Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Trademarks copyrighted for 14 years

Government contractor J. Callaghan, naval contractor and shipping butcher, proudly displayed the Royal Arms insignia as his business credentials above his shop entrance.



Photograph - J Callaghan's Butcher's shop, Morrison Street, Hobart
Description: 1 photographic print
ADRI: NS1013-1-1075
Source: Archives Office of Tasmania

T. J. Nevin's government contractor stamp





Water flow caused by the landslip at Glenorchy, June 1872
Stereograph in arched yellow mount
Thomas J. Nevin, June 1872.
Verso stamped with Nevin’s Royal Arms insignia issued by Lands Dept.
TMAG Ref: Q1994.56.2. Verso below

Just as the butcher J. Callaghan displayed his government contract credentials above his shop entrance, Thomas J. Nevin would have displayed a similar sign in his studio window at 140 Elizabeth Street, Hobart and at his New Town studio. This is one of many extant examples of photographs printed verso with T. J. Nevin's government contractor stamp. It includes the Royal Arms insignia which was required on at least one photograph per batch of 100 to signify joint copyright with the Lands and Survey Department and the Municipal Police Office, Hobart Town Hall and City Council, between 1865 and 1876.





Hobart Supreme Court seal 1880s

Death warrants 1883-4
From Death Warrants V.D.L. Tasmania Supreme Court. Mitchell Library C203

Photo copyright © KLW NFC 2009 Arr

The Hobart Supreme Court seal (stamped here on a death warrant 1883, SLNSW), with the Royal Arms insignia of lion and unicorn rampant, was the same insignia used by Thomas J. Nevin on the versos of prisoner photographs. It appears on this parliamentary document, October 1873.



The list of 109 prisoners sent to Port Arthur from 1871 and tabled to return by October 1873 to the Hobart Gaol. See the full list here from this order photographed by Thomas J. Nevin 1873-1874.

Trade Marks Act 28, No. 6, Victoria, 1864.



Walch's Tasmanian Almanac 1889, p. 222. Detail below.
Copyright © KLW NFC 2008 ARR




Tasmanian photographers' copyright of their commercial work was regulated by the Registration of Trade Marks Act 28, No. 6, Victoria, from 1864. As this notice indicates, only two copies of their trade mark, applied to two samples of the "goods" they were intended to protect were required to be deposited with the Registrar. The applicant was issued with a one year Provisional Certificate, and if no objection was raised, the copyright endured absolute for a period of 14 years. Tasmanian artists wishing to register proprietorship of paintings, drawings, works of art, engravings and photographs were required to place their applications with Office of Copyright Registry of Victoria.

Photographers would deposit a photograph, and a studio stamp visible on either the recto mount or verso of the particular photograph, as a generic example of the purpose of their application. The practice at the Patents Office of Victoria from 1870 to 1873 was to stamp the photograph with the date of registration, number it, and place it in a scrapbook. The registers included the date of registration, the name and address of proprietor or author, a description of the work and date of first publication. Images were registered from 1870 until 1906. The Victorian Patents Office was located in the Melbourne Town Hall. See this example of Charles Nettleton's registration of his portrait of convict Lowry.

Under the "Merchandise Marks Act, 1864" as it was known in Tasmania, Thomas J. Nevin held copyright of at least 8 trade marks between 1863 and 1888, the last date from records registering his occupation as "photographer": -

  • One bearing the wording "Thomas Nevins New Town Tasmania" 1863
  • One carrying his abbreviated first name "Thos Nevin", 1865-1888 for his New Town studio.
  • One for the trade names "Nevin & Smith", 1866-68, inside a crest
  • One for the trade names "Nevin & Smith", 1866-68 bearing the Royal feathers insignia of Albert, Duke of Edinburgh, printed during the visit of the Galatea  (1868)
  • A blind stamp impress on the recto of stereographs, "T. Nevin, Photo" 1860s-1870s
  • One bearing his name and single initial "T. Nevin, late A. Bock" 1868- 1880 with the kangaroo design;
  • One bearing the handwritten inscription "Clifford & Nevin", 1860s-1870s;
  • One bearing his name and two initials "T. J. Nevin", 1872-1886 with the Royal Arms insignia devised for use with government documents etc
Additional variations appear as blind stamps on the mount of his early stereographs, and on his album labels held at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. Thomas Nevin retained the copyright of at least two of these trademarks over a period of 14 years:
  • the kangaroo design (1866-1880) which appears frequently on his studio portraits of private clientele,
  • the Royal Arms government insignia (1872-1884) which appears on the verso of stereographs taken for the Lands and Survey Dept in the 1860s,; on the verso of Tasmanian convict portraits; and on the verso of portraits of government officials and their families, such as this portrait of a man who may have been a prison official .


