Montgomery History Online Exhibit: Montgomery County 1900-1930: Through the Lens of Lewis Reed

Montgomery County, 1900-1930: Through the Lens of Lewis Reed

Montgomery History has launched a new online exhibition co-developed by Blog Author, Jeanne Gartner and Montgomery History Librarian & Archivist, Sarah Hedlund: “Montgomery County, 1900-1930: Through the Lens of Lewis Reed”. Explore Montgomery County and its environs in the early 20th century through the lens of Lewis Reed, founder of Reed Brothers Dodge. A pioneering automobile dealer and one of the most prolific photographers in Montgomery County at the turn of the 20th century, Reed took motorcycle excursions all over the state of Maryland with his camera, capturing landscapes, monuments, historical places, people, and anything else that caught his attention.

The presentation of the Lewis Reed collection features his photography in several themed exhibitions (Transportation, Photo-magic, Recreation, Daily Life, and Community). The first exhibition, “Transportation in Montgomery County”, features some of the earliest known photographs of various modes of transportation, from horses and canal boats to motorcycles and automobiles. It is an absolutely unique window into how Montgomery Countians lived over a century ago.

Click on the category you are interested in below to visit the various presentations and their photographic content. Through the lens of Lewis Reed, we see that Montgomery County’s history is America’s history.

  • Transportation: Lewis Reed loved moving vehicles and photographed the evolution of transportation happening around him at the turn of the century. Explore the pages on modes of transportation in Montgomery County from horse power to automobiles.
  • Photo-magic: Details how self-taught photographer and county native Lewis Reed edited photos before computers existed, using techniques like hand-tinting and double exposure.
  • Recreation: Enjoy a vicarious getaway by exploring the newest section of the Lewis Reed Photography online exhibit, “Recreation”. View these amazing photos to see how Montgomery Countians in the first half of the 20th century enjoyed fun in the sun — beach trips, camping, fishing, vacationing, attending fairs, and more. You’ll find many summer activities have stood the test of time!
  • Daily Life: What was domestic and social life like in Montgomery County at the turn of the century? Explore glimpses of early 19th century housing, education, social activities, entertainment, pets, and more in the  “Daily Life” section.
  • Community: Featured in the section are images of the businesses, industries, occupations, and services that provided income for Montgomery County’s residents, and shaped the growing towns in the first few decades of the 20th century.

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About Reed Brothers

I am a co-owner of the former Reed Brothers Dodge in Rockville, Maryland. Lewis Reed, the founder of Reed Brothers Dodge was my grandfather. We were a family-owned and operated car dealership in Rockville for almost a century. I served in the United States Air Force for 30 years before retiring in the top enlisted grade of Chief Master Sergeant in July 2006. In 2016, I received the Arthur M. Wagman Award for Historic Preservation Communication from Peerless Rockville for documenting the history of Reed Brothers Dodge in both blog and book format. This distinguished honor recognizes outstanding achievement by writers, educators, and historians whose work has heightened public awareness of Rockville’s architectural and cultural heritage, growth and development.

2 responses to “Montgomery History Online Exhibit: Montgomery County 1900-1930: Through the Lens of Lewis Reed”

  1. Doris Bready says :

    I just came across this site (Montgomery History) and I’m viewing the photos taken by Lewis Reed. How great it is that the photos were saved and taken care of. I’ll be looking at this site again and again. Lock 25, Edwards Ferry where my grandfather was the lock tender. I have never seen these photos before. I’ve been doing the Beall genealogy for 40+ years and have been looking up photos of lock boats to copy and put into my report. But these photos are for real and are amazing!! Is it possible I could get a copy of some of the photos? It is like someone just gave me a great gift! The photos of the towns are fantastic — the history!

    • Reed Brothers says :

      Hi Doris, So happy you enjoyed the online exhibit! Montgomery County’s history is fascinating and the project was a wonderful learning experience for me.

      The scenic C&O Canal was obviously a favorite spot for my grandfather to take photographs. The exhibit does not display all of the photos he took of Lock 25. If you are interested, I have about 7-8 additional photos stored on my computer I would be happy to share with you. If you would like to correspond further, feel free to reach out to me on my personal e-mail at: jtgartner@live.com.

      Sincerely and wishing you good health,
      Jeanne

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