This will be an ongoing series on occasional Fridays, highlighting some of Georgia’s photographers and their associates for whom I have, or have knowledge of, a portrait of them and/or images of their studio(s). I will include “real” images whenever possible.
My Face & Place for today is E. [Eldis] Jay Attwood.
E. J. Atwood was born Sept. 9, 1867 in Michigan. I believe my carte-de-visite below to be a photographic copy of his pen and ink, or possibly woodblock, self-portrait used by Atwood as his Madison GA business card.
Atwell is noted in Harvey S. Teal’s Partners with the Sun as working in South Carolina in the 1890s, which is possible, but according to Treadwell and Darrah’s Stereographers of the World v.2 (National Stereoscopic Assoc., 1994), Atwood put his Madison GA photographers’ mark on stereo views he took in Iowa (where he once lived) as late as 1889. He most certainly worked in Madison, Georgia from the mid-1880’s to 1897.
While he was working in Madison he also did some work in Monticello, and cabinet cards exist with that city named in his front and/or back photographers’ mark. He also visited Greensboro, just to the east of Madison, where he photographed an ice storm in stereo.
In 1898, Atwood moved to Macon where he worked as a photographer until his death. From his arrival there to at least 1907, he worked with photographer T. B. Blackshear. As of 1909, he had his own business, and his studio was located at 212 1/2 Cotton Ave. In the early 1920’s, both his daughter Vera (born in Georgia, Nov. 2, 1897; became Mrs. H.H. Middlebrooks) and his brother Avrill (born in Michigan, June 29, 1873) were working in Atwood’s photo studio as retouchers.
He was a member of the Southeastern Photographers Association and he attended their first meeting in Atlanta in 1921. He was also a member of the Woodmen of the World, a fraternal benefit society. Some rather fun facts about Atwood are that he advertised “the new Catchum Quick Process,” and “Skidoo pictures” in 1914. In addition to his photography, he also advertised the sale of ducks and duck eggs.
Atwood died at a daughter’s home in Nashville, Tennessee on Sept. 27, 1940, and he was interred in Macon at Riverside Cemetery two days later, near his wife’s parents. Later his wife, and his brother Avrill were also buried there. The online record for Riverside Cemetery includes his obituaries.
I provide brief biographical information to Find a Grave on these individuals whenever possible, and I did this for E. J. Atwood. http://tinyurl.com/qbm9k7y
One Final Note:
I do not believe there is any connection of photographer E. J. Atwood to “J. Atwood & Son.” That pair had worked in Philadelphia in the late 1840s to the mid-1850s, and they came to Savannah for a year, from February 1858 to February 1859, to make portraits. Their services included magnifying and copying daguerreotypes and making them into oil paintings. This J. Atwood, artist, was in Georgia earlier and is documented in Milledgeville in late 1842 painting portraits. The New York Historical Society’s Dictionary of Artists lists Jesse Atwood as an itinerant portrait painter born in New Hampshire ca. 1802, with a son George born ca. 1828 in Pennsylvania. Artist J. Atwood was in Mexico in May 1847, and he arrived in New Orleans in July 1847 with two portrait paintings of Gen. Taylor he had done in Mexico. In January 1859 a Savannah newspaper noted that Atwood and Son would soon be leaving Savannah and were heading to Havana, Cuba to paint portraits.