Cartes de Visite were small photographs (the size of a visiting card) and mounted on thin card approximately 4 x 2 ½ inches. These were first used in Paris and then shortly introduced into England in 1857. It was previously possible to have a photograph taken but it was challenging and expensive to produce multiple copies. The technique for producing Cartes de Visite involved taking several photographs on a single photographic plate. This enabled copies to be produced and distributed among family and friends and this initiated a desire to collect. In 1860 this was fuelled by the availability of Carte de Visite portraits for the Royal family. The hobby was popular in Malton, as evidenced not only by the survival of many examples but also by the advertising of photographic albums by the local stationers.
Cabinet Cards were introduced in the 1860s and gradually replaced the Carte de Visite format. They were larger and generally printed on thicker cardboard, usually the photographer’s details were at the bottom. On the back there may be simple printing of a pattern or advertisement. These designs became more elaborate as time went on. Cabinet Cards declined in popularity following the introduction of photographic postcards.
Dating Early Photographs
The name of the photographer will often be the best clue to the date of the photograph. Carte de visite printed on thinner card and with square corners tend to be the earlier and therefore likely 1860s examples. Later cards, produced in the 1870s are on thicker card and may have rounded corners
Cardboard mounts for cabinet cards tended to be cream coloured at first with richer colours such as black, brown, green and burgundy appearing later in the 1880s and 1890s. Of course clothing is another clue when trying to date these photographs and a number of websites give some guidance on this.
Before the advent of Cartes de Visite there were photographers based in or visiting Malton. Messrs Kain & Gouldier advertised in the Malton & Norton Gazette in October 1855 that they had 'opened a new photographic and Daguerreotype portrait gallery - back of Finkle Street and near the Primitive Methodist Chapel where the finest of photographs will be taken.' A Mr Bankes, Collodiotype artist, advertises in the Malton Messenger in February 1856 that he has opened a portrait room at the back of Finle Street (perhaps he succeeded Messrs Kaim & Gouldier). He claimed his portraits 'surpassed anything of the kind ever introduced in Malton.'
Richard E O'Connor, living in Saville street is the only photographer in Malton listed in the 1861 census, although Matthew Bankes is listed as'phptographic artist' in Chancery Lane.
In 1862 WS & E Hall, in Finkle street were describing themselves as photographers. In 1863 a Mr Bumby opened 'portrait rooms' near the Railway station. A trade directory dated 1867 describes John Milner as a photographer in St Michael street.
By 1870, William Froom had opened his photgraphic studio near the railway station. His premises were destroyed by fore in 1872 and his business was in liquidation in 1875. In 1876 Matthew Boak purchased these premises and moved to the Market place. Matthew Boak died in 1906 and the business was taken a while after by Harry Edwards.
John Mahoney described himself as 'an artist in photography' operating from the Albert Studio in St Michael's street.
Albert Bradbury is listed in an 1893 trade directory as running a jewellers and photography business in St Michael street.
Charles Bogg is operating from 7 St Michael street and is listed in an 1897 trade directory. Those premises were then occupied by brothers Randolph and Stanley Smith. This partnership did not last long and was dissolved in 1902. Randolph remained in Malton to run the business for many years. Stanley died in Scarborough in 1906.
Carte de Visite
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Malton & Norton Memories
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