2, 3d]

Unknown lady, by Alfred Raines, 7 Queens Terrace, Ealing Dean

Raines, Alfred

The only record I currently have of this studio is a single cabinet card that I own.  Raines is not listed on www.photolondon.org.uk.  There are however records on www.victorianphotographers.co.uk which I shall have to access.

7 Queens Terrace, Ealing Dean [4b]

Examples: [4b]

Wakefield, Frank

21 The Mall, Ealing 1897 – 1901 [1f]
1 High Street, Ealing 1902 – 1904 [1f]

Unknown man & woman (groom & bride?) by Wakefield, 1 High Street, Ealing

The census records show him in 1901 as a photographer living at 24 Oxford Road, Ealing [1f]; his three sons also worked in the business – Edward Arthur, Frank Graham & George Hamilton Wakefield; he had worked until 1880 in the City in partnership with Henry Holden Bray

Examples: Cabinet card: [4a (7 images)]; Unknown format [3q, 3r]


see Lock & Whitfield

Additional names

I have come across several other names of photographers who at some point lived in Ealing.  These may all warrant further research, but for now I shall just list them.  All information is sourced from www.photolondon.org.uk unless stated.

Atkinson, Arthur Woodcroft – 1901: photographer living at 65 Warwick Road, Ealing

Bagley, Arthur John – 1881: photographer living at 4 Coningsby Road, Ealing

Bradshaw, Alfred Herbert – 1901: photographer living at 92 Park Road North, Acton.

Bradshaw, Charles Frederick – 1901: photographer living at 92 Park Road North, Acton

Bulley, Herbert – 1881: photographic assistant living at 20 Princes Road, Ealing

Bullingham, Henry – 1891: photographer living at 8 Heathfeld Road, Acton.
1901: photographer living at 40 Avenue Road, Acton (studio was in Kensington)

Burow, Ralph – 1901: photographer living at 9 Churchfield Road East, Ealing (studio in Regent Street)

Edwards, Benjamin Joseph – 1901: photographic chemist living at Greylands Lodge, Castle Bar Park, Ealing (not a photographer as such, but I have included him as the photolondon listing shows many fascinating looking photographic patents against his name, and his firm moved to Castlebar Works, Ealing Dean in 1905)

Fleming, Mary – 1891: photographer with father Lewis Baldwin Fleming, living at Norwood Villa, High Street, Hanwell

Foxlee, Edward William Michael – 1881: photographer living at 1 Gloucester Villas, Acton. 1891 & 1901: photographer living at 22 Goldsmith Road, Acton.

Garratt, James Philip -1901: photographer living at Wooden Cottage, Warwick Road, Ealing.

Gay, David – 1881: photo enameller living at 2 Shirley Villas, Hanwell. 1901: retired, living in Ealing.

Gill, Sydney – 1901: photographer living in Ealing.

Glasse, Thomas Allan – 1891: photographer living at 30 Arlington Road, Ealing.

Hall, William Henry – 1881: photographer living at 18 Coningsby Road, Ealing.
1891: photographer living at 7 Shakespeare Road, Acton.

Hyatt, James Hallett L – 1891: photographer living at 1 Hamilton Road, Ealing.
1901: photographer living at 3 Kent Villas, Kent Gardens, Ealing (studio in Great Russel St, Bloomsbury)

Lewis, Stephen Charles – 1881: Autotype printer living in Hanwell (studio at 3 Ealing Terrace, Uxbridge Road, Hammersmith 1888 – 1889)

Martyn, Frank – 1901: photographer living at 12 Argyle Road, Ealing. Also artist (earlier, studios in Islington and Westminster)

Mason, Frederick G – 1891: photographer living at 25 Coldershaw Road, Ealing.
1901: photographer living at 8 Holly Park Terrace, Hanwell

Parker, William Edward – 1901: photographer living in Acton.

Praetorius, Charles B – Employed at Autotype Establishment, Ealing June 1870. Studios in Kensington 1872-1891

Sawyer, John Robert Mather – 1881: photographer living at 51 Windsor Road, Ealing. 1884: photographer living at 3 Windsor Road, Ealing.  In addition there are several mentions of companies, patents and bibliographic references relating to printing processes, including autotypes.

