Victorian Cartes de Visite and Cabinet Cards of
Redhill and Reigate

 
     
 

Photographic portraiture was very popular in Victorian times via the medium of the carte de visite and the cabinet card. Millions were produced and although many have since been lost or destroyed plenty still exist for us to see today. Their survival lies not just in the large quantities produced but also in the fact that they were sturdily made. Unfortunately few that portray ordinary people bear anything on them to tell us who the person was. Nevertheless most show us a style of dress and outward appearance that make them worth a second look in this digital age. They also the photographer's art. This page shows examples of cartes de visite and cabinet cards that were produced by Redhill and Reigate photographers. Those shown are part of the author's collection unless otherwise acknowledged.

 
     
     
 Many thanks are extended to photography historian David Simkin, who has provided a a great deal of information, including the history of the carte de visite and cabinet card below.
David's own website
www.photohistory-sussex.co.uk deals with the photo-history of photographers of Sussex.
 
     
     
 Cartes de visite were small photographic paper prints on card mounts. In the early 1850s a number of French photographers put forward the idea of mounting a small photographic portrait on a card the same size as the customary calling card. In 1854, a Parisian photographer called Andre Adolphe Disderi (1819-1889) devised a multi-lens camera with a collodion plate that could be moved to capture between four and twelve small portraits on a single glass negative. This meant that a photographer equipped with a camera with four lenses could take a total of eight portraits, in a variety of poses, all on one camera plate. From the resulting negative, the photographer could produce a set of contact prints on albumenized paper, which could then be cut up and pasted on to small cards. The card mounts were the same size as conventional visiting cards (roughly 21/2 inches by 41/4 inches, and so this new format of photograph came to be known as 'carte de visite', which is French for 'visiting card'.
.... In 1857, Marion and Co, a French firm of photographic dealers and publishers, introduced the carte de visite (cdv) format to England. By 1859, the carte de visite portrait was fashionable in Paris but had not become immediately popular in this country. In May 1860, John Jabez Edwin Mayall, who was later to open a photographic studio in Brighton, made a number of portraits of the Royal Family. Mayall was given permission to publish the portraits of the Royal Family as a set of cartes de visite. In August 1860, the cartes were released in the form of a Royal Album, comprising of 14 small portraits of Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and their children. The Royal Album was an immediate success, and the cartes sold in their hundreds of thousands. This publication of a set of royal portraits started a fashion in Britain for collecting carte de visite portraits of famous people.
 
     
 1aAn example of the carte de visite. In this case the portrait is in the form of an oval shape but this is not typical. What is typical is the photographer’s name on the front and in much greater detail on the reverse. In this caser the photographer is that of H.Sanders of Station Road, Red Hill. The ‘Red Hill’ format of the town’s name would indicate that this might be a carte dating from about 1865-80.1b 
     
 The cabinet portrait format was introduced in 1866 by the London photographer Frederick Richard Window. This was a photographic print mounted on a sturdy card measuring 41/4 by 61/2 inches. F. R. Window believed the larger dimensions of the 'cabinet print' (4 by 51/2 inches) would enable the professional photographer to demonstrate his technical and artistic skill and produce portraits of a higher quality than the smaller carte de visite would allow. Although introduced in 1866 the cabinet portrait did not really establish itself until after the invention of dry plate photography and the reduction in plate exposure times to a fraction of a second. The arrival of "instantaneous photography" around 1880 allowed the cabinet format to be used to its full potential. The cabinet photograph increased in popularity in the late 1880s and 1890s, as the demand for carte de visite portraits declined. Much larger than the carte de visite, the size of the cabinet portrait card made it particularly suitable for groups and family portraits. The introduction of "instantaneous photography" ensured that even restless and fidgety children in group portraits could be captured sharply by the camera.
..... The new cabinet card was so called presumably because a large photograph on a stout card could be displayed on a wooden cabinet or similar piece of furniture. The Scottish photographer George Washington Wilson (1823-1893) had produced 'cabinet' sized landscape views as early as 1862, but F.R.Window had adopted the large format specifically for portraiture.
 
