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Private collection of Jack and Beverly Wilgus
Anonymous, 1891 May, "A Day with an East-End Photographer", Strand Magazine, vol. 1, pp. 458-465. Illustration on p. 464
The tout seemed to know the history of every person whose photograph was displayed in the show-case, and he was rattling it off to us at a rate which precluded any possibility of storing it up in our memory, when a slight diversion was created by a coster's barrow, drawn by a smart little pony, being driven up to the front of the photographer's. The driver was Mr. Higgins, we learnt, and the || other occupants of the barrow were Mrs. Higgins and the infant son and heir to the Higgins' estate, which was reputed to be something considerable in the costermongers' way, as was evidenced by the fact that Mr. Higgins was enabled to keep a pony to draw his barrow, Mrs. Higgins had determined that "Enery—a ta t one year and eight months—should have his photograph taken and afterwards be glorified in a coloured enlargement. Mr. Higgins had assented to this being done regardless of expense. It was a weighty responsibility for the photographer, who always considered the taking of babies was not his strong point. But he reflected upon the increased fame which would accrue to his business if he was successful, and he determined to do it or perish in the attempt.
He made hasty preparations by selecting the most tempting stick of toffy he could find in the sweetstuff window, and the tout was instructed to procure from a neighbouring toy shop a doll, a rattle, a penny trumpet, and other articles dear to the juvenile mind.
The youthful Higgins was duly placed in a chair, behind which Mrs. Higgins was ensconced with a view to assisting the photographer by preserving a proper equilibrium in the sitter, and also ensuring confidence in the infantile mind.
So far, the child had been quietly sucking his thumb and surveying the studio with an interested air, but no sooner was his attention directed to the photographer than a distrustful frown settled upon his face, and his irritation at the photographer's presence found expression in a yell of infantile wrath. The more the photographer tried | to conciliate by flourishing the toys the more ... the child yelled. The photographer danced and sung, and blew the penny trumpet, and was about to give up the operation in despair, when it dawned on him that he had forgotten the toffy stick. It was produced, and had its effect. On being assured by Mrs. Higgins, behind the chair, that the “ducksy darling would have its toffy stick,” the youthful sitter held that prospective joy with his tear-glistening eye, and the photographer seizing a favourable moment performed the operation with a sigh of satisfaction. Baby Higgins had its toffy stick, Mrs. Higgins had a pleasing photo of her infant offspring, and the photographer proudly congratulated himself on having so successfully performed his task. (pp. 464-465)