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Smaller Sizes of Portrait - Photographers in England - Greater London Region

We have divided England into Geographical Regions in order to keep the page sizes manageable for our listings of stickyback photographers. All the regions are listed here. Within each regional page, practitioners are listed by location alphabetically. If you are looking for a practitioner by name, start with our page "Smaller sizes of portrait - photographers by name"

London includes the 32 London Boroughs and the City of London

Address: 156 Kentish Town Road
Possible practitioner: WEST
Operating dates: -1906
References: The Era - Saturday 07 July 1906 p27. "Wanted to sell, sticky back outfit, complete, together with full instructions to beginner (cheap). Good living for steady man. Present owner going abroad. Apply West, 156 Kentish Town Road, London." The Directory of London photographers lists photographer Robert HOBKIRK at 156 Kentish Town Road N.W. in 1907.

Address: 420 Strand, London
Possible practitioner: BOULTWOOD, Sidney, on his own account or possibly working for a photographer named WALLIS, (no further details at this point)
Operating dates: c 1910 or earlier -
References: An advertisement for a different studio contains information allowing us to suggest who operated at 420 Strand, London. The Gloucestershire Echo - Monday 01 June 1914 P4 advertised: "YOU MUST VISIT the original Mr Stickybacks ELECTRIC STUDIO With its novel methods of CINEMATOGRAPH PHOTOGRAPHY. CINEMATOGRAPHIC SNAPSHOTS OF YOURSELF. ENORMOUSLY POPULAR The Original Mr. STICKY BACK'S STUDIO From 420 Strand, London, Brighton, Oxford, etc., 84 HIGH STREET (near Bath Road) CHELTENHAM." We now know that the address in Cheltenham was one of Sidney Boultwood's studios and so this is his advertisement. David Simkin records a Boultwood family belief that early in his photographic career Sidney worked for a photographer called Wallis, in the Strand. Perhaps in his advertisement, Sidney was just giving a summary of his past employment rather than a list of his own current studios. The Strand housed many London photographers over the years and no trace has yet been found of either Wallis or Boultwood in directory entries relating thereto. The address at 420 The Strand appears on the real photograph postcard portrait below of two men with button-holes. This includes an in-image information strip in the right hand margin. It is not clear whether this information strip was photographed in camera, or whether is was from a separate negative printed alongside the main image. It does not seem to be a standing sign photographed alongside the sitters. The information on the strip states "The Post Card Studio 420 Strand WC 19-9 627". The reverse of the image is a postcard format with no publisher's information. Below that is a second postcard format example of a couple of unknown men posed in close conversation. The information strip down the right hand edge of this example is "The Post Card Studio 420 Strand WC 6-9 523". The printed reverse of this example is badly faded but does not seem to contain any information. It is interesting to note that the information strips on both of these postcard portraits have the same defect in the top centre, where a curved piece of the strip has been lost. This second image is from the collection of Ron Cosens (www.cartedevisite.co.uk) and we are grateful for his permission to show it here.

postcard image from 420 Strand

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Address: 422 Strand, London 1904 (and Provinces), 3 Pelham Arcade Hastings 1903-5, 62 Dame Street, Dublin, 1903, 16 The Arcade Gt Yarmouth 1904-08, Claremont Pier Lowestoft. (dates not known - the pier opened in 1903)
Possible Practitioner: CHIC PHOTO CO, no names of individuals connected with the company are known at this point.
Operating dates: 1903 to 1908, possibly as late as 1910
References See the first photograph below. This is a portrait of an unknown gentleman in a Homburg hat. He has narrow lapels on his jacket and his shirt collars are pinned behind the knot of his tie. This probably dates from around 1905-1910. The photograph measures 1.5 x 2.7 inches and has a narrow black border about 0.1 inches wide round all edges. The photo has been unevenly hand cut, probably from a strip of prints. It has been mounted in a two tone green window mount, the aperture of which is slightly too wide and two short for the photograph at 1.4 x 1.9 inches. Beneath the window of the mount is printed "Chic Photo Co, London and Provinces". The reverse of the mount is blank. Michael Pritchard's Directory of London Photographers 1841-1908 lists Chic Photo Co at 422 Strand from a 1904 Directory entry. The RPS listing of Victorian and Edwardian Photographers in Hastings, St. Leonards and Bexhill includes entries for the Chic Photo Co in Hastings 1903-05. The firm was trying to expand in September 1903. They placed an advertisement in the Freeman's Journal, Dublin, Monday 21, Tuesday 22 and Wed 23 September 1903 p1: "Shop wanted, best position in Grafton Street or Sackville St: also main street in Belfast; state terms. Chic Photo Co 422 Strand London." This obviously led to a quick and positive response because two months later, in the Freeman's Journal Mon 16 to Friday 20 November 1903 p8, they were again advertising "Stickyback photos 12 for 1s, beautifully finished, larger and better than ordinary stamp photos: send on your photo to be copied 1s 2d post free. Chic Photo Co, 62 Dame Street, Dublin." This was the address used until this point by The Berlin Studio, another Stickyback photographer listed on this site. There was probably further expansion by Chic as in the South Bucks Standard - Friday 28 October 1910 p8 there was an article on the retirement of Rev J.M.West, Vicar of Hazlemere, with a head and shoulders portrait of the Rev captioned "photo by The Chic Photo Co." (although this photo may have been taken some time prior to its publication in 1910). No trace of the company has been found at Companies House, in the National Archives or the London Gazette. Chic Photo Co may not have stayed in Hastings very long as their address, 3 Pelham Arcade, was occupied by the MIDGET PHOTO CO in 1907 and by photographer Thomas STYLES 1909-10 according to the excellent Sussex Photohistory site, www.photohistory-sussex.co.uk/HASTINGSdirMN.htm

The second photograph below adds another layer of complexity to the growth and structure of the Chic Photo Co. This photograph shows an unknown mature lady wearing a locket. The actual photograph measures approx 1 inch x 1.5 inches. The grey green heavy card mount has serrated edges and measures 2.6 x 3.7 inches with oval aperture 1.5 inches x 0.9 inches. On the face of the mount a floral design is printed round the oval aperture and the text "Chic Photo Co, Fort Arcade Margate". On the reverse the image is held in place by a white paper backing sheet on which is printed: " Chic Miniatures. Fort Arcade Margate, 3 Pelham Arcade Hastings, 16 The Arcade Gt Yarmouth, Claremont Pier, Lowestoft. Extra copies can be had. Any other photo or print copied." Robert Pols site on Norfolk Photographers lists The Chic Photo Co at 16 The Arcade Great Yarmouth, with entries in Kelly's Directories in 1904 and 1908. Robert's site on Suffolk photographers has no entry for The Chic Photo Co in Lowestoft. The address at Fort Arcade Margate is probably the same as that of the American Miniature Photo Co (and possibly later as the British-American Photo Co from around 1913- around 1930. It is not known whether the same company changed its identity or whether The American Miniature Photo Co simply took over premises previously occupied by the Chic Photo Co.

