Bamforth and Co., Limited

This page is a bare-bones entry for a specific company or business. More detailed information may eventually be added. If you have any information relating to this company, please leave a comment or send an email!

Bamforth & Co. Ltd. was a publishing, film and illustration company established by James Bamforth (1842-1911).


The firm was established in 1870 by portrait photographer James Bamforth of Holmfirth. By the early 1880s, he had begun producing magic lantern slides, photographed at his studio at Station Road, Holmfirth.

By late 1897, the company was producing cinematographic films which were exhibited at local events.[1] In January 1899, James' son Harry Bamforth exhibited 30 of the company's films at the "annual treat to the aged poor" in Lockwood. According to the Huddersfield Chronicle, "the living pictures which were thrown upon the sheet [used as a screen] excited much wonder and admiration, and were intensely amusing to the whole company".[2] The company's first phase of film productions ended in 1902, with around 20 known shorts including "The Tramp and the Baby's Bottle", "The Kiss in the Tunnel" and the suffragette mocking "Women's Rights".

Following the death of James Bamforth, his son Edwin restarted film production and over a hundred short films were produced between 1914 and 1916, often starting Holmfirth residents. Over 40 "Winky" films were made, starring Reginald Switz[3] in the title role.

By the early 1900s, the firm had begun publishing sets of postcards, many of which were in the style of the company's lantern slides.


    Loading... ::::::omeka tag Bamforth of Holmfirth (Publishers):::

Further Reading

Notes and References

  1. An early example being Harry Bamforth giving "cinematograph view" at Holmfirth Parish Church in December 1897. Huddersfield Chronicle (01/Jan/1898).
  2. Huddersfield Chronicle (20/Jan/1899).
  3. Born Reginald Alfred Switz in the mid-1870s in London, he worked as a musician (1901 Census) before becoming an actor (early 1910s). It is believed he emigrated to Australia in the 1930s and died there on 17 March 1854. He likely married Bamforth actress Lily Ward, who accompanied him to Australia.