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Derbyshire Photographers' Profiles
by Brett Payne, of Tauranga, New Zealand
John Caloe & Sons

of Sheffield, Rotherham, Eckington, Sileby & Nottingham

John Caloe and his sons John and William operated a series of travelling outfits and permanent studios in Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire from c. 1870 until at least 1916.


Go straight to Portfolio


John Caloe was born between 1800 and 1805 in Sileby, Leicestershire.  He appears to have had a variety of occupations, and moved around the country a bit.  He spent some years in Salford and Liverpool, in Lancashire, with his wife Sarah, where at least four sons (John, Thomas William and George) and a daughter (Matilda) were born.  After Sarah's death in 1849 the family moved first to Halifax in Yorkshire, where John described himself as a mechanic in 1851, and where Matilda was married in 1856.  By 1858, when his eldest son John Caloe (born c.1839) was married, they had moved to Sheffield, and both John Caloe and his son were working as photographic artists.  John Caloe senior lived at 4 Effingham Street, Sheffield with his daughter and her family.  John Caloe junior occupied a "photographic caravan" in Rotherham, together with his wife Martha, infant John William, and two of his brothers, William Caloe (born c. 1844) and George Caloe (born c. 1845), who also described themselves as photographic artists.

By 1871, John Caloe junior had taken over the Sheffield studio - he was living with his wife Martha and six children at 19 Union Union Buildings, Corporation Street.  John Caloe senior, on the other hand, had returned to the town of his birth, and was living there with his second wife Catherine, son William Caloe, his wife Anne, and their two infant sons.  William was still working as a photographer, but his father described himself as a frame work knitter.  Their first son Albert had been born in Rotherham in about 1868, but the second John was born in Whiston in about September 1870.  In 1872 William and Anne had a daughter Elizabeth, born in Carbrook, situated half-way between Sheffield and Rotherham.  Adamson (1997) shows William Caloe (formerly of Rotherham) operating as a photographer at Eckington, between Rotherham and Chesterfield in neighbouring Derbyshire, in 1876. 
It was probably only priefly, because William's wife Anne died that year in Sheffield.  The widowed William moved back to Rotherham by 1881, where they moved in with his parents-in-law William and Elizabeth Heathcote at 119 Effingham Street.  The 1891 Census shows him at 147 Eastwood Lane, Rotherham, working as a slater, as his father-in-law had done, but by 1901, still at the same address, he had returned to the photographic profession.

Meanwhile, the eldest son John had moved back to Sileby between 1876 and 1880.  A trade directory for the latter date shows him working as a photographer in Sileby, and the 1881 Census shows the family living in Church Lane.  However by 1884, when his daughter Elizabeth was married, John had moved his family once again, this time to Basford, near Nottingham.  A trade directory for 1885 shows him operating from a studio in Nottingham Road in Old Basford, and Heathcote & Heathcote (n.d.) state that he was at this address until 1887.  In the following year he moved to Radford Road, also in Basford, and these premises remained open until 1900.  By 1891, when they were living at 62 Bailey Street in Basford, his son, John William Caloe (born c. 1859), had joined him in the business, and a new studio, operated by John Caloe & Son, appeared in a trade directory for that year at 3 Pilkington street, Bulwell - it remained open until 1895.  They also used a studio at Chelmsford Road, Basford, very briefly in 1893, and another at 64 Bailey Street, old Basford in 1908.  In 1910, the firm moved to 658 Radford Road, and remained there until at least 1916.  John William Caloe died in 1914.

Portfolio
Image © & collection of Brett Payne
Unidentified man with hand in jacket
by Caloe & Sons of Corporation Bridge & Penistone Road, Sheffield
Undated, but probably taken in the late 1860s

Format: Carte-de-visite
Size: Mount 63 x 96 mm (trimmed at base) Photo 55 x 92 mm

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Notes

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Image © & collection of Brett Payne Unidentified man
by Caloe of Sheffield
Undated, but probably taken in the late 1860s or early 1870s

Format: Carte-de-visite

Size: Mount 63.5 x 106 mm Photo 55 x 92.5 mm

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Notesxxx

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Image © & collection of Brett Payne
Unidentified woman
by Caloe of Sheffield
Undated, but probably taken in the late 1860s or early 1870s

Format: Carte-de-visite
Size: Mount 63 x 105 mm Photo 55 x 90 mm

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Notes

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Image © & courtesy of Brett Payne Unidentified woman
by J. Caloe of Corporation St, Sheffield
Undated, but probably taken in the early 1870s

Format: Carte-de-visite
Size: Mount 62 x 99 mm (trimmed at sides and base) Photo 55.5 x 93.5 mm

Image © & courtesy of Brett Payne

Notes

Image © & courtesy of Brett Payne

References
Images provided by Brett Payne
1841-1901 UK Census - online from Ancestry.com
FreeBMD
International Genealogical Index - online from the LDS church
The following trade directories have been accessed using the University of Leicester's online collection, Digital Library of Historical Directories:
- Wright's Directory of Leicestershire & Rutland, 1880
- History, Gazetteer & Directory of Nottinghamshire, 1885
- Kelly's Directory of Nottinghamshire, 1891
- Wright's Directory of Nottingham, 1894-95
- Wright's Directory of Nottingham, 1898-99
- White's Directory of Sheffield & Rotherham, 1905
- Wright's Directory of Nottingham, 1910-11
- Wright's Directory of Nottingham, 1913-14
- Wright's Directory of Nottingham, 1915-16
Heathcote, Bernard & Heathcote, Pauline (n.d.) Pioneers of Photography in Nottinghamshire, 1841-1910, Nottinghamshire County Council.
Heathcote, Bernard V. & Heathcote, Pauline F. (July 1979) Nottingham Photographic Studios in Victorian Times, The Royal Photographic Society Historical group.
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.

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