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Photography Studio Rawtenstall

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Photography Studio Rawtenstall

Postby kiwidivr » Fri Nov 20, 2009 8:39 am

I am trying to date a photo for which I only have a photocopy. It is a carte de visite with rounded corners and the clothing and hair of the subjects makes me think it was taken in the 1860s. There is some partially obscured printed details about the studio on the back that I am hoping someone can date for me:
? (looks like it could be ROSSENDALE but mostly covered over)
ASSON (inside some kind of stylized C or G )
Artist & Photographer
Studio over Althams
Bank Street
Rawtenstall
All negatives kept.
Copies can always be had.
Enlargements in oil, water colors &c

If anyone can shed any light on when this photographic was operating I would be grateful.
Thanks
kiwidivr
 
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Re: Photography Studio Rawtenstall

Postby shezzy » Fri Nov 20, 2009 12:55 pm

Hi,

I believe there is a book "Lancashire Professional Photographers 1840-1940" by Gilian Jones you may be able to get on inter library loan which may help.

Alternatively you could try looking at trade directories of the area these may give you an indication of which photographic studios were working when.
there are several sites that have trade directoies online including
http://www.historicaldirectories.org/hd/index.asp

Shezzy
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Re: Photography Studio Rawtenstall

Postby kiwidivr » Sat Nov 21, 2009 3:12 am

Hi Shezzy
Thanks for the suggestion about the directories, I will have a look.
I have also come across the book you mentioned, however as I am located in NZ it isn't one that has turned up in my searches here, so will try the directory.
Kind regards
kiwidivr
 
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Re: Photography Studio Rawtenstall

Postby ksouthall » Sat Nov 21, 2009 3:14 pm

I have found the following possible photographers for you in Rawtenstall:-

James Gasson
Robert Gasson
J. H. Gasson
J. J. Gasson

James, J. H. & J. J. could all be the same person, just transcribed differently in various directories.

I will have a look in the censuses to see if I can match one of them to the address you mentioned.
ksouthall
 
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Re: Photography Studio Rawtenstall

Postby ksouthall » Sat Nov 21, 2009 3:46 pm

I have found James H Gasson, photographer, living at 12 Baldwins Chambers, South Street, Rawstensall, Rossendale in the 1891 Census. He was aged about 50, so was born in about 1841 in Rye in East Sussex. He was listed as single. He may have lived above his studio or it could have been at an alternative address.

I have found a John James Gasson in the 1881 Census. He was a widower and was residing with his sister and brother-in-law in Ore in East Sussex. He was also a photographer born in Rye in about 1842. I would guess he was either the James H Gasson I found in the 1891 Census or a close relative.

I'm not sure this really helps you much. If there is a connection between these photographers and the photo you have a copy of, it would mean the photo is not as old as you think; i.e. it would date from 1881 onwards.
ksouthall
 
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Re: Photography Studio Rawtenstall

Postby ksouthall » Sat Nov 21, 2009 4:06 pm

I have been looking at the following website: http://www.cartes.freeuk.com/time

It gives you ideas on how to date Victorian photographs. According to this website, rounded corners on cartes de visites did not really come in until the late 1870's. If this is true, the carte you have a copy of could have been produced by John James Gasson or James H Gasson, who may or may not be related/the same person. This would tie in with the census returns I found.

I have not found any other Gassons living in Rawtenstall, even with variant spellings of the surname. This was searching on Ancestry.co.uk, so someone using a different search engine may be able to find other possiblities for you.

Could you describe the sitter in the photgraph for us please? e.g. style of clothes, whether they were standing or sitting, if you could see their ears if a woman, etc. Alternativley, perhaps you could post the photocopy you have?
ksouthall
 
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Re: Photography Studio Rawtenstall

Postby ksouthall » Sat Nov 21, 2009 4:47 pm

John James Gasson was born in Rye in 1841. His mother was Emily Gasson. According to the IGI, he was baptised on 8th May 1841in Rye. I believe his mother was unmarried when he was born. John appears in the 1841 Census in the household of his grandparents, Edmund and Mary Gasson. Edmund Gasson was listed as a Chelsea Pensioner in the 1851 Census.

Emily Gasson married John Pulford, who was a mariner, on 6th April 1846 in Rye. By the time of her marriage, Emily also had a daughter, Mary Ann Elizabeth Gasson, baptised in Rye in 1843. According to the censuses, there do not appear to have been any surviving children from John Pulford and Emily's marriage.

In the 1861 Census, John Gasson was listed as a naturalist. He may have been a keen artist and could also have been developing an interest in photography.

In the 1871 Census, John J Gasson was listed as a photographer. He was a lodger in the household of John Bryant, a baker, in Winchester. John J Gasson is mistranscribed as Julia J Gasson on Ancestry.co.uk.

I have already posted the listings from the 1881 and 1891 Censuses.
ksouthall
 
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Re: Photography Studio Rawtenstall

Postby kiwidivr » Wed Dec 09, 2009 8:28 am

Thank you so much for all the info on the Rawtenstall photographers, I really appreciate it.
I was hoping to locate the original photo but so far they remain elusive, so have taken photos of the photocopies

I believe the sitters to be my GGGrandparents, James Dalzell (b. 1791, d. Mar 1869) and Eleanor Booker (1793-1873) of Ulverston. The young woman appears too young to be their daughter.

I have recently discovered my GGrandfather (son of James and Eleanor) left his family in Ulverston in 1851, joined the army, changing his name from Joseph Dalzell to William Riley. He left a wife (Elizabeth Soulby) and unborn daughter (Eleanor Elizabeth Dalzell b. Aug 1851), ending up in NZ via Tasmania, where he started a new life and new family.

I therefore believe the young woman in the picture might be his daughter Eleanor, who in the 1871 census was visiting her aunt Alice Bowker in Rawtenstall, who had married a blacksmith, William Bowker, also of Rawtenstall. So I know the family has occasion to visit Rawtenstall.

To me the styles of costume and hair suggest the late 1860s, however the photo, and your info, suggests much later. I would welcome others comments on dating the costumes.

If there is a discrepancy then it would suggest that it is a copy of an earlier image, that was sent to NZ from which further copies were made by the NZ branches of the family, - hence the additional writing and the names 'Riley' and 'Thomson' in handwriting on the back.
Attachments
Riley-Rawtenstall-image.jpg
Family photo from Rawtenstall Studio
Riley-Rawtenstall-image.jpg (166.84 KiB) Viewed 4592 times
kiwidivr
 
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Re: Photography Studio Rawtenstall

Postby ksouthall » Fri Dec 11, 2009 6:42 pm

I forgot to mention before that people in the provinces often wore clothes for years after they were in fashion, so although the clothes can give an idea of an earliest possible date, this does not give an exact date. It is possible the photo dates from several years after the time when the clothes were in fashion. Older people also tended not to stick to the fashions. I have a copy of a photo of an ancestor wearing similar headgear to the older lady. My ancestor died in 1868 but that does not mean that your photo was taken at a similar time.

The younger woman's ears are visible. This makes the photo late 1860s at the earliest.

I will have a look to see if I can get any ideas. Is it possible it could be Eleanor and her aunt and uncle, the Bowkers? If so, could the photo have been taken in the 1880's?
ksouthall
 
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Re: Photography Studio Rawtenstall

Postby kiwidivr » Sat Dec 12, 2009 6:43 am

I don't think it could be the Bowker's because the age gap is too wide. Alice Bowker was a widow in the 1891 census, and I believe William Bowker died in 1886 aged about 54.
The older couple look like the are in their 70s, the girl in late teens.
Kind regards
Wendy
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