photos and stories from the Powerhouse Museum
The Freeman Brother Studio lays claim to being the longest running studio in Australia. It was established as the ‘Freeman Brothers and Wheeler’ by William Freeman and his brother James in George Street in 1854; it was still running nearly 150 years later.
James was the more experienced of the two having worked in Richard Beard’s gallery in Bath, England, before coming to Australia and was certainly instrumental in the success with which they plied their trade in Sydney.
One of the keys to their success was their continual upgrading of equipment and premises to deliver the latest techniques. As a result they attracted the cultural elite of Sydney to their studios where they were photographed using the techniques of the day. Thus surviving examples can be found as daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, collodion glass plates, flexible sheet negatives all of which were then used to make albumen, gelatin and platinum prints on card, glass, and paper.
These negatives were acquired from Freeman Borthers Studio in 1969.
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