Sisman, Thomas Limbird – 1891: photographer living at 1 Broomfields, Broomfield Road, Ealing Dean.
1901: photographer living at 37 Broomfield Road, Ealing Dean.

Spencer, John Alexander – 1874: photographer living at Brownlow House, Ealing Dean. Joined Autotype Company in 1870

Taylor, Joseph & Harold – father & son; 1901: both photographers living at 18 Alacross Road, Ealing

Vidler, Frederick William Wilson – 1881: photographer living at 5 Avenue Road, Ealing (later, studios in Willesden)

Watson, Edward Ellis – 1901: photographer living at Burlington House, Uxbridge Road, Ealing.

George Carpe Whitfield – 1881: photographer living at 14 Sandringham Road, Ealing.  Several business interests and mentions of printing, especially Woodburytypes, and also as the founder of the Paget Prize Plate Co and patent holder for Paget colour plates. However, other sources typically list this as G S Whitfield, and I have since discovered that in 1891 he worked with a George Sydney Whitfield (relationship unknown).  I now believe that  George Whitfield is linked to the Lock & Whitfield studio.   [3s] gives the names as Samuel Robert Lock and George C Whitfield, and I have also found many excellent examples of  Woodburytypes by this studio [3t].

Whiting, Charles Rowland – 1881: photographer living at 14 Denmark Villas, Ealing. Lodger.
1891: photographic operator living at 48 Denmark Road, Ealing. Studios in Camden and Shepherd’s Bush various dates 1866-1887.

Wilkinson, William Thompson – 1881: photographer living at 1 Bloomfield Place, Broomfield Road, Ealing Dean; bankrupt in 1882 then studio in Kensington 1883-4.


Just compiling this overview highlights a few things of note:

- a number of photographers used the studio at 2 The Mall

- most of the records and examples found date from c. 1880 or later.  This may be no coincidence, as it was at that time that Ealing expanded rapidly with teh arrival of the Metropolitan District Railway (now London Underground’s District Line)

- I am fascinated by a couple of mentions of Ealing in the Additional Names section above, especially the many mentions relating to autotypes and one of the “Autotype Establishment, Ealing”.  I have not pursued this line of enquiry in any depth, but a quick search found information about the Autotype Company which moved from Brixton to Brownlow Road (in what is now known as West Ealing) and at one point employed 70 people – see http://www.aim25.ac.uk/cgi-bin/vcdf/detail?coll_id=13318&inst_id=118&nv1=search&nv2=.  Furthermore the company that acquired Autotype, MacDermid, has a page about the history of the company and a photograph of the Ealing works.  It also states that they moved away from Ealing by 1978 and “There are currently no traces of the old factory in Ealing as the site was used by the Ealing council to provide social housing” – see http://www.cps.eu/autotype.nsf/pages/europeaboutHistory

- likewise through George Carpe Whitfield and George Sydney Whitfield I have discovered that the Woodbury Permanent Photographic Printing Co was at Kent Gardens, Ealing until moving in 1897 – see http://www.photolondon.org.uk/pages/details.asp?pid=8659

1901: photographer living at 92 Park Road North, Acton.
Article Global Facebook Twitter Myspace Friendfeed Technorati del.icio.us Digg Google Yahoo Buzz StumbleUpon Eli Pets

This entry was posted in In focus. Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Ealing’s Victorian photographic studios and early photographers

  1. Bob Richardson says:

    You’ve omitted one of the largest and most successful commercial photographers in Ealing from your list. Edward Hall Atkinson moved his company from Drury Lane in 1895 and after a short spell at Woodbine Cottage in Warwick Road he transferred his business to the newly-built Warwick Works at 100 Warwick Road. The building still stands and the huge roofscape, at an unusually steep angle, betrays the fact that it was originally Ealing’s largest daylight photographic studio. Garratt & Atkinson were manufacturers of stock illustration blocks for printers, but the owner of the company, Edward Atkinson, was also a very fine professional photographer. He travelled the length and breadth of the UK, taking photographs of seaside resorts and holiday destinations, using a glass plate camera. Atkinson then produced halftone printing blocks from his photos which he sold to local printers to enable them to produce view cards for holidaymakers.

