Panorama by Stout 1864. Buildings prominent on the skyline from left: Commissariat in Cliff Street, first lighthouse Roundhouse and second courthouse on Arthur Hill, Lodge's Castle Hotel in Henry Street, Manning's Folly (with the observatory on top) in Pakenham Street. Click/tap to see a little more detail.

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Stephen Stout


Of fundamental importance to the story of photography in Fremantle is ex-convict Stephen Montague Stout (1831-1886). Having operated a boarding-school for boys in the town, an enterprise for which he was commended by local identities Samson and Bateman, in 1864 he opened a photographic studio in Henry Street, later moving to High Street. He charged 7/6d for three carte-de-visite portraits and also sold "coloured photographs on glass by the new process, warranted not to fade." From Fremantle he would visit places such as Bunbury and Guildford for a week or so to fulfil commissions. He produced what are believed to be the earliest outdoor photographs of Fremantle. (Dowson, 2003: 12.)

Dowson devotes no fewer than eleven pages, 84-94, to reproductions of photographs taken by Stout.

stephen stout

The Fremantle City Library had an exhibition of Stout's work in May-June 2016 as part of Heritage Week. They showed Walter's book on the cover of which is a photo apparently of Stout himself, which is reproduced here. (Click to see it in a larger size.) >
Important photographs shown included the first St John's Church, the Round House, the Convict Establishment, the Volunteer Rifle Brigade, William Pearse's butcher shop, the Mews Shipyard, and the Fremantle Green.

References and Links

Dowson, John 2003, Old Fremantle: Photographs 1850-1950, UWAP: 12, 84-94, from which comes the top photo, apparently a selfie. It is a daguerrotype (here cropped), one of a pair taken on the day of his wedding to Elinor Brown, 28 July 1868.

Walter, Irma 2014, Stout-Hearted: The Story of Stephen Montague Stout, Hesperian Press.

Walter, Irma 2017, 'Stephen Montague Stout - Convict Teacher, Photographer and Journalist', Fremantle Studies, 9: 48-64.

The banner at the top is Stout's 1860s photo of Fremantle from Monument Hill. Click on it to see in a slightly larger size.

Garry Gillard | New: 8 July, 2017 | Now: 5 October, 2022