Early Days

There were rapid technical developments in photography in the middle of the 19th century. These paved the way for Victorians to develop an appetite for having their photographs taken. Very popular was the idea of having a small photograph taken and mounted on card as a 'carte de visit' - see right. These would then be collected and exchanged.
Most towns had at least one photographer and their presence can be detected in Trade Directories of the period.

Kaim Gouldier MNG 13 Oct 1855

It was likely that photographers visited Malton and set up temporary studios before it became viable for permanent studios to be established. One such photographer was a Mr Kaim who advertised in an early edition of the Malton & Norton Gazette (13 October 1855)

Richard Eaton O’Connor

Eaton O'Connor 1
Perhaps one of the first photographers to set up business in Malton. On the 1861 census he is lodging in Saville street and described as a photographer. His marriage to a Catherine Killen is reported in the Malton Messenger of 7th February 1863 - the announcement describes him as a ‘photographic artist’ and they both being ‘of Malton’. By the time the 1871 census had been taken Richard and Catherine are living in Bridlington.

William George Froom

George Froom 2
Photographer and tobacconist, had a large studio near the railway station. Unfortunately in 1872 there was a large fire resulting in lenses and negatives being destroyed and 'so voracious were the flames that there were nothing but some pieces of iron framework and a small stove left unconsumed' [1]. Mr Froom stated that his insurance covered only £200 of the loss. Perhaps this led to business difficulties as in 1875 the business went into 'liquidation by arrangement' [2] William had set up as a photographer in Farnham, Surrey by the time of the 1881 census.

The Boaks

Boak 2
Matthew Boak already had studios in both Bridlington and Driffield when he purchased the Malton studios of Mr. Froom. His proud announcement in 1876 reads: ' Mr. Boak, photographers Driffield, announces that he has purchased the Studio, negatives and business of Mr. Froom, late of Malton, near the railway station, where he intends shortly to carry on the business' [3]. At some point, Mr. Boak either moved or opened another studio in the Market-place.

Matthew Boak died on 13 March, 1906. In his will, Matthew left his daughter Mary 'his share and interest in the business of a photographer' at Bridlington, and left £600 in trust for his son William [4]. Boak Helio HouseHis trustees offered at auction a block of freehold property comprising photographic shop, showroom and studio, also a shop occupied by the Balloon Yeast Store. The block occupying a central position in the Market-place. The lot was withdrawn. [5] Matthew had sons, William, Johnson (who were also photographers) and Charles, and daughters, Mary (described in the 1891 census as an 'artist and retoucher'), Frances and Katherine. It seems likely that Johnson took a major role in the Malton studio as there are photographs in the National Archives said to be in the copyright of Johnson Boak, Helio House, Malton. A newspaper report states him as being a partner, with his father in the Malton business [6].

Harry Edwards

Harry Edwards YG 20 Nov 1909
He took the Boak premises in Malton - his advertisements in the local press suggesting this [7]. An advertisement in the Malton Messenger, 21st August 1909, tells us that Helio House was opposite the premises of Fitch & co. He is listed in the 1911 census as boarding at 26 Cemetery Road and in business on his own account.

John Mahoney

Mahoney 2
Another Malton photographer. While boating on the Derwent he found a body in the river [8]. He operated from the Albert Studio in St. Michael's street and is mentioned in Kelly’s 1889 Directory of the North and East Ridings.

Edwin Hall

Edwin Hall 2
Mentioned in September 1867 when two photographs of the members of the Malton Archery Club, taken by him were presented to a Mr. and Mrs J. Soulby [9]. The 1861 census tells us that he was a joiner, but in the census of 1871 he is described as a ‘photographic artist’ living with a young family in the Marketplace. In the 1881 census he is still in the Marketplace but living at the Temperance Hotel where his wife is described as ‘Temperance Hotel Keeper’. Daughter Elizabeth is now also a photographer. At some point he also had studios at St. Michael Street as publicised on the back of a number of his carte de visite.
E Hall Photographer
In January 1875 he was summoned by the Vaccination officer for disobeying an order directing him to have his children vaccinated, saying “The longer I live, the more I see the necessity of standing out against the Act” and was fined 10s plus costs [10]. Edwin later became secretary of the Malton Anti-Vaccination League.

Edwin's contact with the law went further, as in 1877 he was charged with using the town's water for his trade purposes and only paying for it for domestic use [11].

Sidney E. Yorke

Sidney Yorke 1
He was a blacksmith in Malton but evidently had an interest in photography too. In January 1900 he was given a big send-off to join the forces in the Boer war [12]. In 1901 he has been invalided from the forces and is showing lantern slides at the Malton Industrial Exhibition [13]

Photographers in the Trade Directories

1889 Kellys:
Boak, Matthew, Market place
Mahoney, John, St. Michael street
1890 Bulmers:
Boak, M & Sons, Market place
Mahoney, J, St. Michael street
1893 Kellys:
Albert Bradbury, St. Michael street
1905 Kellys:
Boak, Matthew & Co., 49 Market place
Smith, Randolph Edwin, 7 St. Michael street
1913 Kellys:
Harry Edwards, 49 Market place
Smith, Randolph Edwin, 7 St. Michael street.

Randolph & Stanley Smith

Smith Brothers
In the 1891 Census, Randolph Smith is listed as a 16 year old ‘photographer’s apprentice’ living with his parents and brother Stanley in Greengate.
Stanley Smith
In the 1901 Census, Stanley is now also a photographer and‘employer – his sister Gertrude is described as a ‘photographer’s assistant’. It would appear that Randolph Edwin and Stanley Octavius Smith were in business together as ‘Smith Brothers’ as an entry in the London Gazette [14] announces that by mutual consent their partnership was dissolved on 31st July 1902.
Randolph Smith
Stanley died in early 1906, his death being registered at Scarborough. Bennett’s Business Stanley SmithDirectory of 1910 lists Randolph Smith as a photographer, 7 St. Michael’s street, as do the Kelly’s directories of 1913 and 1929.
RSmith MM01121923
Randolph advertises in 1923 [15] that he has updated his studio in St. Michael street with electricity so that photographs could be taken in the evenings. Randolph died in early 1929.

The King and Malton Coronation Celebrations
The King has accepted from Mr. Randolph Smith, of the St. Michael Street studio, Malton, an album of photographic views of the local Coronation celebrations.
Sheffield Daily Telegraph 8 September, 1902

Mr Bradley

In the 1890s Mr. Bradbury was a jeweller at 6 St. Michael street and evidently had a photography sideline (listed in Kellys 1893 Directory as 'watchmaker & photographer').

C Caisley Bogg

Caisley Studio
A Mr. C. Caisley Bogg also operated a studio from 7 St. Michael street.

[1] York Herald, 7 Sep 1872
[2] Sheffield Daily Telegraph, 5 May 1875
[3] Malton Gazette, 30 September 1876
[4] Driffield Times, 2 June 1906
[5] Driffield Times, 14 July 1906
[6] Driffield Times, 3 October 1906
[7] Yorkshire Gazette, 20 November 1909
[8] Yorkshire Gazette, 11 June 1887
[9] Yorkshire Gazette, 28 September 1867
[10] Yorkshire Gazette, 16 January 1875
[11] Sheffield Daily Telegraph, 15 October 1877
[12] York Herald, 8 January 1900
[13] Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, 7 February 1901
[14] London Gazette, 5 August 1902
[15] Malton Messenger, 1 December 1923

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