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Sheffield Photo Company


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A fine post Ethermax, Thank you and Welcome to SheffieldHistory - enjoy, contribute, ask questions (never mind about duplicating we have people that can sort that out).

Frank Mottershaw holds an honored place in cinematic history since the "dynamic" editing used in "A Daring Daylight Robbery" was the inspiration for later films including "The Great Train Robbery" dir Edwin S. Porter

His family continued making films including

http://www.yfaonline...ue=fromBrowseBy

Yorkshire Film Archive ..... "Driving with Clare" .. double click on the above to view

The family is is still in business with the Great Grandson (I think) still working as a photographer in Grindleford

Frank Mottershaw is referred to in the a website ref for R. W . Paul see below

http://www.screenonl...ople/id/449512/

for ref: "A Daring Daylight Robbery" was mostly filmed at the location of "The Prince of Wales" public house at the junction of Ecclesall Road South and Carter Knowle Rd however it is not the same building that is there now (The original building I believe was destroyed by fire in 1928)

"A Daring Daylight Robbery" is still available to buy from BFI on a "Pioneers of Silent Cinema" DVD - I have heard it said that it took inspiration from the story of Charlie Peace a former resident of Banner Cross who was a burglar by profession who went on to commit his famous evil murder near "The Banner Cross Hotel" but of course he is another intriguing story......

I have seen "An Eccentric Burglary" which was also filmed in the area including Psatler Lane (by where the old Jet petrol station was) .... this film is famous for its "special effects" ie film run backwards and 'before and after' effects

Also interestingly the "The Prince of Wales" is adjacent to "Henry Boot Ltd" which in its early history had a director who was responsible for funding the creation of the "Rank Studios" in the 40's? /50's

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Sankyo Super CM 400

silent super 8 cartridge.

Marketed in 1969

Link to .. Sankyo Super CM 400

Super 8 film was first marketed in 1965, a cartridge loading system to replace the previous standard 8 system which involved tricky spool loading.

I need the help of Stuart0742 here, but that phone number is only 5 digit.

I think by the early 1970's, certainly by 1973, practically all Sheffield numbers were 6 digit

Stuart will know and this may give a better upper date on the guarantee.

Only just got the camera?

Super 8 film is now as rare as hens teeth and very expensive to buy and get processed.

Did he sell you a few 50ft cartridges of film to go with it?

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Guest Lawrence73

Hi,

I'm new to this site and it's really nice to see so much interest in the Sheffield Photo Company and the Mottershaws.

Ten years ago I wrote what I believe is the most complete and, as far as I'm aware, only dedicated history of the company's activities in silent film making for my Master's thesis at the University of East Anglia (continuing work I had begun at Sheffield Hallam University as an under-graduate).

I'm sorry to say that reading down the previous entries on this strand I have noticed a few mistakes/confusions. The main one concerns Frank and Frank Storm; these are not the same person. Frank Mottershaw (b.1850) began the photographic business; Frank Storm is his son (Storm being his mother's maiden name). It is Frank Storm who spent time with R.W. Paul in London and it was on his return to Sheffield that the company really began to get involved in fiction film production (as opposed to actualities and local scenes) for mass distribution. To my understanding Frank left the film making side of the business primarily to Frank Storm and another son John Arthur.

The company ended fiction film production in 1911 following problems with the distribution of their films in America which cost them a lot of money. Frank died in 1932 as has been stated above, Frank Storm and John Arthur both pre-deceased their father.

The company was taken over by another son and they returned to film making for corporate clients in the 1950s, continuing until the early 1970s. The company ceased trading altogether in the the 1980s after about 100 years of trading, although the family retained use of the company name and it was revived by Frank's grandson in the late 1990s with a shop located on Hangingwater Road. I met Mr Mottershaw in 1999 and was able to obtain some very interesting information from him about his grandfather and uncle. To his recollection the films from the 1900s may have survived up until the late 1940s in the family home until the death of his grandmother when they were all junked. Mr Mottershaw did retain one film from that period, the opening of Sheffield University and the visit of the King in 1905, and a couple of films from the later 50s-70s period. These were all donated to the Yorkshire Film Archive at a time when I was studying/working with them.

I am writing this from memory as my thesis is not to hand but I know that I have a lot more information available; if anyone is interested then please let me know.

Lawrence Sutcliffe

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Guest Lawrence73

Correction: I think the 90s shop might have actually been on Oakbrook Road. I was looking at an online map and trying to retrace my steps from a decade ago and think I went wrong. :)

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Hi,

I'm new to this site and it's really nice to see so much interest in the Sheffield Photo Company and the Mottershaws.

Ten years ago I wrote what I believe is the most complete and, as far as I'm aware, only dedicated history of the company's activities in silent film making for my Master's thesis at the University of East Anglia (continuing work I had begun at Sheffield Hallam University as an under-graduate).

