Ipswich Libraries

Ben Taylor and I.X.L Photographic Studio

Nicholas Street in flood, Ipswich, 1893; Benjamin Taylor’s studio, IXL
Image courtesy of Picture Ipswich


Mr Benjamin Hurst Taylor married Laura Jane Harris in 1880 and settled in Warwick where he worked as a Storekeeper for Messrs. Beale & Co. In 1881 their daughter Laura Lydia Taylor was born and soon after the family moved to Ipswich.

Ben set up a photographic studio with Arthur Mouland in 1883 and honed his photography talent. Arthur left the business in 1888, while Ben became an official Government Photographer based in Ipswich, travelling all over the state to photograph scenes. In 1893 Ben established his own business; the I. X. L. Photographic Studio located in Greenham’s Chambers, Nicholas Street. His wife an accomplished photographer herself, assisted him with colouring and photography projects. From here Ben Taylor and his studio I.X.L became one of Ipswich’s most well-known and genial photographers. He and his business were mentioned regularly in local newspapers for photographing weddings, family gatherings and community events. He was disposed to landscapes and streetscapes, some becoming postcards and some of which were published in various pictorial view books, such as the government prescribed illustrated book, ‘The people, products and industries of West Moreton’. Five thousand copies were prepared by order of the Queensland Government and were sent to England for distribution by the Immigration Lecturer at the Greater Britain Exhibition. Another five thousand were printed for sale here in Ipswich and surrounds. The Ipswich Herald and General Advertiser supplied the Letter press for these copies and also printed the ten thousand copies.

Bremer River, in flood, Ipswich, 1893; Ben Taylor Studio IXL
Image courtesy of Picture Ipswich

Mr Taylor was invited to photograph the fiftieth anniversary celebrations of the business of Messrs. Cribb and Foote held at ‘Hillside’ on the 3rd May 1899. His subsequent sale and display of 10 photograph mementos taken at the picnic included portraits of the interior of the dining marquee, the mammoth cake and several different groups, all of which were tastefully finished.

Formal portrait of unidentified bride and groom, Ipswich, ca. 1900; Taylor I.X.L. Studios
Image courtesy of Picture Ipswich

The Picture Ipswich database is fortunate enough to have a number of I.X.L studios photographs, postcards and glass plates. If you are interested in early pictures of Ipswich and its population, please visit the Picture Ipswich site located on the home page of the Ipswich Library.

Information taken from Rockton and its families by Angela Geertsma, The People, Products, and Industries of West Moreton (Ipswich Herald & General Advertiser 01-07-1899)


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