The third photograph below is a postcard sized image of an unknown family of five. Beneath the image on the face of the card it printed in small print "Chic Studios, Fort Arcade Margate". The reverse is a simple divided postcard back. This is a good quality image, well composed, well lit and in focus. This indicate that although Chic was in the lower end of the photographic market, the high quality of their work suggested otherwise.

Portrait of unknown man in Homberg Hat by The Chic Photo Co

Small portrait, Chic Photo Co, Margate

Chic Photo Co postcard portrait of family of five.

Address: Somewhere in Earls Court
Possible practitioner: Individual not yet identified, trading as The Sticky Back Photo Co
Operating dates: 1906
References: Kirkintilloch Herald - Wednesday 07 February 1906 p4. "Sticky Backs, late of Earl's Court, London, Now open. The Sticky Back Photo Coy 31 East High Street, Kirkintilloch are now taking photographs at 6d per dozen, dull or rainy weather no obstacle. Call and see specimens in window. Shakespeare Said—" Secure the shadow ere the substance fade." WE say—" Grasp this opportunity ere it is too late. Call and See Specimens in our Window. Business Hours —2 till 9pm. Saturdays 12 till 10pm."

Address: 158 Fleet Street, 153 Fleet Street, London, Also in India.
Possible practitioner: Richard Parker Estabrooke b. 1873
Dates of operation: 1872-1890
Information and References: Estabrooke was a ferrotypist and midget photographer. The image below is from the collection of Ron Cosens www.cartedevisite.co.uk and is reproduced with his permission. The overall size of the mount is 36 x 60mm. The mount is plain cream card with a gilt edge to the rectangular aperture. Behind the aperture is a stamp sized photograph of an unknown man, possibly a clergyman, in a high collared shirt and high narrow lapelled jacket. The bottom edge of the actual photograph has a dark band on which is printed in gold "Carte Midget", The print is held in place by a printed cover label pasted on the reverse, On this is printed "R.P.Estabrooke's noted Midget Portraits. 2/- per dozen, 153 Fleet Street (Over Fun Office)". From the dress of the sitter, the image could be from any time batween the 1880s and early 1900s.

The Estabrooke family were successful ferrotypists in Brooklyn USA. Audrey Linkman describes the rise in popularity of the Ferrotype in the UK in the 1870s in an excellent article on our site here. One of the pioneers in the UK was Thomas Sherman Estabrooke who had a ferrotype studio in Regent Street London from 1872, the same year that Edward M Estabrooke published a manual "The Ferrotype and How To Make It". Thomas Sherman Estabrooke also set himself up as an agent for much improved ferrotype plates from the Phoenix Plate Co from the USA In the 1875 PO Directory Thomas Sherman Estabrooke listed his occupation in the PO Directory, not as a photographer, or even as a photographic artist, but as an "american ferrotyper". The business expanded in the UK, with Thomas's brother, Richard Parker Estabrooke taking charge. There was a set-back in 1877 when Richard, operating from a studio above the offices of Fun Magazine at 153 Fleet Street London, was prosecuted for possessing and distributing obscene photographs. He was sentenced at The Old Bailey to four months imprisonment (without hard labour). (https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/browse.jsp?div=t18770807-639 ) The authorities recovered 150 obscene negatives and 375 prints and were pleased to have detected an offender further up the supply chain than usual. The prosecution was supported by the Society for the Supression of Vice. Interestingly press reports and all official documentation relating to this offence record Richard's surname as "Estrabrook". By 1881 the business was in financial difficulties. R.P.Estabrooke, trading as The Anglo American Photographic Company, petitioned for liquidation by arrangement. The firm had premises at 153 Fleet Street and 272 Regent Circus Oxford Street London, 50B New Street Birmingham and 151 Westgate Bradford, Yorkshire. Richard's occupation was given as photographic artist and publisher. (London Gazette 12 July 1881 p3471). Some sort of financial restructuring must have occurred as the Anglo American Photographic Co continued in operation.

On 26 Oct 1881 Richard was in Paris, where he married Harriette Jane Delacourt. In 1884 Richard had travelled beyond Europe. The Times of India on Thursday 4 December 1884 p2, carried an advertisement for THE GREATEST NOVELTY IN BOMBAY. FERROTYPES BY ESTABROOKE, the original American Gem Photographer. Richard was offering both Ferrotypes and regular photography as his advertisement shows:
9 Gem Ferrotypes 1 Rupee
9 Victoria Ferrotypes Rs 3
4 carte Ferrotypes Rs 3
1 Cabinet Ferrotype Rs 3
Made and finished in a few minutes, Warranted not to fade.
The advertisement continued , also offering photographs as follows:
Cartes De Visite Rs 6 per doz
Cabinets Rs 15 per doz
Photographs of all kinds of groups, bungalows, drawing rooms, horses and carriages, tombs etc. Copying and enlarging of all taken in the shortest notice. Charges cheaper than any other house in Bombay. Studio, 8 Tamarind Lane Medows Street, Fort.
Advertisements in India continued until the Times of India announced on Monday 27 April 1885 p7 "Midgets The last chance. Something new in photography by Estabrooke, the Gem Photograspher 8 Tamarind Lane, Fort. Midgets Rs 3 per doz, cartes de visite Rs 5 per doz, Cabinets Rs 10 per dozen. Ferrotypes 9 gems Rs 1, 9 Victorias Rs 2-8, 6 Victorias Rs 2, 3 Victorias Rs 1-8, 4 cartes Rs 2-8, 1 cabinet Rs 1. Made and finished in a few minutes and warranted not to fade.

