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Smaller Sizes of Portrait - Photographers in England - North West Region

We have divided England into Geographical Regions in order to keep the page sizes manageable for our listings of stickyback photographers. All the regions are listed here. Within each regional page, practitioners are listed by location alphabetically. If you are looking for a practitioner by name, start with our page "Smaller sizes of portrait - photographers by name"

North West Region, includes: Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside, Cumbria, Isle of Man. Locations covered on this page so far: Birkenhead. Blackpool, Bolton, Burnley, Heywood, Isle of Man, Keswick, Liverpool, Manchester, Morecambe, Nelson, Oldham, Preston, Rochdale, Salford, Southport, Stockport, Wath Brow, Wigan, Workington. Misc Stickyback related items.


Address: 39 Grange Road West, Birkenhead
Possible practitioner: GROSSI, STELLA
Operating dates: 1914
Information and References: Liverpool Echo - Wednesday 09 December 1914 p6, "Man, middle aged, understanding bromide printing and developing 25/- and commission. Call Friday, Sticky Backs, 39 Grange Road West, Birkenhead." According to the 1914 Kelly's directory of Cheshire, 39 Grange Road West was occupied by photographer Stella Grossi, the younger sister of Spiridione Grossi. In 1911 Stella was at 77 Paradise Street Liverpool. The 1913 local directory listed Stella as a photographer at 57 Bold Street Liverpool. Later she married William Henry Huish and set up a studio in Morecambe. We have more here on our site on Stella Grossi.


Address: North Pier Studio, Blackpool, also at St Annes on Sea, Blackburn, Darwen.
Possible Practitioner: BURTON, Frank b.1876 Blackburn
Operating dates: 1901-1918
References: See below mounted photo, 55 x 118 mm of an unknown lady in lace blouse and large hat, c. 1910. On the reverse is written "F.Burton, North Pier Studio, Blackpool. Repeat orders any time. Send receipt No." We are grateful to Ron Cosens ( for permission to show this image from his collection. A Similar format carte has been seen for sale on Ebay which has an additional studio address, Pier Studio, St Annes on Sea. Gillian Jones in "Lancashire Professional Photographers 1840-1940" lists Frank Burton as follows: 70 King William Street, Blackburn 1901-1906; 13 Preston New Road, Blackburn 1909-1913; North Pier, Blackpool 1909-1918; 92 Church Street, Blackpool 1918; 43 Duckworth Street, Darwen 1912-1915. According to Northern Daily Telegraph - Saturday 25 June 1904 p6, Frank was also a keen breeder of Pomeranian dogs. Frank submitted two of his photographs to Stationers' Hall for copyright purposes, in 1916 a photograph of a Yorkshire Terrier dog Copy 1/495/539 and in 1909 a photograph of Blackburn Rovers football team Copy 1/539/139. In 1901, Frank, a single man, was a photographer on his own account living with his parents in Altom Street, Blackburn. 1n 1911 Frank was resident at Glympton, Adelaide Terrace, Blackburn, with his wife Dorothy Beatrice Burton and their six year old son Frank Osbaldeston Burton. Frank was an employer and a photographer. The family had a 17 year old live-in servant.

Portrait by Framk Burton, Blackpool

Address: 64 Waterloo Rd, South Shore, Blackpool.
Possible practitioner: WORLD'S PHOTO CO, names of proprietors not currently known.
Operating dates: 1906
Information and References: The Era - Saturday 04 August 1906 p27."Wanted. Quick operator and finisher for StickyBack photos. No learners need apply. Reference and full particulars to the manager, Worlds' Photo Co, 64 Waterloo Rd, South Shore, Blackpool." Manchester Evening News, Wednesday 1 August 1906 p2, "Quick operator and finisher stickybacks and postcards: refs. World's Photo co 64 Waterloo Road , S.S. Blackpool."

Address: Blackpool, Preston, Bolton, Manchester, St Helens, St Annes, Liverpool, Nottingham(see detailed list below).
Possible practitioner: FRED ASH. (Frederic Joseph ASH) b.Mansfield Notts 1861 d Bournemouth 1929
Operating dates: 1880s to 1940
Information and References: See below two examples of mounted stickybacks. The first is a portrait of a young child. The image measures 1 x 0.8 inches on a white card mount 2.1 x 2.9 inches, on the face of which is printed in gilt a rectangular frame with embellishments and along the bottom "Fred. Ash. Blackpool, Preston, and Manchester". The reverse is blank. This has been reproduced with the kind permission of Stephen Valentine and he believes it is an early photograph of his father Jack Valentine, born in Preston in 1907. This would date this photo to around 1909/10. Second is a tiny portrait of a lady in a straw boater hat. Dimensions are the same as the first example. On the face of the mount is printed in gilt a rectangular frame with embellishments and along the bottom "Fred. Ash. Blackpool, Preston, Bolton and Manchester". The reverse is blank. This is probably from around 1907, as it includes Bolton in the list of studio locations. It is difficult to date these from the towns listed on the mounts as different studio locations were added and deleted over the years.

Frederic Joseph Ash 1861-1929 was the son of Nottinghamshire photographer Edwin Ash (1834-1892). Gillian Jones in her "Lancashire Professional Photographers 1840-1940" lists Fred Ash at the addresses and on the dates shown: below. The 1901 and 1911 census returns show his residence at 22 Raikes Parade, Blackpool. Moving into the stickybacks and postcards field early in the 20th Century may have been good for business. We know that Fred employed doormen at his studios in 1903 - as one of them, William Jennings Cookson, having been dismissed for drunkenness, was in court for assault (Lancs Evening Post 22 June 1903 p4). We also know that in 1906 Fred was advertising to take over other premises for his photographic business in Blackburn, Derby and Leigh. He was also in 1907 advertising for staff at a studio at 20 Long Row, Nottingham (Notts Evening Post 30 Nov 1907 p7) and by 1912 had a studio at Greyhound Street, Nottingham (which may actually have been the same premises). At the time of his death Frederic was living at Kumara, Lytham Road, South Shore, Blackpool. He died on New Years Day at a hotel in Bournemouth, his estate was worth over £41,000. (£2.6 m in today's money). His second wife, Beatrice Greenwood Hamer (1889-1964) may have run the business briefly after his death in 1929 (there are entries for Mrs Fred Ash in Manchester directories in 1932/3). However, by 1939 she had remarried and no longer seemed to be connected to the business.

1887-1892 16 George Street, St Helens
1889 South Beach Blackpool
1890-1932 6 Wellington Terrace Promenade, Blackpool
1895 3 Orchard Rd St Annes
1898-1901 91B Fishergate Preston
1899-1907 Larkhill House, 160 St Georges Rd, Bolton
1899-1915 40 King Street, Manchester
1901- 1907 2/4 Regent Square, Blackpool
1904 Central Beach, Blackpool
1904 20 Raikes Parade, Blackpool
1905-1909 41 Church Street, Blackpool
1913-1914 70A Market Street, Manchester
1915-1940 92 Bold Street, Liverpool (directories 1917-1940, but there is an earlier newspaper advert with this address in Oct 1915)
1923-1924 5/7 Wellington Terrace, Blackpool
1924 York Street, Blackpool
1928-1939 10 Corporation Street Manchester
1929 Fieldman's Arcade, Blackpool
1932-1933 Mrs Fred Ash 10 Corporation Street, Manchester.

The photo below appears to be from around 1905 and pre-dates Fred Ash having a presence in Liverpool or Nottingham, so is earlier than 1907.

