Friday, 5 May 2017

Blackfriars Street and the story behind the Palatine Photographic Company and a young women

Now it was Mark Twain who said "never let the truth stand in the way of a good story, unless you can't think of anything better" and I have to admit I was tempted.

Sometime in the early 20th century this young women wandered into the studios of the Palatine Photographic Company and had her picture taken.

I don’t know who she was, exactly when she posed for the picture or if this was a special occasion.

The photograph was one of a large number of images that Ron Stubley passed over to me recently.

They consist of picture postcards, birthday cards and a group of family photos.

And it is these family pictures which have come to interest me.

There are no names or addresses and only a few have a date but they are local because some carry the name of photographers who were active across the twin cities.

Most are old fashioned portraits and are of single individuals, but one has a young soldier in uniform and his wife and looks to be from the Great War.

Another is of a teenager and carries the caption “Passed away Feb 4 1918,” which may be a reference to the great flu epidemic but could so easily be any one of a number of illnesses.

All of which just leaves those phot0pgrapher, some of whom were big national or regional companies and others who operated from just one studio.

And this is where the Palatine Photographic Company seemed to offer a clue.  Their address was 50 Blackfriars Street and for a brief few minutes I wandered up and down Blackfriars Street looking for them, for that would at least suggest that she came from Salford.

But, and it is a big but Blackfriars stretches from Chapel Street over the bridge to terminate at Deansgate in Manchester, and yes, 50 Blackfriars Street was in that block which inhabited the corner with Deansgate.

The company post date 1895 and were still in business at their Manchester address in 1911 and that is it.

 They do appear on a database but it seems to be the only record of their existence.

So we are left with little that can identify our young woman who may be from Salford but in the interests of disowning Mark Twain I have to say I don't know.

Location; somewhere in Manchester or Salford

Picture; unknown young women, date unknown from the collection of Ron Stubley

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting Andrew. Visual testimony is only as good as the captions provided - a major problem with family photos that are just kept in a box 'ready for sorting' but never are! Or they are stored electronically by a young member of the family on the computer and they don't provide dates, names locations etc. is a picture worth a thousand words?
    Keith Myerscough

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