     
 2Two examples of the cabinet card. They were considerably larger than the carte de visite although not shown here to proper scale. In both these cases the information about the photographer is on the front and the reverse is blank, except that someone has written Xmas 94 on the one on the right, but many cards had as decorative reverse as the smaller carte de visite. The photographer in this case is the Red Hill Photo Company of 17 Station Road Redhill, which was next to St Matthew's Church. The use of the 'Red hill' form of the town's name would again indicate an earlier date than 1894 but perhaps sometimes the form persisted in company names. The woman shown is the same on both cards.3 
     
 None of the images shown on this page are to actual size but the smaller carte de visite and one of the cabinet cards from above are shown here alongside a ruler to give an indication of the difference between them.4 
    
 .... A collecting craze known as Cartomania grew in late Victorian times and it is thought that three to four hundred million items were produced annually. Cartes-de-visite and cabinet cards could bear photos of art subjects, special occasions, events and famous people. It was also attractive to ordinary people to have themselves portrayed in as good a way as possible. They could buy several copies of the photo and then distribute them to others. Many Victorian albums contain pictures not just of family but of neighbours and friends. 
    
 Redhill and Reigate photographers. The following is examples of the work of, and information about, some of the photographers who have produced cartes-de-visite and cabinet cards in Redhill and Reigate. All images are numbered for reference. 
     
 5Left, another example of the work of
H.Sanders of Redhill.
  
     
 6   78
 Many of the subjects were presented three quarter face, either standing or sitting, as in these three cartes de visites. The portrait of the seated lady was done by Alan Richardson at the Wray Park Studio, Reigate. The centre photo of the lady standing was done by Berwick Photo of Reigate. The right hand photo, which has the name ‘Mrs Howcroft’ written on the back, was taken by Edwin Debenham of Reigate. It dates from c1871-1881. . 
     
  
     
     
     
     
 Edwin Debenham came from a family of Suffolk photographers. He was born in about 1846 and during his life and
career moved about the country extensively. He first set up business with his brother, Arthur, in Ryde in the Isle of Wight and by 1869 had his own studio in Reigate. By 1881 he was at Holdenhurst in Hampshire. He was working in York in 1891 and Gloucester ten years later. It seems he also worked at Edinburgh and Weymouth. He photographed important people of the time - one subject was Oscar Wilde - and examples of his work are in the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Edwin married Marie Lachenal, a player and teacher of the concertina, in 1868. Her father, Louis Lachenal, was a maker of the instrument. Three of their sons, Arthur, Edwin and Leonard, also entered the photography profession.

Other researchers have suggested that Edwin Debenham arrived in Reigate in 1869. We do have firm documentary evidence that Edwin Debenham and his family were living in Reigate between 1870 and 1871. The birth of Edwin's son, Arthur Jules Debenham, was registered in Reigate during the 4th Quarter of 1870 and Edwin Debenham and his family are recorded in Reigate when the census was taken on 2nd April 1871. Edwin's second son, Edwin Holford Debenham, was born in London during the 1st Quarter of 1872, but the attached cdv, inscribed "Nov 1872", suggests that he was still operating a studio in Reigate. By 1876, Edwin Debenham was living in Weymouth, Dorset.
 
     
     
 111213 
 Portraits on cartes de visite (left and right) and cabinet cards (centre) can be dated in many cases by the style of hair and dress. The styles vary from photo to photo, no more so than in these three examples. The one on the left was taken by Ballantine Thorp of 31, Station Road, Redhill, and the centre one by E.Dann and Son of Brighton Road, Redhill. The portrait on the right is by J.Beard of Reigate, a lady whose studio is describe on the reverse as being opposite the railway station. Her studio address on the reverse of this photo is shown simply as Reigate, but on another photo seen is more fully shown as 3, Homesdale Road, Reigate (the road name of Holmesdale being mis-spelt). Information about J. Beard, kindly provided by David Simkin, appears below. 
     
