Cabinet Card by F. Sharples (Blackburn)

F. Sharples Cabinet Card Cropped

This amazingly clear portrait of a serious looking gentleman was taken by F. Sharples of Blackburn, Lancashire. It is oval in format and the image is well preserved because it has been stored in the original paper envelope. If only more vintage photographs were stored this way! Not only would it keep them in better condition, but the envelope itself contains useful information not present on the actual card:

F. Sharples Cabinet CardF. Sharples Cabinet Card - Envelope

The photographer was Frederick William Edleston Sharples, born 1867 in Blackburn, Lancashire. In 1911 he and his family were living at 4 Limbrick, Blackburn, the same address as his photographic studio.

I came across an interesting news snippet in the Preston Herald, Wed 19 Jun 1907 that relates to Mr Sharples. He and another man Henry Charnley were driving from Blackpool to Burnley when they collided with a tram in Preston. The car sustained £35-worth of damage, and the men sued Preston Corporation (owners of the tram) for the repair costs. The case went to court and the details of the accident seem somewhat extraordinary by modern standards; the men were over-taking two carts when they saw a tram coming towards them. The car was trapped by the carts to the left and two lorries to the right and therefore had nowhere to go, so the driver of the car (the report doesn’t specify) ‘put up his hand to the driver of the tram as a warning of the position and to make his presence known’! The car apparently stopped, the tram didn’t and, well, you can probably guess that the car was damaged. And a tyre was burst. Despite this, no-one was hurt and the men continued in the car for the remainder of the journey.

The passengers of the tram asserted that it was the tram that had came to a halt, and that the motor car ran into them. But despite this contrary evidence, and after two weeks of deliberation, the case was found in favour of Mr Sharples and Mr Charnley, who were awarded £35 7s 5d, with costs (Preston Herald, Wed 3 Jul 1907).

Another interesting snippet comes from the Lancashire Evening Post, Sat 9 Sep 1905:

Lancashire Evening Post - Saturday 09 September 1905Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

I do hope Mr Sharple’s dog found a loving home, and that the gun found a safe pair of hands!

Newspaper clipping courtesy of the British Newspaper Archive; The British Library Board. Further research carried out using Ancestry.


5 thoughts on “Cabinet Card by F. Sharples (Blackburn)

  1. I agree, great research…and entertaining! The lighting for the portrait I find quite weird – perhaps intended to make the subject ‘manly’ – but it’s almost as if the subject’s features were to be deliberately hidden. I wonder how many others Mr Sharples did this way?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks again! The lighting is quite harsh, isn’t it? I have seen a few other portraits by F. Sharples online but most are vignetted head and shoulder shots, with the subjects looking more towards the camera.


  2. That’s a great photo and, as you say, very clear. I have a few family photos that are still in their original paper wrappers, but they are very large and difficult to store so I should imagine this is why a lot of people dispense with them. Like you, I wish they wouldn’t…

    I love the ad… and that collision – wow, that was quite a lot of money to pay in those days. I wonder what the equivalent is now?

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s great that you still have the wrappers on some of your family photos! I wish I could say the same about my own family photos, which are mostly the worse for wear :-/.

      Very happy you liked the news report, I just love digging up old stories from the archives. I plugged the numbers into an online calculator and it came up with around £3000 as being equivalent to the £35 repair bill! Wow!

      Liked by 1 person

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