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Nashville Years

Born in Nashville in 1857, Edward Barnard survived both the Civil War era Battle of Nashville and the cholera epidemic that swept the city in 1874. He began work at the age of 9 in the Van Stavoren photographic studio. In 1881, he married Rhoda Calvert, a fellow employee in the studio. This portion of the exhibit features material related to his Nashville years, prior to his association with Vanderbilt University. Click on the images below to view a larger version.

Barnard, Age 9


c 1866

Edward Emerson Barnard, age 9. Barnard began working for Van Stavorenís photographic studio at about this time. Barnard formed many lifelong friendships with fellow photography enthusiasts while working for this studio.


Jupiter Camera


Jupiter Camera, c 1866.

As a young boy, Barnard worked for photographer Van Stavoren as an assistant. One of his assigned tasks was to keep an enlarging camera, named Jupiter, pointed directly at the sun. The camera had to be adjusted throughout the day to follow the sunís path. This photograph was taken on the roof of Stavorenís studio. L to R: Van Stavoren, J. W. Braid, Unidentified.

Barnard with Poole Studios' Photography Wagon


c 1870s

In the early 1870s, Rodney Poole took over Van Stavorenís photography studio. Barnard worked as an assistant to J. W. Braid, Pooleís chief photographer. Barnard is pictured here with a special wagon devoted to outdoor photography.


Group photo of Braid, Barnard and Calvert


c 1870s

L to R: J. W. Braid, Edward E. Barnard, and P. R. Calvert (photo by R. Poole). Braid and Calvert were major influences on Barnardís study of photography. Braid gave Barnard his first telescope, and Barnard later married Calvert's sister, Rhoda. A framed charcoal drawing of Barnard by P. R. Calvert currently hangs in the residence at Dyer Observatory.


Warner Letter 1882


October 12, 1882

In the 1880s, wealthy New York businessman Hulbert Harrington Warner established a $200 prize for newly discovered comets. Barnard was awarded five of these prizes during his residence in Nashville.


The Comet House


The Comet House. Barnard used his Warner Prize awards to fund the construction of this house on Belmont Avenue (now 16th Avenue South).


Calvert Photographic Studio



Calvertís Photographic Studio at the corner of Cherry and Union Streets. Originally Van Stavorenís studio, then Pooleís, and finally Calvertís. These offices provided Barnard with the photography skills which would later mark his work as an astronomer.


Roof of Van Stavoren's Studio



The roof of Van Stavorenís studio where Barnard tended the Jupiter enlargement camera.