When I last tallied the number of Black photographers and associates I have documented thus far, I counted 87 in my database. Recently I began adding several I discovered via the 1900 and 1910 census, and below is what I have found. There is much more that needs to be uncovered on these seven. If you have any more information on any of these names, let me know.
Charles E [Edgar] Cary (b. GA June 1870) worked in Atlanta as a photographer from about 1899 to 1926, primarily for himself, but in 1904 he was working at Foote & Davies publishing company as a printer. In 1920 he was listed in that year’s census as a photographer who worked “outside,” so possibly as a landscape photographer. His photographer’s mark is found in the collections of some of Atlanta’s prominent Black families. As a side-note, my father first documented C. E. Cary in lists he put together in the 1970s on Black photographers in Atlanta.
Samuel “Sam” C. Cook (b. GA 1878 -1880; d. Augusta, Dec. 15, 1924) worked in Augusta from about 1910 until his death in 1924. He was a photographer by 1910, was married, and had two daughters and one son. He had been a coachman in 1900, according to the census. By 1920 and into 1921 he was working as a film operator of moving pictures. I had assumed he continued this until his death at the young age of 44, but upon his death he was noted as a fireman. He left his wife Mary, a widow.
J. S. Logan (b. SC ca. 1847) worked in Savannah in 1910, when he was already 63 years old, boarding, and a widower. We can assume he was working as or for a photographer earlier in his life, but I have found nothing more on him that is definite.
Francis “Frank” J. Miller (b. Dec. 1886) worked in Waynesboro [Burke County] as an Artist (Photographer) in 1900, according to that census. He was single, only about 14 years old and living with his parents and two brothers. I would love to discover something else about him and if he was indeed an artist and a photographer at that age. By 1920 he was working on his own farm in Putnam County, Florida, assisted by his father.
J. L. Mitchell (b. 1884) worked in Forsyth [Monroe County] as a photographer / artist by 1910. He was living alone and was 28 years old.
Minnie Reese (b. 1881), the only woman on this list, worked in Atlanta at a photographer’s studio in 1910, according to that census. I do not know in which photo studio she worked. She lived with her mother and her second husband and their name was Carey. She is noted in the 1909 and 1910 city directories as a maid at an address on Peachtree Street (I need to check this address for a home or a business), but in 1911 per the city directory, she was a teacher at the Roach St. School.
Howen Strong (b. 1894) whose name could be “Owen,” worked in Atlanta in 1910, as a porter for a Photo Gallery, although I do not know which one. I know that Atlanta photographer C. W. Motes employed several black men, and although sometimes noted as “porter” in the city directory, they did a number of jobs in his studio, including printing, retouching, and assisting him to make photographs. He taught and mentored photographer Thomas E. Askew. I intend to write about this fascinating relationship at a later date.
See my previous posts on Georgia’s Black photographers by searching a name or terms “black” or “African American” in the search box at the top right of this entry.
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