John Thomas

1838 ~ 1905

Ffotograffydd

Yn ddiweddar mi ges i fenthyca llond bag o hen luniau gan Mrs O Pritchard, o Aberdaron. Rhai difyr dros ben e.e. Eleri Stors, Caffi Daron, a lluniau ysgol Deunant, Llidiardau, Botwnnog, a lluniau o hen longwyr llongau Roses, Amlwch. Gwych pob un i ni, yn drysor amhrisiadwy yn ei ffordd unigryw ei hun. Fel y gwyr pawb yn y pen yma, mi da ni’ll dau wedi mopio ar hen luniau, ac wrth ein boddau yn cael golwg yn yr hen duniau bisgedi i weld be sydd yn llechu o’i mewn. Dyma fynd drwy’r lluniau efo Mrs Pritchard, ‘roedd un ohonyn nhw yn hen iawn, ac amser wedi gadael ei ‘ol arno. Llun o gryddion Pensarn oedd o, a mi wyddai Mrs Pritchard enw un o’r prentisiaid bach sef William Jones, Penllech.

Wedi dod adref a chael golwg manylach ar y llun, mi sylwon ar enw’r ffotograffydd ar y cefn Thomas, 47 Everton Road, Liverpool. Doedd ei enw cyntaf ddim i’w weld ond roedden ni bron yn saff mai John fydde fe. Dyma gysylltu efo’r Llyfrgell Genedlaethol i gael gwybod yn union ble oedd stiwidio John Thomas yn Lerpwl ac mi ddaru William Troughton gadarnhau mai yn 47 Everton Road oedd o – wel son am ‘Waw Ffactor’ ond mwy na hynna doedd y llun arbennig yma ddim ymhlith casgliad enfawr John Thomas yn y Llyfrgell. Mi fydd rhai o’i ddelweddau yn gyfarwydd iawn i chi fel yr un o gwch Enlli ar y traeth yn Aberdaron. Crwydrai John Thomas oddamgylch Cymru yn niwedd y bedwaredd ganrif ar bymtheng yn tynnu lluniau ac mae ein dyled fel cenedl yn fawr iddo gan iddo gofnodi cymaint. Mi ydan ni mor falch ein bod wedi cael menthyca’r llun yma a cael ei ddangos yma i chi, delwedd un o gewri’r byd ffotograffiaeth a delwedd nad oes neb bron wedi ei weld o’r blaen. Gwenllian.

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John Thomas Photographer

by

William Troughton

John Thomas set up in business as a photographer on his own account in 1867. By ca.1880 he had moved to 47 Everton Road, though for a short period his photographs bore the legend “John Thomas, 47 Everton Road (late 66 St Anne Street, Liverpool) on the reverse. His business premises were referred to as “The Cambrian Gallery.” As this photograph has the address 47 Everton Road on the reverse it is likely it dates from the early 1880’s or 1890’s. Not all photographers were meticulous about dating their photographs, John Thomas being one.

There were three strands to John Thomas's work. The first was a conventional studio for portrait photography in Liverpool. Secondly, he sold photographs of the Welsh celebrities of the day – bards, musicians, and ministers of religion through shops, markets and fairs. Thirdly, he also undertook trips to many of the remoter parts of Wales. These trips, which due to the nature of the equipment he carried with him, were almost expeditions. On these trips he photographed towns and villages, beauty spots and other important features. He also took group portraits of people at their workplaces, such as shops, factories and quarries. In his reminiscences he remarked that he would be sure always to visit these places at mid-day. This was both to use the best available light and to ensure that the workers were photographed during their lunch break so as not to upset their employers. This photo of the cobblers at Pensarn seems to fit into this category. This was profitable work for photographers as very often one of those pictured would be willing to take orders, collect money from people and later distribute the finished product.

Cewch weld rhai o luniau John Thomas yma.

http://www.llgc.org.uk/drych/drych_s023.htm

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Diolch yn fawr i,

Mrs O Pritchard, am lun Pensarn.

Miss M Evans, am lun cwch Enlli.

Mr G Hughes, am y llun tai'r Plwyf, Rhiw.

A diolch arbenig i Mr William Troughton, o'r Llyfrgell Genedlaethol, am ei gymorth parod.

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