George Ward and his Camera
Amersham Museum’s 2024 calendar will feature 13 photographs from our George Ward collection of glass plate negatives.
George Ward (1860-1943) captured some iconic images of both people and buildings in Amersham around the turn of the last century. He was taught the rudiments of photography by the son of the proprietor of King’s Pharmacy which was where the Bucks Examiner was printed and where George started work as a delivery boy. This was a time when the format of wet collodion plate negatives was being replaced by dry plate negatives. Wet plate negatives had to be processed very quickly after exposure which made the whole process complicated and not very portable. Dry plate negatives, which were coated with a gelatin emulsion of silver bromide, were first produced in 1871 by Richard Leach Maddox and could be stored until exposure and then kept in a darkroom for development when convenient. Within ten years they had proved so popular they were mass produced and widely available. They remained so until the introduction of celluloid roll film and gelatin silver paper negatives in the 1920s. Glass plate negatives were very fragile and needed careful handling and storage. Many of George Ward’s photos were given to our museum by local historian, Jean Archer, and have now been digitised.
More of George Ward’s photographs can be viewed on our website and a book ‘Amersham 1880 to 1930 through the lens of George Ward’ is available from our shop.
The 13 photographs in our calendar feature both well-known buildings and events from over 100 years ago and capture the spirit of a bygone age. The calendar will be on sale at our museum shop and also from our online shop, we are offering it at the same price as last year of £8.50 per copy.
The photograph shown here is from the cover of our 2024 calendar and shows celebrations at the post office of the relief of Mafeking in May 1900. The post office, which is a Victorian building, is now part of Amersham Museum