The Anglo American Photo Co, Richard Parker Estabrooke manager, continued to operate at 153 Fleet Street 1880-1884 and at 272 Regent Street from 1880-1883. Richard Parker Estabrooke appears as a photographer in his own name at 153 Fleet Street in the listing of photographers in the PO Directories for 1885 and 1890.

References: Directory of London Photographers 1841-1908 Michael Pritchard.

Midget Photograph by R.P.Estabrooke, with the permission of Ron cosens www.cartedevisite.co.uk

Address: 127 North End Croydon
Possible Practitioner: BOULTWOOD Sidney?
Operating dates:1911 -
Information and references: Subject of an advertisement in the Croydon Chronicle and East Surrey Advertiser, Saturday 18 March 1911 p12 and 25 March 1911 p13. "Sticky Backs from 356 Strand, and Brighton, have now opened a Croydon Branch, 127 North End (opposite Empire) and have no connection with any other firm in Croydon". Shortly afterwards the Croydon Chronicle and East Surrey Advertiser, Saturday 22 April 1911 p13 carried a advert for the same studio: "Sticky backs, Half Price Coupon In order to advertise our American Automatic Process of Photography by presenting this half price coupon you are entitled to 1 doz photographs of yourself for 3d at 127 North End Croydon (opposite Empire Music Hall). Cut this coupon out." Similar advertisenments for Stickyback studios in Penzance and Hull appeared in local newspapers in 1913. Prior to 1911 three other advertisements have been found for studios at 127 North End. Croydon Guardian and Surrey County Gazette, Saturday 19 March 1910 "Wanted a good quick lady retoucher to work at home. Apply personally John Bull Studios, 127 North End Croydon. " Croydon Guardian and Surrey County Gazette, Saturday 8 January 1910 p6, "Several smart young ladies as canvassing interviewers salary and commission 17s 6d. Apply mornings John Bull Studios 127 North End Croydon." South London Press, Friday 6 May 1910 p11 announced the South London Press Children's Special Beauty Competition run in conjunction with the South London Photographic Company Ltd, 129 Newington Causeway near the Elephant and Castle and 127 North End Croydon. It is not known whether these were independent business ventures as the variety of names suggest, or whether this was the same photographer re-inventing his studio regularly. Returning to the original 1911 advertisement, David Simkin's research into Sidney Boultwood, who operated a number of stickyback studios, shows that he had connections with Croydon around 1911 and later had a studio, as yet not identified, which was "Opposite Empire". So Boultwood might have been the man behind the 127 North End Studio in 1911. However, against this, David dates the Boultwood "Opposite Empire" studio at around 1917 www.photohistory-sussex.co.uk/BoultwoodFamilyGallery.htm .

Address: 356 Strand
Possible practitioner: BOULTWOOD, SIDNEY ?
Operating dates: 1911
References: Croydon Chronicle and East Surrey Advertiser - Saturday 18 March 1911 p12 and 25 March 1911 p13. "Sticky Backs from 356 Strand, and Brighton, have now opened a Croydon Branch, 127 North End (opposite Empire) and have no connection with any other firm in Croydon". David Simkin's research into Sidney Boultwood shows that he had connections with Croydon around 1911 and later had a studio, as yet not identified, which was "Opposite Empire". However, David dates the "Opposite Empire" studio at around 1917 www.photohistory-sussex.co.uk/BoultwoodFamilyGallery.htm . Three years later 356 Strand is linked to 420 Strand in an advertisement in theBurton Observer and Chronicle, Thursday 20 August 1914 p1: "The Strand Studios Direct from 420 and 356 Strand London, now open for a short time only 19 Station Street Burton on Trent Get a coupon".

Address: 42 Oxford Street, 352 Strand, 21 Piccadilly (also at Fort Arcade, Margate, Kent.
Possible Practitioner: No name known - the firm traded as the American Miniature Photo Co (and possibly later as the British-American Photo Co)
Operating dates: 1910-20?
References: American Miniature Photo Co is the name on the reverse of the portrait below. This is a tiny image, just 0.7 x 1.2 inches, on a white card embossed mount measuring 2.3 x 3.2 inches. The design on the mount shows three parts, an outer frame of dashes, a middle frame of leaves and berries over a stippled background, and an inner frame of tiny tulip heads. The aperture in the mount measures 1.1 x 1.6 inches and so the image does not fill the aperture, but is just stuck onto the reverse side of the label. The reverse of the mount has a printed paper label pasted on it with the legend "American Miniature Photo Co. 42 Oxford Street W., 352 Strand, 21 Piccadilly W. London, Also Fort Arcade Margate. Extra Copies can be had" The image itself is an outdoors shot of a woman standing beneath foliage. It looks as though this has been cut down from a wider image which also included a second person. The image has a very black and white contrast, with little by way of greys. Altogether this appears to be a very cheap and poor quality product.
There is no trace of this firm on the Photo London listing (Directory of London Photographers 1841-1908) or in the Kent Kelly's Directories. Both the Strand and the Piccadilly addresses were used by other photographers, but the Photo London listing has no occupants shown for the period when this photograph would have been produced. Kelly's Kent Directories for 1913, 1918 and 1922 have a photographer with a similar name, The British-American Photo Co, listed at 1A Arcade Steps, Fort Arcade, Margate, and in 1930 at 17A Arcade Steps, Fort Arcade, Margate. There is no trace of The American Miniature Photo Co or the British-American Photo Company at Companies House, in the London Gazette, local trade directories (other than stated above) The National Archives or Google. All of this suggests that the firm may have been relatively short lived and the Margate trade directory entry suggests the firm may have changed its identity between these two names. Any further information on the firm would be most welcome.

Portrait of an unknown woman by the American Miniature Photo Co

Address: 409 Oxford Street London W in 1909.
Possible practitioner: William Cottier Cubbin
See entry in NW England listed under Isle of Man.

