Story of photographer George Moulthrop shared

Tom Dickau of the Bristol Historical Society speaks at the Manross Library. He shared photographs from George E. Moulthrop’s collection that his daughters donated to the society. Dickau returned the portrait of George Moulthrop, left, to his daughters this night. (Photo by Janelle Morelli)

The photographic legacy of Bristol left by pioneer amateur photographer, George Elisha Moulthrop, was told Monday evening, Nov. 19 by Bristol/ Forestville historian Tom Dickau, at the Frederick N. Manross Memorial Library in Forestville.

Honored guests were Beverly McMaster Huntley, Linda McMaster, and Pamela Mc Master Smith, step granddaughters of Moulthrop. A recently framed photographic image hand tinted in oil of Moulthrop was presented back to the family, as well as, two recently produced postcards depicting Moulthrop and one of his images.

The family described him as “a quiet, shy gentleman, who would rock gently in his chair as he observed the activities going on around him. He was always immaculately dressed in a three piece suit. He loved gardening; enjoyed traveling; took pride in his home and held leadership positions in fraternal organizations. George almost always had a camera handy.“

Over two and one half years ago, the family turned over to Dickau, what is probably the largest archival collection ever to be assembled of Bristol photographic images. It took him over one year to organize the collection, which includes over 5,000 individual pieces. Then, as requested, he began to process each negative glass plate, changing them into positive images that then needed restoration. He initially started this process, but needing additional expertise secured the assistance of Cortlandt Hull, who has extensive experience in this area, to further enhance the images. The two of them have been working on these for well over a year. Much more work is needed in the future with this extensive resource.

A packed house watched the multi-media production entitled “George E. Moulthrop, Amateur Photographer and Visual Historian.“ The program was extremely well- received by the audience. Reactions were that of amazement regarding the diversity and clarity of the images. Each audience member received copies of the two postcards at the end of the evening.

Teresa Goulden, supervisor of the Manross Library, hosted the program and “The Friends of the Library” provided refreshments.

The Moulthrop Collection will be highlighted in a continuing series with dates to be announced.