Unidentified photographer, cabinet card advertisement for The Georgia Buggy Co., 39 S. Broad St, Atlanta, 1896; collection of E. Lee Eltzroth
When I was thinking about doing a post for this week that would only use my photographs, I came up with some of or relating to wheels, and then I began to sing to myself.
The title of this post is half of the first line of a song written by Chris Hillman and Gram Parsons (GP was from Waycross, GA) for their Flying Burrito Brothers band (the rest of the line is “to take ourselves away”), and although I am not a “boy,” as in the song, it has always been a favorite of mine so I guess it’s the melody. Please, indulge me. I’m in that kind of mood.
If you are a music-buff-slash-historian, you will also remember the version by Emmylou Harris, and another version later sung by Dwight Yoakam. They are all good.
But you don’t remember it at all, you say?!
Here it is the original song done by Flying Burrito Brothers, on YouTube of course: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCGbLZO4lGo
And the Dwight Yoakam version of their song is here, and almost as good as hearing him do it live, as I did several years ago in Austin, Texas:
Another line of the song is “Come on wheels take me home today.” Wheels…..all kinds of wheels get us going, get us there, and get us back. Now that you’ve listened to Wheels, let’s look at some!
The odd image at the beginning of this post is confusing. Was it possibly taken in a studio? I think it was probably taken outside the studio, and perhaps the photographer set up his equipment at the Buggy Company. Just look at that bizarre, painted backdrop! Look first at the painted scene directly behind the gent, who I think is the president of the Georgia Buggy Co., Edwin D. Crane. That painted scene of gulls flying over a body of water between two “mountains” certainly does not look like Georgia, not even the Georgia coast.
That painted scenery behind Mr. Crane is surrounded by another backdrop, this one made up of rather a lot of abstract brushstrokes. This “thing” looks constructed, and although possibly a hanging painted sheet nailed to an armature, it does seem too flat to be that. E. D. Crane is standing on a board platform, and he seems to be in a “box” with his buggy, which also makes me think this may have been taken outside of the studio.
The scripted sign at the bottom appears to have been set up in in front of Crane and his buggy, but it’s possible the photographer added it later. The number “322” is the photographer’s negative number, so I think the sign might have been composed in the studio. The photo is poorly cropped, and I hope there were other views taken at that time that show a bit more of the right side, which seems abruptly cut off here.
I wish I knew exactly which photographer made this “wild” image of Mr. Crane he was to use to promote his business. Let me know if you see similar photographs out there, and please share your thoughts about this one.
The Georgia Buggy Co. was only located at that exact address, 39 S. Broad Street, in 1896. A year earlier they were at 391 Capitol Avenue, and a year later they had two locations, 39-41 S. Broad St. and 34-38 S. Forsyth. By 1900 the company had evolved into the E. D. Crane & Co., producing carriages and harness.
More wheels……and more buggies! Forgive me for being all over the place chronologically with this post.
David S. Wilson was a photographer in Valdosta, Georgia from at least 1888, the printed date of this photo, through about 1906. In 1904 he was located at 210 N. Patterson Street, and state and city directories for that year also list him an undertaker and funeral director. By 1906 D. S. Wilson also served Lowndes County as a Notary Public.
In 1907 his studio was known as The Wilson Studio and at the same address, but it was run by Veran Blackburn. Eventually Blackburn changed the name of the business to Blackburn’s Studio which stayed in business into the 1940’s.
M. S. Holliday, publisher, photo postcard, man with oxcart in front of A. C. Keily’s photograph studio on Forsyth Street in Americus, GA, ca. 1905; collection of E. Lee Eltzroth
Alfred Cornelius Keily (1866 -1926) was a photographer in Americus, Georgia for about ten years, from about 1900 to early 1910, when he sold his studio to J. W. Barwick and moved to Alabama. While in Georgia (by at least 1896), Keily also did some work as a photographer in Fort Valley and in Macon County.
M. S. Holliday ran a stationery and bookstore on Jackson Street, at least from 1899 – 1910. He published and sold postcards and other printed images. It seems logical, although I have no proof, that A. C. Keily would have taken this photograph of his establishment.
Wilson & Havens, Savannah, GA, ca. 1875, one-half of a stereo card of a man riding his ox pulling his cart ; collection of E. Lee Eltzroth
The glued-on label on the reverse of this card gives the number (126) and title “Fifteenth Amendment bringing his crops to town.” Handwritten at the edge of the card is “This is Willis” so this man was known to the photographers. This is probably Wilson’s note – he had been in Savannah longer than Havens, and the script is similar to others’ of Wilson’s.
Their title refers to the U.S. Constitution giving African American men the right to vote. This is another of those images made by photographers in the South that I believe were designed to be sold elsewhere.
Finally, a different set of wheels. A boy and his bike – what photographer’s prop says “a real boy” more than a bicycle? Even if it is a “bone-shaker.” That very neat outfit he wears was definitely not made for serious play, or bike-riding, but a fine one in which to have your portrait made.
I do not know this sweet boy’s name, but I know from the note found on the reverse that he was five years old, and he weighed 49 1/2 pounds.
C. C. Maddox, Athens, GA, carte-de-visite of an unidentified boy, ca. 1898; collection of E. Lee Eltzroth
Claude C. Maddox (1868 – ca. 1928) was born in Georgia, probably in Cartersville. He and three brothers and a sister were in Athens by 1889, when Claude was working as an Athens photographer. By 1891 his brothers John E., an artist (who later worked in Atlanta), and Elliot F. were working as Maddox Brothers and doing cabinet cards, engraving, crayon and pastel portraits, and offering student and club groups portraits.
Although it is possible that Claude worked with his brothers, he left Athens to run a studio in Cincinnati by the end of 1889. In January 1898, he returned to Athens to take over the McDannell / Harris Bros photo studio. In 1900 he was back in Cincinnati as a photographer and he did not return to Athens until about 1922.
If a self-portrait I’ve seen of Claude C. Maddox is any indication, he was quite “a dandy.” A copy of that portrait is housed in Special Collections at the University of Georgia Libraries, and a copy from another source is reproduced on page 80 in Athens, A Pictorial History, by James K. Reap (1985).
Silverstein’s Studio, Auto Race Course, real photo postcard dated 1908, Savannah, GA; collection of E. Lee Eltzroth
The note on this card, which was mailed to someone in Boston, Massachusetts, says the sender was “going farther south.” And Savannah is the gateway to many places South. The “auto race course” is probably the one built through Savannah for the Vanderbilt Cup race, which I know took place in 1908.
At the time this photograph was made, Samuel Silverstein’s studio was located at 410 Bull Street, prior to that he was at 404 W. Broughton Street. I do not yet know when Silverstein (ca. 1881-1949) moved to Georgia, but he was in Savannah working as a photographer by 1904.
In 1918, still living in Savannah, it appears he was taking photographs related to war preparations and soldiers at Camp Greene, N.C., as the Savannah Photo Co. (p. 182 Massengale’s Photographer’s in N.C., 2004)
He worked as a photographer in Savannah until about 1920 when he and his family moved to Birmingham, Alabama. Samuel I. Silverstein is one of only a handful of Jewish photographers documented in my database thus far.
I close this post to say “here’s to the road,” literally and figuratively! If you are taking some real or imaginary Wheels on a real or imaginary Road to Hunt and Gather some facts, may that Road take you to the places you would like to go, where you will find exactly what you are looking for.
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