William WALKER

(Glasgow, [1857]-Newcastle, 1931)

walker william portrait

Jean-Claude SEGUIN  


William Walker (Glasgow [1857]-Newcastle, 25/12/1931) épouse Mary Riddell. Descendance:

  • Alexander Walker épouse Elsie A. Hands. Descendance:
  • William Walker.
  • Charles Walker.


William Walker, dès l'âge de 16 ans, travaille comme assistant du libraire John Adam. Il ouvre son propre établissement, à Aberdeen, en 1882, au Victoria Buildings (36, Bridge Street).

walker william 1882 libraire
Aberdeen Press and Journal, Aberdeen, samedi 24 juin 1882, p. 4.

En août 1885, on voit apparaître le nom "Walker & Company" dans une annonce publicitaire. C'est à partir du début du mois de mars, que l'entreprise déménage au 19, Bridge Street dans l'Albany Buildings, afin de développer ses activités.

walker william 1886 libraire
Aberdeen Evening Express, Aberdeen, mardi 4 mars 1886, p. 1.

C'est à partir de décembre 1890 que William Walker commence à annoncer la vente de lanternes magiques. Le développement des activités conduit l'entreprise de William Walker à ouvrir deux nouveaux établissements, en 1895 situés au 41-43 Bridge Street et au 55 Schoolhill.

walker william 1890 lanternes magiques walker william 1895 libraires
The Aberdeen Journal, Aberdeen, vendredi 12 décembre 1890, p. 8. The Aberdeen Journal, Aberdeen, vendredi 31 mai 1895, p. 2.

Les projections de lanternes magiques vont devenir un activité à part entière.

Le Cinématographe (1896-1897)

C'est au mois de septembre 1896 que la Walker & Company organise ses premières projections à Aberdeen (19 Bridge Street).

aberdeen 1896 walker
Aberdeen Press and Journal, Aberdeen, mercredi 16 septembre 1896, p. 2.

Les projections se prolongent jusqu'en octobre. Les activités cinématographiques vont se développer grâce également à l'opérateur et cinématographiste Paul Robello qui semble bien avoir été la cheville ouvrière de la société en matière de projection et tournage. Des séances sont organisées devant la famille royal au château de Balmoral :

CINEMATOGRAPH PICTURE AT BALLATER.-Messrs Walker & Co., Aberdeen, had the honour to receive permission to take a cinematograph picture of Her Majesty's departure from Ballater for Balmoral the other Saturday morning. On several occasions Messrs Walker have had the distinction of giving lime-light exhibitions at Balmoral, and to this they can now add the honour of having secured, by means of the cinematograph instrument, a picture of what is always an interesting incident in the Queen's visit to Deeside. Messrs Walker, in order to ensure success in their effects, had two cameras in position in the station-yard. The picture taken consisted of a film 75 feet in length, which was passed across the aperture of the camera in about 50 seconds. The total number of exposures or photographs taken in the 50 seconds would amount to about 1200. The picture from a scenic point of view should prove a very successful one. The Queen's carriage drove past at no great distance from the camera, and it will, therefore occupy a prominent place in the cinematograph, and will therfore be appropriately called "The Start for Balmoral.

Peterhead Sentinal and General Advertiser for Buchan District, 1 June 1897, p. 5.

The Nursery Cinematograph (octobre-novembre 1898)

En 1898, William Walker commercialise le "Nursery Cinematograph". Cet appareil qui combine lanterne magique et cinématographe est présenté le 26 octobre 1898 :

Messrs Walker & Company, Bridge Street, have introduced a novelty in the shape of a cheap combined lantern and cinematograph at such a figure that brings this scientific instrument within the reach of all. As the trial exhibition held in their warehouse yesterday a picture of four feet in seize was displayed with most satisfactory results. Eight cinematograms are supplied with each machine, and 12 lantern slides. The novelty comes at an appropriate season, for a mor suitable gift to young people could hardly be suggested.

Aberdeen Press and Journal, Aberdeen, jeudi 27 octobre 1898, p. 6.

On ignore l'origine de cet appareil, apparemment destiné aux enfants, qui disparaît de la presse au bout de quelques jours.

Et après (1898-1931)

Vers 1912, il s'installe à Newcastle :

SIR,-In the 1890s, my grandfather William Walker [...] and his wife moved to Newcastle about 1912 and established a film-hire service with his sons Charles (my uncle) and Alexander (my father). William Walker was also manager of the Empire Cinema, 10-12 Grainger Street West, Newcastle.
In 1922, Charles and Alexander formed Walkers’ Wireless Supply Co. Branches were established in Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh. Trading ceased in 1927. [...]
Roderick William Walker, 10 Westwood Avenue, Newcastle NE6 %QT.

Aberdeen Press and Journal, Aberdeen, mercredi 24 mai 1995, p. 18.

Il décède dans sa résidence, 66 Lovaine Place, à Newcastle.



[16]/09-[23]/10/1896 Grande-Bretagne Aberdeen Bridge Street nº 19 Animated Photographs