Vieler E & H

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Professional Photographers in Bexhill-on-Sea (V-W)

Emil Vieler and Herbert Vieler

Emil Vieler (born 1851, Iserlohn, Westphalia, Germany - died 1912, Bexhill, Sussex)

The Bexhill photographer Emil Vieler was born in the German city of Iserlohn on 19th February 1851, the son of Carl Peter Ludwig Vieler and Wilhelmina Brauckhagen ( Emil's baptism was recorded on 23rd March, 1851, at Iserlohn, Westphalia, Prussia). A younger brother, Rudolph Wilhelm Vieler (born 1853, Iserlohn, Westphalia) also became a professional photographer in England and was active in Eastbourne, Sussex from around 1877.

Emil Vieler was the fifth son of Carl Peter Ludwig Vieler (1819-1888), a German merchant. Carl Vieler emigrated to England around 1861, when Emil was ten years of age. By 1866, Carl Vieler had settled in Bradford, Yorkshire with his second wife and their four children, plus three sons from his first marriage. At the age of eighteen, Carl Vieler had married seventeen year old Wilhelmina Sophie Brauckhagen. After giving birth to nine children over a period of seventeen years, Wilhelmine Vieler died in 1856 at the age of thirty-six. In the following year, on 8th February 1857, Carl Vieler married twenty-four year old Sophie Augustine Neuhaus (1832-1889), the daughter of Friedrich Neuhaus. (Carl Vieler fathered a total of 17 children during his two marriages).

Carl Vieler established himself as a "Foreign Produce Merchant" in Bradford and three of his sons eventually found employment in Bradford's woollen industry, yet Emil and his younger brother Rudolph chose to become professional portrait photographers. Emil Vieler served his apprenticeship as a photographer in a Bradford studio run by a German-born photographer named Albert Sachs (born c1842, Berlin). Emil Vieler went on to establish his own photographic studio in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, in 1875. A couple of years later, Emil's younger brother Rudolph Vieler moved south to Sussex and worked as a photographer in Eastbourne for over 30 years. By 1892, Emil Vieler had set up a photographic studio in the developing seaside resort of Bexhill-on-Sea in Sussex.

[ABOVE] Portrait of the photographer Emil Vieler (1851-1912).

Photo: Courtesy of Eileen Waddington

[ABOVE] Trade plate of Emil Vieler, 'Artist Photographer and Miniature & Portrait Painter', as printed on the reverse of a carte-de-visite produced when Emil Vieler was operating a photographic portrait studio in King Street, Huddersfield (c1875). Emil Vieler (pictured left, when he was a young man) opened his photographic portrait studio in Huddersfield in 1875 when he was 24 years of age.


[ABOVE] A 19th Century Panoramic View of Bradford. In 1801, the township of Bradford, Yorkshire had a total population of 6,393. By 1861, the town's population had risen to 48,648.

[ABOVE] The City of Bradford in 1873. A woodcut engraving from The Illustrated London News, 1873. When this drawing was made, the township of Bradford had a population of  nearly 65,000. The total population of the Municipal Borough of Bradford had risen from 107,000 in 1861 to 147,00 in 1871.

[ABOVE] Market Street, Bradford (c1910).

The Vieler Family of Bradford

Carl Vieler arrived in Bradford from Germany around 1862. Carl Vieler was one of many German merchants that had settled in Bradford in the 1850s and 1860s. In the mid 19th century, Bradford was the centre of Yorkshire's woollen industry and German merchants had been attracted to Bradford because of its flourishing trade in textiles. In 1830 only three of the twenty-four wool merchants in Bradford were classed as "foreigners". By 1860, there were 157 wool merchants trading in the town and 65 of these were foreign-born, mostly from Germany. The German merchants built large warehouses in Bradford and settled in the commercial district between Leeds Road and Church Bank. Because of the large number of German merchants living and working in this district, this precinct of Bradford was called "New Germany" and the area is still known as "Little Germany" today.

In White's Directory of 1870, Carl Vieler is listed as a "Foreign Provision Merchant" at 30 Trafalgar Street, Bradford. At this time Carl Vieler had at least ten children living with him in Bradford - Paul Friedrich Wilhelm (born 1848, Iserlohn, Germany), Emil (born 1851, Iserlohn, Germany), Rudolph Wilhelm (born 1853, Iserlohn, Germany), Albert (born 1858, Iserlohn, Germany), Otto (born 1862, Iserlohn, Germany), Caroline Sophie Martha (born 17th February 1860, Iserlohn, Germany), Julius Hermann (born 1865, Bradford), Adela Laura (born 1867, Bradford) and Ernst August Vieler (born 1869, Bradford). The six youngest children were from the union of Carl Vieler and his second wife Sophie Augustine Neuhaus (1832-1889), also from Iserlohn. Carl Vieler's first wife, Wilhelmina Brauckhagen, the mother of Paul, Emil and Rudolph Vieler, had died in Germany in 1856.

