British photographic history

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Publication: The Photographic Studios of Europe

The Photographic Studios of Europe, first published in 1882, is the only detailed account available of working practices and conditions in the studios of the leading photographers of the Victorian period. Revealing, surprising, perceptive and authoritative, this first-hand report is based on seeing scores of photographers and their workshops in action. The result is fascinating and valuable both as a social historical record and as a classic of photographic literature. This newly-designed and typeset, 300-page edition provides - for the first time - a highly readable and accessible selection from the original Victorian edition.
These reports were first published in the Photographic News

Author H Baden Pritchard (1841–1884) was Secretary of the Photographic Society of Great Britain and remains "a distinguished name in photography" (Mark Haworth-Booth). Adopting a "colloquial style" he leads us on a "house-to-house visitation among the principal studios of Europe... determined to write down great things and small alike... and so produce a record of practice." Recording in detail the physical environment of each workplace, the range of photographic work undertaken, the employees, clientele, pricing policies and unique techniques of each studio, the book provides unparalleled insights into the burgeoning business of photography in the Victorian period. 
Among the many fascinating - and varied - experiences presented are visits to:
  • the studio of Queen Victoria's photographer
  • the world's largest photographic studio, producing by hand 3,000 prints a day
  • Millbank Prison and Pentonville Penitentiary to watch how prisoners are recorded
  • the photographic studios at the South Kensington Museum (now the V&A) - an "unpleasant, cold, draughty backstairs lumber room"
This important book will be of interest to photographic curators, art historians, social historians - and to anyone with an interest in the history of photography and media.    
Studios in London
Francis Bedford at Camden Road
Payne Jennings at West Dulwich
Walter Woodbury at South Norwood
Hills & Saunders at Porchester Terrace
Captain Abney at South Kensington Museum
Valentine Blanchard in Regent Street
Robert Faulkner in Baker Street
The Van der Weide Electric Studio in Regent Street
The Platinotype Company at Bromley End
Dr Huggins at Upper Tulse Hill
The Woodbury Permanent Printing Company at Kent Gardens, Ealing
A City Phototype Establishment
Millbank Prison
Pentonville Penitentiary
Studios in England
H P Robinson at Tunbridge Wells
Jabez Hughes at Regina House, Ryde
Kew Observatory
Brown, Barnes & Bell at Liverpool
Studios in Scotland
James Valentine & Sons at Dundee
T & R Allan at Glasgow
Studios in France
Adam-Salomon in the Rue de la Faisanderie, Paris
M. Nadar in the Rue d’Anjou St Honoré, Paris
The Préfecture de Police in Paris
Title: The Photographic Studios of Europe
Author: H Baden Pritchard
First published 1882 
ISBN: 978-1-907697-79-1 [paperback] | 978-1-907697-80-7 [hardback] 
Pages: 300
Price: £29.95 [paperback] | £59.95 [hardback]
Publication: 29 March 2013
Publisher: MuseumsEtc

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Comment by Marcel Safier on March 23, 2013 at 19:47

Hi Michael

It should be pointed out that the original book is available for free in
various electronic formats:

and what a wonderful resource it is!


Marcel Safier
Brisbane, Australia

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