SIR JOHN BENJAMIN STONE (9 February 1838 – 2 July 1914), known as
Benjamin, was a British Conservative politician and photographer.
* 1 Life and career
* 2 References
* 3 Further reading
* 4 External links
LIFE AND CAREER
Stone was born in Duddeston,
Birmingham the son of a manager at a
local glass works. The business passed into the hands of Stone, his
father and a partner in 1860. It was later sold. By this time Stone
had become a successful paper manufacturer.
Stone was a local Conservative politician, founder of the Birmingham
Conservative Association and MP for
Birmingham East from 1895 to 1909.
He was a member of the
Sutton Coldfield Corporation for many years and
was the first Mayor of the town in 1886 when the new Municipal
Corporation was created; a post he held for four years. He was
knighted in 1892 and was appointed High Steward of the Royal Town of
Sutton Coldfield in 1902.
He was also a prolific amateur documentary photographer who travelled
widely in pursuit of his hobby. He made 26,000 photographs and wrote
books as he travelled to
Brazil . Amongst
his published works were 'A Tour with Cook through Spain' (1873),
Norway (1882), and a fairy tale called The Traveller's
Joy. He also made an invaluable record of the folk customs and
traditions of the British Isles, which influenced later photographers
of note, including
Homer Sykes ,
Daniel Meadows ,
Anna Fox and Tony
Ray-Jones . Stone wrote of his purpose as being "to portray for the
benefit of future generations the manners and customs, the festivals
and pageants, the historic places and places of our times."
Stone travelled with a scientific expedition to northern
see the 1893 total solar eclipse . Notable images taken by Stone
include those of the deposition of governor José Clarindo de Queirós
of the then province of
Ceará in Brazil, in which he prevented the
rebels from firing at the governor's palace until he had taken
photographs of them beside their guns.
The Benjamin Stone Photographic Collection housed in the Library of
Birmingham contains many thousands of examples of his work. In 1897
he founded the National Photographic Record Association, of which he
became president. The National Portrait Gallery holds 62 of his
portraits and many photographs of people and places in and around
Westminster . His amateur career culminated in 1911 with his
appointment as official photographer to the coronation of King George
He became president of the
Birmingham Photographic Society, a Justice
of the Peace , and a member of the Society of Antiquaries and of the
Geological Society . He was admitted as an honorary member of the
Clothworkers\' Company in February 1902.
Stone died at his home, The Grange in
Erdington , on 2 July 1914. His
wife of nearly fifty years died on 5 July, just three days later. They
were buried together in a double funeral in
Sutton Coldfield on 7 July
1914. A rotund, bewhiskered man, Stone has been described by his
biographer as quietly self-assured and contented in temperament.
(Stephen Roberts, 'Sir Benjamin Stone 1838-1914: Photographer,
Traveller and Politician' (2014). Four soldiers of the King\'s
African Rifles at the
Coronation of King Edward VII and Queen
Alexandra in 1902
* ^ Quoted in Douglas B. Graham (production editor), Documentary
Photography, Time-Life Books, 1974, p. 23
* ^ "In pictures: A journey through 19th Century Brazil". BBC News
. 2 October 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
* ^ "Exhibition of photographs from 1893 eclipse expedition to
Royal Astronomical Society
Royal Astronomical Society . Retrieved 2 October 2014.
* ^ "The Benjamin Stone Photographic Collection". Library of
Birmingham . Retrieved 2 October 2014.
* ^ "Court circular". The Times (36689). London. 12 February 1902.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to JOHN BENJAMIN STONE .
* Stephen Roberts 'Sir Benjamin Stone 1838-1914: Photographer,
Traveller and Politician' (2014)
* Elizabeth Edwards, Peter James and Martin Barnes. A Record of
England: Sir Benjamin Stone and the National Photographic Record
Association 1897-1910. Stockport: Dewi Lewis in association with V&A
Publications, 2006. ISBN 978-1-904587-37-8
* Colin Ford. Sir Benjamin Stone, 1838-1914 & the National
Photographic Record Association. London: National Portrait Gallery,
* Bill Jay. Customs and Faces: Photographs of Sir Benjamin Stone.
London: Academy Editions, 1972. ISBN 0-902620-83-5
* Douglas V. Jones. The Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield: a
Commemorative History. Sutton Coldfield: Westwood Press, 1994. ISBN
* Sir Benjamin Stone's Pictures, Volume 1: Festivals, Ceremonies and
Customs. 1906, re-issued