Reproduced with permission of Stephen Valentine, believed to show Jack Valentine, b. Preston 1907

Portrait be Fred Ash

Address: Foxhall Square Blackpool, also 61 Piccadilly, Manchester
Possible practitioner: W.H.Fellows Electric Studio
Operating dates: 1901-2
Information and References: See entry below for 61 Piccadilly, Manchester

Address: Manchester, South Beach Blackpool, 163 St James' Street, Burnley.
Possible practitioner: Cooper & Sons, H Cooper
Operating dates: c. 1905 - 1909
Information and References: See carte de visite below reproduced with kind permission from the collection of Photo Historian Paul Godfrey. This comprises a serrated edged card mount with smaller than normal photographic image of a young couple and child, size 3.2 x 1.6 inches. Printed on the face of the mount in gilt lettering is "Cooper & Sons, South Beach Blackpool and Manchester". Gillian Jones "Lancashire Professional Photographers 1840-1940" lists no fewer than 28 Coopers, but none in South Beach Blackpool, making it difficult to pinpoint the exact firm. The Burnley Gazette Saturday 23 December 1905 carries an advertisement "MESSRS. COOPER & SONS, PHOTOGRAPHERS, from BLACKPOOL, at 163. ST. JAMES’-STEEET, BURNLEY, wish to inform the public that they have no connection with any other firm in the town. Nor do they employ Photographic Canvassers or out-door Operators who are going round representing themselves to be connected with us. All our Business is done at the above address by H. COOPER, where we are NOW SHOWING all the LATEST DESIGNS in PHOTO XMAS NOVELTIES at very reasonable prices. Already within the last few weeks we have had the pleasure of Photographing thousands of Burnleyites, and have given the greatest satisfaction. Please inspect our Windows." Gillian Jones lists Cooper Bros photographers at this address in 1908-1909, and Cooper Brothers appear in her listing at various addresses in Blackpool from 1904-1939.


Address: Blackpool - various: 24 Promenade 1904-1924, Central Pier 1909-1913, 76/77 Central Beach 1918-1924, Victoria Pier 1924, 125 and 159 Promenade 1929-1939, 63 Central Promenade 1927
Possible Practitioner: Cooper Bros.
Operating Dates: 1904-1939
Information and references: Gillian Jones in "Lancashire Professional Photographers 1840-1940", shows that Cooper Brothers had a number of different studios in Blackpool between 1904 and 1939 (24 Promenade 1904-1924, Central Pier 1909-1913, Windsor Studio 76/77 Central Beach 1918-1924, Victoria Pier 1924, 125 and 159 Promenade 1929-1939, 63 Central Promenade 1927) These studios were all well placed for holiday traffic and the next two images appear to be cheap work to cater for that trade. The first image, reproduced with the kind permission of Ron Cosens (, is a pseudo midget carte de visite, printed on light cardstock measuring 44 x 75 mm. The whole of the face side is a photographic print, including the text "Cooper Bros Blackpool". The reverse is blank. The photograph shows an attractive young woman wearing a large wide brimmed hat and high necked blouse, seated on a rustic seat with a painted garden wall and blossom background. From the clothing this is likely to be from around 1910. Beneath that is a second image from Ron Cosens' collection. This shows a lady in a broad rimmed hat leaning against some realistic looking rocks. The photograph is unmounted and measures 52 x 90 mm. The reverse has a large dated backstamp produced with a rubber stamp for Cooper Bros Windsor Studio Blackpool. It is dated 6 August 1914, just two days after the start of WW1. There is a black bar across the top and bottom of the print which, together with the poor positioning of the backstamp, suggests that these were produced in a vertical strip for the sitter to cut. Other addresses seen for this firm on photographs offered for sale include: 24 Wellington Terrace and 643 Central Beach Blackpool.


Cooper Bros, portrait of an unknown lady 1914. Ron Cosens

Address: Bispham, Blackpool
Possible practitioner: Scholastic Photo Supplies
Operating dates: 1920s
Information and references: See below a stamp-sized portrait of a young girl in a matt grey/green card mount with oval aperture. The photo is held in place by a stuck-down printed cover sheet on which is printed: "Scholastic Photo Supplies, Bispham, Blackpool. Let us develop and print your films if you are an amateur photographer. We obtain the very best results and our charges are reasonable. Price list free on request. " The mount measures 2.5 x 3.5 inches. The name and address of this firm suggest a possible tie-in with the Scholastic Souvenir Co listed below. The names of individuals connected with this firm are not currently known.

Mounted stamp sized portrait of child by Scholastic Photo Supplies

Address: Bispham, Blackpool 1928, 20/21 Cliff Place Bispham, Blackpool 1929, 10 Selbourne Road Blackpool 1934-39, currently 4 Bromsgrove Avenue, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY2 9LX
Possible practitioner: Scholastic Souvenir Co Ltd
Operating dates: 1920s to date
Information and references: The earliest reference to this company which has so far been found is in an advertisement in the Sheffield Evening Telegraph - Thursday 11 February 1915 "Photographer outdoor wanted with own outfit willing to travel. no canvassing whatever. Permanency: £1 per week and commission. Scholastic Souvenir Co Beeston, Leeds" Thereafter the company seems to have been based in Blackpool and in December 1928 was registered at Companies House, where it is still a live company (No 00235813 registered at 4 Bromsgrove Avenue, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY2 9LX). The company appears to have employed photographers to visit schools and take group and individual photographs. The firm also processed film and did printing for amateurs and produced photo calendars and other novelty photo products. A number of school related photos by this firm appeared over the years in local newspapers. A newspaper report in the Orkney Herald, and Weekly Advertiser and Gazette for the Orkney & Zetland Islands on Wednesday 07 March 1934 p8 testifies to the reach of the firm and the quality of their work. "Burray, The school received a visit of H. M. Inspector of Schools last week. Coloured photographs of the scholars, singly and in a group, have arrived from the Scholastic Souvenir Co of Blackpool, a representative of which called at the school a few weeks ago with his camera. The results are splendid examples of the photographer's art and of the improvement of photography in recent years, and this company are to be commended for their enterprise." The company name and address seem to suggest a tie-up of some sort with Scholastic Photo Supplies, listed above. Below is an example school photograph from the 1940s, in a three panel brown mount with rustic line drawing and the name of the firm. The photograph, of an unknown scholar, is behind an oval aperture and measures 4 x 3.5 inches. The photograph is printed from part of a negative of a school group. The mount, when folded, measures 8 x 4 inches. Inside the mount was a loose slip of paper offering additional prints at 6d each and offering Xmas cards from the photograph. The names of the individuals behind the firm are not currently known.

Scholastic Souvenire Co Ltd school photograph

Address: Blackpool and Morecambe. North Shore Blackpool 1879-82, Church Street Blackpool 1879-1881, Claremont Rd Blackpool 1882-1892, Regent Rd Blackpool 1885, North Pier Blackpool 1885, South Beach Blackpool 1885-89, Wellington Terrace Blackpool, 1890-1902, Talbot Chambers Blackpool 1895-1913, 2 and 13 Promenade Blackpool,1905, Central Beach, Blackpool 1904-1907, 50 Chapel St Blackpool 1918. Promenade East Morecambe 1899 and Skipton Street Morecambe from 1899 to 1901. Also at 53 Long St Middleton 1890 and Townley St Middleton 1892-1898. Also at 4 Preston New Rd Blackburn 1891.
Possible practitioner: Samuel WOLSTENHOLME (1839-1899)
Operating dates: 1879-1918
Information and References: See below tiny portrait of a lady wearing straw boater and bow tie, on a card mount 57 x 73 mm with flowers, grasses and mosaic design. The photographer's name and address; "S.Wolstenholme, Blackpool and Morecambe" is printed on the face. The reverse is blank. The studio appears to have done such a rushed job that the image has accidentally been pasted upside down onto the mount. We are most grateful to Ron Cosens ( for permission to use this image from his collection. Below this is another stamp photograph of an unknown lady in a white card mount measuring 58 x 72mm with a branch and leaf design in gold. Gillian Jones in "Lancashire Professional Photographers 1840-1940" lists Samuel Wolstenholme at a series of different addresses in Blackpool from 1879 to 1918. She also lists Samuel at Promenade East Morecambe in 1899 and at Skipton Street Morecambe from 1899 to 1901. This photograph is therefore post 1899, but these mounts could have been in use for some time after the studio left the Morecambe addresses. Samuel died in 1899, but the business was carried on in the same name by a number of his ten children. Many example cartes de visite and cabinet photographs from the Wolstenholme studios survive, showing that the studios turned out top class as well as "cheap work".


