(b 1830; d Kensington, London, Dec 2, 1858).
English photographer. Considered one of the most skilful photographers of his day, Howlett is best known for his portraits of Isambard Kingdom Brunel standing in front of the anchor chains of the ‘Leviathan’ (the Great Eastern). In 1857 Howlett and the publisher Joseph Cundall (1818–95) were commissioned by the Illustrated London Times to photograph the building and launching of Brunel’s ship, the Leviathan. The photographs were then used to make engravings to illustrate the number devoted to the Leviathan, which was published on 16 January 1858. Many prints from Howlett’s photographs were published posthumously by the London Stereoscopic and Photographic Company.
Howlett became associated with Cundall through the Photographic Institution in New Bond Street in 1855. They formed two companies: Cundall, Howlett & Co. and Cundall, Howlett & Downes, advertising themselves as photographers of contemporary commercial subject-matter; country houses, churches, works in progress, views, wedding groups and paintings for three guineas a day plus travelling expenses. Howlett exhibited photographs of a wide range of subjects at the Photographic Society of London, including the ...