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Derbyshire Photographers' Profiles
by Brett Payne, of Tauranga, New Zealand
Alexander Thomas Harpur

of 14 Swinburne Street, Derby

After learning the trade at one of the larger firms in Derby, Alexander T. Harpur operated as a portrait photographer from home briefly in the mid-1890s.


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Alexander Thomas Harpur was born at Cardiff, Glamorganshire in 1872.  He was a son of printer and compositor Thomas Harpur (1845-1930) and Caroline Elizabeth Knight, and grandson of former Derby Borough surveyor Samuel Harpur (1820-1888).  The family moved back to Derby from Wales in 1874, where Thomas Harpur set up a printing business.  By 1891, when Alexander was eighteen years old, he was working as a photographer, presumably as an employee of one of the established firms.  He married Emily Holmes at Derby in 1900.

The cabinet card shown below was probably taken in the mid-1890s, so he appears to have operated on his own account for a brief period.  The address 14 Swinburne Street was that occupied by Thomas Harpur and family, including Alexander, in 1891, and Thomas was still listed there in 1895 and 1899 (Kelly).  However, by the time of the 1901 Census he was working as a printer in his father's business. 

Portfolio
Image © & courtesy of Brett Payne
Unidentified young woman
by Alex. T. Harpur of 14 Swinburne Street, Derby
Undated, but probably taken c.1893-1897

Format: Cabinet Card
Size: Mount 107 x 162.5 mm Photo 99.5 x 147 mm

Image © & courtesy of Brett Payne

Notes

Image © & courtesy of Brett Payne

References
Images kindly provided by Brett Payne
1841-1901 UK Census - online from Ancestry.com
FreeBMD
International Genealogical Index - online from the LDS church
North East Midland Photographic Record - Picture the Past
Wright C.N. (1874) Directory of South Derbyshire, Third Edition, October 1874, Derby.
Anon (1881) Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire, Kelly & Co., London.
Anon (1887) Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire, Kelly & Co., London.
Anon (1891) Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland & Nottinghamshire, Kelly & Co., London. University of Leicester's Digital Library of Historical Directories
Anon (1895) Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire, Kelly & Co. Limited, London.
Anon (1895) History, Topography, and Directory of Derbyshire, T. Bulmer & Co. - by kind courtesy of Sonia Addis-Smith
Anon (1899) Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland & Nottinghamshire, Kelly & Co., London. University of Leicester's Digital Library of Historical Directories
Anon (1912) Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire 1912, Kelly's Directories Ltd., London.
Anon (1932) Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire 1932, Kelly's Directories Ltd., London.
Adamson, Keith I.P. (1997) Professional Photographers in Derbyshire 1843 - 1914, The PhotoHistorian, No. 118 Supplement, September 1997, ISSN 0957-0209. Courtesy of John Bradley.
Craven, Maxwell (ed.) (1993) Keene's Derby, Breedon Books, Derby, pp. 200-202. - by kind courtesy of Sonia Addis-Smith

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