Post Cards

St Albans


Can you identify the children used as models?


Tell Me

 if you can supply details (and possibly scans) of other examples of work by these photographers.



The Post Cards by

M & A Austin of St  Albans




Mary Elizabeth Austin was born in Clerkenwell in 1872 and her sister Amy Caroline Austin was born there in 1876. Their father John James Austin was an accountant who lived at 75 Holywell Hill, and was there from before the 1891 census to his death in 1910.


In the 1891 census Mary was described as a "Teacher of Music", as a "Photographer" in 1901 and as a "Photographic Artist" in 1911. Her sister was described as a "Photographer" in 1901 and in 1911 was a patient at Mackonochie House, Bognor, where her occupation was given as "artist". They are listed in trade directories in 1906 and 1914 but not in 1902 (when their father was listed at 75 Holywell Hill) or in 1917.


The Misses M. & A. Austin are listed as photographers in the 1908, 1912 and 1914 Kelly's Directories for Hertfordshire


"An Elf"  No. 131

(back not before 1906)

Published by M & A Austin, St Albans

Printed in Germany


Child in wicker hamper, by Austin, photographer, St Albans, circa 1903

A Well Filled Hamper  No 62

back circa 1903

printed in Germany


CHild Post Card by M & A Austin, St Albans

I'm down on my luck - No 11


The Sunny Side of Life - Art Post Card by Austin, St Albans

The Sunny Side of Life - No 31

They clearly produced a series of art photo post cards showing children and cats and the following titles have been identified on the web:


1   Fantails [pigeons - posted 1906]
2   A Knight Harbinger
3   Right Away [Cats]
4?   So Comfy [Cats posted 1906]
5   Cats - Who Did It?
11   I'm down on my luck
12   Sweep yer snow away?
31   The Sunny Side of Life
38   Love Me, Love My Dog
41   The Little Gardener
42   Playmates
46   Her Mother's Voice [kitten & violin]
52   The Forty Thieves [Cats]
56   Childhood's Trust  [posted 1906]
59   Two Pairs of Twins [Cats]
60   Fur, Feather and Fish [posted 1906]
62   A Well Filled Hamper
67   My FiancÚ! [Cat & Dog]
68   I really can't kiss him [Cat & Dog]
76   Wild Roses
104   We finish the Letter for Home [Cats]
131   An Elf

The Sorrows of Satan [kitten]

157   The Motor Race (Speed Limit) [kittens & tortoises]

Beauty Unadorned [Cat]

The Romantic Love Story of Blackie & Beauty

A series of 12 cards [Cats]



The Proposal , Shall it be 'Yes'


There are three examples of their photographs in the St Albans Museum collection of pictures:

Undoubtedly they took many more photographs - and published more post cards, and if you know of more examples I will be happy to update this short biography.


Child with kittens, by Austin, photographer, St Albans, circa 1903

Playmates No 42 - Back circa 1903 - Printed in Germany


CDV by M & A Austin



January  2013   Page created
February 2013   Cards 42 and 62 added
March 2013   Names added for cards 11 ...
August 2013   More card titles added
December 2013   Title of No 1 added from ebay advert
February 2014   The Sunny Side of Life No 31
June 2015   Titles of 67 & 68
July 2015   CDV