I'm sorry to say that reading down the previous entries on this strand I have noticed a few mistakes/confusions. The main one concerns Frank and Frank Storm; these are not the same person. Frank Mottershaw (b.1850) began the photographic business; Frank Storm is his son (Storm being his mother's maiden name). It is Frank Storm who spent time with R.W. Paul in London and it was on his return to Sheffield that the company really began to get involved in fiction film production (as opposed to actualities and local scenes) for mass distribution. To my understanding Frank left the film making side of the business primarily to Frank Storm and another son John Arthur.

The company ended fiction film production in 1911 following problems with the distribution of their films in America which cost them a lot of money. Frank died in 1932 as has been stated above, Frank Storm and John Arthur both pre-deceased their father.

The company was taken over by another son and they returned to film making for corporate clients in the 1950s, continuing until the early 1970s. The company ceased trading altogether in the the 1980s after about 100 years of trading, although the family retained use of the company name and it was revived by Frank's grandson in the late 1990s with a shop located on Hangingwater Road. I met Mr Mottershaw in 1999 and was able to obtain some very interesting information from him about his grandfather and uncle. To his recollection the films from the 1900s may have survived up until the late 1940s in the family home until the death of his grandmother when they were all junked. Mr Mottershaw did retain one film from that period, the opening of Sheffield University and the visit of the King in 1905, and a couple of films from the later 50s-70s period. These were all donated to the Yorkshire Film Archive at a time when I was studying/working with them.

I am writing this from memory as my thesis is not to hand but I know that I have a lot more information available; if anyone is interested then please let me know.

Lawrence Sutcliffe

Welcome to Sheffield History Lawrence and thank you for this very interesting first post.

We are always interested in every aspect of Sheffield History and if we have got some details wrong it is great that someone comes along with additional information that can correct and add to what we already have.

We would love to know more about the history of Sheffield Photo Co.

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  • 1 year later...

Sheffield Photo Co. Thats a name from the past. They used to run a film library (9.5 mm) was one gauge they rented (those were the days before TV and Video rentals <g>) we would rent a film for the weekend. Also I think they rented 16mm, Dad replaced the 9.5 mm with the 16mm sure we rented, did not buy many films outright.

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1971 :

Sheffield Photo Company Ltd., 6 Norfolk Row (Fargate), S1 1SN

Telephone 22079 (3 Lines)

(Don't know if that's already posted on here, or whether it's of interest ...)

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1968, identical information to 1971.

1971 :

Sheffield Photo Company Ltd., 6 Norfolk Row (Fargate), S1 1SN

Telephone 22079 (3 Lines)

(Don't know if that's already posted on here, or whether it's of interest ...)

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1957, same information but only two lines.

1971 :

Sheffield Photo Company Ltd., 6 Norfolk Row (Fargate), S1 1SN

Telephone 22079 (3 Lines)

(Don't know if that's already posted on here, or whether it's of interest ...)
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Sheffield Photo Co. Thats a name from the past. They used to run a film library (9.5 mm) was one gauge they rented (those were the days before TV and Video rentals <g>) we would rent a film for the weekend. Also I think they rented 16mm, Dad replaced the 9.5 mm with the 16mm sure we rented, did not buy many films outright.

9.5mm was like the betamax of the film world. - the rarest least common gauge and the first to disappear off the market.

The 9.5mm film format was developed by the French Pathe company and had the advantage that it had no sprocket transport holes along the edges of the film so that the full width of the film could be given over to the picture frame (unless there was a soundtrack down one edge). This meant the frame size and projected picture was almost as big, and almost as good, as that from the larger 16mm film.

The film had the transport holes along the centre of the film between each frame, - so what you gained in width against 16mm you lost in length. This was also the films main downfall and weakness, - if the film missed the transport claw the claw would hit the film in the frames damaging the images and making the film unwatchable, if the same happened with 16mm film the claw would only hit the film in the blank spaces between the sprocket holes.

As projectors varied in quality and some were more liable to damage film than others this made the film less suitable for library loan material than 16mm which would be less likely to suffer permenant damage by mis-tracking in the projector gate. In any case the 16mm projectors, particularly the Bell & Howells made for commercial rather than home use were very robustly built and genarally handled film well.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 years later...

Mixed Babies (1905)

The first scene shows the grocer's shop at 144 Providence Road (Walkley). This building no longer exists but at the end of the scene there is a glimpse up the street of no. 126 which is still there.

The reminder of the film (which is incomplete) shows Walkley Crescent Road with nos. 174-178 (I think).

I recently discovered the grave of the wife of Frank Storm Mottershaw in Walkley Cemetery, buried with her parents.

MOTTERSHAW gravestone detail.JPG

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Old rider

There was series on TV some years ago called "When Yorkshire men made films" They showed Mottershaw's news films of the Russian Japanese war of the early 1900's as well as one on Charlie Peace if I remember correctly. The other film maker in the series was the Holmfirth company that is better known for the saucy sea side postcards.

Attached is a photo of Grandfather's camera labelled "Sheffield Photo Company 1900" for your interest. I have already posted digitised pictures of his glass slides that relate to Sheffield.

AB Grove cam1.jpg

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