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G. W. Morgan Portrait
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G. W. Morgan Portrait

Historic Photographs
David Oswald
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G. W. Morgan Portrait
Historic Photographs
G. W. Morgan Portrait
This portrait of a smartly dressed young man was taken by G. W. Morgan (1855-1909). The photo features the ornate furniture and painted background that was the convention of the time. On the rear of the postcard photograph is printed "For further copies apply Elite Studios, 5 Market St, Aberdeen." This dates the image as between 1897 and 1907 when the business was trading under this name at the Market Street premises. Morgan and his brother William also operated photographic studios at 3 Bridge Place, 393 Union Street, and two in Aboyne and Ballater.

Morgan was the son of a blacksmith from the village of Clatt, called John Morgan. Born in 1855, George trained as a druggist in Aberdeen before leaving for California where he worked as a photographer. He returned to the city in 1880 and became the principal photographic assistant to Mr Dinnie of Bridge Place. The premises in Market Street were his first studio after going into business with his brother. He lived at Westfield Terrace.

In the coming years Morgan established a reputation in the city as an excellent photographer and businessman. He was described in his Aberdeen Daily Journal obituary as "A thorough artist in every sense of the word. Mr Morgan was remarkably successful in developing the very extensive business, and it was largely owning to his efforts that the firm attained its well deserved renown for the excellence of its portraiture and scenic work, all of which reach a high degree of artistic merit."

In 1909, Morgan died aged 54 in quite unusual circumstances. On the night of 25th June he was travelling with Mr J. B. Davidson, a solicitor and business associate, to London on the Caledonian sleeper train. All was well up to Stirling when the two men went to sleep. Davidson was awoken in the night by the wind blowing into their compartment and with Morgan nowhere to be seen. After a thorough search of the train and much telegraphic inquiries it was determined that Morgan had fallen from the train and died just south of Carstairs. The exact conditions of his death are unknown but it was believed that he woke in the night and groggy with sleep used the wrong door.

In addition to photography Morgan was a very accomplished violinist and acted as choirmaster for Ferryhill Parish Church for many years. He and his wife had 12 children.
Elite Studios
G. W. Morgan, (George William)
Aberdeen Local Studies