James Benjamin Edwards, jeweller of Bendigo, was a well connected and well respected citizen. He was also my wife’s great-grandfather.
He was a stalwart of the Forest Street Methodist Church, including being a trustee, chairman of the Bendigo Chamber of Commerce, active in the Bendigo Horticultural Society, and an amateur photographer, including being president of the Bendigo Photographic Society.
An article in Trove entitled, “A PRESENTATION FROM BENDIGO.”, (1901, May 2). The Bendigo Independent (Vic. : 1891 – 1918), p. 2. relates:
A PRESENTATION FROM BENDIGO.
VIEWS OF UNDERGROUND MINING.
Mr. J. B. Edwards is an ingenious amateur photographer. For some time he has been experimenting to discover a satisfactory method of photographing underground workings of mines. Recently, by using magnesium, he was able to take some splendid stereoscopic transparencies. The mayor, per the town clerk, wrote to the Governor-General a few days ago suggesting that these views would be a suitable gift to the Duke and Duchess of York. Mr. Honeybone yesterday received the following reply:—“I am directed by His Excellency the Governor-General to request you to be so good as to inform his Worship the mayor of Bendigo that he is of opinion that the presentation of a number of views taken underground by Mr. J. B. Edwards would be a very pleasing gift. The presentation might be made by his worship immediately after the joint municipal address has been given. I may mention that none of the addresses will be read.—Yours, etc., E. W. Wellington, private secretary to His Excellency the Governor-General.” The transparencies include views of the underground workings of the New Chum Railway, Great Northern, Great Southern, New Moon, Garibaldi, and Goldfields mines, and should make an interesting souvenir of the Royal visit when the Duke and Duchess return to England.
This presentation album was sold at Bonhams auction house in May, 2006, for AU$ 1,635, described as follows:
Stereoscopic views: Goldfields: AustraliaSix glass views of The Goldfields of Victoria G. M. Bendigo (An English Co.) taken by J. B. Edwards and captioned showing men underground using mining machinery, the views, together with a Holmes type viewer in a fitted velvet lined polished wood presentation box with a plaque ‘Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York. Views of Underground Mining Bendigo at Victoria Australia By J.B. Edwards, Bendigo 7/5/01’.