stickyback photographs



only search


Site news

Sub Carte-de-visite
Size Portraits

and Descriptions

Smaller Sizes of
Portrait -
in the UK

Smaller Sizes of
Portrait -
Rest of the World

Smaller Sizes of
Portrait -
location not
currently known

Smaller Sizes of
Portrait -
by name

Spiridione Grossi

Smaller Sizes of
Portrait -
and artefacts



Related later genres

Stamp Photographs

Photo Booths


Powered By Web Wiz Green Hosting

Photographers in the rest of the world producing smaller sizes of portraits

In the information below we have tried to identify those photographers who traded in smaller sizes of portrait photographs, mainly from information gleaned from local newspapers. But many of these photographers would not have used newspapers to advertise, preferring instead to advertise extensively at their premises. Others will not have advertised at all and may only become known through surviving examples of their work. Survivals of smaller sized portrait photos are not that common due mainly to their small size and confusion with later photo booth images. This is a work in progress and much more awaits discovery - we would welcome any additional information on these photographers and their works which you may come across.

Relevant photographers have so far been found in: The Isle of Man, Tasmania, France and Belgium


Address: 10 Castle Mona Shops and Douglas Head, Isle of Man
Possible practitioner: GROSSI, Spiridione aka Grossi's American Card and Photo Co
Operating dates: 1902
References: 1902, Isle of Man directories recorded Grossi's American Card & Photo Co. at 10 Castle Mona Shops and Douglas Head. See our pages on Sticky Backs and on Spiridione Grossi for the connection between the Isle of Man and the origin of the name "Stickyback".

Address: Peveril Studio, Isle of Man
Possible practitioner: CUBBIN, William Cottier
Operating dates: 1908-10
References: The photograph below is almost certainly a stickyback, found in a card mount 31/2 by 2 5/8 inches with oval cut out bearing the words "The Peveril and Regent Studios". The only place where the name "Peveril Studio" has been found in on the Isle of Man, where there was a Peveril Studio on Victoria Pier, operated by William Cottier Cubbin. Cubbin was a photographer in Liverpool at 62A Bold Street 1903-4 and at 175a London Road 1895-1913. He later became a theatrical manager. (Lancashire Professional Photographers 1840-1940 by Gillian Jones and Isle of Man photographers A photograph in an identical mount can be found in the Manchester Regiment Archives, which suggests that this firm was located somewhere in the NW. The second image below, of an Edwardian family group, is reproduced with the kind permission of photo historian Paul Godfrey. This has printed on the dark green card mount "Cottier Cubbin, Peveril Studios, Victoria Pier, Douglas, IOM"

Image from Peveril and Regent Studio




We were delighted to hear from Priscilla Cox in Tasmania, who recently found the mounted Stickybacks photograph shown below abandoned in the loft of her house. The house dates back to the 1820s. The photo measures 1 1/8” x 1 1/8” and the mount, with brown stars, measures 2 1/2” x 3”. The mount has the name "Stickyback Photo Co" printed on the face. This precise company name has not been found on UK advertisements. Priscilla believes this was taken in Tasmania rather than the UK and has found a number of newspaper advertisements for a travelling stickyback photographer in Tasmania. The North West Post 24 Aug 1910 p2 states "Stickyback Photos - The Stickyback Company announces that their Devonport season is drawing to a close. the privilege of securing 16 photos for 1 shilling has been largely availed of and samples of their photos taken in Devonport are now on view at Messrs G and A Ellis, Ulverstone, which will be the next town visited." The North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times 30/8/1910 p2 reported "Stickyback photos have been all the rage for the last few weeks. The studio closes in a few days time".

Stickyback mounted on star design mount


The French photos below appear to be of a similar type to the Stickyback - the uncut multiples clearly depict the same image, rather than the changing poses in a strip of photobooth portraits. The images have a plain background and an information strip shows the photographer's details and a job number. Sizes are not dissimilar to Stickybacks photos. The Stickybacks name does not appear, but clearly the concept travelled to the Continent.

In 1911, in a letter to the editor on the subject of photographers’ assistants in France, Godfrey Wilson, who had worked for some years in that country wrote: “I am very strongly convinced that the French professional portraitists may be divided into two distinct classes, the tip top men and the third rate, stickyback or postcard man. Good middle class workers seem to me to be very scarce indeed throughout France
British Journal of photography June 16 1911 p466.

French Stickybacks?

Address: 43 Boulevard St Martin Paris, 26 Rue de Rivoli Paris, 5 Boulevard Ornano, 81 Faubourg du Temple, 11 Faubourg St Martin
Possible Practitioner: LA PHOTO MECANIQUE
Operating dates: 1914 - 1922?
References: The photographs below very closely mirror the UK Stickyback, although the name "Stickyback" is not used. The firm's name is probably best untranslated, although it could perhaps be translated to "The Photo Workshop" or similar. Note that the WW1 uniform postcard portrait has included in the image a number 253 just visible in the lower LH edge.

La Photo Mecanique, portrait of two young men in hats

La Photo Mecanique, portrait of mother and child - dated on reverse 1922

La Photo Mecanique, cut pair of portraits of an unknown man

La Photo Mecanique, postcard portrait of young man

La Photo Mecanique, detail of addresses from postcard reverse

La Photo Mecanique, postcard portrait of a French soldier WW1

La Photo Mecanique, Negative No on edge of postcard print


See our page on photographer and inventor Spiridione Grossi, who had a business in Brussells which may have been a stickyback studio - as yet details unknown. In one of his French patents, Spiridione jointly applied with Belgian, Alfred Lachmann, who may, or may not have been part of Spiridione's business in Belgium.

Top of page is a non-commercial web site for local and family historians, exploring smaller sized portrait photographs and those who worked in this trade.
This page was last modified: 13 September 2019, 16:34

contact us

This site is powered by Web Wiz Green Hosting. We have been using their services for many years and are more than happy to recommend them to you.