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Any Info on G.W. Griffin, Photographer?


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I have a photograph taken by G.W. Griffin, probably a Carte de Visite (CdV), that I'm trying to date.   The CdV measures 4.25in x 2.5in and has rounded corners, with the photographer's name across the bottom and the shop emblem in red on the reverse.  

Are there any information sources or individuals who might be able to help? 

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I don't think the photographer's name will be a great help as Griffins were going for many years, the business passed from father to son with the same initials. They were the ones who also had the furniture store on the corner of Ormskirk St and Westfiled St and built The Scala cinema.

I have used Jayne Shrimpton a couple of times. She does a full report on a photo working from the fashions and years of operation of the photographer. The last one I had done was £6 but you might be able to follow the tips and work it out yourself.


A introduction to understanding Victorian photographs and images through clothing and fashion.




Located in the Lancashire town of St. Helens. The Griffin family operated a furnishing store and photographers at numbers 31 & 33 Ormskirk Street,...



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Many thanks @Tony J.  I've sent the images to Jayne in hopes the front face image is good enough for her to do a date estimate.  I've tried using amateur photo dating people on RootsChat and, while very helpful, the answers are often so contradictory as to be largely useless.  I'm leaning towards the image being from the late-1870s.  I'll report back if Jayne has anything interesting to say.

Thanks also @Phyll.  I had looked at the website you linked.  Again, lots of contradictory features on display which don't help tying down a date.  One thing I have noted is that G.W. Griffin seemed to frequently change the backing cards for his CdVs.  I've yet to see two that were identical (although, in fairness, I'm focusing on the CdVs that have rounded corners like the one I'm trying to date).  

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My first car was bought from windle motors in Duke st.

Van's for water dept in st.helens bought there.

I got told that there was a FORD ANGLIA for sale.

In immaculate condition.

I asked about driver.

It was apparently one of GRIFFIN 'S . She was secretary at West Park school as secretary. It was very low mileage .She was retiring and getting rid of it.

Good buy for us.



added 41 minutes later


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I had posted a message about the photo I'm trying to date on RootsChat.  A post from yesterday may have provided an additional clue.  

George William Griffin was listed at 14 Canning Place, Liverpool, in the period 1857-1860 but then at 11 Westfield Street, St.Helens, 1865-1881 with a second shop in Ormskirk Street 1870-1887.  The company was listed as G.W. Griffin and Son at 22 Ormskirk Street 1890-1892.  

If those dates are accurate, then the info on the back of the photo may indicate the timeframe.  I've seen other photos from G.W. Griffin which state the 2 shop locations on Westfield Street and Ormskirk Street, while others identify the company as G.W. Griffin & Son.  The back of my photo simply says "G.W. Griffin Studio St.Helens, Artist Photographer, Miniature and Portrait Painter."  To me, this suggests that the photo was taken when Griffin just had the one store.

If my above theory is correct, then my photo may date from the period 1865-1870, before the second shop opened.  Given the desire to use up old card stock, it's possible that the photo may date from slightly after the opening of the second shop...but probably not by much because, like any businessman, Griffin would want to advertise his latest updates, including the fact of a second shop being opened.

Again, this is just a theory...but it makes some sense.  I'd just like to get more definitive dates on when Griffin's various shops were open in St.Helens.  

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