Starting to get a picture of sticky backs mystery
A PICTURE puzzle from earlier this year showed three young men with the legend 'Sticky Backs, 169 Union Street'.
My first thought had been that this was a perhaps touring musical hall act but it transpired that 'sticky backs' was a generic name given to a means of producing small, postage-stamp-sized, passport-style pictures that had gummed backs.
In 1912, around the time of the height of the sticky-back craze, Henry Yeo was working as a photographer at 169 Union Street.
Following on from the original shot supplied by Geoff Sloggett, Mrs G Read got in touch and sent in these two images, only one of which she can identify as being of a family member – her great grandfather, Charles Rathkey.
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He was a native of Plymouth, she says.
The photo was taken on a visit from Cardiff where his family had moved in his youth.
His daughter married a Plymouth gent.
"I presume," says Mrs Read, "that Charles (1859-1936) and the gent in picture No 736 visited the studio together, but I have no idea when or why the photographs were taken."