   
 Jane Beard - In 1871, the photographer Jesse Holloway was based at 1 Hampden Road, Brighton. After his first wife, Sarah, died early in 1871, he was joined by his widowed sister, Jane Beard, who was born in 1837 at Grateley, Hampshire, and was then a dressmaker. She had married William Beard in 1862 but her husband had died six years later in 1868.
The young widow entered into a business partnership with her brother to form the photography firm of Holloway & Beard and they
embarked on a photographic 'provincial tour' of the southern counties. The following year (1872), the firm of Holloway & Beard went on a second provincial tour, eventually arriving in Reigate around 1873. The brother and sister partnership acquired Edgar Drewett's former studio in in Holmesdale Road opposite the Railway Station. Edgar Drewett had owned this photographic studio in Reigate between 1861 and 1869. A year later, in 1874, Jesse Holloway married Caroline Payne and around this time took over the studio of his brother Edgar Holloway, also a photographer, at Croydon, Surrey. Jane Beard remained in Reigate, operating the photographic portrait studio at 3 Holmesdale Road, Reigate. At the time of the 1881 census Jane was still there, residing on the premises and operating the photographic business in her name. On the census she is described as a 31 years-old 'Photographer' (even though she was then 43). Jane retired in the mid or late 1880s and went to live at Cheltenham, Gloucester, where her brother Jesse Holloway was then working as a portrait photographer. Jesse Holloway died in Cheltenham in 1896, aged 56. Jane Beard died there in 1914, aged 77.
David Simkin.
 
     
     
 More examples of the work of Jane Beard (Courtesy David Simkin)  

 

     
 Henry Peach Robinson & Son, Rembrandt Studio, Redhill (1888-1942). The Redhill studio of H.P.Robinson & Son was managed by Ralph Winwood Robinson (1861-1942), the son of the eminent photographic artist Henry Peach Robinson. After his marriage to Janet Reid (1857-1944) on 28th November 1887, Ralph W. Robinson took over his father's studio in Station Road, Redhill. A Surrey trade directory published in 1891 shows the firm of H.P.Robinson & Son at 4 and 6 Linkfield Corner, Station Road, Redhill. At the time of the 1891 census, Ralph W. Robinson, described as a 39 year old photographer, was living at Alma Road, Reigate, with his family plus three servants. Ralph W. Robinson lived and worked in the Redhill/Reigate area until his death at the Rembrandt Studio on 11th April 1942 aged 80. David Simkin. 
     
     
 22Other subjects were presented facel on as though they were fully comfortable in front of a camera, like the man on the left, who wished to say, ‘Look! This is me!’ This cartes de visite is another by J.Beard of Reigate.

The man on the right who, with arms akimbo certainly seems sure of himself, is another good example of the full-on treatment, as if he is he saying 'Look at me' or 'Look at my dog'? The animal could be an example of the use of photographers props or perhaps belonged to the man and was a renowned rabbit or rat catcher. Plenty of props can be seen in other photos in this article but the use of animals was not unusual. The photographer is Dann & Sons of Redhill and the only way to know if the dog was a prop is if it appears in more of his works.

23 
     
 24Other ways of presenting oneself were as if occupied, as is the lady reading a book, or in uniform as in the boy who may have just started his first job at the Post Office or the Railway Station and is perhaps spending some of his first week's wages recording the fact.

The lady was photographed by Alan Richardson of Reigate on a cartes de visite.

The portrait of the boy is by J.J.Merrett whose studio was at 28 Station Road, Redhill, which was three premises west of the Wesleyan Church on the south side of the road. In 1891 he was living with his family at Claremont House, 37 Grovehill Road and was still there in 1899. More information on J.J.Merrett supplied by David Simkin follows. On the reverse of the carte it states that the business was establised in 1865. This early date would refer to it being the business of previous photographers, one possibly being H.Sanders.

25 
     
     
 John Joseph Merrett was born in Mickleham, Surrey, in 1851. After his marriage to Maria Channer in 1880 he established a studio in Redhill. He died in the district of Reigate during the 4th quarter of 1902 aged 51. David Simkin.

John Joseph Merret is shown on the 1891 and 1901 censuses as living at Claremont House, 37 Grove Hill Road, Redhill. In the 1885 Redhill street directory I.Merritt (sic) is shown at 28 Station Road. By 1899 Nicholas Flint had taken over the studio. By 1913 the whole of Station Road had been renumbered and at the same premises, now no. 72, was photographer Arthur Watson.. AJM

 
     
   
     
 27Head and shoulders photos, as in these cartes, were also popular. The one on the left is by the Surrey Photographic Studio, which superseded Debenham and Richardson at the Wray Park Studio. The one on the right by H.P.Robinson & Son of the Rembrandt Studio, Redhill.

