Johnsons of Hendon ~ 'Home Photography'

Johnsons advertised some of their 'chemical preparations' as being for 'Home Photography' when they were still trading under the name Johnson & Sons, as can be seen in an advert within the 'British Journal Photographic Almanac' for 1937. The description seemingly refers to smaller quantities of chemicals suited to the home worker. Johnson & Sons were renamed as Johnsons of Hendon in 1948. 

From the latter 1940s through to around 1970, Johnsons of Hendon produced a series of booklets entitled 'Home Photography' and also 'kits' of equipment and chemicals suited to enabling a beginner to start developing and printing his own black & white films at home.

Illustrated left, and below left, is shown a No.1 kit from 1951, complete except for the thermometer, which is missing from alongside the black print forceps and film hanging 'pegs'. But earlier kits were available prior to the one shown.

The picture on the inside of the No.1 box lid (see below, right) enticingly illustrates the much greater, and more sophisticated, range of equipment within a No.4 outfit.

In 1951 the No.1 kit was priced around £1.12s.6d (£1.63p) while the No.4 outfit cost £6.10s (£6.50p). There was also a No.5 outfit which consisted of a 120watt electric print dryer and a chromium glazing plate for producing glossy prints. Price was £4.2s.6d (£4.13p).

The leaflet alongside describes and illustrates the various Johnson Home Photography Outfits, as they were in the early 1950s.

Click on the image or here, to download this leaflet as a pdf.

Below are the covers of the series of booklets which accompanied the above kits, though they were also priced for sale as separate items.
From the early 1950s they were authored by Kevin MacDonnell and A.R.Pippard.

I acquired the 4th Edition with a No.1 developing and printing kit which I purchased around 1960. That kit started a lifelong interest. I lost my original 4th Edition many years ago, but found another in a bookshop at Hay on Wye around the year 2000. Since then I have managed to collect together what I believe is a complete set of this very well written and illustrated guide to the essentials of photography, from taking the picture through processing the film to producing contact prints and enlargements. To download a complete pdf of the 4th Edition, click here.

I've also acquired two other booklets, both by Kevin MacDonnell, one being '35mm Cameraman' and the other 'Choosing & Using SLR Lenses', the latter published by Johnsons during the period they were called Eumig (UK) Ltd, i.e. between 1st February 1977 and 1981. I've also included a (probably free) booklet from the Schoolboy's Own Exhibition, January 1950. A little leaflet that 'recaps' (as they say in "Twenty Questions") what you've heard at the Exhibition.

Johnsons employed two printing firms over a period of 20 years to produce editions of their 'Home Photography' booklet. Initially they used Sawtells of Sherborne but later they (mostly) used Alf Harrison & Sons of Leeds. Information on these printers has come from a granddaughter of Alf Harrison.


Approx. Year
Printed

Front Cover

Back Cover

Pages incl. Index

Printing Details

Comments

from
1935
(pre-WW2)

Possibly the earliest version of the 5 articles that were eventually bound together
(see the first 'Home Photography ~ How to do your own work' booklet, below)
and became the start of the 'Home Photography' series that continued until around 1970.
'The Home Photographer and Snapshots' magazine for May 1935 carries a Johnson & Sons advert saying a trial 1oz bottle of Azol, sufficient to develop 1 dozen spools of film, will be sent post free, together with this series of booklets, on receipt of 9d (4p) in stamps.

Still available up to the start of WW2; I have a set post marked April 1939.
The actual postage cost was only 0.5d (0.25p !), so the 9d in stamps was mostly to cover the cost of the booklets and the Azol.

Home Photography
5 articles by different authors:
David Charles, FRPS; 'How to do your own Developing'
Percy R Salmon, FRPS; 'How to make your own Gaslight Prints'
Arthur C Banfield, FRPS; 'How to do Flashlight Photography'
W L F Wastell, Hon. FRPS; How to make your own Bromide Prints'
P C Smethurst, ARPS; 'How to make Enlargements'

 1947 ?
(post- WW2)

32

120 x 185mm

Published by
Johnsons of Hendon.

Home Photography
'How to do your own work'

5 articles by different authors:
David Charles, FRPS
Percy R Salmon, FRPS
Arthur C banfield, FRPS
W L F Wastell, Hon. FRPS
P C Smethurst, ARPS

Chemicals for Home Photography and Price List

1948 ?

