About George Smith Cook
Photo: George S. Cook is in the center
George Smith Cook (February 23, 1819 – November 27, 1902) was a prominent early American photographer.
He was born on February 23, 1819 in Stamford, Connecticut and was orphaned at an early age. Unsuccessfully, he worked in the mercantile business. He later moved to New Orleans and was studying art when daguerrotype photography was introduced in the United States in 1839. He ran a gallery in New Orleans, then for ten years traveled throughout the South. He would establish a studio in a town, train photographers, then sell the studio to them and move on. He finally settled permanently in Charleston, South Carolina and recorded the effect of the American Civil War on the city. He moved to Richmond, Virginia and amassed the most complete collection of photographs of that city. He died on November 27, 1902.