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George John FREEMAN

George John FREEMAN

Male 1843 - 1895  (52 years)

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  • Name George John FREEMAN 
    Born 17 Jan 1843 Shoreditch, London, Middlesex, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Christened 25 Jul 1843 St Pancreas, Cambden, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Gender Male 
    Document 25 Jul 1843 St Pancreas, Cambden, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [2]  – Baptism
    Freeman George 1843 Baptism
    Census 1851 12 Margaret Place, Shoreditch, Middlesex, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    • Name: George A Freeman
      Age: 9
      Estimated Birth Year:  abt 1842
      Relation: Son
      Father's Name: George Freeman
      Mother's name: Eliza Freeman
      Gender: M (Male)
      Where born: Shoreditch, Middlesex, Englan
      Civil parish: Shoreditch
      Ecclesiastical parish: Haggerstone East
      County/Island: Middlesex
      Country: England
      Registration district: Shoreditch
      Sub-registration district: Haggerstone East
      ED, institution, or vessel: 9
      Household schedule number: 20
      Piece: 1538
      Folio: 158
      Page Number: 4
      Household Members:
      Name Age
      George Freeman 39
      Eliza Freeman 39
      George A Freeman 9
      Eliza Freeman 14
      Clara Freeman 12
      Isabella Elmes 23
    Freeman George 1851 Census
    Biography
    • George John Freeman was a professional photographer and photographic showman. He arrived at South Australia in 1861. Throughout his professional career Freeman enthusiastically experimented with the latest processes and techniques, at times being as much a photographic entrepreneur as a practitioner.

      professional photographer and photographic showman, was born on 17 January 1843 in London, son of George Freeman, a trader in base metals, and Eliza, née Alderson. He arrived at South Australia on 3 January 1861 in the Countess of Fife,travelling with his father and step-mother Selina, née Hague. He had experimented with photography as a youth at Bayswater School and had perhaps followed this up with some professional experience in London, for almost straight away he established a photographic studio in Hindley Street, Adelaide, in partnership with another young photographic hopeful, Edward Belcher. Their partnership was to continue, on and off, for several years: at 97 Hindley Street from 1861 (although Freeman was sole proprietor from 1864) and opposite the Adelaide Town Hall in 1866-67 (called the Town Hall Photographic Gallery in 1867).

      Freeman seems always to have been less interested in the bread-and-butter side of the photographic business than his erstwhile partner. Throughout his professional career he enthusiastically experimented with the latest processes and techniques, at times being as much a photographic entrepreneur as a practitioner. In December 1864, as a result of some 'chemical experiments', there was an explosion and fire in the cellar of the Hindley Street premises he had lately shared with Belcher; according to the newspaper reports he was knocked unconscious and suffered serious injuries to his face and hands.

      The following year he produced the first double photographic portraits known to have been taken in the colony. The South Australian Register described one as 'two portraits of the same gentleman, one sitting without his hat and looking upward, and the other standing, with his hat on looking downward. They are evidently portraits of one person … The thing is ingenious'. In 1874 the South Australian Advertiser applauded Freeman's 'triple portrait, showing the face of the Emperor of Prussia, the late Emperor of the French, and Prince Bismarck, all in one bust, having a common neck and cranium' which the Register referred to as 'a three-headed monster'.

      From the early 1870s Freeman called his business (located in Rundle Street until 1882 and in King William Street in 1883-84) the Melbourne Photographic Company. The name suggests that Freeman may have previously visited Victoria; indeed, an otherwise unidentified firm of that name had been operating in the gold-mining town of Heathcote in June 1865 when it was reported that a young man had ordered six cartes-de-visite after posing in rags and tatters, chalked face and mournful expression in order to touch the heart (and pocket) of an uncle at home in England. By 1874, however, Freeman had more than a nominal link with Melbourne; his company was sole South Australian agent for the Art Union of Victoria and he published an album of Adelaide views in conjunction with Edward James Wivell, thought to be the Wivell who had been in partnership with H.J. Johnstone at Melbourne in 1857. (E.J. Wivell was secretary for the Melbourne Photographic Company until December 1878.) Freeman forged links with Johnstone as well. He frequently exhibited Johnstone's paintings at the company's gallery (lending three of them to the Chamber of Manufactures Exhibition of Art and Industry in 1877), as well as exhibiting Johnstone & O'Shannessy's photographs of Governor Jervois (taken in Melbourne) in 1877.

      During the 1870s Freeman was probably Adelaide's leading fine arts entrepreneur. In 1873 he presented a 'dissolving view and oxyhydrogen light' show of morally-uplifting scenes from Illustrations from the Life of Christ (after Dor?), The Bottle and The Drunkard's Children (both after Cruikshank) and The Pilgrim's Progress . In August 1874 he presented an exhibition of British and colonial paintings and photographs in the Adelaide Town Hall which was, the newspapers assured their readers, 'distinct from magic lantern pictures'. After the success of this venture Freeman opened a special picture gallery attached to the Melbourne Photographic Company's studio and in October encouraged 'colonial artists to send their productions for exhibition'. Here he exhibited the paintings won by South Australian subscribers to the Victorian Art Union and, later, the paintings offered as prizes in the art unions he organised himself.