These examples (below) of convict William Smith, transportee per the Gilmore (3) 1843, were taken on two different occasions: Smith was released on a ticket of leave in September 1873, and photographed on discharge by Nevin at the Police Office central registry, Hobart Town Hall. A repeat offender, he was incarcerated again in April 1874 at the Hobart Gaol. Released a year later, he was wanted again for larceny and arrested on 9th July 1875 when Nevin photographed him again at the Hobart Gaol (Mitchell Library item). Both photographs bear Nevin's trademark and the Royal Arms insignia similar to the Hobart Supreme Court seal.

The official trademark was used to register Nevin's copyright, access his commission, and renew his contract as police and prisons photographer. Only one generic example was required to register a batch of 100. The majority of prisoner photographs taken by Thomas J. Nevin were not stamped verso as they were intended for police information; they were first and foremost legal instruments used daily for tracking suspects on warrant, for pasting to the prisoner's criminal record sheet on incarceration, and for the discharge of the prisoner taken a fortnight prior to release. Nevin's work extended to exclusive photography for the Municipal and Territorial Police after his appointment in 1876 to the Town Hall as a civil servant, when the use of his government insignia stamp, which signified his status as government contractor while still operating as a commercial photographer, was no longer necessary.  Those prisoner mugshots taken at the Hobart Gaol from 1877 with the assistance of his younger brother Constable John Nevin, a full time salaried employee, were not taken on commission; they were taken and used exclusively for internal prison records and police office documentation.



William Smith per Gilmore (3), 1873 and 1874.
This item is held at the QVMAG, Launceston.

Thomas Nevin photographed William Smith again at the Hobart Gaol in February 1875 when Smith was arraigned for a further offence of larceny: this is the second photograph of the same man . It differs from the first one taken in 1873 which was copied for the Hobart Gaol in 1874. The 1875 photograph also bears Nevin's government contractor stamp on verso, and is one of at least thirteen of his photographs of Tasmanian prisoners held at the Mitchell Library, NSW (PXB 274):

William Smith photo by T J Nevin 1875

William Smith per Gilmore (2) 1875.
Photographed by T.J. Nevin: stamped verso with Royal Arms insignia.
Photograph held at the Mitchell Library NSW.






Photos copyright ©  KLW NFC 2009 ARR
Prisoner photographs with Nevin's government trademark on verso.
Mitchell Library NSW PXB 274


References: National Archives of Australia:
Series A1187: Registers of Proprietors [of Copyright] in Paintings, Drawings, Works of Sculpture, Engravings, and Photographs, C series, [with indexes] 15 Mar 1870 - 2 Sep 1910
Series A1719: Artistic Copyright Files, C Series 1 Jan 1871 - 31 Dec 1913
Series A2388: Volumes of forms used for the registration of the proprietorship of paintings, drawings, works of sculpture, engravings and photographs under the Copyright Act 1863 and 1890 1 Jan 1870 - 31 Dec 1909
The Tasmanian trademarks registry lists many applications from British, American, European companies with international brands of tobacco, liquor, and farming implements:
Series A1098 Register of Tasmanian Trade Marks 1869-1906
Series A1099 Classification Index to Tasmanian Trade Marks 1869-1906
Series A1101 Alphabetical Index to Proprietors of Tasmanian Trade Marks 1869-1906
Series A1566 Applications for Tasmanian Trade Marks 1869-1906

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Monday, March 10, 2008

The A.H. Boyd misattribution at DAAO


The Dictionary of Australian Artists Online (DAAO at http://www.daao.org.au/main), administered by the University of NSW, has become another contributor, albeit a highly skeptical one, to the myth that the Port Arthur Commandant, A.H. Boyd (June 1871 - December 1873) was a photographer (i.e. an "artist", hence the inclusion), simply by association with Thomas Nevin's photographs of Tasmanian convicts.

