Summer pastimes

Posted by | June 13, 2016

portrait by Albert J Ewing

Albert J. Ewing (1870-1934) was a traveling photographer who worked on a floating studio aboard the Water Queen showboat that cruised the Ohio River.

Way’s Packet Directory, 1848 – 1994 indicates that the Water Queen operated from 1880-1915. Ewing, who lived in the town of Lowell, Washington County, OH, photographed thousands of residents of southern Ohio and West Virginia, documenting living conditions and family life in Appalachia at the turn of the century. These photographs were taken between 1890 and 1910.

The Ohio Historical Society (OHS) owns 5,055 of Ewing’s glass plate negatives. There is a negative in the collection signed “Ewing Bros.” It is likely that Albert recruited his younger brother Frank and perhaps other relatives to help him with his business, but there are not census records identifying them as photographers.

The OHS mounted ‘Faces of Appalachia,’ the first public exhibit of his work, in 2013.

portrait by Albert J Ewing

portrait by Albert J Ewing

portrait by Albert J Ewing


Directory of Marietta and Washington County Gazetteer, 1907-1908. The Inter-State Directory Company, Marion, IN

Marietta City, Washington County and Williamstown, WV Directory, 1905. MaGoffin and Pond, Marietta, OH

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