Photographers Index

Frith, Francis, 1822-1898, photographer

Gender: Male
Active Dates: 1822 - 1898
Active Area: Africa (continent)
Europe (continent)
Asia (continent)
Egypt (nation)
United Kingdom (nation)
Great Britain (island)
British Isles (island group)
England (country)
Dead Sea (salt lake)
Gaza Strip (occupied territory)
Israel (nation)
Lebanon (nation)
Palestinian State (autonomous area)
Syria (nation)
West Bank (occupied territory)
Likenesses: None found.
Photographs: See list of photographs
Publications: For a list of Frith photographic publications see: Gernsheim, Helmut (1984), 'Incunabula of British photographic literature : a bibliography of British books illustrated with original photographs'. London: Scolar in association with Derbyshire College of Higher Education.
Related Entries: None found.
Francis Frith was born on December 7th 1822 in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England, to a Quaker family (Sackett 1994). He was educated at Ackworth School and Quaker Camp Hill School in Birmingham (Browne and Partnow 1983, p.212). After serving an apprenticeship with a Sheffield cutlery firm, he began a wholesale grocery firm, Liverpool, and later a printing firm (Sackett 1994). He took up photography in 1850 and in the mid-1850s retired from his successful business career. In 1853 he was one of the founders of the Liverpool Photographic Society (Turner 1995, p794). He made his first photographic visit to Egypt in 1856-57. He travelled on the Nile and photographed from Cairo to Abu Simbel. On his return he published a series of views which were enthusiastically received. He made a second trip with his assistant Frank Mason Good in late 1857. A third photographic trip was made in 1859 when Frith travelled beyond the Sixth Cataract. On his return from this third trip Frith set up as a photographer and publisher. His company produced a detailed record of English villages and towns, eventually becoming the largest mass production company in Europe.

In 1860 Frith married Mary Ann Rosling. They had five sons and three daughters. Frith died on February 25th 1898. His sons Eustace and Cyril continued the business (Sackett 1994). The firm survived until the 1960s.
Sources: Browne, Turner and Partnow, Elaine (1983), 'Macmillian biographical encyclopedia of photographic artists and innovators'. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.
Sackett, Terrance R. (1993) 'Francis Frith'. In: Dictionary of National Biography [CD-ROM]. [S.l.]: Oxford University Press, 1996.
Turner, Jane ed. (1996), 'The dictionary of art'. Volume 11. New York: Grove.

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