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John Toohey
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Johnston & Hoffmann studio.
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I have a query regarding the studio Johnston and Hoffman, recognized as an important studio in India (Calcutta specifically) at the turn of last century. This is an English postcard I have credited…Continue

Started this discussion. Last reply by John Toohey Aug 10, 2015.

Identification of JBB

HelloI am curious about the initials JBB at the bottom right of this postcard. Could it be J B B Wellington? Does anyone know if he made postcards like this?…Continue

Started Nov 28, 2013

The English Studio, operating in Baku Azerbaijan at the beginning of the 20th century.

Does anybody have any information on the English Studio, operating in Baku, Azerbaijan at…Continue

Started Dec 4, 2011

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John Toohey replied to jo hague's discussion Backing cards - how widely distributed? in the group Carte de Visite
"A lot of designs were shared by studios. I have seen this one also used by Thomas Donovan of Brighton and Boak and Sons of Malton and Driffield.  "
Feb 5, 2021

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One Man's Treasure

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"Unforgiven years: Bulgarian postcards 1901 - 1930"

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At 23:38 on June 28, 2013, John B Turner said…

Hello, and thanks, John

I think they are Valentine's imagages ok, but George D Valentine wasn't the only one of the Dundee company to photograph in New Zealand, though he was certainly and exemplary photographer. I'm in China and my records are still in NZ so can't give details now, but Alfred Burton and George Valentine were more than likely aware of the work of people like Muybridge and O'Sullivan in the North American west - through magazine and newspaper articles, if not actual exhibitions, so they may not have seen any samples. WH Jackson, however, visited NZ around 1895 and took some photographs there that are in the Library of Congress collection.

The links or non-links between the pioneer photographers, and comparisons, like you have hinted at, are certainly worth looking into.

Thanks again,

John Turner

At 15:54 on March 12, 2013, Paul Godfrey said…

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.

Best wishes

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