Lyne Brown (? - )

Photographer worked at Elijah Hart ‘s former George Street gallery in Sydney from May 1854. He advertised in the Illustrated Sydney News on 30 September that coloured daguerreotype portraits and a wide selection of photographic imports (including fancy cases, frames and glass stereoscopic views) were available from his Photographic Institution, 197 George Street.

At the exhibition held at the Australian Museum in 1854 in preparation for the 1855 Paris Universal Exhibition, Lyne Brown exhibited a daguerreotype portrait and a pair of views ( Rain and Sunshine ). The latter, taken by the collodion wet-plate process – which Lyne Brown was one of the first to popularise in Sydney – appear to have been sent on to Paris. In January 1855 he was advertising ‘recent Improvements in PHOTOGRAPHIC PORTRAITS’ in Waugh and Cox’s Sydney Directory , proclaiming the superiority of his stereoscopic camera (‘by one of the first London makers’) and his glass collodion pictures (ambrotypes) to the cumbersome apparatus and silver reflecting plates of the daguerreotype. He emphasised that the greater speed of the collodion wet-plate process made it ideal for portraits of children. (Advertising that your studio took children and babies faster than anyone else was almost universal in the early years of photography as the head clamps used to keep adults immobile were obviously unsuitable for the very young.)

Although difficult to trace, Lyne Brown seems to have been based at Sydney throughout the 1850s. He is possibly the ‘M.’ Brown listed respectively at 451 and 628 Wilshire Place, Brickfield Hill, in 1857 and 1858. Professional travels north of Sydney were taken in the 1860s and 1870s, including several visits to Singleton in the Hunter Valley. According to available directories, ‘J.L. Browne, Artist’ was there in 1862 63, while J. ‘S.’ Brown, photographer, was resident in 1867 68. An undoubted J. Lyne Brown was there in 1880, working from George Street. Cartes-de-visite are known from the town.

Brown was working in the New England area in the 1870s, advertising at Uralla in 1872 that he had been making stereoscopic portraits since 1855 (sic) and was now ‘Operating Daily at Carroll’s Court House Hotel’. As well as taking portraits, he had views of Murrurundi, Tamworth, Inverell, Bundarra and Uralla available for a shilling each. He was at Glen Innes in 1876. He ventured as far north as Cairns in North Queensland on one of his trips and settled there from 1894 to 1919. His studio was in Abbott Street, opposite the wharves. Lyne Brown became an alderman on Cairns City Council, where he was renowned for his caustic wit.


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