A teenage girl poses for her portrait at the J. Garratt studio in Dewsbury. Where is Dewsbury? There are a number of towns sharing that name but Garratt’s Dewsbury is in England. John Garratt had studios in Dewsbury and West Town. He is cited in the Journal of Photography (1877) and in the British Journal of Photography (1880 and 1881). Next to Garratt”s name is the phrase “From Saronys” and the phrase is printed above the word “Scarbro”. Is there a connection between Mr. Garratt and Napoleon Sarony?  At first I thought that Garratt might have worked for the celebrated photographer in New York City, Napoleon Sarony. Preliminary research provided me with an answer.  “Scarbro” is an abbreviation for Scarborough, a town in North Yorkshire, England. A well known and commercially successful photographer in Scarborough was a man named Oliver Sarony. His studio had 98 rooms and at one point he had 110 employees.  He was born in Quebec in 1820 and he came to England in 1843. He worked as a photographer in several English towns until he settled in Scarborough in 1857. He died in 1879. The business continued into the 20th century under the name Sarony & Co. The business was initially managed by Samuel Waind Fisher the husband of Oliver’s niece, Jennie. Interestingly Jennie was the daughter of Napoleon Sarony. To make a long story longer, it certainly appears that John Garratt was once employed by Oliver Sarony.





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  1. Hi, always good to see your lovely images. This one is a very nice permanent carbon based chromotype (mid 1870s to mid 1880s) by John Garratt who had a studio at 60 (69?) Huddersfield Road, West Town, Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, England from 1877 to 1889. He would have worked for Oliver Sarony in Scarborough. Ron Cosens

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