Harry Bamforth (1867-1930)

Harry Bamforth was a photographer and postcard manufacturer who immigrated to America.


He was born on 12 February 1867, the son of Holmfirth painter James Bamforth and his wife Martha Ann (née Beaumont).

Within a few years of Harry's birth, his father established the business that would become Bamforth & Co. Ltd. of Holmfirth, an important earlier pioneer of film making but perhaps most widely known now for their range of "saucy" seaside postcards.

Aged 24 at the time of the 1891 Census, Harry was listed as a assistant photographer to his father.[1]

He married Mary Lydia Eggleton, the daughter of Moravian minister William Eggleton, on 24 September 1896 at St. Peter, Paddington, London. At the time of the their marriage, the couple were living at 48 Elgin Avenue in London. They had four children, although one is believed to have died in infancy:

His father's company had begun film making in the late 1890s and articles from the Huddersfield Chronicle report Harry giving "cinematograph" demonstrations as early as Christmas 1897.[5]

By 1901, the family were living at Spring Grove, Holmfirth, and photographic portraits from around this period list him having a studio in the Byram Arcade as well as in Holmfirth.

With the expansion of his father's business into producing postcards, Harry moved his family to New York in order to help run the American arm of the company. He became a naturalised U.S. citizen on 12 March 1918 and his American passport application dated 12 July 1919 gave his occupation as "postcard producer". His son Jack (also known as John) had joined the U.S. Marines and was subsequently killed in action on 15 June 1918 in France.

Although he regularly travelled back to England, it is believed Harry Bamforth died in New York in 1930.

Notes and References

  1. Harry's siblings Walter, Fred, Frank and Edwin were also assistant photographers.
  2. Born 24 July 1897 in Holmfirth and baptised 5 September 1897 at St. John's, Upperthong. Married twice. Died 25 June 1981 at Pacific Grove, Monterey County, California.
  3. Also known as "John", he reportedly joined the U.S. Marines and was killed in action on 15 June 1918 at Belleau Wood, France.
  4. Born 14 July 1900 and baptised 15 August 1900 at Upperthong.
  5. "Holmfirth Parish Church" in Huddersfield Chronicle (01/Jan/1898).

Harry Bamforth (1867-1930)


People | Photographers
This page was last modified on 6 June 2019 and has been edited by Dave Pattern.

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