“Now perfectly still, please”.
Posted by Big John on February 5, 2007
This is a photograph of my great grandfather who was born in 1850. He was a London cab driver and owned two cabs, one was a ‘Hansom’ and one a ‘Growler’, although I only recall my mother telling me of one horse named ‘Bess’, which she, as a child (below right), would fuss over when visiting his stables on Brixton Hill.
I don’t know the exact date when this picture was taken, but I would guess at around 1880, for behind that heavy old moustache I see the face of a younger man.
(CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE)
The back of the photograph (below) is interesting as it shows the name of the photographer and ‘artist‘ who appears to have had a number of studios across South London. Henry Bown Senior and Junior are listed in the ‘Directory of London Photographers 1841-1908′ and are shown to have been in business between 1877 and 1908. Amazingly there were 2,500 photographers in London during this period.
The original photograph of my great grandfather looks similar to this Henry Bown ‘cabinet card’ which I found for sale on an American website, where they don’t appear to have done much research as to it’s origins, as they list it as ‘English ?’… Blimey! They only had to turn it over and look at the back.
It would seem that collecting Victorian photographs must be popular, judging by the amount for sale on the internet.
I wonder how many pictures of my family are …
… sitting in ‘cabinets’ across America ?