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Amos & Amos Photographers Biography

This page provides additional information for images displayed within Dover Museum's online image collection

Amos and Amos :
George Thomas Amos                1827 - 1914
Eugene George Jenner Amos     1872 - 1942
Flora Mary Lausdell Amos           1880 - 1955

Premises
High Street, Sandgate, Folkestone 1856 -    1858
23 Snargate Street                          1858 - c.1867
70 Cannon Street                         c.1867 - c.1874
2 Snargate Street                         c.1874 -    1943

The Amos family lived in Dover for hundreds of years and owned a photography shop.

 According to Joe Harman (Bygone Kent Volume II p. 251), George Thomas Amos (1827-1914) was originally a tobacconist in the High Street in Sandgate. He began photography at his shop in about 1856 and then moved to a new studio at Dover in 1858. This information comes from an advert in the Folkestone Chronicle of 18 October 1856 that announces G. T. Amos is now supplying photo portraits from his shop in High Street, Sandgate, and an entry in Melvilles 1858 Directory which lists George Thomas Amos, as tobacconist and photographer in Sandgate.

George Thomas Amos was made a Freeman on 9 July 1852 and he continued to live at Trevannion Street until 1859 when he moved to 21 Snargate Street. From 1868 - 70 he is listed as living in Biggin Street.

This fits in with what we do know of Amos the photographer: his particular forte was maritime pictures and he took a special interest in ship designs. His shop and studio at Snargate Street opened in about 1858.

More research is needed to make sense of this early Amos history, which seems contradictory or at least muddy.

Amos and his wife Rachel were Quakers, and he also held strange views that made him and his family into well-known local eccentrics. He always refused to work on a Sunday and dressed in an out-dated style made up of a frock-coat and a huge top-hat. His son Eugene (1872-1942) was dressed in Medieval costume as a boy. Eugene was an early naturist and was often seen walking along Dover Beach naked and sun-tanned well into his sixties.

George was also an accomplished oil-painter. Dover Museum has two of his paintings of horses, ducks, sheep and goats. Eugene was a keen archaeologist, a member of Kent Archaeological Society and Honorary Archaeologist to Dover Museum. He recorded many of the finds made in the Dover area from the 1880s and Dover Museum has a number of his glass lantern-slides of archaeology (all signed Amos & Amos on the paper slip frame).

Eugene had joined his father in business in about 1888. Photographs from then on are often signed Amos & Amos, but the business (G.T. Amos) did not bear that name until after the first World War, and after George Amos death in 1914. By 1914, George's daughter Flora was also involved with the business and was a keen photographer herself, particularly of windmills.

Eugene died in Dover Hospital on 20th January 1942, and soon afterwards (1943) the Snargate Street shop, where Flora was still living, was hit by German shells and badly damaged. It never re-opened. Flora died 2 April 1955 and was buried by the Society of Friends (Quakers).

Although much of the Amos negative collection was destroyed by shelling, many hundreds of negatives found their way into the Nautical Photo Agency Collection, who sold them to the National Maritime Museum in 1966.

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