Be My Valentine

Enjoy these images made by Georgia photographers (plus one other) of couples who were, we hope, each other’s Valentine. These are not all great photographs, but they each tell a story, as do each of these photographers.

Geneva and John (surname unknown), cabinet card wedding photo made by J. Q. Adams, Atlanta, GA, on June 4, 1896; collection of E. Lee Eltzroth

John Quinton Adams was born in Lynchburg, Virginia on February 1, 1859, and he died in Atlanta, GA on November 21, 1927. He worked in Washington, DC in at least 1881, and arrived in Atlanta about 1889. From 1890 to 1893, he worked for C. W. Motes as a finisher and retoucher. From 1894 to 1895, he was associated with the Atlanta Photo Co, and he bought it in August 1895. He was associated with photographer William M. Edwards from 1913-1922, and he continued working as a photographer until his death.

Unidentified couple photographed by Gate City Photograph and Ambrotype Rooms (O.R. Lane), Atlanta, GA, carte-de-visite, ca. 1867; collection of E. Lee Eltzroth

Owen Rudolph Lane, called “Professor Lane,” was born on June 25, 1834 in Tennessee, and died in Atlanta on December 9, 1912. He came to Atlanta in 1866, just after his military service in Smith’s [Tennessee] Cavalry. He worked as a photographer in Atlanta from 1866 until 1900, when he retired. From 1876-1887, he also kept a photograph studio in Chattanooga, TN, likely with the help of a manager.

Unidentified couple, Indian Springs, GA., carte-de-visite made by J. W. Hurt, itinerant photographer, ca. 1872; collection of E. Lee Eltzroth

James W. Hurt was born about 1825 in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and he died about 1878, in Atlanta. He was in Indian Springs, Georgia, making photographs from 1870 to about 1872. As an itinerant photographer Hurt often traveled with his “photographic car, his gallery on wheels” according to his advertisements. Other than during his military service, 1861-1865, he visited ten other Georgia cities as a photographer from late 1858 to 1878.

Unidentified couple photographed by Brown’s Gallery (W. T. Brown), Macon, Georgia, carte-de-visite, ca. 1872; collection of E. Lee Eltzroth

W. T. Brown was born in October 1842, and died in on November 23, 1912, in Pulaski County, GA . He is believed to have assisted A.J. Riddle when Riddle made photographs at the Confederate prison at Andersonville, GA in August 1864. Brown began working as a photographer in Macon in about 1870 and was there until 1874. In 1874 he formed brief partnerships with T. B. Blackshear, A. J. Haygood, and W.A. Campbell. Brown also worked in five other Georgia cities between 1870 and 1897.

H. B. and Jamie D. Fuller, card photograph made by W. E. Lenney, Atlanta, GA., ca. 1897; collection of E. Lee Eltzroth

William East Lenney was born April 12, 1868, near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and he died October 15, 1960, in Los Angeles, California. He was a photographer in Newport, Pennsylvania by the late 1880s, and he married there in 1892. He and his wife moved to Atlanta in 1894. He continued to work as an Atlanta photographer until he and his family left for California in fall 1922, where he went into real estate.

Unidentified couple with their dog, ca. 1901, card photograph (5″x7″), by H. B. Herman, Augusta, GA; collection of E. Lee Eltzroth

Herbert B. Herman was born about 1870, in Germany, and died in Augusta, GA on Dec. 14, 1901. He worked briefly in Savannah, Georgia in 1895, then went to Charleston, South Carolina where he manged Harper & Co. for one year. He married Rachel “Ray” Cohen (1875-1952) on January 5, 1898, at Augusta’s Children of Israel Synagogue, and began working in Augusta. He maintained a Savannah, and a Waycross, Georgia studio briefly, before final residence in Augusta. After his death, his wife Ray ran the studio, sometimes called Herman Art Studio, until 1907.

Stereo view of a couple on Grant Park Lake, ca. 1890, made by Roberts & Fellows, Philadelphia, PA, part of their American Views series; collection of E. Lee Eltzroth

Roberts & Fellows, of Philadelphia, were C. T. Fellows & H. L. Roberts. They were the successors to Edward L. Wilson. Roberts succeeded their partnership, and his views were then published by Griffith & Griffith of Philadelphia as of the late 1890s.

I hope you enjoyed these “views” and your post-Valentine’s Day research and mine go as smoothly as the Lake this last couple enjoyed canoeing!

© E. Lee Eltzroth and Hunting & Gathering, 2023. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including photographs, without written permission from this blog’s author is prohibited. The piece can be re-blogged, and excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to E. Lee Eltzroth and Hunting & Gathering, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


  1. Love these images; thanks for sharing. Do you know much about J.W. Hurt? The life stories of itinerant photographers is such an interesting topic for research.

  2. John, I’ll check my files and see what else I have on him and will get back to you.

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