Carte de visite of two young girls, before the mid 1870s.
William Summers was listed in trade directories as a carver, gilder and picture frame maker. He was not listed as a photographer, but was making carte de visite portraits at some time before he moved from East Street to St Marys Street in the early 1870s.
1871 Cox's Southampton Directory. Photographers J. Sharpe and Samuel Wiseman are also included in the carvers and gilders section, along with Henry Chamberlain, husband of photographer Emma.
The 1861 census recorded William Summers, carpenter and joiner, at 4 Manchester Street, lodging with George Hussey, foreman at a saw mill. William Summers was born in 1835 in North Bradley, Wiltshire, and George Hussey was also originally from North Bradley.
In 1865 Summers married Anna Groves, the widow of George Groves, Wheelwright. The London Gazette of August 23rd 1868 published notice of the bankruptcy of William Summers, carver, gilder and picture frame maker at 68 East Street.
At the time of the 1871 census Summers was still in business as a picture frame maker at 68 East Street. His wife Anna/Annie had eight children with her first husband, and 2 of her younger daughters were living with their mother and her second husband at 68 East Street in 1871. The census incorrectly listed William's place of birth as Rock Bradley in Wales. By 1876 Summers had relocated to 66 St Marys Street. In 1880 Anna died, and William was recorded by the 1881 census at 66 St Mary's Street as a widower. His occupation was given as carver, gilder and picture frame maker, employing one man and two boys. William was sharing the premises with another carver and gilder, Henry Parsons.
In 1891 William was still at 66 St Marys Street, recorded as a picture frame maker. Another picture frame maker, Joseph Harvey, was working from the same address. William Summers died in Priory Road in 1898, aged about 74.