Lytham St.Annes Coat of Arms
Lytham St.Annes, Lancashire, England


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These photos were produced by Helmut Petschler and his wife and were probably taken in 1866, before the construction of Central Pier, 1867-8.


Helmut Petschler 1832-69

Petschler was a Manchester photographer active in the 1860s. He took several hundred photographs of locations throughout England, Wales and Ireland. Many of these were published as carte de visites or Stereoscopic photos.

Most of his English topographical views are of Lancashire, Yorkshire, Cumberland, Westmorland, Cheshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire. He took a large number of photos of Manchester at a time when the city was expanding into the new Victorian suburbs.

The photographer, Helmuth (Helmut) Carl Frederick Martin Petschler was born in Germany in 1832 and emigrated to England.

There was a large German community in Manchester at this time CLICK HERE for more info (PDF Document).

 In 1854 he married Alice Hadfield, second daughter of John Bennett of Glossop, Derbyshire. They lived at Lime Grove, Chorlton are known to have had at least three children.

In 1861 they were living at Lime Grove with their daughter Millicent (b.1859). This Census lists his occupation as just 'Manchester Merchant' but he was in partnership with R Consterdine, Manchester, as 'Photographic Printers' but the partnership was dissolved in 1862.




Manchester, 1866. Oxford Road Station is to the top and Lime Grove is marked in red to the bottom right. Lime Grove is now part of the University of Manchester Campus.
Map courtesy of

Oxford Street and Lime Grove, Manchester 1866

An example of a carte de visite photo by H Petschler c1863. Many subjects in his portrait photos look Germanic.


'Lytham Church' an example of a scenic carte de visite photo by Petschler. Helmut and his wife were both photographers and set up the Manchester Photographic Company in 1865.

Although the company was declared bankrupt by November 1866 they appear to have continued.

Their second daughter, Elise was born Sept 1867.


Manchester Photographic Company (Limited).

NOTICE is hereby given, that at a Special General Meeting of the Shareholders in this Company, held March 9th, 1868, at the offices, No. 84, Market-street, Manchester, it was resolved :—
1st. " That the Manchester Photographic Company (Limited) having proved unprofitable, be wound up voluntarily, and that this Meeting proceed to appoint Liquidators to carry out this
resolution." And
2nd. " That Wm. Scott Brown, Henry Verity, and K. C. Stonex be, and are hereby appointed Liquidators of the Manchester Photographic Company (Limited), with full powers according to the Act."
"Wm. Scott Brown, Chairman.
At a Special Meeting held March 26th, 1868, it was resolved :-
2nd " That the resolutions passed at the General Meeting, held March 9th, 1868, to voluntarily wind up the Company, and also the appointment of Messrs. Brown, Verity, and Stonex as Liquidators, be, and are hereby confirmed."
Wm. Scott Brown, Chairman

Death, Mental Illness & a National Scandal.

Helmut died in 1869 and his wife Alice moved to Altrincham, Cheshire, continuing to work as a photographer. Alice's wealthy sister lived nearby, in 'North Bank' a large house in Altrincham.

In November 1871 Alice's sister had her incarcerated in Parkside Lunatic Asylum, Macclesfield. Alice was released in Sept 1872 and the following June 1873 newspapers reported on the scandal of Mrs Petschler's incarceration. More can be read HERE and in contemporary newspapers.

By 1881 Alice had returned to Fallowfield, Manchester. Her occupation was dressmaker and she was living at 43, Egerton Road (North) when she died in October 1897.


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