Posts Tagged ‘Rotary Photographic Co Ltd’


Margaret Ruby, English actress and singer, in the role of a pantomime principal boy

March 6, 2014

Margaret Ruby (1886?-1937), English actress and singer, in the role of a pantomime principal boy, probably as she appeared as Boy Blue in the pantomime Red Riding Hood, produced at the King’s Theatre, Glasgow, at Christmas, 1905, the other principals being Malcolm Scott as the Dame, Phyllis Monkman as Red Riding Hood, and Dorothy Monkman as Bo-Peep. Miss Ruby sang in this production ‘My Irish Molly’ and ‘Bombay.’
(photo: unknown, probably 1905; postcard published by the Rotary Photographic Co Ltd, London, no. 4006 D, 1905/06)

Margaret Ruby’s real name was Margaret Louise Madeline Hirschberg. She was born on 3 September 1875 and baptised at the parish church of St. Marylebone, London, on the 1 January following, the daughter of Robert Gustave Hirschberg (1843-1910), a merchant in the City of London, and his wife Anna (née Kowska, 1847-1926). Her theatrical career began in 1897 or 1898 with various music hall and pantomime appearances. She also featured in the casts of the musical plays, Kitty Grey and A Country Girl on tours of the United Kingdom. It was then that she met her future husband, the actor and singer, Ernest (Francis) Laws (1881-1954). They were married at Richmond, Surrey, in 1903. The Laws appeared together for the next few years, one of their post popular vehicles being the ‘miniature musical comedy,’ Cora’s Visitors. They appear to have retired from acting in 1911, when they and their son emigrated to Canada, where they settled at Grand Forks, British Columbia. Mrs Laws died on 16 Dec 1937 and her husband on 18 Nov 1954.


George Grossmith junior and Connie Ediss in The Sunshine Girl, Gaiety Theatre, London, 1912

December 5, 2013

George Grossmith junior (1874-1935), English actor, singer, theatrical producer, writer, &c, and Connie Ediss (1871-1934), English actress, comedienne and singer, respectively as Lord Bicester and Brenda Blacker in an incident from The Sunshine Girl, the musical play by Paul Rubens and Cecil Raleigh produced at the Gaiety Theatre, London, on 24 February 1912.
(photo: Foulsham & Banfield, London, 1912; Rotary Photographic Series postcard no. 11670 B, published by the Rotary Photographic Co Ltd, London, 1912)


Seymour Hicks, Ellaline Terriss and Zena Dare in The Beauty of Bath, London, 1906

November 14, 2013

(above) a Rotary Photographic Co Ltd postcard photograph (1597Q) of Mr and Mrs Seymour Hicks (Ellaline Terriss) as they appeared respectively as Lieut. Richard Alington and the Hon. Betty Silverthorne in the musical play, The Beauty of Bath, which opened at the Aldwych Theatre, London, on 19 March 1906.
(below) a Rotary Photographic Co Ltd postcard photograph (4040Z) of the same taken at the same sitting but with Zena Dare‘s face replacing that of Miss Terriss.
(main photos: Foulsham & Banfield, London, 1906; artwork by the Rotary Photographic Co Ltd)

The second postcard may be explained by the fact that Zena Dare succeeded Ellaline Terriss in the part of the Hon. Betty Silverthorne during the run, which, the production having transferred to the Hicks Theatre on 27 December 1906, ended on 23 February 1907.


Viva Birkett, English actress, circa 1907

October 15, 2013

Viva Birkett (Mrs Philip Merivale, 1887-1934), English actress
(photo: Dover Street Studios, London, circa 1907; postcard published by the Rotary Photographic Co., London, Rotary Photographic Series, no. 4863A, circa 1907)


Huntley Wright in A Country Girl

July 18, 2013

photograph flyer for a touring production of the musical play, A Country Girl; or, Town and Country, featuring a portrait of Huntley Wright (1868-1941), English actor and singer, as Barry, servant to Barry Challoner (played by Hayden Coffin) in the London production of that show, produced at Daly’s Theatre on 18 January 1902.
(photo: unknown, probably London, 1902; printed by the Rotary Photographic Co Ltd, London, 1902/03)


Grace Palotta, Minnie Tittell Brune and Nellie Stewart

June 11, 2013

‘Greetings from Australia’, Rotary postcard 5330B, with photographs of
Grace Palotta, Minnie Tittell Brune and Nellie Stewart
(photos: various, the majority London, 1905 and circa)

This real photograph postcard, no. 5330B in the Rotary Photographic Series by the Rotary Photographic Co Ltd of London, was produced for export to Australia about 1907. This example has been decorated with tinsel and is hand tinted. The three main portraits are of actresses well known to Australian audiences: Grace Palotta (daughter of Charles Palotta and his wife Emma, née Kleinhenn; 1867?-1959), Australian by birth but of Viennese ancestry, who became popular in musical comedy in the 1890s and early 20th Century in London and on tour in Australia; Minnie Tittell Brune (b.1883), American actress who toured Australasia between 1904 and 1909 and was also active in the United States and the United Kingdom; and Nellie Stewart (1858-1931), the most popular of all native born Australian actresses, who also appeared in the United States and the United Kingdom. The other photographs are stock images of various actresses, singers and dancers, including Lily Elsie, Vesta Tilley, Marie Studholme, Dorothy Frostick, Phyllis and Zena Dare, Gertie Millar, Gabrielle Ray, Daisy Jerome, Mabel Love, Billie Burke and Camille Clifford. Other examples of this card are to be found in the National Library of Australia ( 1) and (2).


Phyllis Le Grand

June 11, 2013

Phyllis Le Grand (1888-1981), English musical comedy actress and singer
(photo: unknown, probably Foulsham & Banfield, London, circa 1912)

This hand tinted real photograph postcard of Phyllis Le Grand is no. A.132-3 from the well-known series published about 1915 by the Rotary Photographic Co Ltd of London, with the caption ‘This is a REAL PHOTOGRAPH of a BRITISH BEAUTY’. Miss Le Grand, who first came to notice as Clo-Clo in the first London production of The Merry Widow (Daly’s, 8 June 1907), married the French-born actor and singer Robert Michaelis (Robert Armand René Michaëlis, 1884-1965) in 1913. She appears to have retired from the stage in 1925.