Le Bon, Louis Ferdinand



Person (Male)

Alternative name or descriptor

  • Photographie Instantanée (early in Rue de Flandre only), then Photographie Eclair

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules


  • Professional / Connected


Life dates

Éclaron [Haute-Marne, F], 1856 - Cannes [Alpes-Maritimes, F], 1923


1877 * - 1914 > Ostende, Rue de Flandre, 8 or 10<85-95;00-01>, no number<82-90> and 44<02-14>
° 22.10.1856. Le Bon initially operated from an annex of the Hôtel de Flandre. In 1877, a whale was washed ashore, and he sold photographs of it to tourists who flocked from all over Belgium and northern France. Louis Ferdinand Lebon was recorded as a photographer aged 26 resident in Éclaron [F] when declaring the death in Ostend of his father Antoine Alfred Lebon (° Montier-en-Der [Haute-Marne, F]), a photographer aged 55 resident in Éclaron [F], Rue des Capucines, 8 on 28.11.1881. Subsequently, Louis Le Bon was recorded as a photographer aged 36 resident in Ostend in December 1891. Published postcards at this address, mainly of Ostend but also neighbouring Middelkerke, the earliest postmarked 1898. No street number indicated in the directories, 1907-1913. Sometimes "Le Bon, J." in the directories. In 1909 his son Emile Gaston Le Bon (° Ostend, 25.11.1883) was active here and continued the business after Louis Ferdinand's retirement to his villa in Cannes [F].
Le Bon diversified within the tourism sector. In 1893, he had an aquarium constructed under his studio at no. 10. It was one of the first indoor attractions on the coast. He also sold shells and other tourist souvenirs under the shop name "Industrie Ostendaise". In 1899-1900, he had a large modern building constructed on the site of his old studio. The souvenir shop and outlet for shell-based curiosities continued trading at no. 44 until 1930. He published a guide book to Middelkerke in 1901.
1882 - 1914 > Ostende, Boulevard Van Iseghem, 36
At the corner of Rue Louise, 20. First branch studio, then main studio for photographic activity. Manufacture of bromide dry plates. On CV dated 1899 and letterhead dated 1901, "Trading post in the Antilles". On CV, c. 1905, "F. Le Bon" in Ostend with no street address. Recorded many public appearances of King Leopold II: stone-laying ceremony for the new port in 1890, at the races accompanied by the Shah of Persia in 1902, visiting the golf club in De Haan in 1908.
1888 * - 1894 ca Blankenberghe
Branch studio.
1888 * - 1896 / Bruges, Rue Sud du Sablon, 21
Successor: Buyle Ferdinand
Branch studio. Alfred Palatzky (see that name) was the operator-manager in 1893-1894.


1877 * - 1914 > Ostende, Rue de Flandre, 8 or 10<85-95;00-01>, no number<82-90> and 44<02-14>
1882 - 1914 > Ostende, Boulevard Van Iseghem, 36
1888 * - 1894 ca Blankenberghe
1888 * - 1896 / Bruges, Rue Sud du Sablon, 21


Genres / subject matter



CONSTANDT, Marc. "De Oostendse fotograaf Le Bon in Middelkerke", Graningate [Middelkerkse Heemkring Graningate], no. 106 (april-juni 2007), pp. 14-18.
HOSTYN, Norbert. "Louis-Ferdinand Le Bon: een Frans fotograaf in Oostende", Vlaanderen (Christelijk Vlaams Kunstenaarsverbond), vol. 58 (2009), pp. 153-157.




Record source



Level of detail

Dates of creation/revision

SFJ revised 24.4.2018, 25.5.2018 & 20.6.2018 and merged with entries 1997#2630 (Le Bon, F.) and 1997#2632 (Le Bon, Louis); revised 3.11.2018 & 12.11.2018 based on information supplied by M. Demaeght; MD revised 15.9.2020, 24.10.2020, 22.10.2021, 17.1.2023 & 13.2.2023




Maintenance notes