38 + 2 page frontpiece

132 x 203mm

Published by
Johnsons of Hendon.

Home Photography
Foreword and 4 articles by David Charles, FRPS

There are differences to the next edition, below:
i) no price on cover
ii) no 24page illustrated catalogue at the rear

1949 & 1950

64

incl. 25 page catalogue

135 x 210mm
Published by
Johnsons of Hendon Ltd.
March 1949

Home Photography
Price 6d (2.5p) on front cover

Foreword and 4 articles by David Charles, FRPS
+ 25 page illustrated price list & catalogue of
Johnson Photographic Chemicals & Equipment

September 1949
Back page code 50M949
Printed in England by Sawtells
of Sherborne Ltd

August 1950
Back page code 20M850
Printed in England by Sawtells
of Sherborne Ltd

1950
In the BJPA for 1950, a Johnsons advert refers to the above edition of 'Home Photography', saying. "It has always been our wish to co-operate with the retail photographic dealer and in order to build up new business for him we devote a considerable proportion of our advertising expenditure to stimulate the interest of the beginner in photography. Many editions of our 64-page book HOME PHOTOGRAPHY have been published and tens of thousands of copies distributed. This book tells in simple language how easy it is to get good results. We back up the good work by lectures and demonstrations at clubs, schools and exhibitions."
Note: by 1965 Johnsons claimed over half a million copies of 'Home Photography' had been sold.

January
1950

8

108 x 179mm

Published by
Johnsons of Hendon,
London, NW4

Developing & Printing Made Easy
"All the best people use Johnson Chemicals"
To Remind You (that)
Johnsons of Hendon Ltd and Kodak Ltd put on this exhibit at the Schoolboys' Own Exhibition
(see below)

In Amateur Photographer magazine for December 21st 1949, Johnsons have a whole page advert. mostly encouraging purchase of the 1950 Johnson 'Wellcome' Photographic Year Book but with a small section devoted to: "Bring The Boys". "When Christmas is over come and visit us at the SCHOOLBOYS' OWN EXHIBITION at the Horticultural Hall, Westminster, London, S.W.1. The exhibition is open during the holidays from 31st December to 14th January 1950. On our big stand there will be practical demonstrations of developing films, making prints and making enlargements. The boys will be able to see how easy it is to do it all themselves. Questions will be answered and they will be given practical advice." "Make this the High Spot of the Holidays."

'Photography' magazine for December 1951reveals there was a similar stand the previous year and also during December 31st to January 12th 1952 "run by Messrs Kodak and Johnsons of Hendon; Kodak dealing with the taking side and Johnsons with the developing, printing and enlarging." By now the invitation is less sexist, extolling that "parents of boy and girl photographers ought not to miss the opportunity of taking them to see the Photography Stand at the Schoolboy's Own Exhibition.."

1951

64

incl. 25 page catalogue

January 1951
Back page code 25M151
Printed in England by Sawtells
of Sherborne Ltd

Home Photography
Second Edition

Price 1/- (5p) on front cover

Foreword and 4 articles by David Charles, FRPS
+ 25 page illustrated price list & catalogue of
Johnson Photographic Chemicals & Equipment

1952

(shown on p64 of Jan 1953 PhotoGuide Magazine Vol4 No.1)

96

133 x 210mm

Published by
Johnsons of Hendon Ltd.
London, NW4
Printed in England by Sawtells
of Sherborne Ltd

Now titled:
The New Home Photography

Text by:
A R Pippard BSc
K P MacDonnell
(Johnson catalogue prices this edition at 2/6d = 12.5P)

Orange flashes top & bottom of covers with b&w cover pictures

1954 ?

104

133 x 210mm

Published by
Johnsons of Hendon Ltd.
London, NW4
Printed in England by Sawtells
of Sherborne Ltd

The New Home Photography
Two copies: 2nd Edition &
2nd Edition (revised)

Text by:
A R Pippard BSc
K P MacDonnell

1956 ? &
1957

104

133 x 210mm

Published by
Johnsons of Hendon Ltd.
London, NW4
Printed in England by Sawtells
of Sherborne Ltd

The New Home Photography
Two copies:
3rd Edition, but flyleaf says 3rd Edition (revised)
Same, except front flyleaf says 4th Edition (revised).
Advertised at 3/- (15p)
The index is updated & now includes colour photography, Ferraniacolor and Pakolor

Text by:
A R Pippard BSc
K P MacDonnell

1959 ?

