Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Saturday, 4 May 2013

More detective work - indentifying TDC Sunbeam photographs

In the Thanet District Council Museums acquisition statement dated 13th June 1990 there is a reference to Sunbeam Photographs. It reads as follows ; "approximately 3,000 to 5,000 glass plate and cellulose negatives, many in a extremely poor condition, together with approximately 200 "copy proof" photographic prints were taken over. These had previously been housed in the Winter Gardens loft until 1984/85. In October 1985 and May 1986 , Mr Milton the donor,donated a further 250 glass plate negatives that had been stored in his house attic- on moving house. Most of these were in poor condition and the glass was silvered or broken in many cases. No records of the content of the photographs or negatives has ever been held" .
Following this report  many Sunbeam photographs and other photographs were cataloged  by Manpower Services Commission  staff and later by East Kent Maritime trust staff . Further photographs were later added to the collection from the original donor. All photographs were then numbered  but many were not listed In many cases there were also duplicates and each duplicate carried the same number as others of the same identity. They were then stored in large envelopes and kept in boxes that were marked up.However there was something very distinctive with some of the prints as they were stamped "Record Print" and these featured on many of the photographs. Along with the negative and duplicate photographs these items were donated to TDC and are property of TDC especially the "record prints". This can be confirmed by the current status of the collection that is currently being scanned, listed , identified and put online as part of the SEAS (South East Archive of Seaside Photography) project.
Unfortunately  there is reason to believe that some photographs from the Museum collection are out in the public domain and how they got there is a mystery but then none of us are that naive that we cannot work out how they really got there. During the Museum closure period I did see Sunbeam photographs at auction plus someone selling "copies" on the internet but even with that level of suspicion there is always that element of doubt. However there is one fool proof way of identification and that is Sunbeam photographs stamped "Record Print" and these are from the Sunbeam archive donated to Thanet District Council . Above I have  inserted a "Record Print" stamp on a photograph  I have managed to get my hands on at an auction, this without doubt  is definitely TDC property.

Below is the Sunbeam stamp for publicity and advertising photographs of which TDC often had commissioned by Sunbeam.

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