Paddy and the Ghost

Paddy and the Ghost

This rare cyanotype spirit photograph, showing an apparition (ghost) in a graveyard looming over a gentleman with “one foot in the grave”, is titled “Paddy and the Ghost” Dec. 9 1899. It is the final and lone cyanotype in the pagination of a small album of carefully composed, mounted and captioned gelatin silver photographs attributed to the English amateur photographer Henry Byett, (ca.1870-1949) with the inside cover to the album done up in hand-penned calligraphy by the author:

Henry Byett
Reminiscences of Camping out

North Devon   July 1898

Henry Byett was employed for many years as a railway clerk for the Swindon works of the Great Western Railway in England, and is best known today as having been a close friend of the celebrated English poet Alfred Williams, (1877-1930) whom he met there in 1905. Both worked at the GWR, with Williams going on to fame and immortality as Swindon’s  “Hammerman Poet“. In 1933, Byett wrote an appreciation for his friend: Alfred Williams Ploughboy, Hammerman, Poet and Author. 

The album from which this photograph is contained spans the years 1898 through the first World War, with the final two photographs pasted into the rear cover showing what are believed to be portraits of Henry Byett in his military attire titled: After South African War- 1901, and with two other colleagues opposite: European War-1917. Other works in the album mostly show groupings of individuals, some in comical poses, and are assumed to be friends of Henry Byett. They are titled:

-The Camp in Horner Wood-Near Minehead

-Old Bridge in Horner Wood


-Market Place-Dunster (nr Minehead)

-Looking Up The East Lyn  -Water Nymphs (Pimps)

-Eleven Little N—– Boys (Counting The Men) (One Lost A Tent And Reduced The Lot to Ten
Sleeping Ten In a Tent- Last In Bed To Put Out The Light- At Brendon

-Morning Occupations- The Camp At Brendon (Lynmouth) -You Dirty Boy

-The CastleRock-Valley Of The Rocks- Lynmouth

-Glen Lyn  Lynmouth

-The Camp Handbell Quartette- Engagements Must Be Booked Early

-En Route For Home At Porlock |  We Laugh And Jest Until The Camp is Oer
Then Comes Returning And We Laugh No More

-Brendon Forge  (Recruiting Depot)

-Tyn-Y-Groes Waterfall Nr Barnmouth

-additional ten mounted photographs

Paddy and the Ghost

Image Dimensions6.9 x 9.5 cm pasted

Support Dimensions8.3 x 10.8 (china paper) | 12.1 x 15.0 cm embossed card album leaf