Jonas Walter must have photographed hundreds of Lyme people in the twenty-five years (1860s – 1880s) he worked in the town as a photographer, and even amongst the small collection surviving the same props keep appearing. One chair and a surprisingly solid-looking balastrade are the commonest, but there is also a small table. Portraits were always taken inside the studio because early cameras were difficult to use and it was easier to control the lighting inside.
Before the invention of the postcard and cheaper cameras in the 1890s, photographers sold photographs for visitors to buy as souvenirs and Walter’s views of Lyme have on the back ‘Copies can always be had’.
Jonas Walter’s advertisement card, with his photograph of Broad Street, Lyme Regis. He had the two adjacent shops on the left, the nearer one being the ‘Photographic Institution’. On the back he is described as stationer and photographer, and also as selling ‘desks, workboxes, timepieces, jewelry, ornaments toys etc’ with ‘a great variety of views of Lyme and neighbourhood’. The card probably dates from the 1870s.
Lyme Regis Museum