Timeline

 

Sawyer and Bird in partnerships

(1871-1889)

 

(This timeline covers the period from Sawyer and Bird’s first known collaboration up to Sawyer’s death and a little beyond, but it does not claim to be a full record of their work together. It simply presents some accumulated information and sources in chronological order. It represents work in progress and may be amended or augmented in the future. Where primary sources have been used, references are given; where no references are given, information should be regarded as subject to verification. For individual records of the partners see the separate Sawyer and Bird timelines.)

 

1871

March 21 (London Standard)

Earliest mention (found so far) of the Sawyer and Bird partnership.

March 23 (London Daily News)

Sawyer & Bird, ‘photographers and photo-dynamic printers, 87 Regent Street’ advertised cartes of the late Professor de Morgan.

November 14 (Exhibitions of the RPS, http://erps.dmu.ak.uk)

Sawyer & Bird (of 87 Regent Street) exhibited Portraits from Life at the annual exhibition of the London (later Royal) Photographic Society.

Date unknown

A photo-collographic printing department, under the management of J R Sawyer and W S Bird, was added to the Autotype Printing and Publishing Company.

 

1872

Autumn (Exhibitions of the RPS, http://erps.dmu.ak.uk)

A selection of pictures by the Autotype Fine Arts Company at the London Photographic Society’s annual exhibition included book illustrations and views of Norwich and London. (The Autotype Fine Arts Company was the publishing arm of the Autotype Printing and Publishing Company, much of the business of which was bought by Spencer, Sawyer and Bird the following year.)

 

1873

Date unknown

Sawyer and Bird joined with John Alexander Spencer to buy the manufacturing and printing side (patents, property and stock) of the Autotype Printing and Publishing Company of 36 Rathbone Place, London (founded 1868). The Autotype Fine Art Company continued as a separate concern until 1875.

Date unknown

Sawyer and Bird joined with Edward William Foxlee to form Sawyer, Bird and Foxlee at their 87 Regent Street studio.

January 11 (Lynn Advertiser)

The Norwich branch of Sawyer & Bird (managed by their ‘partner in Norwich’, Albert E Coe) began a year-long campaign of advertising to the King’s Lynn market.

August 2 (Lynn Advertiser)

Sawyer & Bird announced the completion of alterations to their Norwich studio in London Street, including new printing, enlarging and toning rooms and the hiring of new staff.

October 21 (Exhibitions of the RPS, http://erps.dmu.ak.uk)

A selection of pictures by Spencer, Sawyer, Bird & Co at the London Photographic Society’s annual exhibition included portraits and copies of engravings.

November 2 (The Era)

Spencer, Sawyer, Bird & Co showed several examples of the autotype process at a conversazione of the Royal Photographic Society.

 

1874

Date unknown

By 1874 (and possibly earlier) the Autotype Company had established works at Ealing Dene, London (later referred to as West Ealing). (The head office remained at a separate – though sometimes changing – address until well into the 20th century.)

Date unknown

Possible end of Sawyer, Bird and Foxlee partnership.

March 27 (London Gazette)

Partnership of Spencer, Sawyer and Bird (of Rathbone Place and Ealing Dean[sic]) dissolved, with Sawyer and Bird to continue running the Autotype business. (The partnership name, however, still occurs in occasional records until early 1876.)

October 20 (Exhibitions of the RPS, http://erps.dmu.ak.uk)

A selection of pictures by Spencer, Sawyer, Bird & Co at the Royal Photographic Society’s annual exhibition included autotype prints on opal glass and canvas.

 

1875

Autumn (Exhibitions of the RPS, http://erps.dmu.ak.uk)

A selection of pictures by Spencer, Sawyer, Bird & Co at the Royal Photographic Society’s annual exhibition included autotype cabinet prints and autotypes on ivory.

Unknown date (late in the year)

Sawyer and Bird bought the Autotype Fine Art Company and reintegrated it with the main autotype business.

 

1876

January 1 (The Examiner)

Spencer, Sawyer, Bird & Co advertised the Autotype printing process as the ‘best and cheapest method of permanent photographic book illustrations’.

September 8 (Exhibitions of the RPS, http://erps.dmu.ak.uk)

A selection of pictures by the Autotype Company at the Royal Photographic Society’s annual exhibition included Studies by Mrs Julia Cameron.

 

1877

October 9 (Exhibitions of the RPS, http://erps.dmu.ak.uk)

A selection of pictures by the Autotype Company at the Royal Photographic Society’s annual exhibition included Ancient Coins and Roman Medallions.

