Elijah Hart - 1860s

     1850s           1870s      Photographic Collection

In another shift of business focus, at least part of Hart’s photographic gallery becomes a drapery saleroom in April 1860, with ‘bargains that will astonish everybody’!! [1]

Portraits are still being taken, with the advertisements of competitor’s Audet as well as Pickering & Stewart of Morpeth appearing together in the Maitland Mercury. [2]

In June 1862, Hart’s premises are enlarged to accommodate customers, but a few months’ later, he informs the public that his portrait gallery is finally closed.  [3]

Newcastle appears to have been Hart’s location until about April of 1863 [4], when he reopens the Maitland gallery with entirely new stock and the services of first-class assistants.[5]

It’s back to business with Hart’s snappy little multiple advertisements, including a favourite phrase:

All portraits taken at Hart’s gallery are warranted not to fade, spot, or turn brown. [6]

Hart modernizes his equipment withthe new invention of a diamond cameo portrait camera, for taking four positions on one card.[7]

The portrait gallery is enlarged at the end of 1866, calling for tenders in October and announcing closure for a week while making ‘extensive renovations.’ [8]


In 1868 Hart’s advertising takes a new image  [9] and the Mercury admires Hart’s latest efforts:

ENLARGED PHOTOGRAPHIC  PORTRAITS.-Many of our readers have, no doubt, experienced the startling sensation produced by looking through a magnifying glass at a really good carte de visite. The likeness seems to start from the paper with life-like vividness. Mr. Hart is now exhibiting two portraits which have a similar effect. They are photographs on paper or card approaching life-size, and have been produced by throwing on the sensitive paper the reflected images of ordinary cartes de visite, magnified by passing through a lens. One of these likenesses is sharper in detail than the other ; but both are striking specimens of successful  portraiture, in a style rarely attempted. [10]

[1] Maitland Mercury, 28 April 1860

[2] Maitland Mercury, 3 May 1860

[3] Maitland Mercury, 6 September 1862

[4] Maitland Mercury, 3 Feb 1863

[5] Maitland Mercury, 18 April 1863

[6] Maitland Mercury, 20 June 1863

[7] Maitland Mercury, 15 July 1865

[8] Maitland Mercury, 24 November 1866

[9] Maitland Mercury, 3 June 1868

[10] Maitland Mercury,17 December 1868