Information and discussion on all aspects of British photographic history
Charles Moody was born to Samuel F. Moody and Mary E. Spencer of Saco in 1859, and spent much of his adulthood working in the bustling varnish industry of Newark, New Jersey. There he became active in the now-defunct Essex Camera Club, one of many similar organizations that sprang up nationwide during this golden age of photography. Many of his photographs illustrate the metropolitan Newark area as well as travel destinations Manhattan, Niagara Falls, the 1901 Pan-Am Exposition in Buffalo but the cities on the Saco remained a personal and artistic touchstone for him. He brought his camera with him on extended summer vacations to his hometown and created countless images of the people, cityscapes, rural idylls, and events of this community. Around 1913, the "ill health" mentioned in his obituary caused him to leave Newark and return to Saco full-time. Indeed, the 1913 Saco Directory lists him as a photographer, operating out of his widowed mother's home on 57 Scamman Street. Though he would only live two more years, he continued to produce, out of that studio some of the loveliest, most poignant, and most thought-provoking images ever taken of the cities on the Saco.
Out of hundreds of Moody's original glass-plate negatives in the collections of the Dyer Library, Saco Museum, and McArthur Public Library, approximately 75 will be printed and displayed alongside Moody's lantern slides, vintage prints, and original cameras and equipment.
Photo: Charles Frederick Moody, Emma Wight Moody, and Frederick Shaw Moody on the beach at Camp Ellis, circa 1906, glass plate negative, Dyer Library and Saco Museum
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