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HomeContents > People > Photographers > A.W.A. Plate

Born: Alfred William Amandus Plate 
Other: A.W.A. Plate & Co. 
Other: Alfred William Plâté 
Other: Clara Plate 
Dates:  1859 (ca) - 1931, 19 October
Born:  Germany, [Hanover?]
Died:  Austria, Linz
Active:  Ceylon
Married Clara Heinemann in London (January 1886) and left for Ceylon in 1887. Commercial photographers A.W.A. and Clara Plate established a studio in the Bristol Hotel in Colombo in 1890. The firm A.W.A. Plate & Co. became one of the most succesful studios in Ceylon and is still trading today as Plâté Ltd under new ownership.
From 1910 until 1923 the company was run by Clara in partnership with her brother Herbert Heinemann.
PLEASE NOTE: We welcome any further research on photographers that worked for A.W.A. Plate & Co. and the years they did so. As soon as we are able to distinguish different photographers we will include the details here. (January 2007)

Preparing biographies

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Unidentified photographer/creator
Alfred William Amandus Plate 
Family history 
If you are related to this photographer and interested in tracking down your extended family we can place a note here for you to help. It is free and you would be amazed who gets in touch.

John Falconer, British Library 
A Biographical Dictionary of 19th Century Photographers in South and South-East Asia

Commercial, Sri Lanka
Firm founded in 1890 by A. W. A. and Clara Plâté in a small studio in the Bristol Hotel, Colombo; moved to larger premises in Colpetty, Colombo in 1892.
‘Mr Heinemann joined the firm as managing partner and the business continued to steadily expand, with the result that the present staff of the establishment comprises ten Europeans and over 60 natives. Besides their Colpetty studio and several others in Colombo, Messrs Plâté have a branch establishment at Nuwara Eliya...and, in addition, book-stalls at the Queen’s Hotel, Kandy, and the Galle Face Hotel, Colombo. The Colpetty studio and office practically represent the headquarters of the firm, and here are located extensive work-rooms, dark-rooms, show-rooms and other adjuncts to a photographic establishment, in addition to the spacious studio, reckoned to be one of the finest in the east’[1]
The firm became a limited private company in 1900 and the business was enlarged to concentrate on supplying photographic apparatus and material. In 1907 the firm had an annual output of half a million[?] postcards. Probably took over the stock of Skeen and Co. Still trading [1999].
A. W. A. Plâté was dead by 1920; Clara Plâté was living at Ratsberry Cottage, Tenterden, Kent, in 1934. 

  1. Λ Arnold Wright, Twentieth century impressions of Ceylon (London, 1907) 

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Images of Ceylon 
A wonderful resource for showing the range of 19th and early 20th century photographs of Ceylon. 
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