Louis Nicholas Corden


West Street, Storrington

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Chemist, stationer and tobacconist at Pulborough, born in 1864 at Brentford in Essex. His wife, Elizabeth, who was two years younger, was born at West Cowes in the Isle of Wight. The couple married in about 1887 and by the follwing year were living in Pulborough. The 1901 census locates them at 1 Lower Street, with their four children: Louis Thomas Corden (born in late 1887 or early 1888), Sidney Walter Corden (born in 1889), Arthur Bernard Cordon (born in 1894) and Gertrude Hilda Corden (born in late 1898 or early 1899). A fifth child, Albert Victor Corden was born in 1904. By April 1908 Corden had opened an additional shop in West Street in Storrington, which had previously belonged to a fellow chemist, William Wakefield. Joan Ham in her book Storrington through the twentieth century (2001, privately published) provides two photographs of Corden's new shop.

Corden was active as a postcard publisher from c. 1906 until the First World War. He published numerous black and white real photographic cards of Pulborough (including Stopham Bridge), Coldwaltham, Storrington (including Parham and Cootham) and Washington. These lack borders and have distinctive captions in tiny plain capitals, with no lower case, apparently created using a simple printing device. Corden may have superimposed the captions on suitably enlarged prints, which he then rephotographed. Many of his cards are anonymous, while others are stamped on the reverse in purple ink: "Published by L.N. Corden, Pulborough & Storrington". Two of the most notable of these real photographic cards show Storrington's Black and White Windmills.

Corden's output also included halftones with white basal borders (e.g. Pulborough Brooks, 1906 postmark noted) and a variety of collotypes. Some coloured collotypes of Pulborough and Storrington (1910 postmark noted), including a view of the White Mill, were printed in Germany. Less ambitious sepia-toned collotypes of Pulborough were printed in England and sold in packets of nine, apparently from 1908 onwards.

In the 1911 census and 1919 Electoral Register for Pulborough, Corden and his wife are listed as living at Arun House, in Lower Street, Pulborough. By 1922 he had given up his Storrington shop, but he continued to trade as a chemist until at least 1934. By 1930 Albert Victor Corden was working alongside him as an optician. In the late 1920s he became a JP. He is thought to have died in Buckinghamshire in 1949 at the age of 85.

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