IOW Photographers - Adams, E W


Photographer Edward William Adams
Active Period 1891 - c1901+
Lifespan Born:  1868     Ryde, IOW Died:  1945   IOW
Studio Addresses 32 High Street, Ventnor (abode c1891)
71 Monkton Street, Ryde (abode c1901)
37 Melbourne Street, Newport (abode c1933)
Trade History

None found to date

Evidence Found
None found to date
Examples of
Trade Cards,
Adverts, etc
None found to date
Family History Edward William Adams was born in 1868 at Ryde, the son of a yacht captain Edward Adams from Portsea, Hants, and his wife Eliza (nee Trim) from St Helens. The 1871 census shows the family living at 4 Victoria Street, Ryde, with 3 year old Edward being the youngest of Edward & Eliza's then five children.

In the 1881 census, the family was found living at 14 Victoria Street, Ryde. However, it is probable the houses in Victoria Street had been renumbered sometime after 1871 and the family was actually still living in the same house, as some of their previous neighbours had retained their relative positions. Interestingly, living next door but one in number 12 was the photographer William Hogg (he was also living at number 2 in 1871), and living a few doors away at number 16 was a photographic assistant Ellen Grinham. It is possible that these close neighbours influenced the then 13 year old Edward Adams to take up photography. Another remote possibility is that Edward's mother, Eliza (nee Trim), was related to the photographer J Trim who was in business in the Diamond Fields, Kimberley, South Africa, and who took photos of my Island born great-grandfather there in 1880.

At the time of the 1891 census, 23 year old Edward was boarding with a Mary Coster and family at 32 High Street, Ventnor, and was employed as a photographer's assistant. There were several eminent photographers in Ventnor at the time for whom Edward could have been working, and the census shows other photographer's assistants living nearby.

By the time of the 1901 census, Edward had moved back to Ryde and was living with his parents and an older sister at 72 Monkton Street. The census records Edward as being a 33 year old unmarried photographer (worker).

No other evidence has been found of Edward's photographic career, so it likely that he worked anonymously for one of the several studios on the Island (particularly in Ryde). Likewise, nothing further is known of his family life, save that the 1933 Electoral Register records him living at 37 Melbourne Street, Newport, along with an Edwin Frank Adams and a Harry Adams.

Edward William Adams died in 1945 at the age of 77 and was buried at Mount Joy Cemetery, Carisbrooke (his name and age being incorrectly recorded as Ernest William age 75 in the Death Register).

Note - Edward William Adams should not be confused with another photographer Edward Adams who was operating on the Island in a similar time frame. Whilst it may seem attractive to believe there was some connection between them, it is probably just an uncanny coincidence as no evidence has been found to date to show that they were related or even associates.

Further Notes Further information about Edward Adams' parents and details of their grave can be found on the Ryde Social Heritage Group website at 


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