Studio names

American and Australian / Australasian (A.&A.Co.)

Henry Beaufoy Merlin - by 1866 was trading as the American and Australasian Photographic Company (A.&A.Co.) [1] The aim of Merlin’s American and Australasian Photographic Company was, as indicated by advertising, to photograph the whole of the Australian colonies. Merlin’s American and Australasian Photographic Company placed an advertisement in the Maitland Mercury of 15 October 1870 imparting the fact that they will shortly photograph every house in Maitland.

Mr. Spragg, of the A. & A. Photo. Company is available in Maitland for a few days in December 1871 to attend to orders for photographs, left at the Exchange Hotel. [2]

A. Curtis introduces himself as Proprietor of the American and Australian Photographic Company’s rooms, 324 George Street in Sydney, and has now leased Hart’s gallery. [3]

The Atelier

See Federal…McDonald 

Bank Portrait Rooms

1859? -  Sawyer

9 November 1872 – late Moss

16 April 1878 - Chandler

12 October 1878 - Liddell

27 August 1881 - Chadwick

WANTED, Everybody to know that a Good PORTRAIT can be had at the BANK PORTRAIT ROOMS, (Late M. Moss), West Maitland. [4]

Chandler advertises in April of 1878, his location being the Bank Portrait Rooms; his final appearance in the Maitland Mercury in July 1878: WANTED, PLATYPUS SKINS. A. CHANDLER, Bank Portrait Rooms, W. Maitland.

Liddell - the Bank Portrait Rooms, opposite the Bank of New South Wales in High Street. [5]

Chadwick - now open 27 August 1881

British Photo Co.

Formerly Liddell

New Art Studio : the British Photo. Co. Having acquired the photographic business so long carried on by Mr. W. J. Liddell, beg to state that having extended and altered the premises, they are now prepared to execute every variety of photography, in the first style of art. Studio, opposite Bank of N.S. Wales, West Maitland. [6]


Dore Studios advertise in the Evening News (Sydney) 14 November 1887, with the address ‘over Palings, 356 George Street.’

Messrs. Pickering & Co. of the Dore Studio, George Street, Sydney. March 1888. [7]

In February of 1889, Pickering appears as the manager of Sullivan’s studio at Hart’s buildings, 418 High Street, noted as being “late proprietor of the Dore Studio, Sydney.” [8]

Kedwell assumes the responsibility of the Dore Studio from John Pickering in 1893. [9]


The first Maitland Mercury reference to the name “Elite Studio” appears to be made when Moss advertises the range of photographic styles in September 1886.

There is, however, evidence that the term ‘Elite’ was in use earlier. Moss introduces ‘the new style’ cabinet photograph, in October 1880 and this cabinet photo (right) uses the term ‘Elite’.

Kedwell becomes manager of Moss’ ‘Elite’ studio in May 1887. [10]

The Elite Photo Co., the Elite Co. and the Elite Studio are listed several times in ‘Australians behind the camera’, with studios in a number of towns throughout Australia. [11]

Harry Charleston was the proprietor of the Elite Studio in Hunter Street, Newcastle.


The name “Excelsior Photographic Gallery” is used by Solomons in 1879. A number of other photographic business also use this name (or close variations) such as Glaister's in Sydney, as well as Maitland photographer Martin Roggenkamp in 1859.

Australians behind the camera lists others Excelsior’s including Excelsior Photo. Co. in Sydney, Excelsior Portrait Co., Sydney and Excelsior Gallery, Sydney. [12]

Federal Photographic Studio

McDonald uses his studio name as The Atelier on 7 December 1886, it next appears as the Federal Photographic Studio on 14 December, the last line of that advertisement indicating that The Atelier is the Launceston studio name.

Great Northern Photographic Company

In April of 1863 Audet announces that he has taken the premises formerly occupied by Mr. Scully, in Newcastle, and in a few days will open them as the Great Northern Photographic Company. [13]

The Maitland business was to also continue. [14]

Some 3 years later, in May 1867, Audet is again trading under the similar name of Great Northern Photographic and Fine Art Company (as distinct from the Great Northern Photographic Company) with premises opposite the Bank of N.S.W. in High Street, Maitland as well as in Hunter Street, Newcastle. [15]
By June 1867 advertising for the Great Northern Photographic and Fine Art Company is ‘late J. Audet.’ [16]

The ‘Great Northern’ name is again used in Maitland, this time Morris Moss is the manager of the Great Northern Photographic Company, in November 1874. [17] Moss continues with Great Northern name until about 1876. [18]

Advertising in July 1881 reveals the Maitland Photo & Tin Tag Company operating from Balthazar Kline’s address – opposite Mr. Rourke, Saddler.

N.S.W. Photo Co.

An advertisement from 9 May 1891 indicates that Naismith’s is now the N.S.W. Photo Co., operating for a short season.

A few Sydney advertisements appear in January 1883 and July 1893.

River View Portrait Gallery


October 1874 – ca. 1877 


Under the direction of Mr. A. Williams – ‘many years artist and operator at Moss and the Vandyck studio in Melbourne’
First advertisement appears in the Maitland Mercury 10 July 1894; last advertisement 27 March 1895 


George Kedwell’s photographic business was acquired by the Venice Studios of Sydney, under the management of Mr. Tonge, in May 1904. [19]

A month later, John Pickering makes an encore appearance in Maitland as manager of the Venice Studios. [20]

Young Australian Portrait Gallery


The ‘Young Australian Portrait Gallery’ may have been a studio name of Spragg’s invention, since it is not referred to again by Spragg or any other photographic studio. [21]

[1] Hannavy, John (ed.) Encyclopedia of 19th century-photography, Routledge, New York, 2008.

[2] Maitland Mercury, 2 December 1871

[3] Maitland Mercury, 14 January 1873

[4] Maitland Mercury, 30 November 1872

[5] Maitland Mercury, 12 October 1878

[6] Maitland Mercury, 17 April 1880

[7] Sydney Morning Herald, 10 March 1888

[8] Maitland Mercury, 2 February 1889

[9] Maitland Mercury, 27 May 1893

[10] Maitland Mercury, 3 May 1887

[11] Barrie, Sandy. Australians behind the camera : directory of early Australian photographers, 1841 to 1945, S. Barrie, Sydney South, c2002.

[12] Barrie, Sandy. Australians behind the camera : directory of early Australian photographers, 1841 to 1945, S. Barrie, Sydney South, c2002.

[13] Maitland Mercury, 18 April 1863[14]

Maitland Mercury, 25 April 1863

[15] Maitland Mercury, 11 May 1867

[16] Maitland Mercury, 15 June 1867

[17] Maitland Mercury, 14 Nov 1874

[18] Maitland Advertising Medium, 10 May 1876

[19] Maitland Mercury, 13 May 1904

[20] Maitland Mercury, 4 July 1904

[21] Maitland Mercury, 23 May 1867