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Stickybacks in France

The French photos below appear to be Stickybacks - 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 UK Stickybacks photos. The Stickybacks name does not appear, but clearly the concept travelled to France. We have not yet come across any individual stickyback photographers from the UK who took the concept directly to France. We would very much welcome any information from French collectors on the emergence and spread of the genre in France.

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.

Example 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 job or negative number, 253, just visible in the lower LH edge.

La Photo Mecanique, portrait of two young men in hats

group of three stickybacks from Bd St Martin

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



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: 31 October 2021, 08:19

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