Information about Alan Richardson supplied by David Simkin appears below.

28 
     
     
 Alan William Richardson, born c1850 at Croydon, Surrey, was the owner of the Wray Park Studio before it was taken over by Charles Lenthall in 1881. Alan Richardson was described as a professional photographer in the P.O directory of Surrey in 1878. He retired from photography in 1881. In the census of that year 31 year old Alan Richardson was living at Ramsgate, Kent, living off 'dividends etc.' David Simkin 
     
     
 323334 
 Portraits of children are naturally as numerous as any other study types. In some the child might seem perfectly at ease, as in the photo top left by J.J.Merrett of Station Road, Redhill, or perhaps in wonderment at what was going on, as in the centre photo, which has written on the reverse 'Winifred, 2 Years', and is another example of the work of Edwin Debenham of 51 London Road, Reigate. The right hand photo above is by Charles.R.Lenthal of the Wray Park Studio, Reigate. All three are cartes de visite. 
 Information on the Dann family of photographers, kindly provided by David Simkin, appears below 
    
    
 Edwin Dann was born around 1831 in Cuckfield, Sussex, the son of Edward Dann, a master cooper, and his wife, Ann. In the 1851 census Edwin is described as a 'Cooper Journeyman' aged 20, living at Back Lane, Cuckfield. His father, Edward Dann, died in the summer of 1851. In 1855 the business in Cuckfield was being run by his wife, Ann Dann. In 1861 Edwin Dann, now aged 30, was living in Cuckfield Town with his wife, Mary, and three children. Also shown on the 1861 census, and staying with Edwin Dann, was Edward Gilby, aged 27 and a photographer. He may have given Edwin some instruction on photoghraphy, although Edwin may already have been producing photographs, for on 8th February 1862, the Sussex Agricultural Express newspaper reported; 'Mr Dann, our native photographist, has been taking some very pretty views of the interior of the church, that are well executed. His sketches and portraits are really admirable, and we are pleased to see him so well patronised'. In 1866 and 1870 Edwin is listed in the Post Office Directory as a photographer, and in the 1871 census as a 'photographer, cooper etc.'
Precisely when Edwin came to Redhill is not known but as he is not listed as being at Cuckfield in 1874 it could have been around this time. From 1884 Dann & Son are listed at The Excelsior Studios, Brighton Road, Redhill. The premises were at no. 83a. Edwin's wife, Mary, died in 1889 aged 59. Edwin died in Redhill in 1896 aged about 65. His son, Thomas, continued the business. By 1927 Dann photographers is not listed at 83 Brighton Road, instead there is another photgrapher there by the name of E.Virgo. Thomas, born in about 1867, if still living would have been about 60 years of age by this time but what happened to him is unknown as he is not listed as a resident, nor as having a business elsewhere, in the Redhill street directory of this year. David Simkin
 
    
 
    
 49

The carte above by Smith & Co. of the Clarendon Studio, London Road, Redhill, has an accompanying carte (right) in which the parents also appear and which one assumes were shot in the same session. These two cartes are different from others seen so far in that they seem to have been taken at the home of the family pictured and not in the studio, and also are in black and white against the sepia of many others..

50 
     
 525354 
 Portraits of multiple numbers of people are not uncommon. The couple on the right are possibly man and wife and the card is another example of the work of the Surrey Photographic Co. at the Wray Park Studio, Reigate. The other two are possibly both pairs of sisters. Both are by E.Dann & Sons of Brighton Road, Redhill, and the one on the left has the name C.Lewis written on the back. It was not unusual for such photos to be taken to mark an event, which could be a happy one such as a betrothal, marriage or birthday, or sad and taken at the time of a bereavement. When it comes to determining which portraits are marking bereavement the task is made difficult by the fact that it is difficult to find any in which the subject is smiling. 
     
