Ann Cooke

6 George Street, HU1 3BA. Grid C2

Ann Cooke was born in Hull in the late 1790s. She became the mother of nine children, and after her husband died in 1843, she opened her first photographic studio at 6 George Street. By 1847, Ann had opened another studio in Queen Street. She is credited as the first woman to open a commercial photography studio in England, and as Britain’s first female professional photographer. She was also the only woman known to have been granted an operating licence for the Daguerreotype process, by Richard Beard. This process, which made images accurate, detailed and sharp, was popular in the mid 1800s and was the first commercially successful photographic process in the history of photography.

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