    Garratt & Atkinson traded from Warwick Works until 1964 when the business was wound up. Atkinson’s massive archive was destroyed when the building was vacated, and very little exists, apart from the printed ephemera produced from his original blocks. Edward Atkinson served as mayor of Ealing in 1933 and a tree in Walpole Park commemorates his tenure. He died suddenly at his him in 1942 and his daughter took over the running of the business. She died in 1998, aged 99 years.

  2. James says:

    Bob, thanks so much for pointing that one out, and all the great information. I will be sure to update the article and give due credit. Out of interest, is the building you refer to the one that can be seen at http://g.co/maps/r8dr2 ?

    Another name that I have been informed of but not yet included is Horace Nichols – I really must add him too when I get a moment.

    Regards, James

  3. peter says:

    There was a James Hyatt living at Acacia House Ealing in 1893. I wonder if he had any connection with the Hyatt you have identified as a photographer (with a different address)?

  4. Susan Jones says:

    My great grandmother, Emily Pettifer, was a photographer’s assistant in 1881. She lived in Williams Road, Ealing. I have not yet been able to find out which photographer she worked for. I have some cabinet cards from local studios of the period and could send you the studio names/addresses if you’re interested.

    • James says:

      Hi Susan, thanks for the comment, and apologies for the delay responding. The Williams Road that I can find on Google Maps is on a modern estate in West Ealing, so I wonder where exactly your great grandmother lived? Intrigued I took a look at Ancestry and can see the census record, with Emily aged 19 living with her parents. The parish is given as St Johns, which would place this in or around West Ealing. As I am sure you will know, by 1891 she was married and had a family, but from what I can make out the address is Singapore Road, the road which modern-day Williams Road goes off of. I’m guessing that when they built the current estate (I think in the 1970s) they must have re-used the road names.

      I’d be delighted to have the names and addresses of any photographs that you have, if you are able to send them to me (either via a further comment here, or directly via email – james@whatsthatpicture.com)

  5. Tom Biro says:

    We have recently acquired the following: Picturesque Views of Ealing. Photographic Views of Ealing. Published by Frank Thomas, Stationer and Fancy Goods Dealer, Post & Telegraph Office, Haven Green, Ealing, W. Landscape fomat, bound in red morocco with gilt title and publisher on the front board, with ‘Rock Series – The Strong Patent Cover.’ blind tooled on the back board. Page size 168x230mm, with title page + 16 whole page photographs of Ealing at about the turn of the last century showing: ‘The Broadway’, ‘Municipal Buildings’, ‘Walpole Park’, ‘St. Peter’s Church’, ‘The Parade’, ‘Hanger Hill Golf Club’, ‘Club House, (Golf Club)’, ‘The Mall’ [with a pencil annotation [Rue faisant route a Uxbridge], ‘Princess Helena College’, ‘Castle Bar Hill’, ‘St Mary’s Parish Church’ [with 'Eglise du Matin' in pencil at the foot], ‘Ealing Common’, ‘Christ Church’, ‘HavenGreen’, ‘Perivale Church, Near Ealing’ and ‘Ealing Green’. Clean and tight.

    Any suggestions about the exact date of publication or who the photographer was would be much appreciated.

    • James says:

      Hi, I presume you’re the dealer who now has this listed on a couple of sites? I’m afraid I have no further information on this publication, and without seeing images it is hard to date them. It certainly has a feel of early 1900s about it though. If you were able to email any images to me I could see if I recognise any and hence be able to determine who might have taken them. Wakefields has to be the strongest candidate.

  6. Grahame says:

    Hi James, my great grandfather was Edward Ellis Watson, the 1911 census gives his address as Burlington Studios, The Mall, Ealing. His wife Florence is also listed as a photographer, as to is one of his many offspring, Henry. I have a few photos of him & Florence, but I’ve never seen any of his work! As a photographer myself I’ve always wanted to track some of his work down, but just haven’t been able to. Have you come across anything? An old family story stated that he had permission to use a royal crest on his letterheads, so perhaps he’d even snapped royalty. I don’t have a clue!!! Can you shed any light on him?!?

