Old photos and their history

Ilford Print Wallet, Chemist Edmund R Pear

An Ilford print wallet featuring black and white images of a pelican and village scene. The Ilford company used the advertising slogan “Faces & Places” after WW2. The absence of a sunburst symbol dates this wallet before 1965. So we can date the wallet to between 1945 and 1965.


Founded by Alfred Harman in 1879, no history of photography in Britain and the world is complete without mentioning Ilford. The UK-based company produced photographic plates, film, and a number of cameras. The Selochrome, advertised inside the wallet, was the name of their popular roll film. They manufactured Selochrome from the mid-1930s to the late 1960s. The name had been derived from the Selo Company, which Ilford took over in 1925.


The buyer may forever remain unknown unless I own some of their photos. They paid two shillings and nine pence for their developed snaps.

Edmund R Pear

The print wallet is stamped with the name of Edmund R Pear, Chemist and Druggist.


Edmund (b1904) is recorded as living at 215 Valley Road, Nottingham. He lived with his wife Gertrude A Pear (b1904). She worked as a qualified chemist assistant. Grace F Woodhead also lived at the address, although I’m unsure as to her connection to Edmund and Gertrude.

Places of work

Kelly’s Directory of 1953 (p.879) bases Edmund at 215 and 557 Valley Road, and 412 Broxtowe Lane. He opened one of the Valley Road shops in 1937.

Throughout 1949, an advertisement mentioned him as a chemist stocking the Stanwood Treatment for an unwanted smoking habit. As far as I know, the Stanwood Treatment had been a lozenge that made smoking unpleasant.

“After two or three days tobacco definitely loses its attraction; safe, reliable and proven efficient, 5/-” (Nottingham Evening Post, 1949, p.4).

Breaking the law

The Nottingham Journal of the 19th July 1940 reported that Edmund R Pear had been one of several traders brought before Nottingham Summons Court. He was fined twenty shillings for contravention of the Shops (Sunday Trading Restriction) Act of 1936. That’s the cost of four Stanwood Treatments.

Evicting the Taylors

On 15 March 1945, The Nottingham Evening Post announced that Edmund appeared again in court, though this time as plaintiff. He’d brought an action against Edna Winifred Wilson Taylor. He wanted her out of his property.

Edmund previously employed her husband, William Wilson Taylor, as manager of his pharmacy at 412 Broxtowe Lane. She worked part-time as an assistant. The couple lived in several rooms above the shop. On William’s conscription into the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) in 1942, it had been agreed Edna could stay in the property if she worked full time.

Sometime in January 1945, Edmund terminated her employment. He wanted a qualified chemist as manager. He gave Edna notice to leave and offered to store her furniture. She refused.

The judge at Nottingham County Court said that a man was entitled to his civilian job when returning from military service. The issue was whether William’s employment ended when the new contract with Mrs Taylor began. The court adjourned with the conclusion that action had to be brought against Mr Taylor. I currently have no information on what happened next.

The newspaper gave 25 Rowland Avenue as Edmund Pear’s address.

The mystery of the tenants

Did Edna Winifred Wilson Taylor and William Wilson Taylor exist?

When we look at 412 Broxtowe Lane in the 1939 census we find a Clifford Taylor (pharmaceutical chemist, b1899) and a Dorothy A Taylor (b1899). It’s more likely that they were the tenants facing eviction in 1945. Is this an instance of sloppy journalism? Were the newspapers competent reporters all serving in the armed forces?

For an extensive resource on the history of Ilford, go to:


Also, their official website:


For information on the life and times of Edmund R Pear, see:

Kelly’s Directories Ltd, 1953. Kelly’s Directory of the City of Nottingham and the Urban District of West Bridgford.

(1937) ‘Public Notices’, The Nottingham Evening Post, 28 October, p.2.

(1940) ‘Nottingham Sunday Trading Offences’, The Nottingham Journal, 19 July, p.4.

(1945) ‘Important Issues Involved: Aspley possession case adjourned’, The Nottingham Evening Post, 15 March, p.4.

(1949) ‘Miscellaneous Sales and Wants’, The Nottingham Evening Post, 24 November, p.4.

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