Our point is this: A H Boyd was NOT a photographer (a corrupt accountant, in fact), and therefore - in the terms of the DAAO - not an ARTIST - and so the DAAO should NOT have an entry for him. If the DAAO retains the entry, the logic they are using goes something like this: "Paul Keating was a politician, he administered money to give to artists, therefore he was an artist". Furthermore, by associating A. H. Boyd with T. J. Nevin, the prisons photographer, the logic goes like this: "Peter Sculthorpe wrote Variations on the Sunrise (a fictional example) with a grant from Paul Keating's government, therefore Paul Keating was the composer of Variations on the Sunrise" etc etc etc...

The DAAO specifically states at this URL - http://www.daao.org.au/intro/about.html - that a person eligible for inclusion should meet these criteria:

Who classifies as an Australian Artist?
An Australian artist is defined as a person, living or dead, who:
— has a body of artistic work
— considers themselves to be an artist
— is considered by others to be an artist
— is a resident or citizen or is known as an Australian.

A.H. Boyd was NOT a photographer, NOT an Australian artist, NOT considered by himself or by others in his lifetime or subsequently to be classified as one, so WHY is the entry here in the DAAO?

This is the DAAO entry for A. H. Boyd, as this point in time (May 2009.) What follows on the DAAO entries are supplementary comments from this weblog:

THE DAAO ENTRY for Adolarious Humphrey Boyd (2009)
photographer [!] and penal officer, was commandant at the Port Arthur convict settlement from June 1871 to March 1874. Chris Long points out that in 1873 Boyd ordered 288 glass plates and a case of photographic equipment for Port Arthur, while a photo stand and portable studio/darkroom tent were sent on to him personally from Port Arthur in April 1874 after he left the station. Long considers this proves that Boyd was an enthusiastic amateur photographer and took the large collection of extant cdv portraits of Port Arthur convicts (c. 1874, QWMAG, AOT, TMAG) - the first photographic portraits known of Tasmanian convicts. Some of the prints, however, carry T.J. Nevin's stamp on the back, which Long thinks may be commercial copies of the works (see Monte Scott and J. Hunter Kerr). But it seems more likely that Boyd commissioned Nevin to come down from Hobart Town and take the convicts as a straight commercial job, in the same way as Nevin was commissioned to take a Hobart firm's full range of coaches, especially since commercial mainland photographers like Nettleton were already taking prison photos by this date. If so, Boyd would have been responsible for ordering photographic and other supplies for an employee. Even so, Boyd must have had considerable enthusiasm for photography to have bothered to go to the expense and effort to get permission and payment for the experiment.
This entry is a stub. You can help the DAAO by submitting a biography.
Staff Writer.
And then there is this inane comment in the SUMMARY:
An amateur photographer, Adolarious Humphrey Boyd took photographs of convicts in Tasmania (not surprising given his job as a penal officer).
What? It is very surprising, given that he was NOT a photographer!

COMMENTS from this weblog:
Despite the claim of the reviewer(s) of this DAAO entry to elevate A H Boyd's status to "photographer/artist" besides an association with Thomas J. Nevin's convict photographs, the Mitchell Library SLNSW DOES NOT have a record of any photograph catalogued at PXD 511 f.10, titled "Port Arthur during ocupation. Enlargement from a stereoscopic view by A.H. Boyd Esq". The only photograph with a similar title is cataogued at the Mitchell as: Photographic Views in Tasmania [being mainly of Hobart and Port Arthur, ca. 1878-1895] / by Anson Brothers Creator : Anson Brothers Date of Work : ca. 1878-1895 Type of Material : Pictures Ask for : Original : PX*D 221 21. Port Arthur During Convict Occupation. No photographs exist or ever existed by A.H. Boyd. The Mitchell Library's Tasmanian Papers Ref: 320 cearly show the arrival of Thomas Nevin on May 8th, 1874 at Port Arthur, in the same year 1874 which appears transcribed on the verso on several convict cartes (eg NLA Collection of convict portraits Port Arthur 1874). No photographer's studio stamp other than Nevin's appears on these convict cartes. Nevin's trademark for this contract was submitted and maintained for 14 years under the official Trademarks Act of 1864(NAA).
The DAAO specifically states at this URL - http://www.daao.org.au/intro/about.html - that a person eligible for inclusion should meet these criteria: Who classifies as an Australian Artist? An Australian artist is defined as a person, living or dead, who: — has a body of artistic work — considers themselves to be an artist — is considered by others to be an artist — is a resident or citizen or is known as an Australian. A.H. Boyd was NOT a photographer, NOT an Australian artist, NOT considered by himself or by others in his lifetime or subsequently to be classified as one, so WHY is the entry here in the DAAO??