December 21 (London Gazette)

Sawyer & Bird, of 36 Rathbone Place, – and Paul Frederick Bird – gave notice of their intention to file an alteration of patent specifications for ‘improvements in the manufacture of photographic pictures’.

 

1878

October 8 (Exhibitions of the RPS, http://erps.dmu.ak.uk)

A selection of pictures by the Autotype Company at the Royal Photographic Society’s annual exhibition included Windsor Castle and Cordelia’s Portion.

 

1879

October 4 (Exhibitions of the RPS, http://erps.dmu.ak.uk)

A selection of pictures by the Autotype Company at the Royal Photographic Society’s annual exhibition included photographs from drawings by Ford Madox Brown and Holman Hunt.

 

1880

c.1880

Autotype Company headquarters moved from 36 Rathbone Place to 512 Oxford Street.

 

October 2 (Exhibitions of the RPS, http://erps.dmu.ak.uk)

A selection of pictures by the Autotype Company at the Royal Photographic Society’s annual exhibition included Mr Irving as Hamlet.

 

1881

c.1881

Autotype Company headquarters moved from 512 Oxford Street to 74 Oxford Street.

c.1881 (H Baden Pritchard, The Photographic Studios of Europe, Piper & Carter, 1882)

H Baden Pritchard visited the works at Ealing Dene and described the operation and processes.

October 8 (Exhibitions of the RPS, http://erps.dmu.ak.uk)

A selection of pictures by the Autotype Company at the Royal Photographic Society’s annual exhibition included The Princes in the Tower and Carnarvon Castle.

 

1882

October 9 (Exhibitions of the RPS, http://erps.dmu.ak.uk)

A selection of pictures by the Autotype Company at the Royal Photographic Society’s annual exhibition included Articles of the Magna Charta, with Seal of King John.

 

1883

July 10 (London Gazette)

Partnership of Sawyer, Bird and Coe dissolved, with Coe to continue running the Norwich business alone. (Coe had been Sawyer and Bird’s manager. He was described as ‘their partner in Norwich’ as early as 1873, but the business had still been trading as Sawyer and Bird until 1883.)

September 15 (The Graphic)

A portrait of Professor Henrici by Sawyer, Bird & Foxlee (87 Regent Street) accompanied a notice of a meeting of the President and Sectional Presidents of the British Association. A portrait of W Pengelly Esq. was by Sawyer & Bird (Norwich and Yarmouth). These portraits are likely to have been taken some years before, and the Sawyer, Bird & Foxlee partnership probably ended in the mid-70s.

October 8 (Exhibitions of the RPS, http://erps.dmu.ak.uk)

A selection of pictures by the Autotype Company at the Royal Photographic Society’s annual exhibition included Cave Temples, India and Miss Ellen Terry.

 

1884

1884 or earlier

Sawyer’s son Charles was a partner in the Autotype Company.

 

October 6 (Exhibitions of the RPS, http://erps.dmu.ak.uk)

A selection of pictures by the Autotype Company at the Royal Photographic Society’s annual exhibition included images of Derwent Water and Rheims Cathedral.

 

1885

October 5 (Exhibitions of the RPS, http://erps.dmu.ak.uk)

A selection of pictures by the Autotype Company at the Royal Photographic Society’s annual exhibition included a portrait of John Ruskin.

 

1886

October 4 (Exhibitions of the RPS, http://erps.dmu.ak.uk)

A selection of pictures by the Autotype Company at the Royal Photographic Society’s annual exhibition included The Infant Venus.

 

1887

October 3 (Exhibitions of the RPS, http://erps.dmu.ak.uk)

A selection of pictures by the Autotype Company at the Royal Photographic Society’s annual exhibition included Cinderella and The Industrial Arts of Peace.

 

1888

October 1 (Exhibitions of the RPS, http://erps.dmu.ak.uk)

A selection of pictures by the Autotype Company at the Royal Photographic Society’s annual exhibition included Interior of Ripon Cathedral.

 

1889

October 4 (Exhibitions of the RPS, http://erps.dmu.ak.uk)

After Sawyer’s death, the Autotype Company continued to contribute to the Royal Photographic Society’s annual exhibition. Pictures for 1889 included Ludlow Castle and Study of a Lion.

 

1893

c.1893

Walter Bird retired from the Autotype Company.

 

1896

1896 or earlier

Sawyer’s son Charles was the sole proprietor of the Autotype Company.

 

 

 

Return to Sawyer & Bird index

Return to home page