    Many thanks,


    • James says:

      Hi Grahame, fascinating stuff. I think I’ve found something for you! It appears that in 1908 your great grandfather took out a loan for £75 from the London & Westminster Loan Co and bought the Lock & Whitfield studio, or at very least their name – see http://www.photolondon.org.uk/pages/details.asp?pid=1248. I would guess that some further research could uncover more about this. Perhaps even more exciting to you is that I have a photograph from ‘Lock & Whitfield’ in my collection that is dated April 1909, so I can only presume that it must have been taken by him (unless he employed other photographers?). I shall get it scanned and post a copy online within a few days and let you know. I also have a postcard with a Lock & Whitfield blindstamp that I think is fairly certainly 1910s.

  7. alexander peebles says:

    I have started to research a family member who died during the last year of WW2.
    I have received a print of a ‘landscape’ photograph of “No.271 (T) Squadron, Royal Air Force. The photo’ is entitled “AIRCREW”, May 24th,1944.”
    The photo was taken by ‘Wakefields’ Ealing, London, W S. I am assuming that this company received a great deal of its business for this type of photo from the Ministry of Defence and I am looking for a ‘new’ picture from the original plate. Question is, where are Wakefields records and plates? I hope that this helps your project along a bit further. Meanwhile, if you track down Wakefields successors before I do, perhaps you will share the info with me.

    • James says:

      Hi, apologies for the delay responding. I have to say I have not heard of any records or where Wakefields’ original material may have ended up, and it is true to say that there are very, very few studios whose material has survived. My only thought here is that being military, and as you say probably having been commissioned by the authorities (whether teh MoD or the RAF itself), there is an outside chance that it may have been passed to them. I think it would at least be worth contacting both the RAF Museum and the Imperial War Museum. If nothing else, they are sure to have other material that relates to this squadron, and possibly your family member. Good luck, and sorry I can’t help more.

  8. Shirley Davenport says:

    I just typed in a Raines studio because of my interest in family history. My father had his own business in a Raines studio, as far as I remember it was almost opposite St. Marys Church, where he retouched and airbrushed large photos from the early thirties until he retired. Certainly right through the war years. I have a photo of him in the studio working if you are interested. As you must realise I am pretty ancient myself so will attempt to send a copy of photos with e-mail.

    • James says:

      Shirley, that sounds great. The Ealing Dean studio address that I have on my cabinet card is not near St Mary’s Church, but he could of course have had more studios, or have a business address and other premises where work like retouching was done. Strangely the online records are quite good for the 19th Century but poorer for later years, so that may be why I have found so little.

      Yes, I would love to see a copy of the photograph of your father in his studio, and I’ll see if I can do some research and find out exactly where it was.

  9. Kahren Quickenden says:

    You mention finding information that Mary Ann Porter may be a relative of Edward Cecil Porter. I believe she was his elder sister (from investigating my paternal family tree)

    • James says:

      Hi Kahren, thanks for confirming that – it seemed more than a coincidence when I found records for both of them. Do you have any further information about them? I don’t suppose that you have any photographs of them, or at least by them?

  10. Shirley Davenport says:

    Want to send attachments James could I have your e-mail address. Thanks

  11. JUANITA ROGERS says:

    Hi James, I have some original portrait photos of my mother and aunts done by Wakefields in Ealing from the late 1920s and early 1930s. I could show you some scans.

    Juanita Rogers

  12. Lenny Davey says:

    I have just come across your site and although I have not had time to go through it completely it looks great so far. I have in my possesion two photographs taken at the studion in the Mall, Ealing London , of two of my first cousins who I have never met. They are in the origional folders and I was wondering if it would be possible to date them. they are probably taken late 1920s or early 1930s

    Kind regards Lenny Davey

  13. Lynda says:

    I stumbled across your website when I did a Google search for photographer S.J.Muir & Co. I have an image of my great grandparents and was attempting to find other photographs. Any suggestions on the easiest way to try and find images? If you’re interested in the image I have let me know the best way to share it.

  14. geoff says:

    Hi, I have a photo of my wife’s grandfather, it is in postcard form and he is stood in his pilots WW1 uniform with cane and ridding boots. The photo was taken by Wakefield studio 1 High street Ealing W5. There is a number stamped on the card in blue ink 252718
    there is also a code in triangular format with a B at the top and an A and D at the bottom.
    Can anyone give me a date of the photo from the info supplied.
    Regards Geoff

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>