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Elijah Yeoman, with his wife and four children, photographed on 1st January 1900


About Elijah Yeoman

Born in 1849, Elijah Yeoman was a farmer's son brought up in the remote valley of Coverdale, high in the Yorkshire Dales. Little is known of his early life or how he developed an interest in photography, but by the 1870s Elijah was in partnership with his brother John, trading as Yeoman Brothers Photographers with a studio in Bedale, North Yorkshire.

By the late 1870s Elijah had left the partnership and purchased a studio in Barnard Castle, producing studio portraits and undertaking commercial work for local businesses. However, his true passion was in photographing the dramatic landscapes of Teesdale and the surrounding areas, and his finely-executed prints were ideally suited to the developing tourist market.

For the next thirty years Elijah Yeoman worked tirelessly, expanding the business by opening further studios in Kirkby Stephen and Hartlepool, but always maintaining his enthusiasm for recording the towns, villages and landscapes of his beloved Teesdale. His later work in particular shows him to be a meticulous technician, producing exquisite toned silver gelatin prints and delicate platinum prints, often made from enormous 11" x 14" glass plates.

Sadly none of Yeoman's plates are known to survive, but a large quantity of prints is held in the collection of The Bowes Museum, and it is with their permisson that many of the images in the Vintage Graphics catalogue are reproduced. Other Yeoman images come from our own, and other private collections.


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