FGO Stuart was a landscape photographer who produced thousands of postcard views of street scenes, local landscapes and land marks in the Southampton area in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
FGO Stuart was the son of a gamekeeper on a Scottish estate. His parents named him 'Godolphin Stuart' in tribute to their employer. FGO Stuart trained as a cabinet maker in Aberdeen and became interested in photography when producing photographic equipment at work. He moved to London and set up a photography studio in the 1870s, and the 1881 census listed him a a photographer living in Penge with his wife Agnes, her aunt, and one servant. At the time he employed 2 men and one boy.
Postcard of East Park, Southampton, postmarked 1905.
Postcard of the Floating Bridge, postmarked 1907
In 1883 FGO Stuart moved to Southampton. The 1884 Stevens Southampton directory included his studio in Bedford Place in the professional photographers section. By 1887 Stuart had moved to a new studio building at 61 Cromwell Road and lived in the house next door but one at 57. The Kellys directory for 1887 listed Stuart as a landscape photographer. Stuart gave his occupation as photographic publisher for the 1891 census.
Stevens directory 1884
In the mid 1890s Stuart acquired number 59 Cromwell Road and formed the National Photographic Company, and in 1902 he began to produce postcards of his local scenes. In 1911 Stuart lived in Cromwell Road with his daughter and her husband Charles Dowson, who was also a photographic publisher, and who carried on Stuart's business after he died in 1923.
1895 Directory listing The National Photographic Co and FGO 'Stewart' separately
Postcard of Southampton High Street, post marked 1904
FGO Stuart's former studio in Cromwell Road in 2016, now a property consultant's offices.