James Bacon & Sons

Later, James Bacon & Sons Ltd


Until 1934, James Bacon & Sons were described in the Edinburgh trade directories as: Photographers & Miniature Painters.

From 1935  onwards, James Bacon & Sons Ltd were described in these directories as:  Photographers


The address given in the trade directories for James Bacon & Sons and later for the limited company was 130 Princes Street for about 35 years from 1917, and 101a Princes Street for one year only, 1921.

However at a Meeting of the Edinburgh Professional Photographers' Association in 1918, their address was given as Hanover Street.

The Business

Thank you to Jim Rothery of Edinburgh for the following recollections of James Bacon & Son.  Jim has had a life-long interest in photography. He worked as a messenger for James Bacon & Son in 1929.

Jim wrote:


Edinburgh Studio

"On the first floor above street level there was a Reception Room with two glass show cases containing photos.  The reception room led into the studio.

The photographer was Mr Thomson.  He lived with his wife in a flat above his studio at 130 Princes Street.  He also visited some of the larger houses in Edinburgh to photograph weddings, travelling with his large box camera by public transport.

The company also employed an elderly gentleman who did the processing, a receptionist, a typist and three ladies who did the  retouching.  (Jim Rothery also helped with some of the retouching work.)

James Bacon & Sons also had another business, probably in Newcastle"


Newcastle  Studios

Yes, Jim, James Bacon & Sons also had studios in Newcastle.  They were at these addresses from 1881 onwards:


J Bacon

87 Northumberland Street


J Bacon

105 Northumberland Street


J Bacon

81 Northumberland Street

or later ***

J Bacon & Sons

81 Northumberland Street

***  In fact, it was considerably later.  See comments below


Warwick Brown wrote to me:


Newcastle-on-Tyne and Liverpool

"I came across a portrait of myself, aged 2, taken in July 1941 at the James Bacon & Sons Studio at 81 Northumberland Street, Newcastle upon Tyne.

On the reverse, there is mention of what was presumably the only other Branch at that date.   This was at 17 + 19 Basnett Street, Liverpool. 

The picture is mounted on stiff brown card and appears to be B&W somewhat tinted in a cream colour.

Warwick Brown, Hurstpierpoint, West Sussex, England: February 26, 2011

Richard A Mertl added:


Liverpool, Edinburgh, Newcastle-on-Tyne and Leeds

"I have a photo of my grandfather  by J Bacon & Sons, dating from around 1910-20.  It has the following note on the back;

James Bacon & Sons:

17-19 Basnett Street, Liverpool

Also at:

130 Princes Street, Edinburg

81 Northumberland Street, Newcastle-on-Tyne

38, Commercial Street, Leeds"

Richard A Mertl, Canada:  September 4, 2011


 Source of info for Newcastle studios:  PhotoHistorian Supplement No 117
 'Professional Photographers in Newcastle, Gateshead and Sunderland  1873-1920'

Published by the Historical Group of the Royal Photographic Society  ISSN 0957-0209.

Thank you also to Richard Baker for showing me a photograph of his Great Grand Mother, taken by James Bacon, 81 Northumberland Street, Newcastle on Tyne, probably in the 1890s.

Thank you to Richard A Mertl, Canada


James Bacon & Sons


Thank you to Frank Gadberry for allowing me to reproduce two of his James Bacon & Sons portraits, and the back of the frame for one of them.

Hand Tinted Photo Etching Portrait by James Bacon & Sons The back of a Hand Tinted Photo Etching ortrait by James Bacon & Sons Hand Tinted Photo Etching Portrait by James Bacon & Sons


James Bacon & Sons

Portrait on Silk

Thank you to Alan Taylor for allowing me to reproduce the photo 1 below, and ot Peter Byrne for allowing me to reproduce photos 2 and 3 below.


   James Bacon & Sons - Portrait on silk of a 1920s lady


   Portrait on silk by James Bacon & Sons


   Portrait on silk by James Bacon & Sons


James Bacon & Sons


Thank you to Ian Barker for allowing me to reproduce the image below.  This was the original image from which 'Portrait in Silk 3' above was made


   Portrait on silk by James Bacon & Sons


James Bacon & Sons

Pewter Portraits


Here is a query that I received by email from Canada in December 04:

Hammered Pewter Portrait

"We have recently inherited a hammered pewter portrait which we believe was done circa 1933 by James Bacon & Sons.

Do you have any idea of the value of such a portrait?  It is approximately 5" x 8".  The subject of the portrait is my father's sister as a young girl at about 3 years of age.

We were also  wondering whether this type of work is still being done and if so, if you have a contact in that regard."

If you can help to answer it, please email me.  Thank you.




Kathleen Tulip

Thank you to Kathleen Tulip for sending me this appealing picture by James Bacon.

Kathleen wrote:


"I have a beautiful picture/lithograph/ etching/photograph of a young girl by J Bacon:

Portrait by J Bacon of a girl with a book, suurrounded by fairies and goblins

I purchased it in a sale from a very posh house in Newcastle, England.  The owners had been in shipping.

As you can see, the girl is surrounded by goblins and fairies.  The girl's eyes are absolutely beautiful.

Kathleen Tulip:  April 7 + April 14, 2013

Please click on the thumbnail image above to enlarge it.


James Bacon  -  studio addresses and dates

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