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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 amount 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

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Author: Roger Spaull - Published At: 2016-08-14 18:59 - (66 Reads)
Footscray won the club’s VFL first premiership in 1954 and that historic day will live in the hearts of Footscray supporters forever. While Jack Collins led the charge against the Demons with seven goals; it was the ‘close up and personal’ performance of the Bulldogs’ half back line of Gallagher, Whitten and Martin that stopped the Melbourne forwards in their ‘tracks’ that day. This is the story of Alan Martin and his outstanding career in VFL and country football.

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Football statistics are a key part of the modern game, but statisticians around the country have innovated since the 1920's in finding categories and perfecting the art. This article gives an insight into the history of Australian Rules football statistics.

Random Articles

From Tripod to Website

Author: Ken Mansell - Published At: 2012-07-05 10:27 - (10735 Reads)
Boyles and His Photos
Ken's article here draws on his 2010 interview with Harley Boyles. It provides biographical material about the photographer Charles Boyles, an introduction to the Boyles collections, and a perspective on the 'hidden history' of the Boyles photos.

1914 - Football in Photos

Author: Michael Riley. Edited by Ken Mansell - Published At: 2014-02-01 12:35 - (5828 Reads)
The pictorial article below will afford a glimpse at Australian Rules football in the year of 1914. 1914 of course was the last football season before the full onset of the Great War and its catastrophic effects on the Australian population. The War interrupted sport and had a seriously disruptive impact on most football competitions. The War caused many Leagues to actually shut down altogether, and it created division in those that continued playing.

Thousands, indeed millions, of people were either killed, maimed, or mentally scarred, in the War. Those involved in football - players, officials and supporters - were hardly immune from the effects. Many managed to rebuild their lives after the War and were able to participate in, or contribute to, the dynamic 1920's. For football, the 1920's decade was very different from those that had preceded it. There were important changes in the rules, Leagues were restructured, and goal-kicking rates increased.

1914 will be remembered as the year the great Port Adelaide team, which had dominated the game in South Australia, defeated the VFL premiers Carlton in the very last Championship of Australia match. It will also be remembered for the demise of the University club in the VFL, and for the unfortunate timing of the Sydney (football) Carnival.



The Ballad of Lindsay White

Author: Ken Mansell - Published At: 2016-03-06 14:59 - (1080 Reads)
There are few old-timers who can still remember Lindsay White, Geelong's champion full-forward of the forties. To keep White's memory alive and to celebrate his amazing career, Ken Mansell has written another fine football song. Here Ken explains why he was inspired to compose 'The Ballad of Lindsay White'.

Alex Duncan - The Brilliant Aerialist Of Carlton

Author: Roger Spaull  - Published At: 2015-07-02 16:00 - (2049 Reads)
The pity of yesteryear is that it is often lost in the glitz and razzmatazz of modernity. It would be wonderful if there were films to assist in showing the high marking skills of players like Alex Duncan in those earlier days of VFL football. Word pictures can never really do such players justice; however this story tries to shine a light on one of the best overhead marks in the history of the game.




Historical Articles (Reprinted)

Great Football Dramas—No. 8 Association Coup which Brought 40,000 to the M.C.G. £1000 Gate for Final

Author: P. J. MILLARD ("Short Pass") - Published At: 2016-08-06 12:43 - (101 Reads)
In this the eighth of a series of football dramas is described the Association’s greatest coup of 1908, by which, in American Fleet Week, they secured the Melbourne Cricket Ground on a public holiday for their final match, and attracted a crowd of 40,000 and a £1000 “gate” – both records that still stand.



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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Ken and Michael are proud members of the Australian Football Heritage Group (AFHG)
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This site is an independent creation. Site content and views expressed are personal and are not endorsed by the AFHG.

Read our comments regarding Sharing Your Football Memorabilia - Donating Items to your Club

Matches

Boyles Photos by Year//Interesting Games
1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s

Outside Football

General links to footballers' occupations and links to other sports.
Links to Outside Football

Quizes