Address: 83 Fleet Street, London
Possible practitioner: LOWRIE, James Frederick (1853-1906)
Operating dates: 1878-1885
Information and References: James Frederick Lowrie was born at Lambeth in 1853, the son of a picture framer. The image below, reproduced with the permission of Ron Cosens www.cartedevisite.co.uk shows a midget carte 34 x 60mm portrait of an unknown young man. The mount has printed on the face "Lowrie's Midget Portrait 83 Fleet Street". James Frederick Lowrie was a tintype photographer in the 1880s with studios at:
83 Fleet Street London (1878-85),
65 Prince's Street, Edinburgh (1880),
10 Jamaica Street Glasgow (1880),
103 Bold Street Liverpool (1881),
184 Fleet Street (1880-81).
Queen's Corner, 35, New Street, Birmingham (1880)
San Francisco USA (1880)
In the Birmingham Daily Post, Wednesday 26 May 1880 p7, Lowrie advertised that at Birmingham he would be "Prepared, to take from 500 to 600 sitters per day by his rapid process, the same as are taken at his other establishments." J. F. Lowrie also respectfully wished to inform the inhabitants of Birmingham that, "He was the first to introduce the system by which means nine gem portraits could be taken for 7 ½ d., and for a long time was without a rival". This unparalleled success, he stated, had brought about numbers of imitators. To prevent disappointment, he urged customers to, "See that the name of "Lowrie" is on the back of each." Examples of gem tintype cartes de visite can be found with printed paper backing labels holding the tiny tintype image in place. Some of these labels list all of Lowrie's studios, others \ay "Taken by Lowrie 83 Fleet Street London". Other gems have been seen with the details printed on the bottom of the face of the mount "J.F.Lowrie Gem Photographer, Queens Corner Birmingham". The midget carte below suggests that Lowrie's career started with a focus on high volume cheap work, then later moved on to more conventional professional photography producing good quality cabinet photographs. At some point in this transition, probably in 1890, he also changed his name to (James) Frederick Valery. This may have been as a direct result of a change to his domestic circumstances. In April 1891 James' wife, Madeline, and their two children,were living with his mother in law in Chiswick. Madeline described her marital status as a widow. In the same census, James, as Frederick Valery, 36 year old photographer, was living with his "wife", 23 year old Millie and their 8 month old son, Frederick Reginald, at 386 Derry Downs St Mary's Cray, Kent. Frederick Valery set up South London studios at Beckenham, Bromley and Croydon. The British Journal of Photography June 1 1906 p434 reported; "The painfully sudden death took place last week of Mr James Frederick Lowrie of No 1 Rectory Road Beckenham, a photographer trading at Beckenham and Bromley in the name of "Valery". Mr Lowrie dropped dead while taking a photograph of a girl in his studio at Victoria Chambers, High Street, Bromley. The deceased was fifty three years of age. The cause of death was aortic valve disease of the heart."
References: Gillian Jones, Lancashire Professional Photographers 1840-1940. https://cabinetcardgallery.com/tag/frederick-valery/ for an example of Valery's work.

Midget Portrait by Lowrie, courtesy of Ron Cosens www.cartedevisite.co.uk

Address: 272 Regent Circus, Oxford Street, London - see entry above for Richard Parker Estabrooke and the Anglo American Photographic Co

Address: 12 Broadway, Stamford Hill, London, N, See 7 High Street Birmingham, entry for Crown Studios

Address: 313 Mare Street Hackney London, NE, See 7 High Street Birmingham, entry for Crown Studios

Address: 30 Morning Lane, Hackney
Possible practitioner: As yet unknown
Operating dates: -1913
References: The Era - Saturday 24 May 1913 p27. " Wanted to sell. Sticky Backs Postcard Studio: complete fit up working; main road; sacrifice £40. Photographer 30 Morning Lane, Hackney".

Address: 53 Armagh Road, Bow, E.
Possible practitioner: BROADBEAR, W.H.
Operating dates: 1913
References: Daily Herald - Friday 21 November 1913 p7. Daily Herald. "Sticky Backs are still selling like hot cakes. those rebels who have not had any are missing a good opportunity. Send for a supply and use them. Very effective. 1d per dozen (3 varieties) Postage extra. W.H.Broadbear, 53 Armagh Road, Bow, E." No trace in the Directory of London Photographers.

Address: 421 Brixton Rd Brixton, Atlantic Photo Studio and Fine Art Gallery, 18 Atlantic Road, 61 Peckham Rye
Possible practitioner: BURNHAM, Francis Champneys
Operating dates: 1880s to 1941
Information and references: See below midget carte with a cameo portrait of an unknown woman wearing a large decorative hat. The photograph on this measures 1.4 x 2.7 inches and the buff card mount is 1.5 x 3 inches. The reverse of the mount is blank. Printed on the face is "F.C.Burnham, 421 Brixton Road, S.W." The name "Eva" has been added in manuscript. F.C.Burnham is listed in Michael Pritchard's "Directory of London Photographers 1841-1908", as a late addition, without dates, at 421 Brixton Rd and 18 Atlantic Rd Brixton. Burnham also produced conventional cartes de visite and cabinet portraits. The reverse of examples of his mounts seen on Ebay and elsewhere, show his earliest address was "The Atlantic Photo Studio and Fine Art Gallery, 18 Atlantic Road, Brixton, opposite the railway station". These mounts also show the Prince of Wales feathers or a royal coat of arms, suggesting aspiration to some sort of royal link. Francis Champneys Burnham was born in 1836 in Brighton. He became an optician and gave this as his occupation in the 1881 census when he was a widower, living at 18 Atlantic Road Brixton with his son, William (b.1867) and daughter Martha (b.1865). Presumably by this time Francis was operating as both an optician and a photographer. In 1882 he re-married, his second wife being Jane Gutsell, b 1860. In 1894 Francis died and his wife Jane was granted probate. The family probably gave up their residence at Atlantic Road at this point. The South London Press 14 December 1901 p4 advertised a sale of the corner house and shop at 18 Atlantic Rd, Brixton, which at that time was let on a lease with 27 years unexpired. A number of press advertisements from 1910 to 1913 suggest that 18 Atlantic Road was at that time a gents' outfitters. The firm of F.C.Burnham continued to operate after the death of Francis. The National Archives have seven applications from the firm submitted to Stationers' Hall on 2nd August 1899 for copyright purposes. These relate to a number of portraits of the organist and composer Sir Frederick Bridge (TNA COPY 1/441/241) The copyright owner of works was Francis Champness (sic) Burnham, 421 Brixton Road, London and the Copyright author (the actual photographer) was George Herrett 39 South Western Rd Twickenham. The Era, Wednesday 15 September 1915, carries a photograph of a dancer by F.C.Burnham. Trade directory entries for the firm at 421 Brixton Rd in 1900, later at 314 Brixton Road from 1920 to 1941. The continued use of the original name suggests that the firm may have remained in the ownership of the family. It is possible that the firm re-positioned itself after the death of its founder, moving from higher end portraiture into some cheaper work, of which the image below is an example.