Stamp photo on mount by Wolstenholme


Address: 28 Newport Street, Bolton.
Possible practitioner: PLEASALL PHOTO CO, names of proprietors not currently known
Operating dates: 1904
Information and References: Bolton Evening News - Friday 08 January 1904 P3. "Sticky Backs, Pleasall Photo Co, 28 Newport Street, Bolton."

Address: Larkhill House, 160 St Georges Rd, Bolton
Possible practitioner: FRED ASH (Frederic Joseph ASH 1861-1929)
Operating dates: 1899-1907 at this address
Information and References: See the main entry for Fred Ash above


Address: Manchester, South Beach Blackpool, 163 St James' Street, Burnley.
Possible practitioner: Cooper & Sons, H Cooper - see entry under Blackpool above

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Address: Broadfield Studio, Heywood
Possible Practitioner: MAWDSLEY
Operating dates: c.1906
Information and References: Heywood Advertiser Friday 11 May 1906 p1: "Wages are going up all over the town, but the price of Sticky-backs is coming down. 3d a dozen, you will agree, this offer is great. So you'd better hurry up before you're too late. Sticky-backs 3d per doz. Same quality as usual. Mawdsley, Photographer, Broadfield Studio".


The Isle of Man has a unique place in the birth of the Stickyback photograph. There were no doubt many photographers offering cheap work to the thousands of visitors to the island. Some are listed below but there were probably many others, yet to be listed. We are most grateful for the considerable assistance received, on all things historical, concerning the Isle of Man, from Frances Coakley (, Sarah Christian, Jude Dicken and other helpful staff at the Manx National Heritage Collections, Alan Kelly (Mannin Collections Ltd) and Dave Evans.

Address: 10 Castle Mona Shops and Douglas Head, Isle of Man
Possible practitioner: GROSSI, Spiridione aka Grossi's American Card and Photo Co, aka Grossigraph
Operating dates: c. 1902
Information and references: 1902, Isle of Man directories recorded Grossi's American Card & Photo Co. at 10 Castle Mona Shops and Douglas Head. See our page on Spiridione Grossi for the connection between the Isle of Man and the origin of the name "Stickyback".


Spiridione Grossi's Stickyback Shop 10 Castle Mona Shops c.1902 (thanks to Dave Evans)


A Grossigraph stickyback on a pale blue mount. This image kindly provided by Frances Coakley

A Grossigraph stickyback on a pale blue mount. The address "Central Promenade Douglas" could be referring to the studio shown above. The Castle Mona shops faced the Central Promenade. This image kindly provided by Frances Coakley

Address: 2, 3 and 4 Castle Mona Shops, Central Promenade, Douglas, Isle of Man
Possible Practitioner: SEAMAN Dennis B
Operating dates: c. 1898-1913 at this address, had other studios in Manchester and Liverpool.
Information and references: See our page on the Seaman dynasty for details and examples of the firm's work.

Address: Peveril Studio, Douglas Isle of Man, Palace Studio Douglas Isle of Man
Possible practitioner: CUBBIN, William Cottier (1868-)
Operating dates: 1908-10
Information and references: Cubbin was a Liverpool photographer operating from 175, sometimes 175a, London Road, Liverpool, between 1895 and 1913. He also operated from 62a Bold Street Liverpool between 1902 and 1904, later having studios at 62 Bull Street Birmingham in 1907, 30 Pelham Street Nottingham in 1908 and at 409 Oxford Street London W in 1909. William's father was born on the Isle of Man and William probably traded there as a seasonal photographer initially in the early 1900s. One address from that period, which may have been a rented studio, was 26 Finch Road, Douglas, Isle of Man. In 1909 William had a studio at the Castle Mona shops in Douglas, The studio was damaged along with four other shops in a fire that year (Isle of Man Examiner Sat Dec 11 1909 p3) and in 1910 the repaired shop was taken over by the Isle of Man Banking Co Ltd. (Mona's Herald Wed June 15 1910) By 1911 he had studios at the Palace Studio, Palace, Douglas, Isle of Man and Peveril Studios,Victoria Pier, Douglas. Cottier Cubbin was also a theatrical manager and producer. The first photograph below is a stickyback type, found in a card mount 3½ by 2⅝ inches with oval aperture, bearing the words "The Peveril and Regent Studios". The only place where the name "Peveril Studio" has been found is on the Isle of Man, where there was a Peveril Studio on Victoria Pier, operated by William Cottier Cubbin. (Lancashire Professional Photographers 1840-1940 by Gillian Jones and Isle of Man photographers A photograph in an identical mount can be found in the Manchester Regiment Archives, which suggests that this firm was located somewhere in the NW. The second image below, of an Edwardian family group, is reproduced with the kind permission of photo historian Paul Godfrey. This has printed on the dark green card mount "Cottier Cubbin, Peveril Studios, Victoria Pier, Douglas, IOM". The reverse is blank. The third midget carte below is included with the kind permission of Ron Cosens ( The mount on this example measures 57 x 80mm. The mount is an embossed pressed white card with a raised geometric and floral design and oval aperture. The stamp sized photograph behind the mount is of a young woman in straw boater and bow tie. The photographer has named the format on the front of the mount as a "Coronation Miniature". The photograph is held in place by a pasted-down cover sheet on the reverse on which is printed "Cottier Cubbin, Peveril Studios, Victoria Pier, also Palace Studio Douglas IOM". Which Coronation, 1902 or 1911? The fourth example below is another stamp sized photograph of a teenage girl with long hair, in a green card mount with oval aperture. Printed on the face of the mount is "Cottier Cubbin Peveril Studios Victorias Pier, Douglas IOM." The mount measures 57 x 80mm and the photograph 29 x 45 mm. The reverse is blank. These are all early 20th century cheap work produced for holidaymakers and visitors.

Image from Peveril and Regent Studio

Cottier Cubbin group of three

Cottier Cubbin Coronation Miniature, reproduced with lermission of Ron Cosens

Cottier Cubbin portrait of a teenage girl

Address: 2 Marina Terrace Douglas, Isle of Man in 1892, Marina Road (Marina Lawn in Directory) Douglas, Isle of Man in 1894: and at Harris Promenade Douglas, Isle of Man 1899 - 1907.
Possible practitioner: William Henry Warburton (1871 - 1937)
Dates of operation: 1892 -1912
Information and references: William Henry Warburton was born on the Isle of Man in 1871. In the 1911 census William is listed as a photographer, living at Bleng, Albany Road, Douglas, with his wife Edith, son Eric Dixon Warburton and his sister Charlotte Warburton. Eric and Charlotte were both listed at photographer's assistants. Initially Warburton advertised "high class photography" and particularly offered Platinotypes, later he catered more for a lower-end mass market. The midget pseudo carte below measures 36 x 67mm and is of a teenage girl, Sophie Smith and was taken, according to the writing on the reverse, on 14th August 1912. On the face of the image is the text "Warburton, Douglas IOM." This text is part of the photographic print. This is reproduced with the kind permission of Ron Cosens ( According to this list of Isle of Man photographers W.H.Warburton was at 2 Marina Terrace in 1892, Marina Road (Marina Lawn in Directory) in 1894: and at Harris Promenade 1899 - at least 1907.