      Meanwhile Freeman's reputation as an innovative and up-to-date photographer increased. The press reported every novelty; Freeman, according to the Advertiser,'like the Athenians of old, is always looking out for something new'. He experimented with luminous paint (to make photographs which glowed in the dark), glass transparencies (small-size for magic lanterns, large-size for windows), coloured sunsets and moonrises ('the peculiar greenish tint observable in the moon's rays is faithfully represented'), and instantaneous action photographs using Philip Marchant's recently patented dry plates, assisted by flash powder. In November 1879 he debunked the new craze for 'spirit photographs' by demonstrating how these could be faked merely by partially pre-exposing the plate to form light patches or 'spirits'.

      Freeman took several views of Adelaide in 1875 for the South Australian commissioners for the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition of 1876. Two of his photographs were panoramas of the city: the first, 11 feet long (3.35 m), was taken from the top of the Advertiser building, the second, 6 feet (1.82 m), from Montefiore Hill. By 1877 he had a new '22 × 18 inch [55.8 × 45.7 cm] camera'. With views taken by this camera he won a bronze medal at the Paris Universal Exhibition in 1878 and third prize at the Sydney International in 1879. He also exhibited views of South Australia 'well calculated to give a clear conception of our progress in architecture and the character of some of our scenery' at the Melbourne International Exhibition in 1880.

      Freeman married Mary Sarah Goodhart on Christmas Eve 1876; they had five children. He no longer lived on the premises as he had in his Hindley-Street days; when a fire broke out in the Melbourne Photographic Company's studio on 26 February 1879 he had to be summoned to the scene by his apprentice from his home in North Adelaide. A large number of negatives (uninsured) were lost in the fire.

      Notwithstanding his continuing high profile in the South Australian press, Freeman moved his business to New South Wales in 1884. Still styling himself the Melbourne Photographic Company, he worked at Newcastle in 1884 (his photograph of the wreck of the Susan Gilmore was reproduced in the Sydney Mail ), in Reynolds Street, Balmain (1886 87), and in Church Street, Parramatta (1887 89). He had returned to Adelaide by 1892, where he set up a camera obscura entertainment at Glenelg Beach. He died in Adelaide on 5 April 1895.

      During its heyday in Adelaide, the Melbourne Photographic Company outdid the declining studios of Townsend Duryea and Robert Hall. Freeman's photographic career encompassed both devil-may-care showmanship and a business-like consolidation of the views trade. In the former, he resembled early travelling photographers such as Newland; in the latter, he was the South Australian equivalent of Melbourne's Charles Nettleton and Sydney's Charles Pickering, who exploited the emergent views trade of the 1860s to become the massive industry it was in the 1870s.

      Writers:Newton, Gael Date written:1992Last updated:2011
      Sourc: <"http://www.daao.org.au/bio/george-john-freeman/biography/?">http://www.daao.org.au/bio/george-john-freeman/biography/?
    Occupation 1860 King William and Hindley Street, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  – Photographer
    • I have photographs on card with printing on the back, and wonder if anyone would like a scan of same if they are related to George Freeman below.

      "BY APPOINTMENT To His Excellency Sir A Musgrave. HM. SA Government, Melbourne Photographic Company, Corner of King William & Hindley Sts, Adelaide, Established 1860, George Freeman, Adelaide, George Freeman, Proprietor. The business logo contains 8 medallion like images all with writing except one.

      signed Win
      <"http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/AUS-SAGEN/2002-06/1023335216">http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/AUS-SAGEN/2002-06/1023335216
    Immigration 3 Jan 1861 Adelaide, South Australia, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Newspaper 1870 Adelaide, South Australia, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    • Scrapbook of newspaper cuttings from 'The Advertiser', 'The Register' and 'The Brokehurst Advocate' with accompanying letters.
      Volume of newspaper cuttings relating to the life and exhibitions, during the 1870's, of the photographer George John Freeman
    Photos Abt 1876 St Peters Cathedral, 27 King William Road, North Adelaide, South Australia, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Freeman George St Peters Cathedral Adelaide nla
    Photos Abt 1882 South Australia, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    • Freeman, George John
      Format
      Photograph (B&W print)
      Summary
      Photograph of George John Freeman taken when he was about forty years old with biographical notes supplied by Mrs. Barbara Freeman in 1984.
      Subject
      Freeman, George John
      Photographers -- South Australia -- Adelaide
    Died 6 Apr 1895 Adelaide, South Australia, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    Cemetery 7 Apr 1895 West Terrace Cemetery, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [7
    • Name: Freeman, George John
      Date of Death: 06 April 1895
      Age: 52 Years
      Last Abode:
      Service Type: Burial
      Cemetery: West Terrace Cemetery
      Section: Plan 3
      Row Number:  25
      Site Number: 133
      FREEMAN GEORGE J 1842 1895  Photo 443 File 13
      Unsure of of the relationship as to who is in the same plot:
      SurnameGiven NamesDate of Death
      Unger Margaret Louie15/03/1921
    Freeman George J 1895 Grave
    Photos Port Adelaide, South Australia, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Freeman George Port Adelaide
    Occupation Artist (Photographer)
    • George John Freeman was a professional photographer and photographic showman. He arrived at South Australia in 1861. Throughout his professional career Freeman enthusiastically experimented with the latest processes and techniques, at times being as much a photographic entrepreneur as a practitioner.
      ame George John Freeman Gender MaleRoles
      Artist (Photographer)
      Birth date 17 January 1843
      Birth place London, England, UK
      Death date 5 April 1895
      Death place Adelaide, SA
      Active Period c.1861-c.1880
      Arrival 3 January 1861
      Residence c.1892- Adelaide, SA
      c.1884- New South Wales
      Training: Bayswater School
      Initial Record Data Source: The Dictionary of Australian Artists: painters, sketchers, photographers and engravers to 1870
      <"http://www.daao.org.au/bio/george-john-freeman/">http://www.daao.org.au/bio/george-john-freeman/
    Buried 7 Apr 1895 West Terrace Cemetery, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I3542 Turner
    Last Modified 28 Feb 2013 

