Derby

'Oldest photo studio' shows rediscovered images

Walter William Winter and family Image copyright WW Winter
Image caption The collection includes a picture of owner Walter William Winter with members of his family

Newly-restored photographs from 165 years of British history are going on display to mark a restoration project.

WW Winter in Derby had been organising its 150th anniversary when staff found images dating back to 1852.

The firm has been in the same building since 1867, but it appears it began 15 years earlier in a shed metres away.

Photographer Louisa Fuller said: "We are fairly confident this makes us the the oldest photography firm still in business."

She added: "New evidence points to Frenchman Emmanuel Nicolas Charles opening a studio in 1852, which Walter William Winter joined in 1862.

A Heritage Lottery Fund-backed project has restored hundreds of glass plate negatives found in the basement of WW Winter's Midland Road building.

Image copyright WW Winter
Image caption This portrait is one of the earliest - from 'Box 1' found in the shop cellar and dating to 1852
Image copyright WW Winter
Image caption Sporting portraits from about 1900 include this Derby rowing club member
Image copyright WW Winter
Image caption A Christmas display outside W Tickner Fish and Poultry in Derby, pre WWI

"We have a wonderful archive - starting all the way to literally Box 1.

"Looking at the earliest portraits they seem a little crude and stiff but of course it took so long to take a picture people could not keep a smile up."

A selection of images taken by the firm is to go on display as part of the Format festival of photography and related media.

These include photographs of life in Derby and Derbyshire including royal visits, sports teams, shops, industry and beauty spots.

Image copyright WW Winter
Image caption Industry is prominent, here American Pullman cars are assembled in 1874 for use on the Midland Railway
Image copyright WW Winter
Image caption Packing and checking 'Snowfire' cream and powder at F W Hampshire Ltd in Derby in the 1930s
Image copyright WW Winter
Image caption Party like its 1906 - Derby turns on the style to welcome King Edward VII
Image copyright WW Winter
Image caption Images are packed with curious detail as in this unidentified Christmas show from the 1930s
Image copyright WW Winter
Image caption Families from India and Pakistan had photographs taken to send back to relatives
Image copyright WW Winter
Image caption Many images have been rescued from dumps found in the building's cellars

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