midget pseudo carte by WH Warburton, Ron Cosens

Address: Victoria Street and Prospect Hill Douglas
Possible practitioner: Thomas Hewer Blase b. 1874 Liverpool d.1912 also known as John Walker Thomas Hewer Blase.
Operating dates: Ceased trading Sept 1905
Information and references: Thomas Hewer Blase was the son of photographer John Walker Blase. His father started in the photographic business in 1880 and operated from 17 Longfellow Street, Liverpool between around 1881-1925. In 1891 Thomas was with his parents and six siblings at 17 Longfellow Street, Toxteth Park, Liverpool and he was employed as a photographer, presumably in his father's business. Thomas Hewer was operating as a photographer in his own name at 16 New Market Street, Blackburn in 1898. In 1901 Thomas was lodging at 101 Green Street Liverpool and his occupation was shown as a clerk to the Dock Board Engineer. For whatever reason Thomas's career then reverted back to photography and by 1905 he was operating as a seasonal photographer at Douglas on the Isle of Man with studios in Victoria Street and Prospect Hill Douglas. At the end of the 1905 season his business was in trouble. A number of people, including the landlord of one of the studios, were chasing outstanding bills, resulting in court appearances in Douglas recorded in the Manx Sun, Saturday, 9 September, 1905; Page: 3 and the Isle of Man Examiner, Saturday, 7 October 1905; Page: 6. One of Thomas's assistants, Samuel Slinn, told the court that Thomas had left the Island. As a result, the court allowed possessions which Thomas had left behind to be seized and sold to cover his debts. Mona's Herald, Wednesday, 8 November 1905; Page: 8 gave a notice of a Coroner's sale of these possessions, the list of which included - from the Victoria Street Studio; "a Large Sticky-Back Photographic Apparatus with 15 Incandescent Burners, Rubber Piping. &c.; large mahogany Camera, 3-light Incandescent Lamp. 2-light do.. 14 yards Gas Piping. Mirrors, Chairs, two Hand Burnishers, 24 gross slip in mounts, 4 gross Stamp Slip-in Mounts, 4 gross Assorted Mounts, Dark Room Lantern. &c". More traditional photographic goods were listed from the Studio at Prospect Hill, viz "Large Mahogany Camera, Photographic Scenery, fourfold Screen, mahogany Show Case, Brussels Carpet, Steps. Pembroke Tables, Burnishing Machine, Mount Cutter, 12 gross of Miniature Mounts. Copper Kettle, Richmond Gas stove (small), walnut Suite in saddlebags, Square Tapestry Carpet, large framed Photographs, Show Cases, Albums, Oilcloth, &c." There may have been other reasons for Thomas to have neglected the payment of some of his bills. On 3 December 1905 he married May Blanche Beatrice Woodcock at Braddon, on the Isle of Man. His debt problems continued to press and Isle of Man Examiner, Saturday, 8 December 1906; Page: 1, reported the commencement of voluntary bankruptcy proceedings against him. The proceedings were later reported in the Manx Sun, Saturday, 8 September 1906; Page: 3. There Thomas pleaded that, after working as a professional photographer for fifteen years, he had no assets whatsoever. He told the court that £600 worth of photographic equipment, seized from his studios against his debts, had been sold by the Coroner for just £50 and that he had no assets. In view of him being penniless, the court could not see any point in declaring him a bankrupt. Eventually Thomas managed to set himself up again as a photographer. The 1911 census recorded him as a self employed photographer working from home at 29 Palatine Rd, Douglas. He was living with his wife May and their children, May and Thomas. Money must have remained tight as the family also had a 24 year old grocer's assistant boarding with them. Thomas died at the age of 39 in 1912 and was buried at Onchan, Isle of Man.

Address: The Manx Studio, The Promenade Douglas and The Promenade Ramsey, Isle of Man (also at Workington and Keswick, Cumbria)
Possible practitioner: Not currently known
Operating dates: 1902-1906
Information and references: Frances Coakley in her excellent Manx Notebook states that The Manx Studio appears in local trade directories at the Promenade Ramsey and Douglas in 1905. She does not identify the photographer concerned. Below are example products from the studio. These are in glossy white mounts measuring 2.4 x 3.2 inches with embossed floral design and the Three Legs of Mann logo. These mounts come with large and small rectangular and oval apertures. The photographs are secured behind the aperture by a stuck-down printed cover sheet on the reverse, on which is printed "The Manx Studio, Douglas and Ramsey Isle of Man and at Keswick" The photographs in these mounts are cut to different sizes to match the aperture. The negatives have had a job number hand-written on them in black, which shows as white on the edge of the photograph. A newspaper search for the Manx Studio led to an advertisement for "Twelve Photographs for one shilling at The Manx Studio 4 Station Road, Workington", Workington Star - Friday 21 November 1902 p1. The Workington Star on Friday 16 November 1906 carried a similar advertisement with the address as 31 Station Road, Workington. This advertisement included "See our windows for photo Xmas cards". To date the Keswick address has not been found, not has the identity of the photographer behind the studio.

Photographs from the Manx Studio

Address: The Morrotype Studio, 44 Parliament Street, Ramsey, Isle of Man,
Possible Practitioner: Alfred Julian Moore (1865-1939)
Operating dates: 1905-1910 for the Morrotype Studio
Information and References:

1907 Morrotype of unknown man in a straw hat, 19071905 Morrotype of Sam Stephenson

The first image below of an unknown man in a straw boater measures 1.6 x 2.05 inches, and has been inaccurately cut on a slant from a strip. Across the bottom of the strip is written "Morrotype" and a number 855. In the bottom left corner are some other numbers or letters which are indecipherable, but may be a partial date, best guess 1907. The second photograph is a Morrotype apparently dated 12 June 1905. This image is reproduced with the kind permission of the owner, Penny Guest, and shows her Great Uncle, Sam Stephenson, b. 1881 who served in the Royal Marines Light Infantry and the Royal Navy Fleet Reserve. There is a similarity with a stickyback photograph, with information contained on a signboard included in the photograph and the photos produced in a strip, but these are slightly larger than other stickybacks and may, or may not have had an adhesive back.

It took some time to pin down the photographic studio behind the Morrotype and we are most grateful to Dave Evans for spotting Morrotype advertisements in newspapers from Ramsey, Isle of Man. The Morrotype Studio advertised very regularly in the Ramsey Courier between 7th April 1905 and 14 January 1910. The Studio was at 44 Parliament Street Ramsey, near the swing bridge, in premises formerly occupied by the Ramsey Gaslight Company. In a few of the Ramsey newspaper advertisements, the studio was linked with the Premier Studio, 23 Waterloo Road, Ramsey. This was the studio and the home of Alfred Julian Moore (1865-1939?). Moore was the son of a doctor, Benjamin Thomas Moore, and Clara Moore, born Smith. He was born on the Isle of Man and was listed as a photographic artist at 23 Waterloo Road Ramsey in the 1891 and 1901 census returns. One of Alfred's cartes de visite, offered for sale on Ebay in 2020, of an unknown seated man holding newspaper, recorded on the face "Alfred Moore Ramsey IOM" and on the reverse under a Royal Coat of Arms, "Photographic Artist, Alfred Moore, From Abel Lewis, 23 Waterloo Road, Ramsey, Isle of Man ...." This suggests that Alfred trained to be a photographer with Abel Lewis, who was a Manx photographer operating between the mid 1860s and 1885, when John Bruton took over his studio. In 1891 a photographic assistant, George Cowen, b.1864, boarded with Alfred Moore and his mother, then a widow living on her own means. Both George and Alfred were shown as employers and were in partnership. The Ramsey Courier, Friday, February 07, 1958; Page: 3 has an article on George.B.Cowen (1865-1948), coinciding with a retrospective exhibition of his work. George also started his career as an assistant to Abel Lewis of Douglas, then worked for Bruton's before going to Ramsey as a partner to Alfred Moore. Later George acquired the business of G.Paterson and set up his own studio in Waterloo Road Ramsey around 1895.

Presumable Alfred, an established professional photographer, opened his second studio in Parliament Street so that he could compete with other studios offering cheap work to the thousands of visitors to the island. A second studio, better placed for visitors, allowed him to do this without adversely affecting his main studio, also his home, which was set in a large quality three story terraced villa in a residential neighbourhood. The Morrotype Studio was mainly open part time, Wednesday evenings and Saturdays generally, but later every afternoon and evening. So it may be that Alfred continued to run both studios without increasing his workforce. Alfred obviously saw himself as a high class photographic artist. He had photographed the Royal family on their official visit to the Island and proudly added the royal coat of arms to the mounts for his cartes de visite. The "Morrotype Magic Miniature Studio" offered Morrotype miniatures at 1s a dozen, groups 1/6d per doz, mounts for 1d and 1½d each, portraits mounted onto christmas cards, and postcards, The Morrotype was clearly intended as a rival miniature to the Stickyback. In one advertisement Alfred wrote: "We do all the work. While others sleep we laboured to produce a process Morrotype to abolish the common stickybacks in Ramsey. Success has crowned our efforts and our studio in Parliament Street is open day and night making our popular miniatures". (Ramsey Courier, Tuesday, August 7, 1906; Page: 4.). Then a few weeks later. "We have knocked them all out. We worked while others slept in evolving a process Morrotype for clearing the common stickyback mess out of Ramsey. We have knocked them out and the town is ours. They have departed to take in other folk elsewhere." (Ramsey Courier, Friday, September 21, 1906; Page: 4.) The inclusion of the in-shot sign board for the Morrotype clearly suggests that a similar feature was to be found by this time on other Isle of Man Stickybacks.

