This Bristol photographer's initials are on the front of many photographic postcards of the city and also on some of Brislington - mainly in the area enclosed by Bristol, but some also in the part remaining in Somerset in the early decades of the 20th century. The initials stand for Jesse Caleb Young. He appears to have dropped the dots following his initials fairly early in his career, and abandoned capital letters for a less formal, more natural cursive script in lower case letters even earlier.
His birth was registered in Bristol in the spring of 1883, and the 1891 Census duly shows Jesse aged 8 living at Victoria Place, St George, Bristol, with his parents Caleb (aged 36, born in Hambrook Gloucestershire, and working as a self-employed leather seller), and Elizabeth (35, born in Timsbury, Somerset). The family included another son, three years older than Jesse.
The 1901 Census shows the family consisting of the same four individuals (both children, it states, were born in St Phillips, Bristol), living in Church Road, Easton, Bristol. Jesse's father was pursuing the same occupation, a business he ran from home, and now had the assistance of the older son. Jesse himself was employed as an insurance clerk.
A decade later, the 1911 Census shows the household with the same four family members, living at 227 Church Road. Jesse's elder brother was now described as working as a shop assistant, and their home included the shop. Jesse himself was now also working from home as a self-employed photographer.
In World War I, with his home address still as 227 Church Road, Jesse became a soldier and served as a private in the 1st Battalion of the Gordon Highlanders. On 14 June 1917 in action in France or Flanders, he was killed. He was posthumously awarded the Bristol War Medal and Victory Medal.
In 1919 probate valued his estate at more than £400 but, for us, as well has his tragic service in the war, his legacy is the invaluable photographic record of our local history.
His local postcards
The Square (Bath Road) - BRISLINGTON. See exhibit in this museum.
Church of St Luke - BRISLINGTON CHURCH. See exhibit in this museum.
Winchester Road - WINCHESTER RD., BRISLINGTON. See exhibit in this museum.
Harrow Road - HARROW RD., NEW BRISLINGTON. See exhibit in this museum.
Harrow Road - HARROW RD. BRISLINGTON (2). See exhibit in this museum.
Sandgate Road - SANDGATE RD., NEW BRISLINGTON. See exhibit in this museum.
Sandgate Road - SANDGATE RD., BRISLINGTON. Published in print by Fisher, Janet & Derek undated, page 24.
Churchill Road - CHURCHILL RD., BRISLINGTON. (1) Published in print by Fisher, Janet & Derek undated, page 23.
Churchill Road - CHURCHILL RD., BRISLINGTON (2). See exhibit in this museum.
Brislington Depot (Bath Road) - TRAMWAY DEPOT, BRISLINGTON. See exhibit in this museum.
St Anne's Park railway station - ST. ANNE'S PARK STATION, NEW BRISLINGTON. See exhibit in this museum.
Beese's Riverside Bar - THE TEA GARDENS, CONHAM. See exhibit in this museum.
Beese's Riverside Bar - TEA GARDENS, CONHAM. See exhibit in this museum.
Beese's Riverside Bar (Conham Ferry) - FROM THE TEA GARDENS, CONHAM. See exhibit in this museum.
It's very likely Jesse Young photographed a great many more residential streets in Brislington and St Anne's, and it would be a pleasure to assemble as complete a collection of these as possible here, as a memorial to his life.