By 1879, Carl Vieler and his family had moved to 13 North Parade, Bradford. By this date, two of Carl Vieler's sons had left home and married - Emil Vieler in 1874 and Rudolph Vieler towards the end of 1876. The 1881 census records Carl Vieler at 13 North Parade with his second wife Sophie and five of his children. Carl's eldest son, thirty-two year old Paul Vieler was working as a cashier in a stuff (worsted woollen cloth) warehouse and Paul's fifteen year old brother Julius Vieler was working as a "clerk in a wool warehouse". Caroline Sophie Martha Vieler, known as "Martha", is recorded as an unmarried woman of twenty-one (she was not to marry until she was over 40 years of age). The two youngest children, Adela ("Adele"), aged 13, and twelve year old Ernst ("Ernest") were still at school. The head of the household, Carl Vieler, is described in the census return as "Foreign Produce Merchant", aged 61.

Carl Vieler died in Bradford on 29th October 1888 at the age of sixty-nine. The "foreign produce" business carried on under the name of "Carl Vieler" at 21 North Parade, Bradford until at least 1898. The business was probably run during these years by Carl's eldest son Paul Vieler, who by 1901 had retired to Blackpool and was "Living on Own Means". (Paul's sister Adela ("Adele") Laura Vieler was also residing in Blackpool and living on her private income in 1901. Adele was single at the time of the census, but she had married by the end of that year). Julius Vieler rose through the ranks of the wool industry - in 1898 he was working as a cashier and when the 1901 census was taken he is recorded as a  thirty-five year old "Wool Merchant" in Bradford. In 1901, Ernst ("Ernest") Vieler was working as a "Cloth Buyer" in his home city.


[ABOVE] The trade plates of the Bradford photographer Albert Sachs (born 1842, Berlin). Emil Vieler served his photographic apprenticeship with Albert Sachs at one of these two  Bradford studios during the early 1870s.
Emil Vieler - Photographic Artist in Huddersfield

As a young man, Emil Vieler travelled to the United States, visiting New York and other large North American towns. On his return to England, Emil Vieler found employment in the Bradford studio of Albert Sachs, a German-born photographer. Albert Sachs (born c1842, Berlin) ran successful studios in Westgate and Manningham Lane in Bradford.

In 1874 Emil Vieler married Sarah Russell (born 1849, Bradford, Yorkshire). [ Marriage registered in Bradford during the Second Quarter of 1874 ]. The newly weds travelled to Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, where their first child, Beatrice Gertrude Louise Vieler, was born towards the end of 1874 [ Birth registered in Cheltenham during the Fourth Quarter of 1874 ].

Emil Vieler returned to Yorkshire and established a photographic studio in Huddersfield at King Street, on the corner of Zetland Street. In later publicity, Emil Vieler claimed that his Huddersfield studio was established in 1875. The advertisements on the reverse of his cartes-de-visite proclaim that Emil Vieler was an "Artist in Photography", and a " Miniature & Portrait Painter". Emil was not a portrait painter in the conventional sense and, as was the case with many photographers during the 1870s and 1880s, he probably just painted over enlarged photographic portraits. This practice is indicated in the wording at the foot of one of Emil Vieler's advertisements - "Portraits enlarged to any size and finished in water color or crayon".

Sarah Vieler gave birth to a second child early in 1877. The baby boy, named Francis Victor Vieler, died before the end of the year. The following year, another son, Herbert Charles Vieler, was born. [Birth registered in Huddersfield during the Fourth Quarter of 1878]. Herbert Vieler was to survive and reached adulthood, becoming a professional photographer like his father. In the Summer of 1880, a second daughter arrived and was given the name of Florence Isabel Vieler. [Birth registered in Huddersfield during the Third Quarter of 1880]. 

[ABOVE] A carte-de-visite portrait of a seated man by Emil Vieler of King Street, Huddersfield (c1875)

[ABOVE] The reverse of  a carte-de-visite by Emil Vieler of King Street, Huddersfield (c1875)


[ABOVE] The reverse of  a carte-de-visite by Emil Vieler of King Street, Huddersfield (c1885)

[ABOVE] A carte-de-visite group portrait of  five children by Emil Vieler of King Street, Huddersfield (c1885)

Emil Vieler and his Family

When the census was taken on the 3rd April 1881, Emil Vieler, his wife Sarah and their three surviving children - Beatrice, aged 6, Herbert, aged 2, and nine-month old baby Florence - were residing in living quarters attached to the photographic studio in King Street, Huddersfield. On the census return, Emil Vieler is described as a "Photographer", aged 30. The following year, the family was completed by the arrival of yet another daughter - Ada Beatrice (Bertha) Vieler. [ Birth registered in Huddersfield during the Third Quarter of 1882].

Rudolph Wilhelm Vieler

Around 1877, Emil's brother Rudolph Wilhelm Vieler, also a professional photographer, had moved down from Bradford to Eastbourne on the Sussex coast. It seems that Emil Vieler may have received encouraging reports from his younger brother about the opportunities available to portrait photographers in Sussex seaside resorts, because by 1892 Emil and his family were living in Bexhill-on-Sea, a holiday resort only about ten miles from Eastbourne, where his brother Rudolph had his studio.

