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An Introduction to Charles Boyles

Charles Boyles SLV2008.122/451 (Cropped) Source: State Library of Victoria Photographic Collection
Charles Boyles SLV2008.122/451 (Cropped) Source: State Library of Victoria Photographic Collection

The website is centred around the photos of Charles Boyles, a Melbourne-based photographer. Boyles primarily took photos of Australian Rules Football teams and players. He appears to have started this football work in the late twenties. He continued through the 1930's, the years of the Second World War, and then right up to his final photos in the early sixties.

Unlike most commercial photographers, Charles Boyles did not wait for customers to come to him. Boyles set up his camera on training nights, and on game days took posed team photos after the players had run onto the ground. These were sold directly to the clubs, players and general public. On Saturdays, at the games, the photographer's son Harley Boyles (and others) would take a satchel of mixed photos and sell them throughout the game. Unlike newspaper photos, therefore, a Boyles photo was something you could own, take home, and treasure.

There are no action shots or photos of games in progress. Boyles specialised in team photos and player portraits, with the players looking directly to camera. Today these photos are used by clubs, by family historians, and by those interested in football history. They often appear uncredited in football history books.

Boyles did not restrict himself to the leading football competition of his era, the Victorian Football League. During his working life he attended many different competitions. He covered the VFA, Wartime Services matches, the various Victorian workplace competitions, the Sunday leagues, and other competitions.

Learn More about the Life of Charles Boyles

Read Ken's article on the methods, motives and life of Charles Boyles. The article includes notes from an extensive interview with Harley Boyles about his father. See Charles Edward Boyles: From Tripod to Website.

Website Aims and Objectives

This website contains work by two independent researchers, Ken Mansell and Michael Riley. Our objective is to share our own passion for history and provide a friendly resource for family historians, football buffs and others who have an interest in the Charles Boyles photos and more generally in football photography from the 1920's to 1960's.

A Football History Website

This site has grown to cover more than just football photos. There is an amazing amout to explore. You can start with articles, player pages, ground pages, team and league pages as well as information on players careers outside football.

All Football Photographers Not Just Charles Boyles Photos

This site contains photos from many of Boyles's contemporaries. These contrast Boyles's style, and add to an understanding of sport, photography, and the football of the time.

Football Outside the VFL

Charles Boyles took photos of VFL teams, but also took photos of VFA teams, Workplace Teams and teams in Junior Leagues. Also, for many players the VFL was just a small part of their footballing story. This site attempts to build a picture of the football world during Boyle's working period. This world is worth explored through articles and the pages thoughout the website.

Sources of Images on this Website

We are not associated with any library or institution. We have received permission from a variety of people and institutions to include their images on this particular website. Each photo is labelled as to it's source. Please contact the relevant source for permission to reproduce any images.

The appearance of an image on this website does not mean that it is public domain. Although many (not all) photos are out of copyright, many images are available here under 'Terms of Use' agreements with the relevant organisation.

We credit the photographer and the photo source wherever possible,



Recent Articles

Ray Poulter - A Gifted Tiger Forward

Author: Roger Spaull - Published At: 2014-07-16 15:16 - (349 Reads)
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It is hoped that that this story will remind football lovers of Ray’s dedicated and whole hearted efforts to lift Richmond FC in some of the toughest and most testing years in the club’s history.

Older readers will have little trouble in remembering Ray’s exploits on the football ground, while younger readers may wonder why they haven’t hear more about this rather gifted Tiger forward. Unfortunately, Ray is another notable footballer whose exploits have been dimmed with the passage of time.

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This story is about H.V. Cumberland who was 43 years and 50 days when he played his last game for St Kilda in 1920. The following account tells of the times, travels and achievements of the oldest player to have ever played at VFL/AFL level.

(L.F.) Reynolds (1897 - 1939) - Cartoonist/illustrator

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Len Reynolds died tragically young in a motor car accident, but his cartoons continue his name.

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Author: Michael Riley - Published At: 2014-05-31 14:33 - (539 Reads)
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The Photos of Leo Maynes (Brunswick, Fitzroy and Essendon)

Author: Michael Riley and Daniel Maynes - Published At: 2013-05-07 09:08 - (3275 Reads)
Players
This article contains interesting photos from the collection of Leo Maynes. Maynes played with Brunswick (VFA) 1931-34, Fitzroy 1935-37, Essendon 1938-41, and in the wartime inter-services competition in 1942. The collection includes team photos, and photos and memorabilia from two football club end-of-season trips.

Laurie Shipp - Yallourn Football Club

Author: by Roger Spaull - Published At: 2014-03-14 11:43 - (1747 Reads)
For many footballers, their years in the Victorian Football League (VFL) were only one part of their careers. For some, the need to find employment outside the game meant they relocated to regional centres and became part of local football scenes.

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Football Humour

Author: Michael Riley - Published At: 2013-01-28 23:01 - (1023 Reads)
While researching information for this website I often come across odd football stories. The stories vary from funny, to odd, to 'what the..?' moments.

I have seen many variations on a theme. There are many stories of stolen goal posts or of kicking a ball into a moving train. I have tried to include a list that is not repetative.

Advertising from the VFL Football Record 1941-43

Author: Michael Riley - Published At: 2012-09-13 23:23 - (228 Reads)
The State Library of Victoria's digitized version of the VFL Football Record is a useful primary source for football research. The Football Record was sold at grounds on match day. During the Second World War, football continued and so did the record. The record included less advertising during the war years than at other times. There were many appears to support the war effort by attending charity events, or purchasing war bonds.

The selection of advertisements that appear here is not exhaustive and is a selection of the 'most interesting' advertisements during the 1941 to 1943 period. The advertisements provide a small insight into wartime Melbourne.




Examples of Boyles Photos

Kew Sub Districts 1939 - State Library of Victoria Photographic Collection
Kew Sub Districts 1939 - State Library of Victoria Photographic Collection
North West Suburbs Police Team circa 1935 - State Library of Victoria Photographic Collection
North West Suburbs Police Team circa 1935 - State Library of Victoria Photographic Collection
Carlton Seconds, 1956 - State Library of Victoria Photographic Collection
Carlton Seconds, 1956 - State Library of Victoria Photographic Collection
Bob Wilkie - St Kilda - State Library of Victoria Photographic Collection
Bob Wilkie - St Kilda - State Library of Victoria Photographic Collection
Rose, Bob (SLV 122_188) - Source: State Library of Victoria Photographic Collection
Rose, Bob (SLV 122_188) - Source: State Library of Victoria Photographic Collection
Hale, Jack (SLV 122_137) - Source: State Library of Victoria Photographic Collection
Hale, Jack (SLV 122_137) - Source: State Library of Victoria Photographic Collection


Do you have a Boyles Photo?

Read Michael's article on characteristics of Boyles photos that may help you identify one in your own collection. See Identifying Boyles Photos - Style and Format of Charles Boyles Photographs.



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