T.P. Crowther

British cameraman, showman

T.P. Crowther was an employee of the Co-operative Wholesale Society towards the end of the nineteenth century. Photography was his hobby and on the arrival of cinematography he persuaded his employers to purchase a camera/projector to assist in the promotion of the Co-operative movement. He made his first short film (50 feet) for the Co-op in 1899, and soon had taken a series on industrials showing views of the CWS soap, starch and candle factory at Irlam, followed by their biscuit factory at Crumpsall, and their tea warehouses in London. The films were incorporated into a roadshow consisting of an hour's programme made up from actuality and entertainment films purchased trough agencies of the day. The show was toured by Crowther until 1903. A new Gaumont camera/projector was then purchased a fresh films taken. Crowther accompanied his films with an explanatory lecture, preceded by warnings of what to do if the films caught fire. He continued making and showing CWS advertising films through to the sound period, and was still in harness in 1936.

Denis Gifford