Wherrett & McGuffie

Wherrett & McGuffieWherrett & McGuffie

A rare carte bearing the Wherrett & McGuffie stamp on mount and verso.

© The Private Collection of John and Robyn McCullagh 2005-2007 ARR

This article appeared in 1899 in –

The Cyclopedia of Tasmania Vol .1, 1899 (?)Page 597-599 Click the link here.

WHERRETT & CO. High Art Photographers, 113 Elizabeth St, Hobart (established 1872).

For very many years Hobart has been an exceedingly good “diggings” for photographers, and the oldest and one of the best establishments is that of Messrs. Wherret and Co. of Elizabeth Street.This business was started as far back as 1872 by the late Mr Charles Wherret, father of the present proprietor, and is now carried on by his eldest son, Mr Charles B. Wherrett under the style of Wherrett and Co. As a portrait studio it is second to none in the colonies, and is largely patronised not only by Tasmanians, but by visitors during season, and universal admiration is expressed as the clearness and artistic style in which all the pictures are produced.

The progress of the art of photography has developed very many processes beyond the ordinary system of studio portraiture, and of these Mr Wherrett has taken up three, and made a speciality of them, producing a great deal of really admirable work. In his ordinary portraits, his poses are always good, and his developments distinguished by clearness and softness; but from his special plates really wonderful effects are obtained. He uses the silver chloride, platinotype, and bromide processes, and some of his platinotypes are really magnificent, and have such wonderful sharpness and precision of outline, that they may almost be mistaken for steel engravings.Of course, in successful work of this description, much depends upon the skilful preparation of the plates before printing, and Mr Wherrett has on his staff a very expert re-toucher, who carefully looks after this particular process of the art.

The firm devotes attention to all the various branches of photography, and have operators who have been specially trained in their respective lines. They are prepared to produce photographs of wedding, picnic, and other groups, football, cricket, bowling, tennis, and polo teams, bicyclists etc in the field or otherwise, yachts, shipping, animals at rests or in motion, and all branches of instantaneous photography; architecture (interior and exterior), monuments and gravestones, copying and still life, landscapes, etc. They also announce special arrangements for flashlight photography. By this comparatively new branch of the art daylight is dispensed with, and it is now possible to obtain photographs of family groups in their own homes, ball parties, theatrical scenes, and audiences in public halls, lodge and other groups, interiors of warehouses, shops, and other buildings too dark for daylight work. This branch has been placed in the hands of a gentleman who has won the premier position throughout Australasia for flashlight work, and thoroughly understands the subject.

One of the features which renders a good photographic establishment valuable in a city is the facility for obtaining reproductions of the portraits of the past. When friends have departed from the colony, or probably passed to “that bourne from whence no traveller returns,” it is frequently desired to obtain copies of their living presentments, and a permanent, well conducted studio generally retains and carefully catalogues all the negative plates taken, so that prints from them can be obtained at any time. Messrs. Wherrett and Co. have a large stock of these negatives, extending back to the year 1884, and are in a position, to a great extent, to gratify “fond memories of the past,” should any desire to do so.

The establishment of Messrs. Wherrett and Co. is an extensive one, fitted up with every regard to the comfort of its patrons, and polite attendants are always ready to afford information or to exhibit the work of the studio. The Elizabeth Street frontage, about 20 feet, is graced by double plate-glass windows, full of specimens of the work done within, and are among the chief attractions of the street. Special appointments are usually made for the sittings, and these are booked and strictly adhered to, the finished picture being delivered with promptness and despatch. Mr. Wherrett is a native of Hobart, and one who takes a deep interest in everything connected with the progress of the city, although not assuming any active part in publi caffairs. He is a man of gentlemanly demeanour and good conversational powers, and a favourite with all his patrons, who receive at his hands the utmost courtesy and attention.

State Library of Tasmania Catalogue details: (also digitised) The Cyclopedia of Tasmania (illustrated) : an historical and commercial review : descriptive and biographical, facts, figures, and illustrations : an epitome of progress : business men and commercial interests.

Publisher Hobart : Maitland and Krone, [1899?]-1900.Description 2 v. : ill. ; 29 cm.
Notes: Ferguson The source of the photograph of Charles B. Wherrett is the Tasmanian Cyclopedia, Volume 1:Full account of the activities of the Wherret & Co. studios, from the State Library of Tasmania’s digitised version at this link: