Directory of Early Photographers in Norfolk, Studio Notes, T.H.Ely in Kings Lynn
T.H.Ely Photography comes to King’s Lynn
T. H. Ely, Beard’s Norfolk licensee for the daguerreotype process, had been operating for almost two months in Norwich when he announced his intention of setting up a studio in the west of the county.
Lynn Advertiser, 6th February 1844 (page 1):
Both time and location had been well chosen. The town’s annual Mart, traditionally opening on St Valentine’s Day, was a major event on the local calendar; and the main Market Place (there were, and are, two) was where the Mart took (and takes) place.
On the studio’s opening day a new advertisement appeared on the front page of the local press.
Lynn Advertiser, 13th February, 1844:
This became Ely’s standard advertisement, and it continued to appear on the paper’s front page up to (and including) March 9th. Reporting the new venture on inside pages, the paper professed itself duly impressed.
Lynn Advertiser, 25th February, 1844:
Business seems to have been healthy. While the masses paid their pennies to stare at Wombwell’s Menagerie, the moneyed classes paid their guineas to stare at the camera’s lens. A week later, the paper returned to the subject.
Lynn Advertiser, 2nd March, 1844:
At a guinea or more a time, however, the market for the photographs was limited. Daguerreotypes were cheaper than paintings, and they could be afforded by the aspiring classes for whom portraits had previously been an unattainable ambition. But they were well beyond the reach of the majority of the population. In Lynn, as elsewhere, the strategy of the pioneer photographer was to meet the demand and move on. There are signs that, half-way through March, Ely was having to consider how much longer his Lynn venture could be sustained. That, at any rate, seems to be the implication of the sentence that was now added to his standard advertisement.
Lynn Advertiser, 16th March, 1844:
There was no advertisement for Ely’s studio on March 23rd.
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