Carte de visite 1890- 1894, mounted in original album.
Elizabeth Zilpha Mentor and her husband William Hilmer established a national chain of Photography studios in the 1890s.
E.Z Mentor was born in Stepney in 1862 and brought up by her grandparents in Cheltenham. Although she had already trained as a photographer by that time, the 1881 census recorded her occupation as General Assistant. In the 1880s she met fellow photographer William Hilmer and his wife while working in Cheltenham.
Carte de visite 1890s mounted in original album
E.Z Mentor moved to Southampton around 1890 and set up a photography studio at 9 Oxford St, the former premises of John Beer. The 1891 census recorded her lodging with a family in Bevois Terrace, but no occupation was entered. William Hilmer, Photographer, lived nearby in Portswood with his mother and sister.
Carte de visite 1890s
In 1894 E.Z. Mentor married the recently widowed Hilmer. By 1895 there was a second branch of Mentor and Co at 14 High St Newport on the Isle of Wight. In 1896 Hilmer opened a studio in Bournemeouth trading as Hilmer and Co. However, after this time all the studios were in the name of E. Mentor and Co. The 1901 census listed William and Elizabeth Z Hilmer living in Portswood. William's occupation was entered as Photographer, but again, Elizabeth's occupation was not recorded.
Carte de visite late 1890s
The firm of E. Mentor and Co opened new studios all over England in the late 1890s and early 1900s. The Southampton Oxford Street studio was still open in 1907. Soon after that time E. Mentor and Co closed and Elizabeth and William moved to Piecombe, Sussex, where the 1911 census recorded them living on their own means.
Elizabeth and William retired to the Isle of Wight. Elizabeth died in Ventor in 1941, and William died there in 1943.