Midget carte by F.C.Burnham, Brixton

Address: 4A Acre Lane, Brixton, London S.W
Possible practitioner: Sticky Backs Photographic Company Limited, Directors: Edgar Statham PERRY, D.R.BLAIR, L.F.PUGH
Operating dates: 1911-1913?
References: British Journal of Photography Nov 3 1911 p 845 reported that a new company had been registered. "Sticky Backs Photographic Co Ltd" – the company was registered with a capital of £1000 in £1 shares. Objects "to take over the business of photographers carried on by E.S.Perry and D.E. Blair at 4a Acre Lane Brixton". First Directors to be D.R.Blair, E.S.Perry, L.F.Pugh, Registered office 4a Acre Lane, Brixton SW. Private Company. E.Statham Perry was also involved with another company registered in 1911; the Sticky Backs Photo Syndicate Ltd, Co No 118170. (or was this a single company which changed its name or with its name wrongly recorded by the British Journal of Photography?) This company was wound up following an extraordinary general meeting meeting chaired by Perry on 18th November 1912. There was a meeting of creditors on 4th January 1913 and the company was later dissolved. ( British journal of Photography Nov 3 1911 p 845. The National Archives BT 31/20259/118170. London Gazette Publication date: 3 January 1913 Issue:28678 Page:80. The London Gazette, Publication date: 3 January 1913 Issue: 28678 Page: 82. London Gazette 12 Oct 1920 Issue 32081 p 9900.)

Address: 29 Powis Street, WoolwichWoolwich
Possible practitioner The Yankee Studios.
Operating dates 1906-07
References - see below under 34 Upper Street, Islington for a full description of this firm. Below is a stickyback photo of an unknown officer which is believed to be from this studio. The sign board, visible partly above and partly below the sitter (because of the way this has been cut from a strip of images), includes the words "Powis Street Woolwich next to Goulding's sale rooms". No firm's name or street number can be seen. The photo measures 1.2 x 1.6 inches. (I would welcome identification of the uniform from an expert please - Ed.)

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Address: 69 Wellington Street Woolwich
Possible practitioner: KNIGHT, Charles Henry, aka The Original Stickybacks or "Original Sticky Backs"
Operating dates: 1914-18
References: Dover Express - Friday 05 November 1920 P5. "DOVER PHOTOGRAPHER'S BANKRUPTCY. At the Kent Bankruptcy Court Saturday the following Re Charles Henry Knight, of. 35, Biggin St., and Snargate St. Dover, and 21 Tontine St. Folkestone and 69 Wellington St, Woolwich, debtor, who attended for his public examination, returned his liabilities at £528.8.10d. and estimated his assets at £74 17s. 10d., leaving a deficiency £454. 11s. Mr De Wet, of Folkestone, appeared for the debtor. Under  examination by the Official Receiver, debtor stated that he was formerly engaged as a salesman and in June 1913, he commenced business as a miniature photographer at 35, Biggin Street, Dover, in partnership with Mr. Herbert Beach, under name of the Original Stickybacks. They commenced with a capital £50, of  which £30 was borrowed. The business was not a success and in December 1913, it was agreed that they should dissolve the partnership. Beach withdrew from the concern, without any consideration whatever, and debtor took over the concern with its assets and liabilities. The assets were estimated at about £40 and the liabilities about £15. Owing to the influx of troops he commenced to do remarkably well and continued to do so for several years. extended his business by opening branch businesses at Snargate St., Dover, 69, Wellington St., Woolwich, Lower- Bridge St. Canterbury (the Canterbury business did not pay and it closed after six months), and 21, Tontine St., Folkestone. With the exception of the Canterbury shop the concerns were successful. He did very well and was able to finance them easily and without any outside assistance. Soon after the Armistice, however, his receipts fell off by fifty per cent. That was owing to the removal of the troops. He sold the Woolwich business in May this year, and prior to the receiving order he had also disposed of the branch businesses at Snargate St., Dover, and at Folkestone. He then entirely devoted himself to the business at 35, Biggin St., Dover. In February, 1916, he, in conjunction with two other persons, opened a canteen in Sandwich, but this venture was a failure, as was also a miniature rifle range, which  he and another person conducted at Sandwich. He estimated that his losses on these two enterprises amounted to at least £300. The cause of his failure were: falling off in trade since the Armistice, November, 1918, losses incurred in canteen enterprise, and law costs consequent on proceedings instituted by creditors for recovery of debts. The examination was closed." Dover Express - Friday 24 September 1920 P4 – receiving order made against Charles Henry Knight.
Below are three example postcard prints from the firm's Woolwich Studio. The first two show the same draped window studio back-cloth and the third example has a riverside scene as a background. They all have similar displays of negative numbers in the upper right hand corner. The numbers displayed are 12-201-A, 6-370-L and 12-360-R. This suggests perhaps month, neg number and either a year, operator or location code. We are most grateful to Photo Historian Paul Godfrey for permission to use the second of these two images from his collection and to Allan Collier for permission to use the third example.

Original Sticky Backs Portrait from WoolwichReverse of Original Sticky Backs portrait

Original Sticky Backes postcard portrait 60 Wellington St Woolwich, Paul Godfrey Collection

Original Sticky Backes postcard portrait 60 Wellington St Woolwich, Allan Collier Collection

Address: 45 King Street, Southall
Possible practitioner: Not currently known
Operating dates: c.1914
References: West Middlesex Gazette - Friday 27 March 1914 p5: "45 King Street, Southall. Stickybacks open daily. One dozen excellent photos of yourself for threepence. Enlargements from one shilling each. Postcards six for 1/-". West Middlesex Gazette, Friday 03 April 1914 p4; "45, King Street, Southall. STICKYBACKS OPEN DAILY. One dozen excellent photos of yourself for threepence. Enlargements from one shilling each, postcards six for 1/-."

