COLLECTIONS & RESEARCH

The Walters – Lyme’s First Photographers

Most of the photographs of Lyme from the 1860s to the 1880s were taken by the Walter family. Jonas Walter, who stayed in the town for twenty-five years, was Jewish, because he was buried in the Jewish part of the cemetery at Exeter in 1888, even though he died at Lyme Regis.

Henry and Jonas Walter are first listed in the 1865 Directory for Lyme as ‘Bazaar & Photographic Institute, Broad Street’. The Institute seems to have been a fancy name for the photographic studio, emphasising how scientific it was.

There are a few photographs of Lyme taken before the Walters arrived, but these were by visiting photographers. Henry and Jonas were Lyme’s first professional photographers.

Distant view of the Cobb at Lyme Regis, probably 1870s Distant view of the Cobb at Lyme Regis, probably 1870s

The above two photographs are distant views of the Cobb at Lyme Regis, probably 1870s and published by Jonas Walter. He has carefully posed people in the foreground to add interest.
Lyme Regis Museum

Stereoscopic view of Lyme published by Henry & Jonas Walter in the 1860sStereoscopic view of Lyme published by Henry & Jonas Walter in the 1860s

Two stereoscopic views of Lyme published by Henry & Jonas Walter in the 1860s, with the back of another (below) to show the stamp and the original size. The Broad Street view includes a two-wheeled cart, and the Cobb has large sailing ships and the rails which were used to carry trucks of lias to the ships for export. Stereoscopic photographs viewed through a special viewer give a 3D effect.

Back of a stereoscopic view of Lyme showing the stamp and the original size.

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