Early Photographic Studios
in Wolverhampton

Thomas Maitland Laws
Laws describes himself as "Successor to E. Hill" and has the same address, 41 Darlington Street.

On the back of this card he refers to his premises as an "Art Studio", a typical Victorian photographer's claim to being an artist, not a mere technician.

This young lady has a very elaborate dress and a very plain hair style.

Thomas Legge

Mr. Legge  is an "artist photographer" of Walsall Street, Bilston.  At the foot of the reverse he says that copies can be had "as miniatures, enlarged to life size & delicately finished in oil, water colours of crayon".

By the time of this photo, the royal coat of arms on the back of the photograph, and the claim to be an "artist photographer" have all disappeared.

H. Lord & Co.

H. Lord & Company's premises was in Owen Road.

This is not a carte de visite, but a later photograph.

H. H. Jones

Jones was at 194 Newhampton Road.


This photograph is of a school group, possibly in the Whitmore Reans area.

E. Mentor & Co.

This company was in Bristol Chambers, Bilston Street, Wolverhampton.

David Simkin writes that E. Mentor's full name was Elizabeth Zilpha Mentor (born in Stepney in 1861).  She married William Hillmer, who had a photographic studio at 43A Ship Street, Brighton, between 1896 and 1898.  Around 1898 the studio took on the name E Mentor & Co.  Eliza Mentor and her husband settled in Southampton, where their main studio was based.  

Apart from Southampton, Brighton and Wolverhampton, the company had branches in Newport (IoW), Bournemouth, Coventry, Southsea, Kidderminster, Barrow in Furness, Birmingham and Cheltenham.  

This photograph is of a young lady. On the back is listed branches at Southampton, Cheltenham, Bournemouth, Southsea and Wolverhampton.

David Murray

This is a large (9.5 by 11.5 inches) photo.  Printed on the frame is "David Murray, 60 Upper Villiers Street, Goldthorn Hill, Wolverhampton".

The photo is probably local to Villiers Street and may show the Blakenhall Conservative Club bowls club or a local pub team.  The area was developing at the time and was on the border between upper working class and lower middle class - and the club members are dressed accordingly.

A. W. Osborne

Osborne's studios were at Wolverhampton Street, Bilston. It may be that the delivery boy was from the butcher's shop, almost next door to the studios.

R. Page

R. Page was in Bohemia House, 17 Darlington Street. It still exists and the words "Bohemia House" are still readily visible.

Thanks to Ian Beach, of Western Australia, for sending us these scans of an otherwise unknown photographer.  The small boy is Ian's maternal grandfather, William George Yates, who was born in November 1886.  So this photo must date from the early 1890s.  Ian assures me that his grandfather had no objection to his lovely curl.  He also has the distinction of being the only certainly identified sitter on these pages.  

Ian has also provided us with this fascinating comparison (right). It is a detail from a group photo by Arcade Studios in Wolverhampton, of the Wolverhampton Hospitals Carnival Committee of 1926.  By then Mr. Yates was the undertaker in Upper Gornal and also a Church Warden at St Peter's in Upper Gornal.  Apparently he was on the Committee because he was a member of the "Sedgley, Upper & Lower Gornal Carnival Committee" which collected money for the Hospitals.

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