In January 1910 Alfred announced the closure of the Morrotype Studio, "as the proprietor is opening another on the mainland" (Ramsey Courier, Friday, January 14, 1910; Page: 4) The Premier Studio remained open at Ramsey. Later in 1910 they were advertising "Alfred Moore Premier Studio Waterloo Road takes all popular sizes and styles. Post cards from 3/6d per doz, Miniatures from 1s per doz, Panels 3 copies for 1s. (Ramsey Courier, Tuesday, December 13, 1910; Page: 1). We do not know whether Alfred opened another studio on the mainland, but by November 1913 he was offering his business for sale as a going concern with the stated intention of retiring to the country to manage a farm he owned. (Isle of Man Examiner, Saturday, November 29, 1913; Page: 5)


Address: The Manx Studio, Keswick
Possible practitioner: Not currently known
Operating dates: 1902-1906
Information and References: See entry above for The Manx Studio, Isle of Man.


Address: 25 Lime Street Liverpool Jan to April 1900 then 77 Paradise Street Liverpool April 1900 to March 1902
Possible practitioner: GROSSI, SPIRIDIONE, trading as Grossigraph Copying Co
Operating dates: 1900-1902
Information and References: 25 Lime Street Liverpool was, from 25 January 1900 the earliest address for Grossigraph, a photo copying company run by Spiridione Grossi, offering stamp sized photographs. The address changed to 77 Paradise Street Liverpool by 20 April 1900 and the firm advertised in many local newspapers until March 1902. From April 1901 Grossigraph advertisements used the phrase "The Isle of Man visitors say They've all got Sticky Backs".

Address: 107a Bold Street Liverpool
Possible practitioner: GROSSI, SPIRIDIONE
Operating dates: 1907-08
Information and References: Local directories show Spiridione Grossi was a photographer at 107a Bold Street Liverpool 1907-08. This address was, in 1902, “The American Studios” with addresses that year at 107a & 120a Bold Street Liverpool and at Conway Street Birkenhead. It is not known whether Spiridione only took over the 107A Bold Street address in Liverpool, or whether he bought into the American Studio with its multiple addresses. (we are grateful to Irene Geels who has a 1902 print of one of her ancestors from The American Studios, the mount of which bears these three addresses.)

Address: 62A Bold Street 1903-4 and at 175a London Road 1895-1913
Possible practitioner: CUBBIN, WILLIAM COTTIER
Operating dates: 1895-1913
Information and References: The stickyback photograph below, found in a card mount 31/2 by 2 5/8 inches with oval cut out bearing the words "The Peveril and Regent Studios". What follows is at the moment a working hypothesis only. The only place where the name "Peveril Studio" has been found in on the Isle of Man, where there was a Peveril Studio on Victoria Pier, operated by William Cottier Cubbin. Cubbin was also a photographer in Liverpool at 62A Bold Street 1903-4 and at 175a London Road 1895-1913. He later became a theatrical manager. (Lancashire Professional Photographers 1840-1940 by Gillian Jones and Isle of Man photographers A photograph in an identical mount can be found in the Manchester Regiment Archives, which suggests that this firm was located somewhere in the NW.

Photo from Peveril and Regent Studios

Address: 57 Bold Street, Liverpool
Possible Practitioner: GROSSI, Stella
Operating Dates: 1913 - possibly as late as 1940
Information and references: The 1913 local directory listed Stella as a photographer at 57 Bold Street Liverpool. We do not know currently whether Stella's photographer brother, Spiridione Grossi, was involved in the business in any way. We do however know that Stella produced Sticky Back photographs, at least in 1914, possibly with the assistance of her brother. Below are images of two stickyback photographs of unknown young women, c 1912, taken at 57 Bold Street, (Collection of the late Miss Catherine (Kitty) Bollard.) In addition, the Liverpool Echo, on Wednesday 9 December 1914 p6 contained an advertisement: "Man, middle aged, understanding bromide printing and developing 25/- and commission. Call Friday, Sticky Backs, 39 Grange Road West, Birkenhead". The 1914 Kelly's directory of Cheshire shows that 39 Grange Road West, Birkenhead, was occupied by photographer Stella Grossi. Although there is only one directory entry for Stella at 57 Bold Street (1913), it seems likely that she retained the business there for a longer period. We are most grateful to Christine Caroppo for drawing our attention to later directory entries for this address, 1915 to 1940, for the "Star Studio" and the likely connection of the two names. References: Lancashire Professional Photographers 1840-1940, PhotoResearch, 2004, Gillian Jones

Stickybacks from 57 Bold Street

Address: 77 Paradise Street Liverpool
Possible practitioner: GROSSI, Stella
Operating dates: 1911
Information and References: In 1911 the Grossi family was resident at 77 Paradise Street. Family members included Stella Grossi, b.1884, Liverpool, a photographer and an employer. Spiridione Grossi also used this family address from time to time until his death in 1921.

Address: 24 Lavan Street Liverpool E.
Possible practitioner: Ashley Oakes, aka Sidney Herbert Ashley Oakes, trading as Oakes and Co
Operating dates: 1904
Information and references: This firm advertised in the Daily Mirror Thursday 3 March 1904 p16: "Photography. Why go to studios? Send any photo to be copied: 12 stickybacks for 1s 2d post free Oakes and Co 24 Lavan Street Liverpool E". Ashley Oakes may have been a bit of an entrepreneur rather than a photographer. In 1901 he was advertising to find a manufacturer of matting suitable for fish or game dealer's bags (Sheffield Weekly Telegraph, Saturday 12 October 1901 p34) . In the 1901 and 1911 census resurns he described his occupation as a general engraver, in 1911 he added to this "nautical subjects"

Address: 7 Lime Street Liverpool
Possible Practitioner: The American Galleries
Operating Dates: c.1914-1918
Information and references: Produced stickyback type photos which it described as "American Midgets" This firm also had studios in Manchester, Chester, Birkenhead, Glasgow, Rhyl, Douglas Isle of Man. A second example below has the text and border pattern picked out in silver and has an oval aperture. Below this is a postcard from this studio of an unknown young man in uniform. On the face is printed photographically "American Galleries 7 Lime St LPoo". The reverse, printed as a postcard, is half an inch out of register with the face. Additional studio addresses printed on the reverse are "259 Argyle St Glasgow and 17 High Street, Rhyl."
See the entry on American Midgets on our page on sub carte de visite formats. A number of small advertisements for staff appear in the Liverpool Echo from the American Galleries at 7 Lime Street, Liverpool, between October 1914 and November 1918. Also the Gallery was credited for a photograph of Rifleman Wright, killed in action April 1915. Another small advertisement to recover a ladies coat left on a train, appeared in the Echo in December 1918, for the American Galleries 19 High St Rhyl.

American Midget

Portrait by The American Midget studio

postcard from American Galleries 7 Lime Street

Address: 92 Bold Street Liverpool
Possible practitioner: FRED ASH (Frederic Joseph Ash 1861-1929)
Operating dates: 1915-1940 at this address
Information and References: See the main entry for Fred Ash above


Address: 83 Stratford Road Manchester.
Possible practitioner: PIKE,
Operating dates: 1904
Information and References: The Era - Saturday 17 December 1904 P27. "Wanted Sticky Backs on sharing terms in good positions Bradford and Manchester. Applicants must be able to provide everything except room and gas. Room for other novs on same terms. Pike, 83 Stratford Road Manchester."