Address: 34 Upper Street, Islington, also at 33 High Street, Folkestone, 54 New Road, Gravesend, Kent, 29 Powis Street, Woolwich, and somewhere in Tunbridge Wells. It is not known if these studios were added to the business cumulatively, or whether one closed before another opened. The Folkestone Studio was opened around June 1906. The Woolwich studio opened in November 1906 and was still operating in August 1907. The Gravesend address was being used in Feb 1907.
Possible practitioner: Yankee Studios. Partners in Feb 1907 were Lindsay McLENNAN and William Edward TOWN. Another possible partner, or manager, at a Tunbridge Wells Studio in 1907 was Chas CHARLTON.
Operating dates: c.1906-7
References: The address at 34 Upper Street Islington was the base of photographers Henry IRIS from 1871-72 and Thomas James SMITH from 1876 to 1878. Kelly's London Directory of 1903 has no photographer listed for this address. Then, according to David Simkin's excellent Sussex Photo History Site, from around 1907 this studio became the birthplace of the successful USA Studios, founded by the Woolfe family. USA Studios was definitely not a stickyback and postcard photographic firm - their products were generally large, high quality, top end photographs, with a distinctive style and logo. Many examples can be found of their work, together with a listing of their addresses on the Sussex Photo History site. The photo below from 34 Upper Street is by the Yankee Studios and is in the stickyback and postcard domain. Printed on photographic paper, this portrait of an unknown teenage girl with a locket measures 3.2 x 1.4 inches. On the reverse is rubber stamped "Yankee Studios, 34 Upper Street, Islington N". Unusually for a stickyback firm The Yankee Studio posted a number of large advertisements in the local press, from which we can piece together the products and services on offer. First came a report of a new business by the newspaper whose office was next door to the Folkestone studio: Folkestone Express, Sandgate, Shorncliffe & Hythe Advertiser - Saturday 16 June 1906 p5 reported: "Six for sixpence. Surely this is about the rock bottom price for really good photographs. But this is the charge at the Yankee Studio next door to the Express Office . Enlargements are charged at a shilling, and very excellent specimens are on view in the windows." Advertisements followed:

  • Folkestone Express, Sandgate, Shorncliffe & Hythe Advertiser - Wednesday 25 July 1906 p4. "Yankee Studios, 33 High Street (Folkestone) require a smart young lady for shop; also youth not afraid of work".
  • Kentish Independent - Friday 16 November 1906 p8, "About the Yankees at Woolwich. Never in the history of photography has the British public been aroused to that state of excitement caused by the opening of the Yankee Studios at Woolwich. Introducing the most remarkable American process known. Wonderful photographs, exquisite results, artistic poses, perfect finish. Guaranteed absolutely permanent. And at a price that is a revelation to the world. Photographs taken day and night and finished within 48 hours. Cotton right on - come at once and see for yourself. Studios open 9am to 9pm. The Yankee Studios Reg, 29 Powis Street, Woolwich."
  • Kentish Independent - Friday 30 November 1906 p7 "The talk of Woolwich, photographs for the Million, wonderful Yankee panels 6 for 6d, Exquisite cabinets 2/- half doz. Taken day and night. Finished within 48 hours. The Yankee Studios reg. 29 Powis Street, Woolwich. Nat Tel 357".
  • Kentish Independent - Friday 07 December 1906 p8, Kentish Independent - Friday 14 December 1906 p8, "A warning to all before it is too late. Don't buy your Christmas cards before seeing just what you want. We have it! Waiting for you! Come and see for yourself. Place your orders now. The crush later will be terrific and you will regret being left out. The Yankee Studios, 29 Powis Street, Woolwich, Telephone 357".
  • Kentish Independent - Friday 04 January 1907 p8, Kentish Independent - Friday 11 January 1907 p5, Kentish Independent - Friday 18 January 1907 p8, Kentish Independent - Friday 08 February 1907 p5. "Do it Now. Yes Now! is the right time to cotton right on... the latest, the greatest American craze, the Yankee Postcard. The most wonderful, the most beautiful, six for one shilling. Come and be taken now and don't miss the golden opportunity . The Yankee Studios, 29 Powis Street, Woolwich. National Telephone 357." See below an example of The Yankee Post Card, with a portrait of an unknown young lady, 2.25 x 4.6 inches. Although labelled as "The Yankee Postcard", the stamp box on the reverse bears the name "The American Photographic Studios". Was this example therefore from a different studio, or were the Yankee Studios part of a larger group?
  • Kentish Independent - Friday 05 April 1907 p7. "Startling but true. Our wonderful photographs have gained a tremendous popularity. Exquisite cabinets 2/- half doz. The famous "Yankee" postcards six for one shilling. American panels 6 for 6d. The craze of Woolwich. Taken day and night. Finished within 48 hours. Come at once before it is too late. The Yankee Studios 29 Powis Street Woolwich, National Telephone 357."
  • Kentish Independent - Friday 19 July 1907 p5, Kentish Independent - Friday 26 July 1907 p4, Kentish Independent - Friday 02 August 1907 p4, "A thing of beauty is a joy for ever. A beautiful enlargement from life or copy for one shilling. Guaranteed absolutely permanent an opportunity of a lifetime. The Yankee Studios, 29 Powis Street Woolwich".
  • Kentish Independent - Friday 30 August 1907 p3, Kentish Independent - Friday 15 November 1907 p5, Everyone should secure one of our wonderful enlargements at 1/- from life or copy in black and white or sepia. Brooklyn Studies are the latest achievement in high class photography at a popular price. See our windows. Yankee Studios 29 Powis Street, Woolwich.

By February 1907 either the business was not working out as planned, or one of the partners wanted to go in a different direction. On 26th February 1907 the London Gazette Issue: 27999 Page:1414 contained notice of the dissolving by mutual consent from 18th February 1907of the partnership between Lindsay McLennan and William Edward Town, who had been carrying on business as artists and photographers at the Yankee Studios, 54 New Road, Gravesend, Kent, - all debts due and owing to be received and paid by Lindsay McLennan. It would appear that shortly after this partnership was dissolved the Yankee Studio premises in Upper St Islington were taken over by the Woolfe family and became the USA Studio. It may have been Lindsay McLennan who wanted to go in a different direction. In November 1906 he married Annie Alford from the Isle of Wight. In 1911 Lindsay McLennan (1880-1956 b.Edinburgh) was a photographer working on his own account in School Green, Freshwater, Isle of Wight. By 1937 Lindsay McLennan was listed in Kelly's Directory as a photographer at 857 High Road, North Finchley. His son Donald Lindsay McLennan also became a photographer.

William Edward Town b. 1875 Orpington d.1952 was, by 1911 working on his own account as a photographer at 99 High Streeet and 12 London Road Strood, Kent.