 57Two cartes that cannot be taken to represent anything other than bereavement are shown here. On the left the photo is of a grave. This is another unusual example in that there is no photographer’s marking of any kind one either the front or the reverse. The wording on the grave is: ‘In fond memory of John, the loved and loving husband of Anne Lane, who entered into rest May 24th 1901. What makes it local is that the base of the stone has the stonemason’s name as Burton & Sons, Redhill. Perhaps the late date and lack of making make disqualify it from being a cabinet card in strict terms, but its mounting and size are otherwise the same.
In the photo on the right by A.E.Walker of 19 London Road, Redhill, a woman is tending a grave, another example of non-studio work.
58 
     
 59Sometimes portraits of local dignitaries or personalities crop up. The photo on the left is of Dr William Judson van Someren, sometime of Linkfield Lane, Redhill. In a booklet on the history of Shrewsbury Chapel by Christopher Bull, it is stated that Dr William Judson van Somersen parted with a portion of his back garden in order to erect the hall in Shrewsbury Road, the first building to belong to the Redhill Plymouth Brethren, apparently having acquired the land from the Rev. Henry Brass. The transfer of the land was made in 1888 and he may have moved at the same time. The photo was taken in 1887. This date is known because the same study appears in a book of local dignitaries published that year to mark the diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. The portrait on the right is believed to be Harriet, the wife of Dr Somersen. Both cabernet cards by H.P.Robinson and Son of Redhill.60 
     
 64On the left is another example of the work of E.Dann & Sons of Redhill. Pictures of mothers with very young babies don't always work perfectly but this one is well executed by the photographer.

The photo on the right is by a photographer whose work has not so far appeared on this page. It is a study of a man by Arthur Bilcliffe of 95, Earlswood Road, Redhill.

65 
     
 
     
 Ferdinand Charles Otto (also recorded as Charles Ferdinand Otto) was born in Germany around 1835. In 1857, in the Essex district of West Ham (now part of East London), Ferdinand Charles Otto married Harriett Macilwain (born 1835, South London). Ferdinand and Harriett Otto settled in the Canning Town district of West Ham, where two sons were born - (Ferdinand) Charles Otto (born 1860, Canning Town, Essex), William Richard Otto (born 1863, Canning Town, Essex). In 1863, Ferdinand Otto was based in North Woolwich Road, West Ham. (An Essex trade directory published in 1863, lists Ferdinand Otto at North Woolwich Road, West Ham, under the heading of "Hairdressers, etc").
By 1864, Ferdinand Charles Otto and his family had moved to Redhill, Surrey, where Ferdinand Otto established himself as a professional photographer in Redhill's High Street. A daughter named Minnie Cordelia Otto was born in Redhill (registered in the district of Reigate) during the 3rd Quarter of 1864 and was baptised at St John's Church, Redhill, on 21st May 1865. A second daughter, Elizabeth Flora Otto, was born in Redhill (registered in the district of Reigate) during the 3rd Quarter of 1866 and was baptised at St Matthew's Church, Redhill, on 21st October 1866.
Ferdinand Charles Otto died in Redhill during the 3rd Quarter of 1867, at the age of 32. (Death registered in the district of Reigate). After the death of her husband, Mrs Harriett Otto returned to the East London area with her four children. When the 1881 census was taken, Mrs Harriett Otto was recorded as a 46 year old widow (born Lambeth, Surrey), working as a dressmaker and lodging alongside her two sons at 43 Nelson Street, West Ham, Essex.
(Eighteen year old William Otto was working as a dock labourer, his older brother, Ferdinand Otto, is described as a twenty-one year old "Prtr Writer" (Painter/Sign Writer?). In the 1901 census, Ferdinand Otto junior is described as a "Decorator". (Ferdinand's brother, William Richard Otto, died in West Ham in 1898, aged 35).  Minnie Cordelia Otto had married Henry Richard Dedman, a West Ham-born labourer, in 1890. Mrs Harriett Otto, the widow of the Redhill photographer, died in West Ham in 1896, aged 61). Information by David Simkin.
 
     
     
 68Left - A portrait by J.J.Merrett, Station Road, Redhill

Right - This CDV is slightly different from the others as the photographer is Drewett of 47 High Street, Guildford, but he advertises himself at several other locations as well, one of which is Reigate. Added to that the lady's name is written under her portrait as Emma Moore. An Emma C. Moore was a domestic servant at Hammonds, the Reigate Drapers, in 1881, but there is no means of establishing if she is the same person as in the photo.