Address: 5 Marsden Square, Manchester 1909 and 84 Market Street Manchester 1909-11
Possible practitioner: GROSSI, SPIRIDIONE
Operating dates: 1909-1911
Information and References: Liverpool Directories show Spiridione Grossi as a photographer at: 5 Marsden Square, Manchester 1909 and 84 Market Street Manchester 1909-11

Address: 54 Market Street, Manchester
Possible practitioner: REED, CHARLES JOHN STEWART and ALLAN, WALLACE EDWARD, trading as "Sticky-Backs"
Operating dates: c. 1910
References: David Simkin, in his excellent site on Sussex Photographers, has uncovered much of the material on this page. David links Spiridione Grossi with two other photographers, Charles John Stewart Reed and Wallace Edward Allan who operated a photographic studio at 54 Market Street, Manchester under the name of "Sticky-Backs" in 1910. The partnership between Reed and Allan was dissolved in January 1911 (London Gazette Publication date: 6 January 1911 Issue: 28454 Page:153) and from that date Charles John Stewart Reed took control of the "Sticky-Backs" firm. David makes the link on the firm's name, the proximity of this address to Spiridione's business in at 84 Market Street Manchester in 1909-11, and the fact that an electrical engineer named Charles John Reed resided close to Spiridione's Brighton studio in 1911. (

Address: 102 Market Street Manchester, 18A Whittle Street Manchester, 66 Swan Street Manchester, Also at 18 Cambridge Arcade Southport and 53 Mostyn Street Llandudno and other Manchester addresses
Possible practitioner: GEORGE MELVILLE
Operating dates: 1883 to 1907 at various addresses
Information and references: Gillian Jones "Lancashire Professional Photographers 1840-1940". See below a tintype gem carte de visite of an unknown lady, c 1880s, from the firm who traded as The American Gem Studio,

American gem carte de visite by Geo Melville

Address: 40 King Street (1899-1915) 70A Market Street (1913-1914), 10 Corporation Street (1928-1939) Manchester
Possible practitioner: FRED ASH (Frederic Joseph Ash 1861-1929)
Operating dates: 1899-1939 at this address
Information and References: See the main entry for Fred Ash above

Address: 61 Piccadilly Manchester, Foxhall Square, Blackpool
Possible practitioner: William. H. FELLOWS Electric Studios.
Operating dates: 1901-2
Information and References: According to Gillian Jones "Lancashire Professional Photographers 1840-1940" W.H.Fellows was at 13 Tyldesley Road Blackpool 1895-1898 then William H Fellows was at at 61 Piccadilly Manchester 1897-1901. No further trace has been found of the firm. The first photograph below of an unknown lady is a midget carte de visite. 1.5 x 2.5 inches on a cream mount. The actual photograph measures 1.3 x 2 inches. On the face is written "W.H.Fellows Electric Studios Manchester and Blackpool". On the reverse is written "Keepsake W.H.Fellows Electric Studios 61 Piccadilly Manchester also Foxhall Square Blackpool." Use of the word "Keepsake" suggests this was an early attempt to target new markets with inexpensive products. The second example below is 2.5 x 1.4 inches on a thick paper mount. The actual photo of an unknown young woman measures 1.25 x 2 inches. The mount has on the face "Electric Light Studio, W.H.Fellows Blackpool". The reverse is blank, and may possibly have originally been gummed. On the left hand side of the photograph there is a trace of a negative or job number, which might have been a physical number within the field of the photograph or could have been added by some sort of in-camera numbering device.


Address: 131 Oxford Rd Manchester (A and W Wintersett 1906-10), 131 Oxford Rd Manchester (Frederick Wintersett 1911-1919, 60 Oxford Rd Manchester (Louis Wintersett 1920-1923 and John Browne 1918-1922), 298 Stretford Road Manchester (Louis Wintersett 1923-1932), 86b Stretford Road Hulme, Manchester (John Brown 1927-1931), 298 Stretford Road Hulme Manchester (John Stephen Brown 1933-34).
Possible practitioner: Wintersett, various family members including Frederick and Louis. John Stephen Brown(e)
Operating dates: 1906-1934
References: See below portrait of an unknown woman 45 x 88 mm printed three up on postcard printed photographic card. Part of the photographic print, beneath the portrait, is the text "L Wintersett 298 Stretford Road Manchester". Probably printed from two negatives. This probably dates from the 1930s. The text is printed unevenly, giving the impression of a rushed careless job. (reproduced with the permission of Ron Cosens ). Gillian Jones in "Lancashire Professional Photographers 1840-1940" lists A and W Wintersett at 131 Oxford Rd Manchester 1906-10, then Frederick Wintersett at the same address 1911-1919 and finally Louis Wintersett at 60 Oxford Rd Manchester in 1923 and at 298 Stretford Road Manchester 1924-1932. Gillian Jones also records a John Browne photographer at 60 Oxford Road Manchester 1918 to 1922. Also John Brown at 86b Stretford Road Hulme, Manchester 1927-1931 and John Stephen Brown at 298 Stretford Road Hulme Manchester 1933-34. Seen on Flickr a 1930s wedding group. On the face are the photographer's details: "L.Wintersett 86 and 298 Stretford Road Manchester, proprietor J.S.Browne". So far, neither the Wintersett nor this particular Brown(e) family have been identified in UK census returns or other family history databases. It is not known how the relationship between the Wintersett family and J.S.Brown developed, but it seems likely that Brown was the business owner in the 1930s.

Wintersett placed a number of advertisements for staff in local newspapers in 1916 and 1917. Much of his advertising targetted women, probably due to the effect of war service on the male labour market. Manchester Evening News 9 November 1916 p1, Wintersett 131 Oxford Rd was advertising for a male or female photographic assistant. Manchester Evening News, Monday 19 February 1917 p1, advertising for a lady receptionist, retoucher or finisher. Manchester Evening News, Monday 16 July 1917 p1, young lady wanted as an apprentice photographer. Manchester Evening News, Saturday 11 August 1917 p1, wanted experienced re-toucher, one able to operate a strip printer preferred 131 Oxford Road. The reference to a strip printer suggests high volume cheap work producing photos in multiples in strips. Manchester Evening News, Thursday 16 August 1917 p1 Smart young lady to learn the business: good writer and knowledge of freehand. Wintersett 131 Oxford Rd. Manchester Evening News, Thursday 16 August 1917 p1, smart operator, re-toucher or printer and smart lady receptionist. Manchester Evening News, Tuesday 9 October 1917 p2 "Photography Wanted. experienced assistants for reception retouching, operating, finishing sketch work and enlargements." Manchester Evening News, Friday 28 December 1917 p1, Experienced bromide printers also an operator retoucher.

By July 1920 the firm was diversifying. An advert in the Manchester Evening News, Monday 26 July 1920 p1, stated, "Kodak Films developed, ready same day. Amateur plates and films printed and enlarged. All classes of photographic work for amateur and professional photographers. Wintersett 60 Oxford Rd Manchester." The move to 298 Stretford Rd probably took place in the early months of 1923. In April that year the firm advertised for sale a number of items of furniture no longer needed due to refurnishing the Studio 298 Stretford Rd. Another approach to generate more business was the introduction of photo clubs. These collected regular small sums from members for which they received photographs. In the Manchester Evening News, Wednesday 25 July 1923 p1, they advertised, "Wanted 1000 young ladies to form Photo Clubs also one to act as appointer on wage and commission. Wintersett 298 Stretford Road."

pseudo carte by Wintersett, reproduced with the permission of Ron Cosens

Address: Manchester, South Beach Blackpool, 163 St James' Street, Burnley.
Possible practitioner: Cooper & Sons, H Cooper - see under Blackpool


See Samuel WOLSTENHOLME Entry above listed under Blackpool

See Stella HUISH - Entry above under Birkenhead, also this more detailed biography of Stella.

