Photo Blog: Day 2011

#2011 – Edgar Gael

Worthing, 13th July 2017.

A nice trio of moustachioed gentlemen, taken in Devon.

Edgar Gael was born in Newbury, Berkshire in 1849. During his life, he travelled widely across the UK, but his career started in Bromley, Kent, where he worked as a picture framer. By 1875, Edgar Gael, Photographer had two photographic studios in the town, but five years later he had moved his family to Falmouth in Cornwall.

At this time, seaside resorts were becoming more fashionable and were expanding rapidly. New businesses could thrive there, but as an outsider it would have been challenging for Gael to establish himself.

Indeed, Falmouth did not stay the Gael’s residence for long, and in 1887 they had upped sticks and moved to Exmouth in Devon.

Here, though, Gael would again have had challenges building his business. At this time Exmouth was not a large town, and there were already two local photographers operating in the area. From the records, we know that he soon decided to move to pastures new and, as a result, we can date this Exmouth CdV pretty accurately to between 1887 and 1892.

Gael tried his luck in another coastal resort, Bexhill-on-Sea in East Sussex. Again, however, he failed to make any inroads into the local competition, and quickly (in 1892) relocated to Bristol.

Bristol proved more rewarding than the previous ventures, and Edgar Gael & Sons operated in the area for 12 years. After stepping back from photography aged 56, his sons became coal merchants and the lifelong photographic business came to an end.

Edgar Gael died in Bristol in 1919, at the age of 70.


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