Penn, Albert Thomas Watson, 1849-1924 (photographer)
- Existence: 1849 - 1924
Albert Thomas Watson Penn was born at Street, Wells on 30th March 1849. His first appearance in India appears to have been in around 1875, in which year he was advertising in Thacker's' Directory as a commercial photographer at Ootacamund (also known as Udagamandalam). He lived and had a studio at Cranley Cottage from 1880. In 1911 his business was styled 'Ootacamund Photo Establishment'. Apart from visits to Europe he continued in Ootacamund until circa 1913, in later years also running the Reliance Auction and Commission Agency and the Farrington (or Farington) Hotel. He is not recorded in later directories although he evidently remained in India after his retirement. He died of cerebral apoplexy at Coonor on 19th October 1924 and was buried there the following day in Tiger Hill Cemetery, All Saints Church (Madras burials: IOR/N/2/136 f. 212).
Carmichael, Amy Wilson- (1907), 'Overweights of joy', London : Morgan and Scott. [Contains photographs by Penn].
Carmichael, Amy Wilson- (1910), 'Lotus buds'. London: Morgan and Scott. [All but two photographs by Penn].
Madras burials: IOR/N/2/136 f.212.
St Catherine's House (index of births).
Found in 7 Collections and/or Records:
151 x 194 mm. Grouped portrait of emaciated famine victims posed in the doorway of a thatched house. Full accounts of the Indian famines of the 1870s can be found in the Parliamentary Command Papers, Report of the Indian Famine Commission. See in particular Part III, Famine histories (c. 3086 of 1885).
Image 140 x 175 mm. on paper 152 x 199 mm. Showing three young children (female) grouped beside a barrel. The ethnic group has not been precisely identified, but these may be Kurumba children (compare with photograph reproduced in Edgar Thurston, ‘Castes and tribes of Southern India’ (7 vols, Madras, 1909), vol 7, facing pp. 161, 163).
Image 118 x 160 mm. on paper 152 x 199 mm. Full length studio portrait of four aboriginal women, two standing and two seated. The women are grouped around a sheaf of wheat, with a woven basket in the foreground. One of the women holds a sickle. The precise ethnic group has not been identified, but is possibly Badaga (see Thurston, ‘Castes and tribes of Southern India’, vol 1 pp. 63-124).
Image 119 x 162 mm. on paper 152 x 202 mm. Studio portrait of a Toda family group, the man standing, the wife and daughter seated in front of him.
A collection consisting of a panorama (5 joined prints) and loose prints, measuring approximately 280 x 210 mm. The prints are captioned (probably in Penn's hand) on the reverse. Prints 1 and 2 are also rubberstamped 'A.T.W. Penn, Reliance, Ootacamund'. This refers to the Reliance Auction and Commission Agency run by Penn in the early years of the twentieth century.