A fascinating album of some of the earliest photographs of Perth has recently been digitised and made available through the State Library catalogue. The photographer is Alfred Hawes Stone who compiled the album for his daughter, Fanny, on the occasion of her marriage to George Hampton in 1868.
Alfred Hawes Stone was born in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England and arrived in Western Australia on the Caroline in October 1829. In 1831 he was issued a permit to practise law and this was followed by a succession of official appointments including Registrar of Births, Deaths & Marriages in 1841, making him Western Australia’s first Registrar. Together with his brother, Frederick, who followed Alfred out to the colony in 1831, he established a firm of solicitors originally called A H & G F Stone. Alfred eventually rose to the position of Attorney-General.
Outside his professional life he was a keen musician and gardener and, most importantly for the Library, was an avid photographer in what were the early days of photography. The album comprises 146 photographs most of which were taken during the period 1860 to 1868 and bears the following inscription:
“Fanny Annette Hampton from her affectionate father A.H. Stone with his blessing & fondest love. 30th October 1868.”
The photographs capture scenes in and around Perth and Fremantle as well as images of family and other members of Perth society at that time. You can see Perth Town Hall during construction, the Pensioners’ Barracks, Government House, the Bishop’s Palace and more. Some images are delightfully informal, such as the one featured here with Alfred’s grand-daughter, Lizzie, in the foreground.
It has been difficult to accurately date some photographs and some of the subjects are not fully identified. We welcome any further information you may be able to supply about individual photographs. This can be done by filling in the online form that appears once you click onto a photograph to enlarge it.
If you are interested in reading more about Alfred Hawes Stone, there is an excellent book on him entitled Court and Camera: the life and times of A.H. Stone: a pioneer lawyer & photographer in Perth. Copies are available to view in the Battye Library (3rd floor) or may be purchased in the State Library Bookshop.
View the Stone album of photographs of early Perth and Fremantle or alternatively go to our online catalogue and type ‘stone album’ under keyword and select State Library Pictures from the drop-down box. The first result is for the album and the other results are the individual catalogue records for each photograph. Many of these have additional information in the notes or summary.