John Falconer, British Library
A Biographical Dictionary of 19th Century Photographers in South and South-East Asia
Employed by Appleton and Co., milliners, Calcutta, 1856-8.
F.W. Baker was an assistant to J.W. NEWLAND in 1855, but by 1857 he had set up his own studio and was advertising his premises in Wellesley Place in The Englishman:
BAKER’S DAGUERREAN ROOM
And in 1859:
1-2 Wellesley Place, next to Boudet and Co., opposite the north entrance to Govt. House.
Mr. F. Baker (late manager of J.W. Newland’s Gallery) respectfully begs to inform the Ladies and Gentlemen of Calcutta and its visitors of his return from the North West Provinces, and of having commenced business at the above address, where specimens may be seen and trusts that his long and well known experience in Calcutta will give him a share of public patronage. Stereoscopic views of the celebrated Tajmahal at Agra, also the Tomb of Akbar and Gateway at Secundra may be seen, taken by Mr Baker during his late tour. Miniatures in the fine morocco cases, from 8-0. Stereoscopic likenesses in Claudet’s patent folding cases, colored 30-0. Horses and carriages taken instantaneously, also portraits of all descriptions copied. Rooms open from 10 A.M. to 5 P.M.
‘Baker’s Daguerian and Photographic Gallery, 1-3 Wellesley Place, opposite Government House.’ : [Check for earlier copies of this ad.]
The firm continued to trade throughout the 1860s, although Baker left India for an unspecified period in the early 1860s, advertising his return in 1863:
Mr F.W. Baker begs to notify that he has returned to Calcutta per S.S. Nubia, and will in a few days be prepared to take life size and all other kinds of photographs in a manner superior to any that has hitherto been seen in India. Photographic Gallery, 2, Wellesley Place, 3rd November 1863.
In 1864 he photographed the Calcutta Cyclone. The business continued until 1869, when it became the Calcutta Photographic Company, in which year the negative stock was purchased by SACHÉ AND WESTFIELD. Baker and Catliff’s studio was operated from various addresses in Calcutta 1867-75, although Baker was probably not in India for much of this period.
The following listings appear in Thacker’s Commercial Directory:
1868 F.W. Baker, daguerreotypist, 1-2 Wellesley Place, Calcutta
1869 F.W. Baker and Co., Photographers, 2 Wellesley Place
Baker is recorded as still being alive (?in Calcutta) in 1908.  This is presumably the same F. W. Baker who is last listed as manager of N. Lazarus, optician, 1 Mangoe Lane, in 1905.
- Λ Advertisement in The Englishman of 14 August 1857.
- Λ Advertisement in The Englishman of 23 February 1859.
- Λ Advertisement in The Englishman, (?)3 November 1863.
- Λ An album entitled Photographic views of Calcutta by Mr F.W. Baker, sold at Sotheby’s, 2 May 1997, lot 327, consists entirely of photographs of cyclone damage.
- Λ Bengal past and present, vol.2, p.113, 1908.