Richards & Co.

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Richards & Co. Studio, 1919, Richards & Co, c1901

Richards & Co. were photographers operating from premises on Sturt Street, Ballarat in 1887.[1]



Richards and Co. were well known photographers of Ballarat. This photography and artist studio was founded by George Richards in c1879.

The business was sold to John Dearden in 1882. It was later sold to Phil Thornton of Edan Photographs, with a name change to Thornton and Richards.

It enjoyed the reputation of being one of the leading Australian firms of its kind in the country. Richards took on an apprentice by the name of John Dearden in 1879, who subsequently became a partner in 1886. Upon Richards' death in 1889, Dearden became sole proprietor of Richards & Co and the studio address changed to 21 Sturt Street.

Ballarat School of Mines Chemistry Students, c1899, This image was taken by Richards and Co. of 23 Sturt Street, Ballarat. Names include Daniel Walker, Historical Collection (Cat. No. 530)



The business was situated at various times, at 19, 21 and 23 Sturt Street, Ballarat.

19 Sturt Street, c1886.

23 Sturt Street, c1910.


Frank Wright in Academic Gown, 1919, Federation University Historical Collection (Cat. No. 11066)

Community Involvement

Works Produced

Wedding photograph of Isabella Lamb and John Polson Laney, August 1903. Richards & Co. Art Studio, 23 Sturt Street Ballarat. Private Collection

Workplace Relations

The People


See also

George Richards (?-1881)

Photography at the Ballarat School of Mines


Thornton Richards

Further Notes

The bride who desires really beautiful and distinctive bridal portraits should make a point of visiting the famous Ballarat Photographers, Richards & Co., whose reputation as a maker of superb Bridal Portraits is world-wide. Every facility is offered country brides, who may be visiting or travelling through Ballarat to secure. beautiful modern style portraits. The firm always has on hand the latest in wreaths, veils, bouquets. etc., while four well-appointed dressing rooms make for very little delay. An expert lady assistant is also available to arrange veil, etc.[2]

Photography grows so rapidly, and so continually widens its usefulness, that an occasional paragraph may stimulate and encourage photographers in our midst to progress, and go on, progressing. We were yesterday, shown an apparatus used by Messrs. Richards and Co. for lighting their models, and a very ingenious affair it appears to be, inasmuch as it relieves the operator of an amount of work, and consequently . does not weary the sitter. By a necessary medium fixed between four slots and reflectors, a diffused light-is emitted, which gives a soft waxen looking' negative, and with out altering the faithfulness of the likeness, improves the general appearance and expression of the sitter. Messrs s Richards and Co. believe there is a fortune in their new system of lighting/and from the pictures which were shown to us, produced by the old and new systems, we must say our preference runs much in favour of the new. ’ [3]


  1. Rogers, J. W. F. (ed.). (c. 1887). The Australasian Federal Directory of Commerce, Trades & Professions. Melbourne: J. W. F. Rogers.
  2. Mildura Cultivator, 15 November 1919
  3. NEWS AND NOTES. (1883, May 22). The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), , p. 2. Retrieved August 12, 2016

Further Reading

Davies, A. & Stanbury, P. (1986). The Mechanical Eye in Australia: Photography 1841-1900. Melbourne: Oxford University.

Kimberly, W.B. (1894). Ballarat and Vicinity. Ballarat: F.W. Niven & Co.

External Links

L.E. Cutter's Showroom, Ballarat, c1900. Image from Cyclopedia of Victoria. Photography: Richards & Co..

-- --S.Singaram 13:24, 12 January 2012 (EST); Beth Kicinski 11:25, 15 October 2012 (EST); --C.K.Gervasoni 15:09, 22 November 2012 (EST)

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