Click on the link below to view the notes on Rudolph W. Vieler


Rudolph W. Vieler of Eastbourne

Emil Vieler - Photographer in Bexhill-on-Sea

The 1895 edition of Kelly's Directory of Sussex lists "E. Vieler" under the heading of "Photographers" in the trades section of the directory. Emil Vieler's studio address is given as "Station Rd, Bexhill". In 1899, another directory gives Emil Vieler's studio address as 11 Upper Station Road, Bexhill-on-Sea. Emil Vieler and his family are recorded at 11 Upper Station Road, when the 1901 census was taken on 31st March 1901. Emil Vieler is recorded on the census return as a "Photographer (own account)", aged 50. Herbert Vieler, Emil's twenty-two year old son, also describes himself as a self-employed photographer. On 23rd August 1898, Emil's eldest daughter, Beatrice Gertrude Louise Vieler married a young draper named  William Hobden (born 19th August 1875, Herstmonceux, Sussex) at Bexhill. After their marriage, Beatrice and William left Bexhill and set up home in Worthing, West Sussex.  Beatrice's two unmarried sisters - twenty year old Florence and eighteen year old Ada - were still living with their parents in Upper Station Road at the time of the 1901 census. Florence and Ada Vieler never married. Florence Vieler died in Eastbourne in 1961 and her sister Ada died seven years later in 1968.

Around 1910, Emil Vieler established a new studio at 26 Station Road, Bexhill-on-Sea. Emil Vieler is listed as a photographer at 26 Station Road, Bexhill in trades directories up until 1913. In fact, Emil Vieler passed away in 1912 and, after the 1913 edition was published, only his son, Herbert Vieler is shown as a photographer at this address.

Click on the link below to view the photographic work of Herbert Vieler

Herbert Vieler of Bexhill-on-Sea



[ABOVE] A carte-de-visite portrait of a young girl by Emil Vieler of Bexhill-on-Sea (c1895)

Portraits produced at Emil Vieler's Bexhill Studio in Edwardian Times

[ABOVE] A carte-de-visite portrait of a young woman by Emil Vieler of Bexhill-on-Sea (1905)
[LEFT] A postcard portrait of a young woman by Emil Vieler of Bexhill-on-Sea (c1910)

The Death of Emil Vieler, Photographer of Bexhill

On 16th December, 1912, at the age of sixty-one, Emil Vieler died of heart failure at his residence at Rembrandt House, Station Road, Bexhill. Emil Vieler's death was recorded in the Battle Registration District during the 4th Quarter of 1912. The local newspaper's report of his death described Mr Emil Vieler as one of Bexhill's "oldest trademen and most respected residents". Among the mourners at Emil Vieler's funeral were his son Herbert Vieler and his wife Emily, Mrs Beatrice Hobden, Emil's eldest daughter, and her husband William Hobden, his two unmarried daughters Florence Vieler and Ada Vieler and Emil's brother Rudolph Vieler.

[ABOVE] A cabinet portrait of an unknown man by Emil Vieler of Bexhill-on-Sea (c1910). The photograph was produced with a protective tissue, rubber-stamped in purple ink with Emil Vieler's trade plate.


[ABOVE] The death of Bexhill photographer Emil Vieler as reported in a local newspaper (1912). This obituary notes that Emil Vieler worked as a professional photographer in Bexhill for 20 years.



Click on the link below to view the photographic work of Emil Vieler

Emil Vieler - Photographic Gallery


Click on the link below to view the photographic work of Herbert Vieler

Herbert Vieler of Bexhill-on-Sea



 I am indebted to Adrian Vieler, the grandson of Ernest August Vieler (the youngest half-brother of Emil and Rudolph Vieler) for providing family history details of the Vieler Family. I am grateful to Eileen Waddington who supplied the photographic portrait of Emil Vieler.

Index of Bexhill Photographers

Bexhill Photographers  (A - B) Alice Armstrong - Balk & Brown - Leon Balk - Bodom and Hawley - Hjalmar Bodom - Bridgman & Robbins - Otto Brown

Bexhill Photographers  A - B

Bexhill Photographers  (C - D) William Morris Crouch (The Sackville Studio) - John B. Currie - The Devonshire Studio

Bexhill Photographers  C - D

Bexhill Photographers  (E - H) Edgar Gael - Alfred Harding - A. D. Hellier - John Hicks - P.H.Hilson

Bexhill Photographers  E - H

Bexhill Photographers  (J - Q) Mrs J. W. Jacklett   - J. J. Jarrett - J. W. Jarrett - Miss M. Jarrett - J. J. Payne - J. Perry - Arthur Bruges Plummer

Bexhill Photographers  J - Q

Bexhill Photographers  (R - T)

William J. Reed - Thomas Robbins - Robson - Sackville Studio (W. M. Crouch) - Leonard Snelling - James E. Stanborough - George E. Swain - Charles Ash Talbot

Bexhill Photographers  R - T

Bexhill Photographers  (V -Z)

Emil Vieler - Herbert Vieler - J & E Wheeler 

Bexhill Photographers  V - Z


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