69 
     
 
 Edgar Drewett (c1823-1889) was the owner of several photographic studios in the South of England, one being at Holmesdale Road, later operated by Holloway & Beard and then Jane Beard on her own, but he himself was based in Guildford, Surrey. David Simkin 
    
    
 ..... This receipt for 12 cartes from the studio of Edgar Drewett (who produced the Carte above right) dates from December 1871. The price of 18/6 maeans that individual photos were priced at eighteen and a half old pence each, which seems a great deal of money for the time, although on the receipt it does say 'best', so they were top quality. The receipt has the date 1861 overwritten to be 1871 and one wonders whether the company had been in existence since 1861 and still had some receipts left, in which case they had massivly over-ordered them, or whether the 1861 date was a mistake by the printer.
...... The buyer, Mr Sampson, was an ancestor of David Clark who kindly sent in the receipt. His full name was actually Sampson Sampson, and with his father was in the hops/brewing business. Sampson was a very wealthy man. He owned the Maltings in Farnham, now a centre for cultural activities. David says that the Sampsons lived at Farham (see picture of his house).and the photos are assumed to have originally been obtained from the Aldershot premises of Edgar Drewett. Sadly David does not have any of those original photos.Many thanks to David Clark for the receipt and the interesting history that goes with it.
 
    
 737475 
 Another by J.Beard of Reigate; his/her work is also seen in 8 above.A photo from F&F Knight of the Lesbourne Estate, Reigate. The mounting card is unprinted and the name is affixed on a label on the
reverse.
Another carte from Drewett (see also 33 and receipt above). This example is numbered 106677x and may well have been taken at one of his studios other than Reigate. 
     
 The name on the front of this ccarte is A. Richardson but this is another example of the work of Charles R. Lenthal seen also in item 17 above. The reverse has Alan Richardson logo overstamped by the words, ''CHARLES R. LENTHAL, LATE ALAN RICHARDSON, PHOTOGRAPHER, REIGATE'. Presumably Lenthal had had no time to fully establish himself with his own printed cards (see below) when this photo was taken7677 
     
 By the time this photo of two ladies was taken Charles Lenthall had his own mounting cards printed.

See information on C.R.Lenthall by David Simkin below.

7879 
     
     
 Charles Robertson Lenthall (1847-1927) was the son of London photographer Henry Lenthall (1819-1897).
He operated from the Wray Park Studio from 1881-1893. David Simkin
 
     
      
 Another style used by Lenthal. Which of the two shown was the earlier is unknown.80a80b 
     
 8182More carte de visites by Lenthal of Reigate. This time the people are named as Mr and Mrs Stenning. The reverse is the same as 36b above. See the same two people below by a Brighton photographer. 
     
 8384Unusually portraits of the same two people as above, again cartes de visite, can be seen here, this time taken by photographer C.Hawkins of Brighton. 
     
     
     
 8788 
 A nice portrait by of a couple in a natural and relaxed pose by E Dann & Son of Brighton Road, Redhill.Another studio portrait by the Wray Park Studio at Reigate 
    
 89a89b 
 A potrait of a Victorian lady by Dann & Son of Brighton Road Redhill. It is wondered if she went into his studio with the hat and brolly or whether they were props. The stamp on the reverse may be an early version.. 
    
 90This cabinet cardv was sent in by Philip Davies. Taken in 1895 it shows his great grandmother with her four daughters. They at that stage either lived at 154 Cromwell Road, Redhill or 12 Upper Bridge Road, Redhill. Philip's grandmother is the little girl on the left hand side. She married Wally Ward who was a regular at the Dragon pub in Redhill and his picture features under the Dragon part of the Pubs of Redhill page on this website. 
    
 
     
 The end of the Carte de Visite and Cabinet Card
If you are going to give a portrait of yourself perhaps a postcard is better than a cdv or cabernet card as it more easily carries a message and, just as importantly for us, a name, as well as being able to be posted. The popularity of the postcard from the first years of the 1900s heralded the end of the carte de visite and cabinet card.
 
