Saturday, 4 October 2008

Old Photos

Around the end of the Nineteenth / beginning of the Twentieth century it was far more likely that you would have a studio photo of yourself than a family snap. Family owned cameras were abnormal and consequently shots like those of Dad’s Dad and Mum outside their Larkhill Lane Police Station around 1907 were fairly unusual.

Studios flourished wherever people of society lived and in holiday spots all over the country. Studios used different backgrounds and techniques for making their photos unique and they would provide photos for display, for cartes-de-visites and for lockets.

A standard set of studio props was a table, books and a fancy chair. This is my Great, Great Grandfather, James Spencer, Great Great Grandma Coombes first husband.

Some photographers risked the British weather and offered a service at scenic beauty spots when the sun was shining. This is my Great, Great Grandma Coombes, Great Grandma Spencer and two of Nana’s siblings – Uncle Wardie (looking thoroughly fed up) and Auntie Maude. I suspect the beauty spot is Swallow Falls near Bettws-y-Coed.

This one is of THS (Thomas Henry Spencer) Nana’s eldest brother, about to depart to sea, and has been framed accordingly.

This is also of THS – at two different ages, put onto stamp-like mounts.

Of all the ones I have seen this has to be the strangest. It is Auntie Annie Shemmonds – Nana’s Mum’s sister. I think the effect makes her look like a one woman witches’ coven! Presumably it was what she asked for!

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