Thomas Nevin took a photograph of the Queen's Orphan School (1864) for its administrator, Dr John Coverdale whose predecessor Adolarious Humphrey Boyd was dismissed from the post after less than two years as Superintendent (July 1862-October 1864). This same A. H. Boyd was despised by the public throughout his career as an administrator of the Orphan School, as Commandant of the Port Arthur Penitentiary, and administrator of the Cascades Asylum for Paupers, evidence of which proliferates in Parliamentary Papers seeking his dismissal, and in newspaper articles of the day decrying his bullying of staff and misuse of public funds. A. H. Boyd's descendants in the 1980s - who appear to have inherited their ancestor's nasty disposition - desperately tried to bring him up from history smelling like roses with a photographic attribution to the hundreds of extant police mugshots taken by Thomas Nevin in the 1870s. A. H. Boyd was no photographer, amateur, official or otherwise, in fact, no single document or photograph exists which substantiates the ridiculous and aggressive deceptions of Boyd's descendants to credit him as a photographer "artist" of any persuasion. No doubt Boyd knew Thomas Nevin from his work such as this photograph of the St. John's Church and Orphanages, and from Nevin's studio portraiture at Alfred Bock's in the early 1860s. He knew too that his brother-in-law, the Hon. W. R. Giblin, Attorney-General 1870-77, was Thomas Nevin's family solicitor. A. H. Boyd's misogyny cost him the job of Superintendent at the Orphan School. He was dismissed in October 1864.

A.H. Boyd (1829-1891) was an accountant at the Port Arthur prison in 1853, superintendent of the Queen's Orphan School (July 1862-October 1864), stipendiary magistrate at Huon (1866-1870), and Civil Commandant of Port Arthur (June 1871-December 1873), a position he was forced to resign because of allegations of corruption and nepotism implicating his brother-in-law Attorney-General W. R. Giblin. He was not a photographer. A. H. Boyd had no reputation during his life time as a photographer, and no photographic work exists by A. H. Boyd. His "amateur photographer" status originated with Chris Long (1985, 1995) from the singular circumstance of Boyd's presence at the Port Arthur site in 1873, a date which only approximates the date "1874" written on the verso of several extant convict cartes (Davies & Stanbury, 1985; Kerr & Stilwell, 1992; Long, 1995; Reeder, 1995). The assumption was that a cargo of photographic plates sent to Port Arthur in July 1873 was used by Boyd to take photographs of the prisoners there; research has shown the plates were accompanied by T. J. Nevin's partner Samuel Clifford and used to photograph the site's buildings, visiting dignitaries, and the surrounding landscape (Tasmanian Papers Mitchell Library Ref: 320). It was assumed that the wet plate process was used by the photographer at Port Arthur, but Clifford was known for his proficiency in dry plate photography (Kerr, 1992). It was also assumed that other photographic equipment returned to Hobart in April 1874 - a tent and stand - was Boyd's personal property, but the only property that is listed as Boyd's is "1 child's carriage, 1 package Deer Horns, 1 Hat Box, Leather, 1 package of Buttons [?]" accompanied by his wife who was a passenger. Because these assumptions were published as a "belief" in the A-Z reference, Tasmanian Photographers 18401-940: A Directory (1995: TMAG, Gillian Winter ed), several publishers and curators in the past decade have mistaken the "belief" about Boyd to be an attribution as photographer of convicts. The surviving photographs of Tasmanian convicts in public holdings from the 1870s to the early 1880s were taken by the commercial photographer Thomas J. Nevin on contract to the Lands and Survey Dept of the Hobart City Council and Hobart Gaol, in terms identical to Nettleton's generic practice under contract to the Victorian prison system, 1873-1880. Extensive research on the work of Thomas [T.J.] Nevin based on original documentation can be accessed at http://tasmanianphotographer.blogspot.com


Below is the entry by the DAAO on Nevin which omits several important details supplied by his biographers Professor Joan Kerr and Specialist Collections Librarian G.T. Stilwell in the prototype publication The Dictionary of Australian Artists and Photographers to 1870 (Kerr, ed. 1992) from which the DAAO staff writers claim to draw their information.

