First new nomination is Mrs Frances Dann, probably the first woman professional photographer in Reading. Her studio was established in 1856, her granddaughter taking over until the 1940s. More about Frances here: http://blogs.reading.ac.uk/reading-connections/2014/02/17/mrs-dann-readings-first-female-professional-photographer/ …
Mrs Maria Clarke is documented as the first woman professional photographer in Manchester between 1854-56. Based at 1 Market Place in 1855, Maria advertised portraits taken “…with a faithfulness and delicacy of detail that cannot be surpassed”.
Eliza Emma Wilson Burrows (née Lee) appeared in the Post Office directory for London in 1856, listed as a “Photographist”. Eliza’s studio was located at 12 Somerset Place, Whitechapel between 1854 and 1860.
Madame Agnes Wilhelmina Ruge came to Brighton circa 1850 as a German refugee, with her Professor of Philosophy husband and three children. By 1854 she was teaching German but also listed in the Brighton trade directory under “Artists – Daguerreotype”.
In 1859 Cynthia Miriam Bissell (1810-1899) advertised Daguerreotypes and ambrotypes in her home town of Tecumseh, Michigan, USA. An 1899 obituary described that “her strong will overcame every obstacle and crowned all her undertakings with success”.
Misses Caroline and Eliza Constable assisted their uncle William Constable in his Brighton Daguerreotype photographic studio, open from 1841. On his death 20 years later his nieces took over the portrait photography. More at: http://www.photohistory-sussex.co.uk/WomenPhotgrsContents.htm …
One of the mysterious names of London women photographers is Miss Rosa Alexandria Bourdon. Daughter of French artist Dominique Bourdon, Rosa was listed as a Photographic Artist between 1854-56. Her studio was located at 7 City Terrace, City Road, London.
My first nomination for an itinerant woman professional photographer in Scotland. The Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 8th September 1855, announced that Mrs Gourlay would be taking Photographic Portraits and invited inspection of specimens exhibited.
Mrs Mary Brewer née Jenkins was an renowned artist of miniature portraits who transferred her skills to photography. From Worcester and Newport, she was listed in the 1851 census as “Miniature Painter & Photographist”. She exhibited at the RA 1848-1853.
Scotland’s first woman Daguerreotype photographer in 1847 was Miss Borthwick of Cathedral Street, Glasgow. An 1849 Glasgow Gazette report described her work – “The likenesses are perfect and do great credit to her skill and ability in her profession”.
1855 saw further competition for Mrs Ann Cooke in Hull, from another woman photographer advertising photographic portraits. But Miss Whitby of 2 Storey Street, Hull, was multi talented – a Professor of Drawing, Watercolour Painting, Music and Singing!
In 1853 Miss Miranda Cannon took over the studio of Daguerreotype photographer Antoine Claudet at 18 King William Street, London. She advertised enamel coloured miniatures for bracelets, lockets & brooches. Miranda was London’s third woman photographer.
In 1851 Miss Matilda Hamilton opened a portrait studio in London, becoming the second woman photographer in the capital. Until 1854 she competed with Jane Wigley from her 147 Strand premises, advertising “an artistic arrangement of dress and attitude”.
In 1854 Miss Mina Peyton opened her Oxford Street studio offering “Photographic portraits on glass at Mina’s establishment”. Her portraits were taken in a third of the time of the Daguerreotype for “those to whom confinement to one position is irksome.”
In September 1855 Mrs Hannah Whaite lost her 33 year old husband, a respected photographer in Bath, Somerset. She took over the Milsom Street studio until 1862, also caring for their children. @The_RPS moved to the same street 118 years later.
Miss Charlotte Prosch was probably the first woman Daguerreotype photographer in New Jersey. She advertised in 1847 as an “experienced Daguerrian Artist” from New York, later her gallery was the largest in Newark. More here: http://saretzky.com/history-of-photography-images-texts.html …
Mrs Maria King operated a photographic studio in St Leonards from 1851, and is regarded as the first woman professional photographer in Sussex. Her brother Richard Beauford opened the first studio at the Assembly Rooms producing “Miniatureotype Portraits”.
Continuing the theme of diversifying, Madame Henrie supplemented her photographic studio with lessons in millinery & dressmaking. She took “.. perfect and pleasing likenesses” in her Carlisle & Penrith studios in 1850, also offering lessons in the new art.
Mrs Susannah Smith née Gooch provided Daguerreotype portait services in Norwich, Norfolk. Her earliest advertisement appeared in the Norfolk Chronicle in July 1853, having exhibited Daguerreotypes in 1852.
Some early women photographers diversified in their creativity, to make ends meet. Mrs Charles Bennett of King’s Lynn, Norfolk, owned a photographic studio in 1854 and also offered lessons in the art of modelling wax flowers.
Geneviève-Èlizabeth Disdéri (1817-1878) became a skilled architectural photographer. Married to successful professional photographer André Disdéri, she operated her studio in Brest independently from her husband in Paris from 1852.
The sisters C and M Bertolacci produced photographs for “JMW Turner’s England and Wales, a series of Photographic Copies” in 1864. The Athenaeum reported their work had been produced with care and love…”These women are perfect in their delicate art.”
Mrs Harriet Shankland was a Daguerreotype photographer with studios in two New York locations. A newspaper advert in 1845 claimed she had already taken over 10,000 portraits in the last two years. She doesn’t appear in any photo history book I have read.
Lady Lucy Caroline Bridgeman (1826-1858) joined sister Charlotte as an enthusiastic early photographer. But in November 1858 both sisters tragically died following a fire. Their photographs remain a poignant legacy. More here: https://www.weston-park.com/2018/02/06/vote100-celebrating-the-women-of-weston/ …
Lady Charlotte Anne Bridgeman (1827-1858), November 20th 1855 diary entry – “The long wished for photograph machine has actually arrived & set us dancing with delight.” Sister Lucy was a fellow photographer until 1858 when tragedy struck both sisters.
My final nomination for Historical Heroine is a tribute to Pauline Heathcote. Her pre-internet research of early women photographers is the foundation of my research. Her archive is inspirational, highlighting many women photographers hidden from history.
My penultimate nomination for Historical Heroines – The 1856 London Post Office trade directory lists a woman photographic artist at 307 High Holborn. Mrs Helen Joyce provided photographic services with the help of her nineteen year old son Walter.
Anna Atkins was the most significant early female photographer.She created over 400 images for the first photographically illustrated book – 10 years of dedicated work.She brought cyanotype colour to a sepia world from 1843-1853.