Spoilt for choice 1909/10
These are most of the companies making photographic materials in the UK in 1909/10, along with the major imported materials, many were later taken over (I've indicated the ultimate owners on the right:
Austin Edwards, Ltd (Ensign) ........ Ilford
Bayer Co, Ltd (German)
Birmingham Photographic Company, Ltd (Criterion)
Cadet & Neal, Ltd * ........ Kodak
Elliot & Sons, Ltd (Barnet) ........ Ilford
Gem Dry Plate Co, Ltd ........ Ilford
Gevaert, Limited (Belgian)
John J. Gifford & Sons, Ltd
Halifax Photographic Co
Thos, Illingworth & Co ........ Ilford
Imperial (Dry Palate Co, Ltd) ........ Ilford
Kentmere ........ Ilford
Leto Photo-Materials Co, Ltd ........ Ilford
Lumiere Co (French) ........ Ciba Geigy / Ilford)
Marion & Co., Ltd ........ Ilford
Mawson & Swan
Paget Prize Plate Company, Ltd ........ Ilford
Rajar, Ltd ........ Ilford
Rotary Photographic Co, Ltd ........ Ilford
W.W. Rouch and Co
R.W. Thomas & Co, Ltd
Warwick Dry Plate Co.
Wellington & Ward. ........ Ilford
Wratten & Wainwright, Ltd ........ Kodak
Chas. Zimmerman & Co, Ltd (Agfa Importer)
Lumiere is still the sales arm for Ilford in France
Ilford, Gem and Imperial joined forces to form a new Joint Company in 1920/1 - Selo Ltd, building a new factory in Ilford, Essex, Ilford late absorbed Selo and the associated companies.
Elliot & Sons joined Houghton Butcher (camera manufacturers) to form Barnet Ensign, later they were joined by Ross Optics to form Barnet Ensign Ross, towards the end of the 30's Barnet, the film & paper division, was bought by Ilford
Associated Photographic Manufacturers -APM was formed in 1921 by 7 photographic companies which included: Rotary Photographic Co, Ltd; Rajar, Ltd; Paget Prize Plate Co, Ltd; Marion & Co Ltd, these companies in the group were taken over by Ilford in 1927
Cadett & Neal was bought by Kodak in 1903, but appear to have been still trading under their own name in 1909. Wratten & Wainwright were bought by Kodak in 1912
Illingsworth - Ilford bought a controlling shareholding in 1919 but the company was not part of the Ilford group until the 1930's
Austin Edwards, Ltd was taken over by Leto Photo-Materials Co, Ltd in 1909, Leto became part of Wellington & Ward on 1922, which itself became part of Ilford in 1930
Kentmere - bought by Ilford in 2007
Birmingham Photographic Company, Ltd - became Criterion Ltd, later they became part of E.A, Mason of Colchester and were still trading in the early 1960's.
A few more companies started up between 1910 & WWII
My next task is to put the various developer formulae etc into my Database, but there's well over a 100.
Last edited by Ian Grant; 07-31-2009 at 02:09 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: mistake & typo
In contrast, see the attached. Photo Directory 1975 - lists every material available on the australian market at that time. It's sad we wont get to see the massive selection of products from the early days of photography, very unique products, again.
And 35mm kodachrome was colour neg but 126 kodachrome was colour rev! oops...
Originally Posted by Fleath
I saw that too the first time I read it (it used to reside in my bathroom near the toilet), I considered writing them a letter about it before I realised what I was reading..
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I wonder though, how much choice there really was, if you could find the history of those companies you may find that many were local manufacturing retailers, where the factory had a storefront that sold the production of the factory, so the next village or town over nobody had ever seen their products. As volume production started getting cheaper and truck transport easier, some companies took over others and the manufacturing was centralized and the retail arm was spun off.
Originally Posted by Ian Grant
See my Blog at http://clickandspin.blogspot.com
The greatest advance in photography in the last 100 years is not digital, it's odourless stop bath....
A great many were quite reasonably sized and selling nationally as well as exporting to the British Empire, but there were fqar too many companies and that may be around the peak, they rationalised with takeovers & partnerships etc. Some were also tied in with camera & equipment manufacturers.
I spotted a typo it should be Imperial (Dry Plate Co, Ltd).
A mid-1930's Amateur Photographer shows a lot more companies offering films & papers, though probably not all of them were UK manufacturers. Unfortunately not being at home I don't have it to hand.
Criterion in Birmingham were still selling plate film in the 1950's, maybe later.
A R Bott & Sons in Leamington Spa used to supply the "Standard" brand of films to Woolworths for many years. These may have been manufactured partly outside the UK but Botts certainly had the capacity to cut & pack films. In recent years they ran the official Fujifilm processing lab but now they are part of a German owned photofinishing group.
There was also someone nearby (Leamington or Warwick) called Granville Gulliman & Co who made films & papers up to the 50's/60's. I can remember ordering from them as a teenager (long long ago). They offered black & white roll films in lots of obsolescent sizes (116, 132 etc).
Also there was Gratispool the processors (in Glasgow I think) who used to return orders with their own brand of film giving paper negatives. Later they were taken over by Kodak) & I believe there is still a sucessor firm today, under a different name, but no paper negative films!
Coronet the camera manufacturers used to sell their own black & white film - I think it was called Corochrome - originally ortho and later pan. It was in black & yellow boxes and you often found it in seaside towns. Probably made for them by someone else.
Ensign films were still available in the late 1950's (being closed out by dealers advertising in Amateur Photographer).
Regarding Lumiere, the Lumiere Institute has a fascinating museum in Lyon in France. As well as being full of photographic equipment, including early movie stuff, it has pictures and movies of the film & paper factory, which at one time, long ago, was one of the largest in Europe. You can also buy a cap with a picture of a Lumiere delivery van on it! Well worth a visit imho.
The problem was that the early emulsion companies, initially cottage industry plants, soon individually outran the capability of fully developing the high technology that the medium was imposing on them. That is one main reason why Gerorge Eastman forged ahead, he put a large slice of his profit straight back into fundamental research.
Originally Posted by Ian Grant
In the UK it was realised that sharing research was the way forward, and a lot of companies subscribed to this, followed by actual amalgamations. Ilford were the prime mover in this and mopped up most of the smaller companies in the 20's. They had to wait another 80 years before Kentmere succumbed! There's a useful map of the way this happened in 'Silver by the Ton', the Ilford biography. There's a bit of stuff in this, originally printed in 'Ag'.
Yes, I'd seen your excellent article before.
Originally Posted by Martin Reed
Actually George Eastman's approach to Research was initially by taking over companies that had done it
But yes you're right, UK companies had to amalgamate to compete particularly with Kodak.