The Magic Box is certainly worth reading. It's about 150 pages in length and published in 1954. There is very little about the technical aspects of ferrotype photography but it does give a good account of how Pendrigh earned his living…"
What's this book like? I've seen a few copies going for $35. There aren't that many books or even accounts by itinerant photographers but at that price I don't want to snatch it up straight away.
"Maybe not a lead but a possibility. These come from Baku, C1910, when Azerbaijan was the largest oil producer in the world and quite a few Europeans (including Alfred Nobel) worked there. English photographers working in Moscow might go to Baku…"
"As a general rule Kevin, only Turkish women from the nobility were photographed in the 1860s. She could very well be an Armenian or Greek Christian or even a foreigner dressed in Turkish costume. I notice the Maltese photo says "Maltese…"
"It doesn't have to be an English photographer. Copyright was a loose term back then. I have one photo of a Tunisian musician bearing the stamp of the Zangaki brothers but I have seen a near identical image with another photographer's…"
The Magic Box is certainly worth reading. It's about 150 pages in length and published in 1954. There is very little about the technical aspects of ferrotype photography but it does give a good account of how Pendrigh earned his living on the streets in his own words. In 1954 the sums of money he made were huge but today these amounts do not seem at all large. He talks about earning £97 in one day as if it's a fortune. He mentions a famous Old Bailey case of the 1950s where a beach photographer had made £47,000 in six years but omitted to pay income tax. Today this seems a small sum for six years work.
The story is mainly about his methods of earning a living. Discovering the Aptus ferrotype camera and trading illegally on the streets of south coast seaside towns. Being moved on by the police etc. to becoming a licensed photographer in Trafalgar Square. He also was a photographer at the 1951 Festival of Britain taking photographs of people on donkeys, but not using ferrotype methods by then.
I bought my copy of the book on a recommendation from an email corespondent through Amazon but I see today that there is one copy for sale at a pretty high price. I did not buy my copy for anything like this amount. There appears to have been one for sale on Ebay earlier this year that did not sell So keep your eye out for a copy at a reasonable price. One is bound to turn up.