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Beken of Cowes - UK (29 photos)

Category: PHOTOGRAPHS

BekenVAlfred Edward Beken (1855-1915), originally from Canterbury in Kent, moved to the Isle of Wight in 1888 with his son Frank (1880-1970) and purchased an existing pharmacy situated in the small port of Cowes, famous for its international Sailing Regatta. Frank was so impressed by the sight of yachts sailing past his bedroom window that he decided to capture these images on film.
However, the cameras available at the time were not suited to the rough seas...

 ... encountered, so Frank designed and had built a new style of camera. It was in fact a forerunner to the later twin-lens cameras.

It was his bedroom window that also provided the light source for his ‘daylight powered enlarger’, which enabled him to make saleable prints from his negatives, which he sold through The Beken Pharmacy. BekenVIn 1914 the ‘West’ collection of glass plates dating back to 1880 was purchased to add to his growing collection of negatives.

Frank was joined by his son Keith (1914-2007) in the 1930's. Keith had qualified as a chemist and during WW II skippered an Air Sea Rescue launch based in Cowes. In the 1930's, Keith photographed the famous J-Class, started the colour photography in the 1950's and later took his cameras to various sailing regattas in the Mediterranean and Caribbean.

Frank died in 1970 and it was decided that the pharmacy should be sold and the photography side of the business should stand alone.

Keith’s son Kenneth (b.1951) joined Keith and a Susanne-1911-12204scSnew company called “Beken of Cowes’ was established, exclusively photographing afloat and selling the marine photographs that have made the Beken name famous throughout the sailing scene. Keith retired from photography afloat in the mid 1990's after taking the famous photograph of the "Silk II" pitch-pole incident. Keith died in February 2007, aged 92.

In 1992, Peter Mumford joined the company and in 2001 he steered the company through its recent switch to digital photography, Silk-2-965982-BekenSa decision only made once digital quality could exceed results from film-based cameras.

Kenneth & Peter operate from two identical 40 knot Boston Whalers, adding approximately 50,000 new images to the Archive throughout the year. The Beken of Cowes Marine Photography Gallery is popular with yachtsmen from all over the World who come to see the classic historical photographs as well as the colour images taken of today’s racing and cruising craft.

Up to 1970 the photographs were signed Beken & Son by hand in white ink. From 1970 when colour photography came to the fore, until the darkrooms closed in 2008, all photographs were signed Beken of Cowes again by hand with white ink.

 

Beken of Cowes and America's Cup - 29 PHOTOS
Beken of Cowes
THE SCHOONER AMERICA
1885-00-00 00:00:00
Beken of Cowes
Livonia 1871
1890-00-00 00:00:00
Beken of Cowes
Vigilant Valkyrie
1893-10-13 15:32:00
Beken of Cowes
Vigilant Britannia
1894-07-01 00:00:00
Beken of Cowes
Valkyrie III 1895 © Beken of Cowes
1895-00-00 00:00:00
Beken of Cowes
Valkyrie III 1895 © Beken of Cowes
1895-00-00 00:00:00
Beken of Cowes
Shamrock 1899
1899-00-00 00:00:00
Beken of Cowes
Velsheda. Lulworth, Shamrock, Westward, Britannia, White Heather.
1910-00-00 00:00:00
Beken of Cowes
Britannia leading the large class, with White Heather, Westward, Lulworth, Shamrock in attendance
1910-00-00 00:00:00
Beken of Cowes
Shamrock IV & 23 meter Shamrock
1920-00-00 00:00:00
Beken of Cowes
Shamrock III By Frank Beken
1920-00-00 00:00:00
Beken of Cowes
Shamrock V 1930 © Beken of Cowes
1930-00-00 00:00:00
Beken of Cowes
SHAMROCK V RACING AT COWES
1930-00-00 00:00:00
Beken of Cowes
Britannia and Endeavour at Harwich
1930-00-00 00:00:00
Beken of Cowes
Sir Thomas Lipton's "Shamrock IV" 1920, and "Shamrock V" 1930
1930-00-00 00:00:00
Beken of Cowes
Shamrock V 1931 © Beken of Cowes
1931-00-00 00:00:00
Beken of Cowes
Shamrock V & Astra 1931 © Beken of Cowes
1931-00-00 00:00:00
Beken of Cowes
Shamrock V 1932 © Beken of Cowes
1932-00-00 00:00:00
Beken of Cowes
J Class 1934 © Beken of Cowes
1934-00-00 00:00:00
Beken of Cowes
Shamrock V 1934 © Beken of Cowes
1934-00-00 00:00:00
Beken of Cowes
Shamrock V 1934 © Beken of Cowes
1934-00-00 00:00:00
Beken of Cowes
Endeavour 1934 © Beken of Cowes
1934-00-00 00:00:00
Beken of Cowes
Endeavour 1935 © Beken of Cowes
1935-00-00 00:00:00
Beken of Cowes
Shamrock leading 1935 © Beken of Cowes
1935-00-00 00:00:00
Beken of Cowes
Endeavour 1935 © Beken of Cowes
1935-00-00 00:00:00
Beken of Cowes
Yankee 1935 © Beken of Cowes
1935-00-00 00:00:00
Beken of Cowes
Endeavour II 1936 © Beken of Cowes
1936-00-00 00:00:00
Beken of Cowes
Endeavour 1936 © Beken of Cowes
1936-00-00 00:00:00
Beken of Cowes
Endeavour I & II 1936 © Beken of Cowes
1936-00-00 00:00:00
Beken of Cowes

 

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