Information and discussion on all aspects of British photographic history
I have been researching the HELSBY family of photographers along with Ron Cosens in Yorkshire, Alejandro de la Fuente in Santiago and Peter Helsby in Arizona.
James Gooden HELSBY, Thomas Columbus HELSBY, William George HELSBY and John Stephens HELSBY, the three sons of James Gooden HELSBY all had significant roles as early photographers in South America and William also operated a branch in Liverpool then set up in Denbighshire, Wales with his son William George HELSBY junior also joining the business. We would be interested in hearing from others with an interest in these photographers.
Marcel (Marcel Safier, Brisbane, Australia)
Hi Marcel - this may be a red herring but i have a note on file that "Early in 1903 Mr J B Helsby, a press photographer met Mr Walter J Edwards, a travelling salesman for a German photographic firm and together they entered into partnership, forming ‘The Topical Press Photographic Agency’. I wonder if there is any relation to your helsbys? My institution now owns the topical archives and any additional info on our Mr Helsby woudl be very welcome. many thanks, Sarah
Sarah, thanks for sharing this. James Barrow Helsby is not connected the Helsby family of photographers I am researching, but I have not looked further into his story. You will find his partnership notice in the London Gazette however. Cheers! Marcel
many thanks, Marcel - I'll follow up that lead. Good luck with your research. Best, Sarah
Sorry for this not particularly informative comment but I wanted to add a note of encouragement. I have long thought this was a very interesting family of photographers. There were some good Helsby South American daguerreotypes which came onto the market in the 1980s and I had always hoped that a family hoard might emerge but I presume nothing has yet? Somewhere I believe we have a nice Helsby ambrotype of a local nanny and a British baby. I remember doing a smidgen of research back then but can't put my hands on anything at the moment. Good luck.
Thanks Ken, a few friends including some on this list own some choice cased images and there are quite a few in institutions. Nothing much in the way of early images has emerged from the family itself although there are some members keenly interested in the Helsby genealogy. Our multi-national research effort has flushed out quite a few new details and I am hoping to visit South America in the next 2 years for a holiday and a more detailed look at photographic history there with the aid of a few local photographic historians. I am happy to hear from you again if you locate your material, meanwhile I will send you a few things directly. Cheers! Marcel
William George Helsby Jr was my great grandfather, and lived in Denbigh after his return from South America. Another related Helsby was the painter Alfredo Helsby, son of Thomas Columbus H and his wife Patience Hazell. Alfredo was born in Valparaiso 22/7/1862 and studied for a time in Paris. Try him on google for more info.
I have some WGH daguerrotypes.