British photographic history

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Trying to find work of Tom Thomas, photographer working in London in 1948

Hello friends. I feel lucky to have stumbled on this group, as perhaps it will help me solve a mystery!

I am interested in seeing whether any work survives of a photographer living and working in London in 1948. His name was Tom Thomas (so, Thomas Thomas - full name Thomas Cyril Thomas) and he was in the Air Force during the Second World War and became a professional photographer afterwards.

I can't find any listings for him in public directories for the time, and nor does anything show up on Google.

I'd be very grateful if anyone could suggest how I might try to find any of his work!

Many thanks :) 

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He may have been working for a company or as an employee which might explain why he isn't listed separately, It may be worth checking to see if he was a member of the Institute of British Photographers, now the British Institute of Professional Photographers (www.bipp.com)

Thank you for the suggestion Michael! I've contacted them, here's hoping... :) 

Michael Pritchard said:

He may have been working for a company or as an employee which might explain why he isn't listed separately, It may be worth checking to see if he was a member of the Institute of British Photographers, now the British Institute of Professional Photographers (www.bipp.com)

I have the IBP Handbook for 1951 with full details of all members and there is no listing for Tom or Thomas Thomas.  I have another photography source book from 1950 which doesn't include him.  The Focal Press published a Who's Who of Photographers in about 1950.  I don't have a copy but there is one in the British Library, might be worth a look.

Thank you Matthew, how kind of you to check for me. That's a great suggestion, I'll see if the BL can help me :) 

Matthew Mawson said:

I have the IBP Handbook for 1951 with full details of all members and there is no listing for Tom or Thomas Thomas.  I have another photography source book from 1950 which doesn't include him.  The Focal Press published a Who's Who of Photographers in about 1950.  I don't have a copy but there is one in the British Library, might be worth a look.

Philippa, many photographers became photographers without joining any photographic associations, maybe worked from home or leased a studio, so a search may be difficult, have you any photographs that you can show that are attributed to him. Many Air Force personnel were involved in photographic mapping & reconnaissance using large technical cameras which maybe would have led to a commercial style photography career after the war.

Thank you David, that's very useful information. I have no photos by Tom, but would love to find some. I'll keep searching! 

David Martin Todd said:

Philippa, many photographers became photographers without joining any photographic associations, maybe worked from home or leased a studio, so a search may be difficult, have you any photographs that you can show that are attributed to him. Many Air Force personnel were involved in photographic mapping & reconnaissance using large technical cameras which maybe would have led to a commercial style photography career after the war.

Nothing from the BIPP yet....will give them a little while longer, all things considered! :) 

Philippa Moore said:

Thank you Matthew, how kind of you to check for me. That's a great suggestion, I'll see if the BL can help me :) 

Matthew Mawson said:

I have the IBP Handbook for 1951 with full details of all members and there is no listing for Tom or Thomas Thomas.  I have another photography source book from 1950 which doesn't include him.  The Focal Press published a Who's Who of Photographers in about 1950.  I don't have a copy but there is one in the British Library, might be worth a look.

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