PORT PHILLIP PHOTOGRAPHERS


Captain Augustine LUCAS is believed to have been Australia's first photographer. He was the master of the French ship "Justine" which arrived at Sydney on 29 March 1841 from Valparaiso, Chile (6 November 1840) and the Bay of Islands, New Zealand (17 March 1841). Whilst in Sydney he demonstated a camera which had been invented by Louis DAGUERRE and patented in 1839.

Australia's second photographer is believed to have been George Barron GOODMAN who arrived at Sydney on 4 November 1842 per "Eden" from London, England (15 June 1842). Goodman soon set up a studio in Sydney where he charged customers one guinea for a daguerreotype photo with frame and case. He later travelled to other areas, arriving at Melbourne on 30 July 1845 per "Thistle" from Sydney. The "Port Phillip Patriot" reported:

"DAGUERREOTYPE - We congratulate the public of this District on the arrival of Mr. Goodman from Sydney, with his Daguerreotype machine, whereby such perfect likenesses can be taken in the course of a few seconds. Here is an opportunity for ladies and gentlemen to get their minatures executed in the most exquisite style, neatly framed in morocco and gold, fit to be presented to those who love them, or transmitted as a memento to their friends at home. As soon as Mr. Goodman has fixed on a place of business he will himself address the public, and announce his readiness to serve them with his magic art."

On 6 August 1845 he advertised that he had obtained premises in Little Flinders Street (formerly occupied by E. Westby & Co.) and would open for business on Monday, 11 August 1845. He was reported as having taken 870 photographs prior to taking his family to Adelaide in December 1845 per "Cleveland".

The second photographer in Melbourne is thought to have been Douglas Thomas KILBURN (c1812-1871). He was already living in Melbourne when he received a camera and materials from his brother in England. This brother, William Edward KILBURN (1818-1891) had a studio at 234 Regent Street, London and they were apparently the sons of Thomas KILBURN and his wife Catherine, nee WARD, of London. Douglas advertised in the "Argus" :

SUN PORTRAITS - Mr. Kilburn having just received materials and the latest information from his brother in London, (Photographic artist to the Queen) is now prepared to take likenesses by the Daguerreotype process, at his residence, Collins Lane, near Elizabeth Street. The best time for sitters, at this season of the year, is from 11 till 3 o'clock. The prices of portraits are from 10s., upwards. Melbourne; May 22, 1848.

Douglas went to Sydney in 1849 and returned to England about 1850. He was married on 19 November 1851 at St. George's, Douglas, Isle of Man to Anna Maria, third daughter of A. T. Patterson of Douglas and formerly of Liverpool, England. Douglas and Anna returned to Australia and settled in Hobart.

The third photographer at Melbourne was L. INSLEY. He advertised in the "Argus" on 20 December 1849:

DAGUERREOTYPE - Likenesses taken of persons in all kinds of weather, having any desirable shade or colour, in any position, or in any dress, richly coloured or plain. These likenesses can be sent by letter to any part of the world. Likenesses taken of children in from one to five seconds. The Subscriber solicits an early call, as his stay will be short. Rooms; Swanston Street, two doors south from Collins Street, adjoining the Victoria Fire Insurance Office. L. Insley.

Two more daguerreotype photographers advertised in the "1851 Directory of Victoria". They were J. MANTON (junior) who was at 22 Collins Street West, Melbourne and C. GRASSHOFF at 125 Swanston Street, Melbourne. By 1853 Grasshoff was in partnership with a Mr. MELCHIOR with 51 Flinders Lane East, Melbourne.

A Directory of Early Australian Photographers, 1841 to 1945 by Sandy Barrie has recently been published. It is entitled "Australians Behind the Camera" and a copy is held by the Library of the Genealogical Society of Victoria.

Contributed by Alexander Romanov-Hughes (PPPG Member No. 52)


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