Photographer: E. Decker
143 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.
example from LOST GALLERY
(finished between 1884 and 1901)
Cleveland, OH, city directories were available for almost every year of Edgar Decker’s career in photography. The US census for 1870, 1880 and 1900 agreed in each detail.
New York, Edgar Decker is born to David Decker and Hannah Van Aken
Cleveland, HO, city directory, Decker NOT listed
1859 Feb 18, Mar 07
Cleveland (OH) Daily Leader small ad says Edgar Decker is an agent for Ashland Coal Oil
Historic Camera, E Decker moves to Cleveland, OH
1860 Jul 06
Cleveland (OH) Daily Leader small item says Decker has taken the Fine art Hall in the Melodeon building
1860 Nov 15
Cleveland (OH) Daily Leader display ad for Cleveland Fine Art Hall photographs, 205 Superior, E Decker agent
Cleveland, OH, city directory E Decker as agent photographic artist, 205 Superior, res 279 Prospect
1861 Jan 28, 1861 Jul 27
Cleveland (OH) Daily Leader display ad for Cleveland Fine Art Hall photographs, 205 Superior, E Decker
1861 Oct 28
Cleveland (OH) Daily Leader small item mentions Decker’s Gallery
Cleveland, OH, city directory “Edgward” Decker as photographer: res 279 Prospect (could be employed at another gallery)
Cleveland, OH, city directory Edgar Decker as photographer at 249 Superior; res 279 Prospect
1865 Oct 21
Cleveland (OH) Daily Leader small item mentions that C E Wilber is working for E Decker
Cleveland, OH, city directory Edgar Decker as photographer at 241 Superior; res 278 Prospect
1867 to 1883
Cleveland OH, Edgar Decker as photographer at 243 Superior, res 279 Prospect
1884, 1885, 1886, 1887, 1888
Cleveland, OH, city directory, E Decker as photographer with Decker & Wilbur (C E Wilbur) at 143 Euclid; res 531 Prospect
Cleveland, OH, city directory, Edgar Decker as photographer with Decker and Wilber at 143 Euclid (business pages only)
Cleveland, OH, city directory, Edgar Decker as photographer at 143 Euclid Av (bus pages only)
Cleveland, OH, city directory, E Decker as photographer at 143 Euclid Av; res same
1892, 1893, 1894
Cleveland, OH, city directory, E Decker as photographer at 143 Euclid Av; res 878 Bolton
Cleveland, OH, city directory, E Decker as photographer at 143 Euclid; res 415 Bolton
Cleveland, OH, city directory, E Decker as photographer at The Decker Studio, 143 Euclid; res 415 Boulton
Cleveland, OH, city directory, E Decker as photographer at The Decker Studio, 143 Euclid; res 1679 Lamont
Cleveland, OH, city directory, E Decker as photographer at The Decker Studio, 143 Euclid; res 1679 Lamont; also listed with Decker studio is G M Edmondson, res 143 Euclid
Cleveland, OH, city directory. E Decker as photographer at Decker and Co, ; res 1679 Lamont; Geo M Edmondson is now at Edmondson studio
Cleveland, OH, city directory, E Decker as photographer at Decker and Co, 721 Hough Av; res 1679 Lamont; also listed in ad J C Clark res 210 Crawford
Cleveland, OH, city directory, E Decker as photographer at Decker and Co. 721 Hough Av; res 1679 Lamont; also listed in ad, J C Clark, res 721 Hough Av; E Decker also listed as vice president of the B A Brigden Co, photographers 990 The Arcade; res 1679 Lamont; No evidence in directory that the Decker studio carried on under his name beyond this year
Cleveland, OH, city directory, E Decker as vice president The B A Brigden Co, photographers, 990 The Arcade; res 1679 Lamont; Frank C Wells is at 721 Hough
Cleveland, OH, city directory, Edgar Decker as retired; res 9902 Lamont (same building, number change only from 1679)
1905 Dec 05
Cleveland, OH, FindAGrave, Edgar Decker dies at age 72
E. (Edgar) Decker was born in New York to David and Hannah Van Aken Decker in 1833. His childhood was spent on the family farm and he attended public schools until age 13, when he became a mercantile clerk to help support his family. After seven years, he went into business for himself, enjoying some success as a merchandiser.
After relocating to Cleveland, Ohio, in 1856, Mr. Decker resumed his interest in photography, which began during his years as a teen merchant. He married Julia English in February 1857, and two years' later he felt sufficiently confident enough in his artistic abilities and business prowess to open his own photographic studio at 249 Superior Street, in a partnership with Thomas T. Sweeny.
Mr. Decker's Civil War portraits of Ohio's Western Reserve regiments cemented his reputation as an excellent portrait photographer. He would later photograph famed ornithologist and John James Audubon biographer
Francis Hobart Herrick, Union General Philip Sheridan and Presidents
Ulysses S. Grant, James Garfield, Rutherford B. Hayes, and William
By 1870, the successful business was selling 1800 dozen photographs and had expanded to include four assistants. As Mr. Decker's business grew, so too did his need for a larger studio.
After his partnership with Mr. Sweeny ended, he established another successful alliance with gifted retoucher and crayon artist Charles E. Wilber (or Wilbur). The Decker & Wilber Studio, which later moved to 143 Euclid Avenue, became one of the most illustrious portrait galleries in Ohio.
Following Mr. Wilber's retirement, Mr. Decker - whose establishment was renamed simply the Decker Studio - maintained the highest aesthetic and moral standards believing one could not be sacrificed without adversely affecting the other. He was one of the first photographers to infuse humanity into the often austere daguerreotypes and ambrotypes.
He later applied the same uncompromising expertise to his oil crayon
and watercolor works, copying, and photographic enlargements. With Mr.
Decker's success came increasing professional and civic
responsibilities. He became a member, director, and later president of
the National Photographic Association, and also served on the
Cleveland city council. In 1889, Mr. Decker was awarded the
Photographers' Association of America's prestigious Eastman cup for
his impressive bromide enlargements.
In July of 1900, failing health forced Mr. Decker into retirement. Thankfully, he left his business in the capable hands of his latest partner George Mountain Edmondson, who was at the time Vice President of the Photographers' Association of America, and would become himself one of the Midwest's finest photographers. Pioneering photographic trailblazer E. Decker died on December 1, 1905.
Cleveland (OH) Daily Leader - 07 Mar 1859
Cleveland (OH) Daily Leader - 06 Jul 1860
Cleveland (OH) Daily Leader - 27 Jul 1861
Cleveland (OH) Daily Leader - 28 Oct 1861
Considering the style of the card at the left, it was probably done
Photographer: The Decker Photo. Co., Nos. 141, 143, 145 and 147 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio.
From the collection of KEN on Flickr
Edgar Decker was at Euclid Avenue in Cleveland after about 1880
photographer: Decker and Wilbur
example from CurtJ on Flickr
photographer: E Decker
249 Superior Street. Cleveland, OH
example from James Agnew on Flickr
Not the one you were looking for? Here's the photographer's INDEX by name. Listed here are all the Cabinet Card photographers of the 19th century found in LOST GALLERY. This is a work in progress. For a look at the original postings go to LOST GALLERY.
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