Sulman studied at The Working Men’s College between 1854 and 1858, where he was a student of, and later an engraver for, Dante Gabriel Rossetti; he was influenced by the positivist thinkers at the college.
He became a specialist in using balloons to produce birds-eye views of cities including London, Oxford, Glasgow and New York City. These views, as hand-coloured engravings produced with the help of London engraver Robert Loudan Sr., were featured in The Illustrated London News from the 1860s, and were sometimes produced to a fold-out six foot length.
In 1891 he produced high-level views of major London thoroughfares for Herbert Fry's London: Illustrated by Twenty Bird's Eye Views of the Principal Streets engraved by George William Ruffle (1838–1901).
Sulman drew and engraved images for newspaper and magazine advertisements, including one for Beethams Glycerine and Cucumber showing a young woman with toiletries. He illustrated for The Boy’s Own Annual in the 1880s.
- Thomas Sulman: The Rossetti Archive - Mary in the House of St. John Retrieved 18 January 2011
- Thomas Sulman: The Rossetti Archive - Two Lovers Embracing Retrieved 18 January 2011
- Thomas Sulman: The Rossetti Archive - Jan Van Eyck's Studio Retrieved 18 January 2011
- J. F. C. Harrison ,A History of the Working Men's College (1854-1954), Routledge Kegan Paul, 1954
- The Illustrated London News 1861: London from the South Side of the Thames. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
- London: Illustrated by Twenty Bird's Eye Views of the Principal Streets. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
- Manchester University Press: The Art Dealer and Taste, Anne Helmreich, P. 36 Retrieved 18 January 2011.
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