Cover image for Alfred Abbott
Alfred Abbott
Agency Number:
Start Date:
01 Jan 1838
End Date:
03 Sep 1872
Alfred Abbott (1838-1872) was an amateur photographer, watchmaker and diarist. He was the eldest son of Francis Abbott and Mary, nee Woolley, of Derby, England. His father arrived at Van Diemen's Land in 1844, sentenced to seven years' transportation. Francis Abbott set up business as a clock-maker in Hobart Town and in 1850, his wife and family were granted free passage to join him. Alfred Abbott also worked as a watchmaker, produced 'view pictures' and, with his brother Charles Abbott, accompanied John Mathieson Sharp on photographic excursions. 
Alfred Abbott ordered a camera from Caselea's of England on 11 June, 1859. The equipment, including a stereoscopic camera, plates and a quarter plate lens, arrived in Hobart on 27 January, 1860. A few of his views are thought to have been published by J Walch and Sons in Hobart c.1860. He visited Launceston in April 1860, and his stereoscopic views of Oatlands and Launceston appear to be among the earliest surviving photographic records of these areas. Alfred's photographs are mainly views of Hobart, its buildings, and nearby scenery such as Grass-Tree Hill and Fern Tree Valley. Most are stereoscopic prints, a few are single half-plates.
Alfred Abbott's important album of early photographs survives in the Crowther Library (C5674), an album of more than 200 photos of Hobart, other Tasmanian towns and parts of Victoria taken by Charles and Alfred Abbott and other photographers between 1857 and 1870. The Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts holds Alfred Abbott's diary (1858-1861). The diary together with the album give a uniquely precise and detailed view of the mid 19th century Tasmanian photographic scene. 
Alfred Abbott married Georgiana Sophia Jane, daughter of James Fitzgerald, at Holy Trinity Church, Hobart Town, in October 1865. He died at Ashfield, Sydney, on 3 September 1872. 

Information Sources:
Alfred Abbott. Design & Art Australia Online, viewed February, 2019.;;;;Long, Chris. Tasmanian photographers 1840-1940 : a directory (Tasmanian Historical Research Association ; Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery : 1995). ;;
Functions Performed:
Arts and culture
Series Created By Agency:
ALL6 Diary of Alfred Abbott01 Aug 185821 Jul 1861