Address: The Crescent Morecambe
Possible practitioner: POOLE, Alfred Ernest Edward Clay (1853-
Operating dates: c1881-1914.
Information and References: See below an example stickyback photo of an unknown man, in a white card embossed mount, along the base of which is written "Alfred Poole Photographer, Morecambe". The photo, cut from a vertical strip, measures 1.2 x1.7 inches and the mount 2.3 x 3.1 inches. The photo is held in place behind a rectangular aperture by a plain buff cover sheet. There is a clue that Alfred was in the business of high volume cheap work from his advertisements for staff in Morecambe in 1902 and 1905. Lancashire Evening Post - Wednesday 19 March 1902 p6, "Good practical doorman wanted by photographer for Easter, with a view to season's engagement. Alfred Poole, Morecambe." Lancashire Evening Post - Wednesday 31 May 1905 p6, "Smart young man to act as doorman, good address and strictly sober. Alfred Poole photographer Morecambe". In 1881 Alfred was at Albert Cottage, Poulton Lancs, where his occupation was a photographer. In 1901 he was a photographer at 9 The Crescent Morecambe. Poole is listed in Gillian Jones "Lancashire Professional Photographers 1840-1940" operating from 1881-1914. No trace of Alfred has been found in the 1911 census, or of his death.

Mounted stickyback by Alfred Poole, Morecambe

Address: Heysham Rd Morecambe (1901-1909) and 10 Regent Road, Morecambe (1912-1938)
Possible practitioner: WATSONS, Arthur Watson and Co
Operating dates: 1901 - 1938
Information and references: See below pseudo carte of unknown lady, standing. 120mm x 53mm, with "Watsons Morecambe" as part of the photographic image. Gillian Jones, Lancashire Professional Photographers 1840-1940.

pseudo carte by Watsons, Morecambe


Address: 4 Pendle Street, Nelson
Possible practitioner: STOTT, George Ormerod (1886-1958)
Operating dates: 1911-38
Information and references: See below midget pseudo carte of a young woman, seated and wearing a locket. The text is part of the photograph and reads "Geo O Stott, 4 Pendle Street, Nelson". The size of the carte is 1.6 x 2.6 inches and the reverse is blank. Gillian Jones lists this photographer 1911-38 in "Lancashire Professional Photographers 1840-1940". The 1911 census shows that George was working from his home at 4 Pendle Street, on his own account as a photographer. In 1939 George was a licensee in Burnley.

Midget pseudo carte by George Ormerod Stott, c.1912


Empire Studio, Yorkshire Street, Oldham, Lancs, The Photo Button Co - see below for entry under ROCHDALE


Address: 43 Fishergate
Possible practitioner: Not currently known
Operating dates: c. 1906-10?
Information and References: The two images below are of stickyback photos which contain a signboard in shot with the address 43 Fishergate. The photographs measure 1.1 x 1.5 inches (portrait of an unknown young girl) and 1.2 x 1.3 inches (unknown woman with central hair parting). Both have been cut from vertical strips and one shows the sign board at the top, the other at the bottom of the frame. At first sight it would appear that these photographs tie into the next entry for Stickybacks in Fishergate, but the street number is different; this photographer being at No 43, the other at No 49. The newspaper entry for 1910 has been double checked and the number printed is definitely 49, although this could possibly be a typographical error. Fishergate was, and still is, a long central road in Preston with a good footfall and over the years attracted a number of photographer's studios. Gillian Jones in her "Lancashire Professional Photographers 1840 to 1940" lists no fewer than 20 studios there over the hundred years covered, but does not list any for numbers 43 and 49. It seems likely that a number of stickyback shops were pop-up premises, on short leases, moving on when the popularity of their products started to wane. Much of Fishergate has been re-developed, so we do not know the size or state of repair of shops there in the early 20th Century or the nature of tenancies at that time.


Address: 49 Fishergate
Possible practitioner: Not currently known
Operating dates: 1910
Information and References: Lancashire Evening Post - Tuesday 29 November 1910 p8. " Wanted. Young lady about 17, wages 5s, apply after 4, Sticky Backs 49 Fishergate".
See the entry above for No 43 Fishergate.

Address: 91B Fishergate, Preston
Possible practitioner: FRED ASH (Frederic Joseph Ash 1861-1929)
Operating dates: c,1898-1901 at this address
Information and References: See the main entry for Fred Ash above

Address: 151 Church Street.
Possible practitioner: Not currently known
Operating dates: - 1920
Information and References: Lancashire Evening Post (pub in Preston) - Tuesday 09 November 1920 , p2. "Girl wanted just left school, for cash desk, Stickybacks 151 Church Street". Artist and photographer Paul Jackson has published on a stickyback photograph from this studio of a relation, Amy Williams Shaw, you can see this here.


Address: 36 or 36A Yorkshire Street, Rochdale
Possible practitioner: Not currently known, trading as "The Original Mr Stickybacks Electric Studios"
Operating dates: 1915
Information and References: Rochdale Times, Wednesday 29 September 1915 p4: " When writing to friends away at the front, or in camp, don't forget to send them a snapshot of yourself and if possible of other friends and acquaintances. Letters will be doubly welcome. Mr Stickyback's cinematograph snapshots of yourself are admirably suitable for this purpose. Enormously popular "They've all got stickybacks". The original Mr Stickyback's Electric Studios from Strand London and Provinces. 36 Yorkshire Street, Rochdale. Imitated but never equalled." This advertisement is very similar to that advertising a stickyback studio in Dudley in 1916. Rochdale Times, Saturday 16 October 1915 p3: "You must visit the original Mr. Stickyback's up-to-date electric studio positively our first visit to Rochdale. Cinematographic snapshots of yourself 6d. per dozen. Enormously popular. Imitated, but never equalled. Note address, the original Stickybacks, 36, Yorkshire Street, Rochdale "They've all got stickybacks". Below is a mounted stickyback photograph of an unknown woman from this studio, The grey card mount measures 3.7 x 2.6 inches and the photo 1.2 x 1.7 inches. The mount has serrated edges with impressed scrollwork round the aperture. The reverse is blank and the photo is held in place by a pasted down plain white paper sheet. Printed on the mount is "The Original Mr. Stickybacks' Electric Studios. 36a Yorkshire Street Rochdale. And Branches". Does the expression "Cinematograph or cinematographic snapshots" refer to portraits taken with filmstock or camera as used in early motion picture photography, still a novelty at this time? Or was it just an expression made up to suggest to the customer that they were getting something flashy, modern and exciting?

Mounted stickyback from The Original Mr Stickybacks' Electric Studios 36A Yorkshire Street, Rochdale. and branches

Address: South Street Studio, 95, later from 1903 101 South St Rochdale; Empire Studio, Yorkshire Street, Oldham, Lancs; 1904 at Rothwell Street Rochdale.
Possible practitioner: The Photo Button Co, aka The American Photo Button Co. The Jackson family
Operating dates: 1901-1905
References: See below a carte de visite (from Ron Cosens' collection) of a very young child, who appears to be tied with a waist sash into a strangely geometric styled chair. The studio information is on the face of the carte, The reverse, with a ribbed texture, is blank. From the name of the firm and a series of advertisements, mainly in The Era and The Stage, it can be seen that their principal products were "Your photo on buttons, brooches, breast pins, and watch pendants" by mail order. They also offered to produce Coronation, birthday and benefit souvenir buttons. In 1902 photo buttons the size of a penny were 25 for 3s 6d, 50 for 6s 6d, 100 for 12s, 1000 for £3 and other sizes in proportion. Special terms were offered for the photographic profession. One of the firm's advertisements lists stamp photographs among their cheap novelty work. In The Era, Saturday 25 October 1902 p31 they advertised themselves with a slightly different name: "American Photo Button Co, South Street Rochdale. Your own photo on buttons from 1s 6d per dozen or £2 per 1000. Stamp photos 15s per thousand." By December 1904 they had changed addresses in Rochdale, according to their advert in the London and Provincial Entr'acte (Saturday 24 December 1904 p12): "Photo Buttons. Artistes requiring photo buttons for benefits or souvenirs should send for price list to Photo Button Co, Rothwell Street, Rochdale". One of the firm's 1901 adverts includes the phrase "Jackson family" giving a clue to the identity of the individuals running the business (The Era Saturday 21 December 1901 p29). The Gazette 24 February 1903 Page 1246 provides a little more information in a notice dissolving a partnership between James Jackson Senior, James Jackson Junior, John Jackson and William Jackson, photo button manufacturers of 95 South Street Rochdale trading as The Photo Button Co. The partnership was dissolved by mutual consent on 19 Feb 1903. Any financial liabilities were to be met by James Jackson Senior, James Jackson Jnr and John Jackson and the business was to be continued at 101 South Street, by William Jackson. So far we have been unable to identify members of the Jackson family. Gillian Jones in Lancashire Professional Photographers 1840-1940 lists John Jackson as a Rochdale photographer at various addresses (but not those of the Photo Button Co) between 1865 and 1909. The name "Brierley" is associated with the Empire Studio Oldham in 1917, but he was trading in his own name and may simply have taken over premises used by the Photo Button Co. (Rochdale Observer - Wednesday 24 January 1917 p1, "Photo. Young lady wtd to assist in workroom, spotter pref. Brierley, Empire Studio Oldham") This could be Frank Brierley, photographer, b 1887 at Rochdale, resident at 72 Rock St Oldham in 1911 census

