Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Mawson and Swan

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June 1901.

of Newcastle and London

of 13 Moseley Street, Newcastle-on-Tyne. (1925)

c. 1839 Company founded by John Mawson

In the 1850s they reputedly produced the best collodion for photography

1864 Joseph Swan became a partner in the firm. 'CHEMICAL AND PHOTOGRAPHIC ESTABLISHMENT, 9 AND 13, MOSLEY STREET, NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE. JOHN MAWSON has much pleasure announcing to his Friends and Customers that he has taken into Partnership his Brother-in-Law, Mr. JOSEPH WILSON SWAN, who has been with him in his Business for nearly Twenty years. This Business in future, in all its Branches, will be carried on under the Style of MAWSON AND SWAN. JOHN MAWSON takes this opportunity expressing his Thanks to his Friends for the Favours conferred upon during the Twenty five Years he has been engaged in business, and hopes to receive himself and Partner a continuance of their Support. January 1, 1864.'[1]

1864 Swan worked out the carbon process, known as the "Autotype," an early practical method of producing permanent photographs. This process had a far-reaching effect on related branches of photography, and was the basis for the photogravure process. Amongst Swan's other inventions was the use of "line screens" which laid the foundations for the "half-tone" process.

1867 Death of John Mawson. His wife continued to run the business until sometime in the 1880s[2].

By 1881 traded as Mawson, Swan and Mawson.[3]

1888 Exhibitor at the Photographic Exhibition at the Crystal Palace. [4]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Newcastle Journal - Friday 29 January 1864
  2. 1891 census
  3. Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette - Thursday 20 January 1881
  4. The Engineer of 2nd March 1888 p183