In the Kent & Sussex Courier - Friday 22 February 1907 p3, was a report: "Unpaid rent. James Ely Simco, 18 Sutherland Road, Tunbridge Wells, claimed from Chas Charlton the sum of £1.16s arrears of rent. Mr R.Vaughan Gower appeared for plaintiff, who stated he was a canvasser living in this town, and said the defendant was a partner in the Yankee Studios, Tunbridge Wells. The defendant left his house without paying the rent, and although the plaintiff had applied for it on one or two occasions, he had been unable to obtain payment. An order was made for payment forthwith, with costs."

Portrait from the Yankee Studio Upper Street, Islington

Yankee Studios Yankee Post Card

Address: 7 Clifford Road, South Norwood, London
Possible practitioner: HENRY HERBERT MARTIN'S PENNY PHOTOS, Henry Herbert Martin b. 1880 Chelsea
Operating dates: c. 1909 - 1918 at least
References: The photograph below has been reproduced with the kind permission of photo historian Paul Godfrey. This is a tiny photograph of a young school child on a green card window mount. The mount is embossed with a simple rectangle and scrolls. The photograph has a backdrop of a brick wall, presumably having been taken in a school yard. A backing paper on the reverse clearly sets out Martin's modus operandi: printed thereon is "H.H.Martin's Penny Photos. 350-450 separate photos taken per hour. Should you wish for more than one copy of your photo write the extra number you want in the space below and give the money with this photo to your teacher. ...extra copies required. 7 Clifford Road, South Norwood, London". The cover paper sheet has no place for the inclusion of the sitter's name, nor does there appear to be any negative or job number. Instead the sitter returns the original print via their teacher and Martin no doubt matches the original to his negative visually. It seems likely that Martin took group photographs then printed individual subjects from the negatives, rather than taking individual photos of every child. The earliest trace found of this business was an advert in the Norwood News, Saturday 16 October 1909, p4, "A vacancy occurs for an energetic girl to learn the photographic business. Apply Saturday 10-12; small salary to commence, 7 Clifford Road, South Norwood". In 1910 Henry found himself on the receiving end of the corporate wrath of the giant Great Eastern Railway Company. Wanting to travel from London to Hertford, Henry believed the cheapest was to do this was to get a discounted cheap day excursion ticket from Liverpool Street to Rye House station Hertfordshire, then pay the excess fair for a short journey from Rye House to Hertford. But when he arrived at his destination and offered to pay the 5d fare for the last part of the journey, it was refused and the railway company, keen to stamp out what they saw as inappropriate use of their ticket concessions, sued him for 1s 2d, the difference between what he had paid and the full price of the whole journey. The railway company won the case and proved their point. (Sheffield Evening Telegraph - Wednesday 24 August 1910 p6). In the 1911 census Henry Herbert Martin, b.1880 Chelsea London, Photographic Operator and employer, was at 7 Clifford Rd, South Norwood, with his wife Ada Sarah Martin b 1879 Bermondsey, who assisted in the business, and their 2 year old son, George James Herbert Martin. In the Kelly's 1918 London Directory Henry Herbert Martin, photographer, was still living at 7 Clifford Road. Other examples of Martin's Penny Photos have been seen with green card mount with "The Seasons Greetings" printed in red on the face and with a blank cover sheet on the reverse carrying a round rubber stamp print "H.H.Martin 7 Clifford Road South Norwood London"

Photo of a school child by H.H.Martin

Address: Villiers Street, Strand
Name of practitioner: Empire Photo Co
Operating dates: c.1906
References: The British Journal of Photography 7 December 1906 p.ii caries an advertisement: "Midgets and Stickybacks. Smart man wanted to take charge of and work in the business. Empire Photo Co, Villiers Street, Strand".

Address: 5 Market Square, Bromley, 15 Seabright Place Bromley, 15 Station Road Bromley
Name of practitioner: Mayze Brothers
Operating dates: 1907-1915
References: The delightful little carte below, from the collection of Ron Cosens, www.cartedevisite.co.uk measures 44 x 82 mm. A stamp size portrait of a teenage girl with a flower in her hair is mounted on a cream card with a cut-out aperture and printed inner frame in red. On the reverse, on the gummed paper holding the photo in place, is an impression from a circular rubber stamp with "Mayze Bros 5 Market Square" visible. The lower half of the stamp has left no visible imprint. From directory entries, Mayze Bros were at 5 Market Square, Bromley, Kent from 1907-09. They were at 15 Seabright Place, Bromley in 1911 and 15 Station Road Bromley in 1911 and 1915. The individuals concerned were Frederick Charles Mayze b 1877 Wandsworth, who was living at 15 Station Rd Bromley in 1911, and his brother, William Thomas Mayze b 1875 Liverpool. William, in his 1911 census return, stated he was a photographer and an employer and added "traveller" to that description. The photo shown, and others from this firm seen for sale, are of young people standing in front of a brick wall. But the firm had an address and Frederick worked from home, so presumably they had some sort of studio arrangement, which would have included some sort of back-cloth. The fact that William travelled may suggest that they took photos of school groups and individual photos of children at school or even touted for business by travelling from place to place, with photos taken where convenient, including in front of a wall . No trace has been found of the brothers in the 1901 census. In 1902 William married Agnes Mary Trainer from Guernsey, so may have been out of the country in the previous year.

