Regarding Plumbers and Photographers:
a footnote to the online presentation of ‘Daguerreotype Shopping in London in February 1845”

Photographers were commissioned to undertake projects at the British Museum in London from the early 1850s but it was not until 1919 that the museum employed its first full time photographer. Information on his terms of employment were mentioned by one of the later staff photographers in an interview published in Professional Photographer, October 1984, p. 36:

“In 1919 the Museum employed its first full-time photographer, a Mr Don Lyon. Only he wasn’t actually called a photographer. This was long before the days when the Civil Service had such a grade as photographer, and Mr Lyon therefore could not exist as such with a Civil Service establishment. The nearest salary grade he attained was that of plumber, and for many years the only working photographer at the British Museum was officially a mender of pipes and waterworks!”


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