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Eltham Historical Society meeting: Photographs of John Henry (Harry) Clark
August 13, 2022 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
A prominent photographer in the early days of Eltham was John Henry (Harry) Clark. At the regular Eltham & District Historical Society meeting in August they will explore some selected Clark images from the collection and, with some, try to show the current locations where the photographs were taken.
As always, Society members and visitors are most welcome to attend this meeting, to be held in the Eltham Senior Citizens’ Centre, Library Place, Eltham.
From the Eltham & District Historical Society Newsletter
J.H.Clark – photographer by Peter Pidgeon
John Henry (Harry) Clark born 1877 was the youngest of three boys born to William Henry Clark (1823-1877) and Maria White (1843-1914). Following William’s death that same year, Maria formed a relationship with Robert Conley who took on her young family and another son, Robert Conley Jnr, was born 1880. Maria and Robert married in 1885.
John and his brothers, William Charles Clark (1872-1945), Clement Kent Clark (1874-1912) operated a photography business (Clark Bros.) from 25 Thomas Street, Windsor near Prahran during the period c.1894 to 1914.
Following the death of Clement in September 1912 and their mother in 1914, the Clark Bros business appears to have dissolved, the premises demolished with a new house under construction by 1915.
John appears to have set up business independently in 1914 operating from 29 Moor Street, Fitzroy where he was registered in the 1914 and 1915 Electoral Rolls. By 1916 John had relocated to Eltham where he continued as a photographer and took many of the early images around the district of Little Eltham. It is understood he boarded with widow Mrs Thekla Jarrold with whom he may have taken rooms during earlier visits since 1910.
Around 1930 John changed professions from Photographer to Bootmaker. He became well regarded as a leather worker of expertise who also crafted horse harnesses. He opened a small bootmaker’s shop built by Thekla Jarrold on her property, near the pond at the bottom of the hill.
John never married and continued his profession as a bootmaker from this little shop, maintaining a close relationship with Thekla until her death in 1943. His bootmaker’s shop remains today beside the White Cloud cottage and is one of only three remaining shops in the Little Eltham area from the early 20th century.