Historical information

View looking northwest towards the main road (Maria Street) and the village of Little Eltham, c.1913 (from near present day 9 Bible Street)

Photographer: J.H. Clark
John Henry Clark was the youngest of three boys born to William Henry Clark (1823-1877) and Maria White (1843-1914). He and his brothers, William Charles Clark (1872-1945), Clement Kent Clark (1874-1912) operated a photography business (Clark Bros.) from 25 Thomas Street, Windsor near Prahran during the period c.1894 to 1914. Following death of Clement in September 1912 and their mother in 1914, the Clark Bros business appears to have dissolved, the premises demolished, and a new house was under construction in 1915. John set up business independently in 1914 operating out of 29 Moor Street, Fitzroy where he is registered in the 1914 and 1915 Electoral Rolls.

By 1916 John had relocated to Eltham where he continued his practice as a photographer and took many of the early images around the district of Little Eltham.

Around 1930 John changed professions and opened a small cobbler's shop in 1931 near the pond opposite Dalton Street adjacent to the Jarrold family cottage. He never married and continued his profession as a bootmaker from this little shop, maintaining a close relationship with Mrs Jarrold for the rest of their lives. His bootmaker shop remains today beside the Whitecloud cottage and is one of only three remaining shops in the area from the early 20th century.

There are a couple of images of Eltham taken by Clark Bros. in the Eltham District Historical Society collection, one such example being Hunniford’s Post Office with Miss Anne Hunniford out front (EDHS_00140 - marked on the back of the print, Clark Bros., 25 Thomas St. Windsor), which would date this image between c.1894 and 1914. Other early images of Eltham taken by John Henry Clark are marked on the face “J. H. Clark Photo” and it is assumed these are dated between 1914 and 1930.

It is noted that the Grant of Probate for John H Clark of Eltham South dated 5 April !957 (513/387) records his occupation as "X Photographer".


This photo forms part of a collection of photographs gathered by the Shire of Eltham for their centenary project book,"Pioneers and Painters: 100 years of the Shire of Eltham" by Alan Marshall (1971). The collection of over 500 images is held in partnership between Eltham District Historical Society and Yarra Plenty Regional Library (Eltham Library) and is now formally known as the 'The Shire of Eltham Pioneers Photograph Collection.'
It is significant in being the first community sourced collection representing the places and people of the Shire's first one hundred years.

Physical description

Digital image
4 x 5 inch B&W Neg