(St Albans, 1874-Barnet 1961)

melbourne arthur portrait

Jean-Claude SEGUIN


Thomas Milburn Cooper (Hertfordshire, [1839]-Saint-Albans, 03/02/1901)

  • épouse (Saint Albans, 24/04/1871) Catherine Dalley ([1841]-). Descendance:
    • Frances T A Cooper (St Albans, 1863-)
    • Eliza E M Cooper (St Albans, 1864-)
    • Thomas E M Cooper (St Albans, 1865-)
    • Alice Theresa Louisa Cooper (St Albans, 1867-) épouse (Allahabad, 27/06/1897) Henry Gerline.
    • Agnes Blanche Cooper (St Albans, 1874-)
    • Arthur Frederick Melbourne Cooper (St Albans, 15/04/1874-Barnet, 28/11/1961) épouse Kate Elizabeth C Lacey (Malony, 17/02/1886-Cambridge, 1962). Descendance:
      • Audrey Kathleen Cooper (Saint Albans, 1909-Saint Albans, 27/01/1982) épouse Jan Wadowski.
      • Ursula Melbourne Cooper (Saint Albans, [1910]-2008).
      • fils
    • Bertha Cooper (St Albans, 1877-)
    • Herbert Cooper (St Albans, 1881-)


Fils d'un photographe de Saint-Albans (recensement 1861 et recensement 1871), Arthur Cooper figure déjà comme artiste photographe dans le recensement de 1891. Il n'existe que très peu de traces de ses activités pendant la période qui va de 1891 à 1907. Il aurait été le collaborateur de Birt Acres et serait l'auteur d'un certain nombre de films à partir de 1895. 



La presse annonce le décès de Thomas Melbourne Cooper en février 1901:

At the evening service at St. Paul's Mission Church, St. Albans, on Sunday evening, an aged member of the congregation, named Thomas Melbourne Cooper, living at 99, London-road, who has been a regular attendant at the church, had taken his accustomed seat, when, at the beginning of the service, he showed signs of illness, and fell forward in his place. He was convoyed as promptly as possible to the porch. Restoratives were applied and a doctor was sent for, but it was too late, for death had probably taken place as he was being carried to the door.

Bedford Record, Bedford, mardi 5 février 1901, p. 4.

The Alpha Trading Co. (1907-)

La presse évoque, dès le mois de décembre 1907, les "animated photographs" présentées par The Alpha Trading Co. au Concert Hall (London Road) et, en particulier un voyage de Londres à Killarney. La nouvelle société met également en vente des films


saint albans picture palace 1908 01
"The Picture Palace, St. Albans"
The Bioscope, 18 septembre 1908, p. 19.

saint albans alpha trading offices

"Part of the Works and Offices"
The Bioscope
, 18 septembre 1908, p. 20.

recensement 1911

Claim against a Picture Palace Company.
At the Clerkenwell County Court an action was brought by William Mercer, chartered accountant, of Bedford Row, W.C., against the St. Alban's Alpha Picture Palace, Limited, 63, Queen Victoria Street, for £36 15s. for work done.
Counsel for plaintiff said the claim was made up of two items, one for £15 15s., and the other for £21. Those items dealt with two classes of work which plaintiff did on behalf of the defendant company. In March of last year, continued counsel, plaintiff was approached by a Mr. A. Melbourne Cooper with a view of going into the accounts of a business known as the St. Alban's Picture Palace. The business had been carried on with somewhat marked success by Mr. Cooper, whether alone or with others he (counsel) did not know. It was intended to form the business into a limited company. In connection with that plaintiff did a considerable amount of work in preparing accounts. Later on steps were taken to turn it into a private company. The contention was that this act of making it a private company did not destroy the entity.
His Honor : There was a company, but it never traded. That company is a corporation, and never died.

The Bioscope, Londres, jeudi 20 avril 1911, p. 27.

Kinema Industries, Ltd.-Registered on Feb. 17th with a capital of £2,000 in £1 shares, to take on the business of film manufacturers carried on as the Alpha Trading Co., at 26 Manor Park, Lee, S.E. Private company. The number of directors is not to be less than two nor more than seven: the first are A. Heron and A. F. Melbourne Cooper. Qualification, £1. Remuneration as fixed by the company. Registered office, 4-5 Warwick Court, Holborn, W.C.The Kinematograph and Lantern Weekly, Londres, 27 février 1913, p. 1733.


DE VRIES Tjitte, "Arthur Melbourne-Cooper, Film Pioneer. Wronged by Film History", Kintop, 3, p. 143-160.

DE VRIES Tijtte et Ati MUL, They Thought it Was a Marvel: Arthur Melbourne-Coopr (1874-1961), Pioneer of Puppet Animation, Amsterdam, Amsterdam University Press, 2010.

"The Alpha Trading Co. Open New Works at St. Albans. Special interview with Mr. A. Melbourne-Cooper", The Bioscope, 18 septembre 1908, p. 19-20.