I-29682.1 | Horatio and William Topley and family, Notman staff photographer, Montreal, QC, 1867

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Horatio and William Topley and family, Notman staff photographer, Montreal, QC, 1867
William Notman (1826-1891)
1867, 19th century
Silver salts on paper mounted on paper - Albumen process
17 x 12 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  mixed (2246) , Photograph (77678) , portrait (53878)
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This is a photograph of two employees of the Notman photography studio in Montreal, Horatio and William Topley, with their families.

Born in Montreal in 1846, William Topley spent several years with his family in Aylmer, Quebec. Following the death of William's father, the family moved back to Montreal in 1864. He learned ferrotyping as a youth in Aylmer, but his training must have been only rudimentary, as he began working for Notman's at an apprentice's wages. He was soon promoted, however, and in January 1868, at just 21 years of age, he was put in charge of opening the new studio in Ottawa, at 60 Wellington Street, at the corner of Metcalfe. He ran this studio until 1872, when he bought the company. He continued to operate the studio under the William Notman name until 1875, when he opened a new studio on Metcalfe Street. In 1878 the studio was at 104 Sparks Street.

His brother, John G. Topley, who was also trained by William Notman, went with him to Ottawa and worked for him for many years before starting his own business around 1908. Another Topley brother, Robert, also worked at the Montreal studio.

Horatio N. Topley worked at the Notman photography studio in Montreal for two years and nine months, between 1867 and 1869. While he was there, his wages rose from $12 every two weeks to $14. We have no information on exactly what his job with the company was.