British photographic history

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I am looking for any information about The London School of Photography and William Smorthwaite, Proprietor from 1870-1876. Also looking for information about his son William Joseph Smorthwaite, photographer in St Catharines, Ontario, Canada. Also Emma Smorthwaite (nee Read) married to William Joseph Smorthwaite, returned from Canada and operating a studio at 174 Regent St, London.

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Bob Pullen said:
Hello, The photoLondon website will have some information,

Hi Peter. I have been researching the London School of Photography. Aside from my interest in Australian and New Zeland photographers I do biographical research for the Photographers of Great Britain and Ireland 1840-1945 website.

Due to the number of outlets, the size of the operation and number of photographers employed working out the history of the LSP is somewhat complicated.

David Simkin covers one aspect of the firm's operations in his entry on William Stephen Bradshaw on his site on photographers of Sussex:

Here is the entry on PhotoLondon Bob Pullen referred to:

Smorthwaite, Emma

Alternative names: Emma Smurthwaite

Born 1840. Died 1922.

Smorthwaite, Emma
?= Emma Smurthwaite born Hull 1840.
Md Edward Smurthwaite, hosier & glover (b Durham 1840).
1 son & 1 daughter.
STUDIO: 174 Regent Street, Westminster 1876 - 1893. Successors to London School of Photography.
1881: living in Hull.
Died in Scarborough 1922.

This entry misses the fact that Emma was in fact William Joseph Smorthwaite's wife and her maiden name was Read, not Smorthwaite. She was born 1844 in Redbourne/St. Albans, Herts. William Joseph's sister Laura Smorthwaite married draper Edmund Read. After William Joseph's death Emma married in 1876 in the Kensington district of London to photographer Charles Alfred Bungey who is also listed on PhotoLondon. I suspect he worked in the London School of Photography Studio. We will eventually add biographical pages on the Smorthwaites and Bungey to the free part of the website:

I would be happy to continue corresponding directly if you like.


Brisbane, Australia

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