Edgar Thomas Waterman

Edgar Thomas Waterman died in 1924 at the age of 56. As a master stationer he opened a stationery shop at 180 Spon Street in Coventry about 1909 soon after his marriage. He was a Londoner so why he came to Coventry is a mystery. Where his shop was located was originally planned as an off-licence of the ‘Rising Sun’ pub, and is now back to being part of its lounge. Waterman’s homemade postcards were soon a profitable sideline and continued to be for the next five years. For some reason, possibly connected with the First World War, he stopped producing them, though the shop stayed open for another 25 years. A more professional local firm, Thompson-Hughes, later used some of his photographic plates for one of their series of local views. (Mainly the HHT series) Technically the processing and presentation of Waterman’s photographs was fairly weak. Often he would get one part of the picture out of focus or get the spellings of his scruffy captioning wrong. Quite a few were also poorly exposed. However, when he was trying he had a good eye for a view composing some original perspectives on otherwise quite common scenes. But why he deserves to be remembered, is for being one of the more prolific postcard photographers of those operating in Coventry in the early part of the century. Although he is best known for his coverage of events such as the Godiva procession of 1911 and the other various processions that were a regular part of the Coventry social scene, his street scenes often captured out of the way places that are of especial value to us today.