L. Gray-Williams & Co (Royal Studio)

Lewis Gray-Williams was born in 1870 in West Derby, an affluent area of Liverpool, England, to estate-agent William and Eliza Gray-Williams. He had three sisters, Edith, Mary and Gwendoline. He received his schooling at the Castle Street Academy in Liverpool. It is not known where he learnt his photographic trade, most probably in England as…

Henry Merrilees

Henry ‘Harry’ Merrilees, was born in 1860-61 to James Merrilees of Scotland and Susan Thomas of Ireland, in Victoria, possibly in the Smythes Creek area, near Ballarat. James appears to be a gold miner and briefly visits New Zealand in August 1862, where maybe he was trying his luck on the NZ goldfields. James died…

Charles Powis

Charles Powis was born 1 Sept 1816, in Southwark, London, to tailor Robert and Elizabeth Powis. The family immigrated to the Swan River colony aboard the Rockingham, in 1830. Charles grew up in his father’s trade but later branched out into painting, sculpture, plastering and paper-hanging. In 1860, he also advertised Photograph Miniatures on Ivory, Chromotypes…

George Braithwaite Phillips

George Braithwaite Phillips was born on 5 March 1836 in Guildford, Western Australia to John Randall Phillips and Martha Jane Smith. John had arrived in the Swan River colony on the Protector, on 25 February 1830, being one of the first settlers in the colony. Martha accompanied him as a 21-year-old servant, they later married in 1836….

Walter William Thwaites (Snr)

Walter William Thwaites was born in 1815 in London, to miniature portrait artist Walter William Thwaites and Charlotte Yeomans. He arrived in NSW in 1834 (ship unknown) and worked for the Auditor General’s Department in Sydney for a number of years. In 1839, he married Jane McLean in Sydney and had three children. The family…

George Henry Lovewell (Lovewell, Wing/Sivyer & Co)

George Henry Lovewell was born in 1855, in Dubuque, Iowa, to Samuel Joseph Lovewell and Adeline Foster. Samuel was a photographer and was known to have photographed a number of Civil War scenes. After learning the trade from his father, George moved to California and opened a tin-type studio in Stockton, California, before migrating to…

Maximilian William Greenfeld

Max was born c.1842 in Berlin Germany and made his way to Australia aboard the ship, Alfred, arriving in Melbourne on 15 November 1862. He moved to NSW and in 1869 married Hannah Singleton by special licence at Patrick’s Plains. They had four children, their first born in 1871, so not sure what the special licence…

Edwin Truscott Gill

Born in Pembrokeshire, Wales in 1846 to Edwin Jackson Gill and Elizabeth Truscott, Edwin, grew up to be a general house carpenter and cabinetmaker. Later advertisements mention his attachment to the Fine Arts Department of the London Framing Company, where he restored oil paintings and their frames. No doubt a trade learnt from his Gilder father….

Johann von Petz

Johann von Petz was a European photographer who operated in the second half of the 19th Century.

Iver Christian Biltoft (Biltoft & Dick, Biltoft & Co)

Iver Christian BILTOFT was born on 20 Jun 1862 in Lydum, Denmark, the son of Peter Vedsted Biltoft and Kristine Marie Jensine Jensdatter. He came to Australia with his parents as part of an Assisted Immigration scheme at just 10 years old in 1873, first settling in Rockhampton, Queensland where he became a photographer from…

Adelphi Studio (Bayley, Craig & Cambie)

Mr’s Bayley and Craig took over the photographic studio of Webb & Webb at 101 High St, Fremantle, in March 1901, renaming it Adelphi Studio. From the beginning a lady was employed to ‘assist the members of the weaker sex to make them ‘look nice”. The same lady may also have been a retoucher. The…

Nathaniel Mews Armstrong

Nathaniel was the youngest son of 14 children, born in 1855 to Francis Fraser Armstrong and Mary Ann Mews (from the well-known boat building family in Fremantle.)  His father was a collector for the Perth city council and local interpreter for the indigenous population. Nathaniel was named after one of his Scottish ancestors, Nathaniel Gow,…