     
     
 These two postcards perhaps owe a little to the cabernet card in style. With a postcard back they carry the name, in the form of the stter's signature, on the bottom front. On the left is George W. Danniel, vicar of St. Matthew's Church, Station Road, Redhil, 1904-1926. On the right is his son, Murice Alleyn Daniell, curate at the same church 1919-1928. 
 
 9495
 Neither of these postcards benefit from a name boldly written on their fronts. On the left is a postcard by Harry Snook of the Milton Studio, Lesbourne Road, Reigate. On the reverse is witten; "Dear Alice, Just a few lines wishing you a happy Christmas and a bright New Year. From your old friend, Elsie Stonehouse." The word 'Stonehouse' is written smaller the rest of the text but is squeezed in at the bottom of the card so we can't tell if the young woman was Elsie Stonehouse or Elsie from the large house in Reigate with that name. See web page about The Stonehouse.

On the right a postcard carries a picture of a private soldier serving with the 16th London Regiment Queens Westminster Rifles dated 7.6.18. The photo is by E.G.Warren of Redhill and it spite of fact that a name and message could be added to the reverse this card this is the only name on the card so the soldier remains anonymous.

 
     
     
   
 The above is just a fraction of the thousands of CDVs and Cabernet cards that must have been produced by Redhill and Reigate photographers, not all of whom will be represented here. If any reader has any comments to make on the above images, which are numbered for reference, or can supply scans of cartes de visite in their posession (or scans of them) by Redhill or Reigate photographers, please contact author. 
   
 
Photographers featured on this page are:
Richmond Barnes, Redhill
Beard J., The Photographic Studio, Reigate (opposite the station)
Bewick, Reigate
Bilcliffe, Arthur, 95, Earlswood Road, Redhill (listed in 1899 street directory)
Dann, E. & Sons, The Excelsior Studio, 83, Brighton Road, Redhill (listed in 1899 street directory)
Debenham, Edwin, 5 London Road, Reigate
Drewett, 47 High St., Guildford, Reigate, Lewisham, Dorking, Blackheath and Basingstoke.
Flint, 28 Station Road, Redhill. (listed in 1899 street directory)
Hawkins of Brighton
Holloway & Beard, The Photographic Studio, Reigate (opposite the station)
Knight F. & F., The Lesbourne Estate, Reigate
Lenthall C.R., The Wray Park Studio, Reigate
Merrett, J.J., Station Road, Redhill
Otto, F., High Street, Redhill.
Richardson, Alan, The Wray Park Studio, Reigate
Robinson, London Road, Reigate.  
Robinsonson H.P. & Son, Rembrandt Studio, Redhill (listed in 1899 street directory)
Sanders, Station Road, Redhill
Smith & Co., Clarendon Studio, Redhill (listed in 1899 street directory at 19 London Road)
Snook, Harry, The Milton Studio, Lesbourne Road, Reigate.
Surrey Photographic Co., Wray Park Studio, Reigate
Thorp, Ballantine, 31 Station Road, Redhill
Virgo, E.
Walker A.E., 19 London Road, Redhill
Other photographers noted
Hill & Co. 4, Carlton Terrace, Station Road (1899 Kelly's
Levard (female, 1901) 31 Station Road (reference seen on another website)
Redhill Photographic Company, The, 17 Station Road, Redhill (next to St Matthew's Church).
Smith, Frederick G., 71 Station Rd. next to St Matthew's Church (1913 Kelly's) poss same as Smith & Co.
Watson, Arthur (1913) 72 Station Road.
 
    
 Finally  
 Cartes de visite and cabinet cards by photographers local to where you live are interesting but give a glimpse of an age gone by whatever the location . Some carry identification but frustratingly the vast majority carry no identification to the person whose picture is on it. Then now and then one comes along with not only a name but additional information that serves only to pose more questions; the one below, although not by a Redhill or Reigate photographer, is a good example. 
    
 96a96b 
 
There is nothing to say who the photographer was or where the photo was taken - it's what's written on the back 0f this carte de visite that's so intriguing.
Thomas Cartwright. He rose high but fell low - carrying with him the respect of those he knew - he was too honest to retain out of the wreck of an immense fortune enough to live upon. 
   
 Who was Thomas Cartwright? How did he rise? How did he make that fortune? What caused his fall? What is his story? 
 If you can answer any of those questions please contact author.