Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Some Early (1850s) Hertford Photographers.

I have updated the information on some of the earliest photographers in Hertford.
The Monson brothers visited Hertford on two occasions in 1853. I have added further information to show how they were related and their later careers as photographers.
Thomas Vipond was another travelling photographer who visited Hertford in 1859/60. I have now discovered he continued as a travelling photographer for some time, based in Aylesbury, but later settling in Grantham. In 1864 one of Thomas's Aylesbury portraits was used by police to try and trace earlier activities of a pickpocket in other towns, which seems to be a very early example of the use of photographs in detective work.
In 1857 James Craddock set up a studio in Hertford with Hart (I have still not been able to identify Hart) but within a year the studio had passed to Arthur Elsden and James had "vanished" - except that I now know that he became a significant photographer in Simla, India, and that he, or one of his sons, was taking photoghraphs in England in 1880,
Arthur Elsden took over from James Craddock in 1858 and I have acquired an interesting carte de viste take in connection with a play "Payment on Demand" put on by the Hertford Grammar School in 1874. It shows "Vincent Elsden" but it is not certain which of the Elsden brothers, Arthur or James, it was. (Arthur Vinsent Elsden continued the Hertford photographic business after his father died.)
I would be interested to know of any surviving pictures from the 1850s taake by the above - or any other Hertfordshire photographer. Any earlier examples of photographs being used for detective work could also be of interest.

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