2. THE DAAO ENTRY for Thomas J. Nevin (2008)

professional photographer and civil servant, was born near Belfast, Ireland. From 1867 until the end of 1875 he worked alone as a commercial photographer from Alfred Bock's former studio at 140 Elizabeth Street, Hobart, except for a period in the early 1870s when the firm became Nevin & Smith. (Smith has not been identified.) The bulk of the practice was the normal one of taking views, mainly of and around Hobart, like the stereo photo New Town from the Public School (Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery), and carte de visite portraits which were apparently of lower middle-class sitters to judge from the collection of standard portrait photographs and hand-coloured cartes-de-visite in the Archives Office of Tasmania. Larger commissions included photographing the full range of coaches used by Samuel Page's firm in the early 1870s.
Seventy cdv identification photographs of Port Arthur convicts taken in about 1874 (Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery), two years before the settlement was closed, have been attributed to Nevin because several of them carry his studio stamp. Long, however, believes he was merely the printer or copyist of these and claims that the Port Arthur commandant A.H. Boyd was the sole Port Arthur convict photographer. Professional photographers, however, were employed to take identification photographs in mainland Australian prisons from the beginning of the 1870s (see Charles Nettleton) and these Port Arthur portraits fit the genre. Moreover, the darkroom Boyd authorised in the Port Arthur garden was not necessarily for his own use; no photographs taken by him have been identified.
Nevin's photographic career ended abruptly at the end of 1875 and on 8 January 1876 the studio was advertised for lease. 'Mr Thomas Nevin, photographer', had been appointed over twenty-three other applicants to the office of keeper at the Hobart Town Hall following the death of the former keeper Mr Needham. Despite a tendency to drink on duty, he remained in the position until 3 December 1880, when he was dismissed for being drunk the previous evening. The more serious charge for which he had been arrested, that he was associated with (or was) a figure in phosphorescent clothing who had been terrorising local residents by appearing late at night as a ghost, was dismissed for lack of evidence.
Staff Writer.

COMMENTS from this weblog:

Our comments, heavily edited by the DAAO (March 2008):

Thomas Nevin's photographic career did not end abruptly in 1876 when he took the position of keeper (1876-1880) of the Hobart Town Hall, the location of the Police Office with cells in the basement. He maintained photographic studios at 140 Elizabeth St, Hobart Town and at New Town (Hobart) from c.1865 until the mid 1880s while working continuously as both commercial photographer and government photographer in prisons. He was also a Special Constable. He did not work alone: his partners were the photographers Alfred Bock, Samuel Clifford, Nevin & Smith (of Smiths studio, Hobart 1865), and his brother Jack Nevin (Hobart Gaol). His sitters and private clientele were from all classes and callings(that they appeared poorly dressed to Chris Long (1995:68) is just a sniffy 20th century view of clothing in the 1870s, and the source of the comment regarding "lower-middle class"); his clients included the Attorney-General and Premier W.R. Giblin whose portrait is held at the Archives Office of Tasmania; merchants and seamen (photos lithographed as advertisements for Samuel Page's coach line); women in Sunday best; Wesleyans; children (1868, with Smith, SLV); all members of his immediate family (parents, siblings, wife and in-laws); and other photographers. The number of photographs of Port Arthur convicts/Tasmanian prisoners taken by Thomas Nevin exceeded 300; more than 200 survive at the QVMAG, TMAG, NLA, AOT and in private collections. He also produced large numbers of salt-paper stereographs in the late 1860s; 50 or more are held at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. There is no evidence to suggest that Nevin (a Wesleyan) had a "tendency to drink on duty": his dismissal from the Town Hall position was the result of one evening's events.
Substantial research from original sources on the work of Tasmanian photographer Thomas J. Nevin (1842-1923) can be accessed at these sites: http://tasmanianphotographer.blogspot.comhttp://thomasnevin.wordpress.comhttp://prisonerpics.blogspot.com

The DAAO staff writer has taken some information from the entry for Nevin in the print publication The Dictionary of Australian Artists and Photographers to 1870 (1992:568), and incorporated irrelevant comments by Chris Long about the prison administrator A.H. Boyd (not a photographer), and Long's social class judgments, from the print publication Tasmanian Photographers 1840-1940 (1995:36). Why do these staff writers and reviewers pose as experts on Nevin when they are not, and why do they choose to ignore recent research based on key data easily accessible from historical documents we put online in these weblogs? Hidebound, conservative, and not very professional, is the impression gained from correspondence with the DAAO by writers of this weblog.


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