104

133 x 205mm

Published by
Johnsons of Hendon Ltd.
London, NW4
Printed by:
Alf. Harrison & Sons Ltd;
Burley Road, Leeds.

Title reverts to:
Home Photography


4th Edition
Download it complete, as a pdf

Text by:
A R Pippard BSc
K P MacDonnell

1960 ?

104

130 x 208mm

Published by
Johnsons of Hendon Ltd.
London, NW4
Printed by:
Alf. Harrison & Sons Ltd;
Burley Road, Leeds.

Home Photography
5th Edition
Price if not purchased within a J of H d&p kit, 3/- (15p)
Text by:
A R Pippard BSc
K P MacDonnell

Full colour covers but still
b&w illustrations inside

1962 ?

104

133 x 208mm

Published by
Johnsons of Hendon Ltd.
London, NW4
Printed by:
Alf. Harrison & Sons Ltd;
Burley Road, Leeds.

Home Photography
6th Edition

Text by:
A R Pippard BSc
K P MacDonnell

1963

104

152 x 239mm

Published by
Johnsons of Hendon Ltd.
London, NW4
Printed by:
Alf. Harrison & Sons Ltd;
Burley Road, Leeds.

35mm. cameraman
price 5/- (25p)
Text by:
Kevin MacDonnell
illustrated by the author

(see footnote to this page for more information)

1964

104

135 x 210mm

Published by
Johnsons of Hendon Ltd.
London, NW4
Printed by:
Alf. Harrison & Sons Ltd;
Burley Road, Leeds.

Home Photography
7th Edition
price 3/- (15p)
Text by:
A R Pippard BSc; K P MacDonnell
(Johnsons claim over half a million copies
of 'Home Photography' sold by 1965)
New section included on Colour Printing

1967 ?

104

135 x 208mm

Published by
Johnsons of Hendon Ltd.
London, NW4
Printed by:
Sawtells of Sherborne Ltd;
Sherborne, Dorset

Home Photography
8th Edition

Text by:
A R Pippard BSc
K P MacDonnell

1970 ?

104

 135 x 210mm

Published by
Johnsons of Hendon Ltd.
London, NW4
Printed by:
Alf. Harrison & Sons Ltd;
Burley Road, Leeds.

Home Photography
9th Edition

Text by:
A R Pippard BSc
K P MacDonnell

1980

96

153 x 242mm

Published by Eumig (UK) Ltd
Produced in the UK by
Centurion Press Ltd,
3 New Burlington Street,
London, W1X 2AA

Choosing and Using
SLR LENSES

Text by:
Kevin MacDonnell

(see footnote to this page for more information)
With acknowledegments to Alan Griffiths for the original layout idea.

Notes:
Many of the dates above are approximate, especially those denoted by a '?'.
The September 1949 edition has a back page code which ends '949', seemingly confirming the price list date.
The 1956 edition is dated by the circumstantial evidence of being part of a similarly dated advertisement.
The 4th edition must date to around 1959 because of my ownership of it at that time.
On 28th November 2004, at a Wolverhampton Camera Fair, I found a copy of '35mm. Cameraman' authored and illustrated by Kevin MacDonnell, published by Johnsons and printed by Alf Harrison & Sons. This fits well into the 'Home Photography' series. It was reviewed in 'Colour Photography' magazine, November 1963.
One of my 'Johnson Way to Better Photography' booklet appears to date the 7th edition Home Photography to 1964.
On 1st February 2005, at an Amnesty Bookshop, I found the booklet 'Choosing & Using SLR Lenses', by Kevin MacDonnell and published by Eumig (UK) Ltd; the latter being the name Johnsons of Hendon acquired when taken over by Eumig on 1st February 1977 until the management buyout in 1981.
I have dated this booklet by virtue that it mentions Ilford Chromogenic b&w film XP1 400, which went on sale in 1980.

This page last modified: 22nd April 2014