    Father George FREEMAN,   b. 14 Nov 1808, St Marylebone, Middlesex, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 Apr 1864, Kapunda, South Australia, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 55 years) 
    Mother Eliza Douglas ANDERSON,   b. 24 Dec 1813, Kensington, Middlesex, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Aug 1854, Paddington, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 40 years) 
    Family ID F1324 Group Sheet,  Family chart

    Family Mary Sarah GOODHART,   b. 5 Jun 1845, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1884, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 38 years) 
    Married 25 Dec 1876 St Andrews Church, Walkerville, South Australia. Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [8
    Children 
     1. Mary Louise Ethel "Ethel" FREEMAN,   b. 1877, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 8 Oct 1948, Norwood, South Australia, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 71 years)
     2. Gertrude Deverall Reichardt FREEMAN,   b. 1882, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1967, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 85 years)
    Last Modified 12 Feb 2013 
    Family ID F1311 Group Sheet,  Family chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 17 Jan 1843 - Shoreditch, London, Middlesex, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsChristened - 25 Jul 1843 - St Pancreas, Cambden, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDocument - Baptism - 25 Jul 1843 - St Pancreas, Cambden, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsCensus - 1851 - 12 Margaret Place, Shoreditch, Middlesex, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Photographer - 1860 - King William and Hindley Street, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsImmigration - 3 Jan 1861 - Adelaide, South Australia, Australia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsNewspaper - 1870 - Adelaide, South Australia, Australia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsPhotos - Abt 1876 - St Peters Cathedral, 27 King William Road, North Adelaide, South Australia, Australia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 25 Dec 1876 - St Andrews Church, Walkerville, South Australia. Australia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsPhotos - Abt 1882 - South Australia, Australia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 6 Apr 1895 - Adelaide, South Australia, Australia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsCemetery - 7 Apr 1895 - West Terrace Cemetery, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsPhotos - - Port Adelaide, South Australia, Australia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - 7 Apr 1895 - West Terrace Cemetery, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Sources 
    1. [S357] England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837-1915, Name: George John Freeman
      Date of Registration: Jan-Feb-Mar 1843
      Registration district: Pancras
      Inferred County: London
      Volume: 1
      Page: 347 (Reliability: 3).

    2. [S350] London, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906, Name: George John Freeman
      Record Type: Baptism
      Baptism Date: 25 Jul 1843
      Father's Name: George Freeman
      Mother's name: Eliza Freeman
      Parish or Poor Law Union: St Pancras Old St Pancras
      Borough: Camden
      Register Type: Parish Registers (Reliability: 3).

    3. [S183] England 1851 Census.

    4. [S360] SA State Library of South Australia, http://205.227.91.77/iii/encore/record/C__Rb2314651__Sgeorge%20john%20freeman__P0%2C2__Orightresult?lang=eng&suite=cobalt (Reliability: 3).

    5. [S360] SA State Library of South Australia, http://205.227.91.77/iii/encore/record/C__Rb2314648__Sgeorge%20john%20freeman__P0%2C2__Orightresult__X5?lang=eng&suite=cobalt (Reliability: 3).

    6. [S332] Australia Death Index, 1787-1985, (ancestry.com), Name: George John Freeman
      Death Date: 5 Apr 1895
      Death Place: Adelaide
      Age: 53
      Residence Place: Glenelg
      Registration Place: Adelaide, South Australia
      Page Number: 114a
      Volume Number: 226
      Estimated Birth Year: abt 1842 (Reliability: 3).

    7. [S174] Adelaide Cemeteries, (http://www.aca.sa.gov.au/RecordsSearch.aspx).

    8. [S337] South Australian Chronicle and Weekly Mail (Adelaide, SA : 1868 - 1881), Family Notices. (1876, December 30). South Australian Chronicle and Weekly Mail (Adelaide, SA : 1868 - 1881), p. 4. Retrieved February 12, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article92254189 (Reliability: 3).


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