Portrait by Mayze Bros, collection of Ron Cosens www.cartedevisite.co.uk

Address: Penton Studio, 34 Pentonville Road, Islington, London N (1902-08), formerly at 82 Pentonville Rd (1895-1904)
Possible practitioner: Wilhelm (William Friedrich Louis Gustav Heinrich ) GOEBELHOFF (1859-1935), Trading as XL Photographic Co aka XL Photo Co.
Operating dates: 1895-1908, possibly later
Information and references: See below a midget carte of an unknown lady in a large hat c.1910. On the face of the carte is printed "XL Photo Co". On the reverse is printed "12 midgets like this one for 1/-, "XL" Photographic Co, Penton Studio, 34 Pentonville Road, London. We can enlarge this photo up to life size." The mount measures 1.5 x 2.4 inches and the photograph on the mount 1.4 x 1.9 inches. It is really unusual for the format of midget carte to be named in this way on the mount. Other traditional cartes de visite and cabinet photos have been seen with the address; The Penton Studio, London and Continental Studio, 82 Pentonville Road, opposite the Reservoir, London N. These do not give the name of the practitioner, but one cabinet carried a monogram of the letters "WG" or "GW". A newspaper advertisement in the North London News, Saturday 14 December 1895 p5, reveals the identity of the photographer behind this studio. " The Penton Studio. London and Continental Art Photography 82 Pentonville Road (next door to Messrs Wilkin's Marble Works, opposite the Reservoir). The leading house for high class photography at lowest prices. Our special lines - 12 Midgets from 1/-; 3 cartes de visite 1/-; 1 cabinet 1/-. Patronised by the Hon D.Naoroji, the Rev J.H.Rose MA and the leading tradesmen of the district. For the readers of this paper we have reduced our prices for a short while only . Twelve cabinets from 12/- to 5/6d. Twelve cartes de visite from 4/6 to 2/-. NB children and groups extra. Open daily 9-8 Sundays 10-4, W.Goebelhoff, Art photographer (from Regent Street)" William Goebelhoff may have started his photographic career with one of the many studios in Regent Street, but he appears in the 1890 Kellys Directory as a photographer at 307 Essex Road (in Islington and only a few streets from Pentonville Rd). By 1906 William also had an operating base in Dover. The Dover Express, Friday 7 December 1906, p7, reported on a case at Dover Police court when William Goebelhoff, photographer, of 32 Snargate Street, Dover, was a witness in a malicious damage case where an offender broke a number of windows in order to get himself imprisoned and off the streets for Christmas. In the 1911 census William's family was split between two locations. His wife, Bertha, occupation - running a photographical studio and boarding establishment, was at 292 Uxbridge Rd. With her were William (their son b.1885, photographer assisting), Bertha (daughter b.1886) and Spencer, (son b.1899). According to the census return Bertha had been married for 28 years with six children from the marriage, all still living. William Goebelhoff, photographer, on census night, was at 27 Agincourt Road Hampstead, where he was living with his wife Katherine Goebelhoff b 1886. They had been married for 2 years. It is difficult to explain the two marriages, especially as, when William died in 1935, probate was granted to his wife Bertha. The probate grant provided William's full name, which was William Friedrich Louis Gustav Heinrich Goebelhoff. He address, at the time of his death, was 15 Nant Rd Childs Hill Middlesex. William and all of his family were German nationals, and as such were probably interned during WW1. In the 1939 Register, Bertha (living on her own means) was at this address with son Spencer J Goebelhoff, a shop assistant, wholesale and retail cooked meat and provisions. Bertha died in 1952.

Midget Carte Penton Studio, around 1910

Addresses: Head Studios 211 (1890-91) and 213, (1890-06) Regent Street W
13 Silver Street, Notting Hill Gate W (1870- ) the family home and a studio
30 Clapham Road W
6 The Pavement, Clapham Common, SW
211 Queens Road, Peckham SE
309 Euston Rd NW (1890-08)
63 St Pauls Churchyard EC (1891-05)
26 Westbourne Grove W (1903-06)
1 Deptford Bridge SE (1900-08)
49 Deptford Bridge SE (1900-08)
160 High St Camden Town NW (1892-08)
71 Green Lane, Stoke Newington N
107 Fulham Rd (1897-07)
232 Mare Street, Hackney (1899-08)
7 Munster Parade, Fulham Rd
688 Fulham Rd, Parsons Green,
Possible practitioner: HELLIS, Robert (1835-1895) and Sons (plus son William Henry Hellis and son-in-law William Morgan).
Operating dates: 1870 - 1928 Dates for some individual studios are shown above where known, but generally these are the dates when entries appear in trade directories.
Information and references: See Peter Brunning's excellent biography of Robert Hellis and his family in "the Friends of West Norwood Cemetery Newsletter 87 Sept 2016 p9". These studios produced portraits in a range of formats: cartes de visite, cabinets, postcards as well as cheaper midget cartes. An example midget carte of an unknown lady, c.1910, is shown below. The mount measures 1.3 x 2.3 and the photograph is 2 x 1.1 inches. On the face of the mount is printed "Hellis and Sons" and on the rear a list of studio addresses. www.cartedevisite.co.uk has a dating guide for Hellis products. Because of the large number of London studios run by the firm, surviving examples of their work are plentiful.

Midget carte by Hellis and Sons


Address: Back of Home and Colonial Stores, Upper Street, Islington.
Possible practitioner: Not currently known, trading as "Ping Pong Studio"
Dates operated: c 1910-20 ?
Information and references. See below a postcard format portrait of an unknown mother and child. Beneath the image and part of the photographic print is "Ping Pong Studio Back of Home and Colonial Stores, Upper Street, Islington". The reverse is a printed postcard back with no other relevant information and in manuscript is written "To Uncle Arthur with fond love and good luck." . This https://griffonagedotcom.wordpress.com/2017/12/23/ping-pong-photos-an-introduction/ is a superb article by Patrick Feaster about "Ping Pong Photos" or "Penny Portraits" in the USA. There “Ping Pong” or “Penny Portraits” were names applied to those studios producing portraits in the format of small, very inexpensive, photos or postcards for the masses. (i.e. similar in many respects to UK Stickybacks) Such studios could be found at US seaside or other holiday resorts. The name “Ping Pong” was derived from the noises the photographer made clicking the moveable back of the camera between predetermined positions to expose a small part of the plate in each shot. Neither phrase was in common use in photography in the UK. Photo historian Orla Fitzpatrick in her brilliant “Jacolette” blog for Sept 2011 has a post highlighting a postcard portrait of a young lady by the “American Ping Pong Studios” at 33 Upper O’Connell St, Dublin. (so dated 1924 or later following the re-naming of Sackville St to O'connell Street). Only one other Uk "Ping Pong Studio" has so far been found in England: The Ping Pong Studio 195 Commercial Road Portsmouth. (They placed a job advert in the Portsmouth Evening News, Wednesday 13 August 1913 p6, for a smart bromide printer). Ping Pong portraits were printed in strips, but, as with later photo booth portraits, each image was different, unlike strips of stickybacks, which were usually multiple prints of the same image. So far we have not been able accurately to date or pin down a precise address for this Islington studio. It may not have survived for long as it does not appear in London directories. It is a strange coincidence that a limited company, Ping Pong Studios Ltd, Co. No. 05585214, was registered in 2005 with its office in Islington. (Company dissolved in 2008).

Postcard portrait of mother and child, Ping Pong Studio Islington

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