Banks, Robert 1846 - 1927

Robert Banks was a photographer who worked in Manchester from around 1873.

Born in Saddleworth in 1847, the son of a journeyman carpenter, Banks worked as a woollen piecer in a mill in Uppermill from the age of 15. Aged 20, he started work as an illustrator at the Oldham Chronicle newspaper, and opened his first photographic business in Uppermill, Saddleworth, in around 1867.

He moved to Manchester in 1873, living in Moss Side and renting his first city centre studio on Market Street. He occupied a number of other studios in the city over a thirty year period, before returning to Market Street in 1903. He also opened a studio in Blackpool.

His main business was as a studio portrait photographer, but he was commissioned by Manchester Corporation in 1878 to take photographs of the new Town Hall, and went on to cover the opening of the Manchester Ship Canal, the John Rylands Library, and the visit of King Edward VII in 1909. He also regularly photographed street scenes and sporting occasions.

He is known to have moved to Colwyn Bay, where he died in 1927.