Isle of Wight Photographers
A growing database of photographers offering services on the Isle of Wight c1850 - c1940
Latest update 12 April 2019
Photographer Kirk notes expanded
Almost from the very beginnings of the art, the Isle of Wight has always been a popular location for photographers. The unique scenery, historic buildings, landed gentry, royal patronage, yachting activities and, of course, abundance of tourists, have provided ample subjects to photograph.
This project to develop a database of the early photographers' activities stemmed from my own family history research which has its roots firmly planted on the Island. Having inherited a good number of unannotated photographs from the Victorian and Edwardian periods, like many other family historians, I was imbued with the desire to identify them. Thus, I started the task of compiling a list of photographers, addresses, dates and negative numbers in the belief that, if I could date the photographs, I might stand a chance of identifying the subjects!
As a family historian, I had access to resources such as trade directories, census returns, etc, to augment my list, but I quickly found that I still had insufficient data within my own collection of photographs to even contemplate dating them. Also, realising that other family historians were probably in the same predicament, I 'went public' in 1999 by announcing my interests. Since then, the database has grown enormously and, judging by the regular comments received, is a useful facility.
However, there are still plenty of gaps in the database and I would welcome any further 'evidence' of the photographers or their work that would make it more complete. Knowledge of dated photographs and/or negative numbers would be especially appreciated. The more data that can be included, the more useful the facility will become.
I hope you enjoy browsing this site and will find the database helpful.
Please e-mail any comments or additional information to me, Gordon Childs, at
Note - this database was originally part of my family history website at www.childsweb.net, so any previous bookmarks you may have had will need updating!
Acknowledgements and further reading
I am indebted to the many people who have contributed to the database and some are recorded on the
This page also suggests sources of further information for helping date photographs.
My unknown photographs
Also on this website is a Photo Gallery showing a few of the 'unknowns' from my family albums in the hope that someone might recognise the subjects!
© Copyright 2000-2018 Gordon Childs
Private researchers may freely copy or download any of the material or images presented on this website provided it is for their personal use only. No material or images may be reproduced for profit or presentation in any form by any person or organisation without prior consent.
Site last updated 12 April 2019