Sunday, June 28, 2009

A man of property

I've just found this. It shows my grandmother Lois (left), my great-grandfather Smith Taylor and a cousin who used to live with them.

It's unusual in that it's not a studio picture but it seems too good to be an amateur snap. Obviously whoever's taking it has had instructions to include as much of their house as possible. What I don't understand is that the back of it is a postcard with a space for "a half penny stamp". They must have been posted to friends and relatives to show off.


  1. Fabulous quality - you can see every brick. Those old plate cameras captured super quality images provided everyone stayed still long enough!

  2. There's a fantastic National Portrait Gallery book called 'We Are The People' full of portrait postcards like that.

    I just dug out my copy and in the chapter called 'House: The Terrace' it says:

    "Such houses form one of the most common real-life backdrops for the postcard and allow their owners or occupants to speak of property, position and pride....The itinerant street photographer went from house to house in working hours. Thus it is usually the woman, or women, of the house that we see."

  3. That's very interesting, Lee. And would presumably account for the fact that the whole family isn't present.

  4. you also get postcard backed photos of ww1 soldiers who would send them from the front/embarkation.

  5. Mark Holland10:50 pm

    Magnificent picture Mr Hepworth. Can you spot any familiar traits through the generations?

    My grandfather, aged six months in 1914, on a postcard: Front and Back. I can see the same eyes in my daughter.