William Garrison Reed: Union Solider, Insurance Salesman, Avid Photographer

Joshism

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 30, 2012
Location
Jupiter, FL
William Garrison Reed was born in Pennsylvania, but moved to Boston with his family at a young age.

On 29 Aug 1862, he enlisted as a Private in Company D, 44th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment. This was a 9-month regiment. It was sent to New Bern, NC. While there it participated in the Battles of Rawl's Mills, Kinston, and Goldsboro Bridge, and the Siege of Washington. Reed was discharged on 18 Jun 1863, the regiment having completed its term of enlistment. He was an active participant in the GAR for the rest of his life.

Around 1869, William Garrison Reed went into the insurance business with his brother, T. Frank Reed, and remained in that field until his retirement. In the 1880s, he wintered repeatedly on Florida's Indian River, which is how I came to be aware of him.

At some point after the war Reed got involved in photography. He was an early member of the Boston Camera Club and served as its Treasurer for a time. In the late 1880s, Reed and other club members undertook the "Old Boston" project to photograph historic buildings there. I also found references to "Illustrated Boston" and from my short research I'm unclear if those two are synonymous. Reed produced his photos as glass lantern slides.

In 1884, Reed went to North Carolina with his camera, revisiting and photographing places he had been two decades earlier with the 44th Mass. He wrote up the trip as a chapter in Record of the Service of the Forty-Fourth Massachusetts Volunteer Militia in North Carolina, a collaborative regimental history. An online version is available.

Reed also patented a type of folding crib.

I found an old listing for one of his Massachusetts lantern slides on ebay, a museum in Australia has one from the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and I know there exists one from his time in Florida. Surely there are more.
 

major bill

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Aug 25, 2012
William Garrison Reed was born in Pennsylvania, but moved to Boston with his family at a young age.

On 29 Aug 1862, he enlisted as a Private in Company D, 44th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment. This was a 9-month regiment. It was sent to New Bern, NC. While there it participated in the Battles of Rawl's Mills, Kinston, and Goldsboro Bridge, and the Siege of Washington. Reed was discharged on 18 Jun 1863, the regiment having completed its term of enlistment. He was an active participant in the GAR for the rest of his life.

Around 1869, William Garrison Reed went into the insurance business with his brother, T. Frank Reed, and remained in that field until his retirement. In the 1880s, he wintered repeatedly on Florida's Indian River, which is how I came to be aware of him.

At some point after the war Reed got involved in photography. He was an early member of the Boston Camera Club and served as its Treasurer for a time. In the late 1880s, Reed and other club members undertook the "Old Boston" project to photograph historic buildings there. I also found references to "Illustrated Boston" and from my short research I'm unclear if those two are synonymous. Reed produced his photos as glass lantern slides.

In 1884, Reed went to North Carolina with his camera, revisiting and photographing places he had been two decades earlier with the 44th Mass. He wrote up the trip as a chapter in Record of the Service of the Forty-Fourth Massachusetts Volunteer Militia in North Carolina, a collaborative regimental history. An online version is available.

Reed also patented a type of folding crib.

I found an old listing for one of his Massachusetts lantern slides on ebay, a museum in Australia has one from the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and I know there exists one from his time in Florida. Surely there are more.
Yes I would guess more of his slides exist. Glass Lantern slides were common in that era. Recently I read an article about Glass Lantern presentations and that some veterans used these in lectures about the Civil War. I will have some thought about what magazine I read the article in.
 
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