Butcher and Sons Homeopathic Chemists was founded by William Frederick Butcher (1840-1903) in 1862, William Frederick Butcher and his sons developed a photographic speciality within the company in 1889. William Frederick Butcher was a member of the Homeopathic Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, and he was the homeopathic Chemist at the Blackheath Homeopathic Dispensary (Anon, The Homeopathic Medical Directory of Great Britain and Ireland, and annual abstract of British homeopathic serial literature, (Henry Turner and co., 1871). Pages 108 and 141).
William Frederick Butcher was an active member of the homeopathic community, his company was prominent and present at many homeopathic events and advertised in all the homeopathic journals. William Frederick Butcher was an active speaker at all such events (Anon, Annals and Transactions of the British Homeopathic society, (1882). Multiple pages). William Frederick Butcher worked alongside Robert Masters Theobald, a close friend of James John Garth Wilkinson, at the Blackheath Homeopathic Dispensary. William Frederick Butcher supplied homeopathic remedies, and possibly photographic supplies, to James John Garth Wilkinson, and his company is listed in James John Garth Wilkinson‘s address book at 315 Regent Street, W, and also in a second entry as a ‘Homeopathic Chemists’ at Spencer Place, Blackheath SE (Swedenborg Archive Address Book of James John Garth Wilkinson ‘Where is it’ dated 1.10.1892).
From Neil Rhind, Blackheath Village and Environs, 1790-1970: The village and Blackheath Vale, (Bookshops Blackheath Limited, 1976). Page 103 onwards. William Frederick Butcher created a storm when he began showing moving films of Blackheath in 1898.
From http://www.historiccamera.com/cgi-bin/librarium/pm.cgi?action=display&login=butcherco (NB: Photo above is also from this site) ‘… In 1869 William Butcher began practicing as a registered pharmacist in his firm of Wm Butcher & Co wholesale homoeopathic chemists of Blackheath, England. In 1889, William Butcher Sr. and his son William Fredrick established a small camera
factory, and were pioneers in the wholesaling of photographic apparatus and materials amongst retail chemists. In 1899, W. Butcher & Son, are London agents for Mr. McKellan’s Cathedral hand camera. 1902 W. Butcher and Son became W. Butcher and Sons. By 1903, the photographic and pharmaceutical aspects of the business were separated, and a private limited company formed with premises at Camera House, Farringdon Avenue, E.C. On, Dec 21, 1903 Wm. Butcher Sr. died. In 1913 The firm’s name was changed to W. Butcher and Sons Ltd., to include another son working in the business. In 1915, with six of the principal photographic firms in London, he assisted in forming the British Photographic Industries, Ltd., employing over 3,000 people. Wm. F. Butcher was Vice- Chairman of this Company. The company called the Houghton-Butcher Manufacturing Co. Ltd. In 1926 the two principal companies, Houghton and Butcher’s, were merged into Ensign, Ltd., at Holborn. On January 12th, 1936 Wm. F. Butcher died. (born 1866)