cdv by the Photo Button Co c 1903, Ron Cosens collection


Address: 131 Eccles New Road, Salford (1900-04), Regent Street Salford (1899), 1 Market Street Blackley, Manchester (1917-25), 14 Beverley Street Blackley, Manchester (1921-24)
Possible practitioner: CROSBY, Robert John (b.1859 Rotherham )
Operating dates: Manchester / Salford areas 1899-1924. Previously in Rotherham.
Information and references: See below two examples of mounted stamp sized photographs, c, 1910, The photographs are 1.0 x 0.8 inches, mounted on white glossy mounts embossed with floral designs measuring 2.3 x 3.1 inches, They depict an unknown man and woman. These have the the firm's name "Crosby" and the Eccles New Road address printed on the face and the reverse sides are blank. These photos both came from the same source and so these two designs may well have been in use at the same time. Gillian Jones in "Lancashire Professional Photographers 1840-1940" lists Robert J Crosby at the above addresses with directory entries for the dates shown. In the 1911 census Robert was a resident at 14 Beverley St, Blackley, Manchester. He was recorded as a photographer working on his own account in a studio away from home. His family comprised his wife Fanny Maria, b. 1866 Stafford. Their 2 eldest children, b 1894 and 1897 had been born in Rotherham, their two youngest had been born in Salford 1901 and Manchester 1905.

Mounted stamp photos by Crosby, Salford

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Address: 27, London Street, Southport
Possible practitioner: GROSSI, SPIRIDIONE
Operating dates: 1915-16
Information and References: In the Liverpool Echo, 29 May 1915 page 2, Spiridione Grossi advertised: “Gentleman requires shop in best centre of Southport for summer months for photographic business. Will pay double rent in advance”. It is likely that this advert succeeded as a short let of commercial property during WW1 would have been relatively easy to secure. In May 1916 when he submitted one of his patent applications, Spiridione gave an address at: 27, London Street, Southport. These might have been business premises secured by Spiridione’s advertisement – probably on a short lease as, by 1917, No 27 London Street was occupied by a firm of auctioneers and estate agents.

Address: Lord Street, Southport, Lancashire.
Possible practitioner: John RATCLIFFE and Co.
Dates of operation: 1899 - 1911
Information and references. Gillian Jones "Lancashire Professional Photographers 1840-1940" lists John Ratcliffe and Co at four different addresses in Lord Street Southport at different times. These were: 205 Lord St 1899-1901, 421 Lord St, 1902, 195 Lord Street 1904-5, 379 Lord Street 1906. The firm was also at 4 Wellington Street, Southport 1900-01 and 11 New Market Street Southport 1908-9. They also had a studio at 71½ The Parade, Birmingham in 1911. John Ratcliffe (1862-1940) was the son of a grocer, born in Southport. In 1911 John and his family were living at 50 King Street, Southport, he was listed in the census as a photographic artist and an employer. The photograph of a young girl below measures 38 x 57 mm and is printed on photographic paper, on the rear is a rubber stamp "J.Ratcliffe, Lord Street, Southport" .This photograph is reproduced with the permission of Ron Cosens (

midget portrait of young girl by John Ratcliffe and Co, Southport. Ron Cosens

See also GEORGE MELVILLE 18 Cambridge Arcade Southport. listed above at Manchester


Address: 8 Princes Street, Stockport, 1913-1936, 3 Princes Street, Stockport, 1928-1939
Possible practitioner: VAN NETTE STUDIO, possibly Mrs Violet OGDEN.
Operating dates: 1913-1939
Information and References: Various local directory entries show Van Nette Studios at 8 Princes Street, Stockport Cheshire from 1913 to 1936 and at 3 Princes Street Stockport Cheshire from 1928 to 1939. It is possible that misprints of the address might account for an apparent overlap of both addresses between 1928 and 1936. Research has so far not revealed the name of the photographer behind the Van Nette Studio, but from 1921 to 1928 there was a photographer, Mrs Violet Ogden, at 3 Princes Street, who may or may not have been part of this studio. Below, reproduced with the kind permission of Ron Cosens, is an example of the work of the Van Nette Studio, a 39 x 82 mm portrait of a gentleman standing behind what looks like a wrought iron seat. The photo has a black border and is on a dark grey mount approximately the same size as the photograph. The reverse of the mount has a rubber stamp with a single line of text in caps "VAN NETTE STUDIOS, 8, PRINCES STREET, STOCKPORT" printed in purple ink. The studio also did some outdoors work. Greater Manchester County Record Office has a group photograph by them of The Band Of Hope Temperance Society in Stockport, c.1910 (Reference 1984/13). The studio also produced work in postcard format. Manchester Archives Ref GB124.DPA/1369/5 is a postcard format portrait of a WW1 soldier.
Gillian A.Jones and Graham Jone, RPS PhotoHistorian supplement, July 1995, Professional Photographers in Cheshire 1849-1940

Small carte by Van Nette Studio, Stockport. With permission of Ron Cosens


Address: Wath Brow, Cleator Moor
Possible practitioner: POSTLETHWAITE, William John (1862-1943)
Operating dates: 1906 - 1921
Information and references: See below, midget photo of unknown man with curly hair. Photo 1.4 x 2 inches in white embossed mount 2.2 x 3.2 inches with rectangular aperture. The photo is held in place be a plain buff backing sheet, on which is rubber-stamped "W.J.Postlethwaite Wath Brow, Cleator Moor". William is listed atWath Brow, Cleator Moor in Kelly's Cumberland Directory as a picture framer in 1906, 1910 and 1921. He is not shown as a photographer in these directories, but in the 1911 census gives photography as his occupation, working on his own account from home at 91 Trumpet Road, Wath Brow. Interestingly his occupations shown in earlier census returns were: 1891 a tinsmith and 1901 a diamond setter.

Midget carte by W.J.Postlethwaite


Address: 23 Upper Dicconson Street, Wigan
Possible practitioner: MADDOCK, Samuel.
Operating dates: c.1907
Information and References: The British Journal of Photography 29 November 1907 p.ii carries an advertisement "Branch Manageress for midget studio to operate and finish. Salary and commission. Apply S.Maddock 23 Upper Dicconson St, Wigan". Gillian Jones, Lancashire Professional Photographers 1840-1940 records Samuel Maddock as a photographer at 89 Cemetery Rd, Southport 1901-1905.


Address: The Manx Studio, 4 Station Road Workington (1902) and 31 Station Road, Workington (1906)
Possible practitioner: Not currently known, trading as The Manx Studio
Operating dates: 1902-1906
Information and References: See the entry for The Manx Studio, Isle of Man, above.


Manchester Evening News, Wednesday 18 July 1906 p8. Advertisement: "Shops, offices, warehouses &c. Splendid position and good shop window at liberty for first-class "Stickybacks" sharing terms 37 Oxford Rd Manchester".

Manchester Evening News, Thursday 09 December 1909 p8: "Stickyback business. Ready to open for Christmas. Business could be taught: low price for immediate sale. Good reason for selling. Address O 211 Evening News Office."

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