Tap Lines

 Milliard Fillmore Timmerman, The Traveling Photo Artist of Stockton, Georgia
John B. Allen and Donald R. Hensley, Jr.
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This photo essay was originally researched by the late John B. Allen many years ago and was given to me prior to his passing away. I have added  additional research and present this photo story of an unusual occupation.

Timmerman's Photo car
McMillian Brothers and McGee Photo Car at Stockton, Ga circa 1885.  Note the glass skylight towards the rear that was used for indoor portraiture. The skylight extends down into the old baggage room filling it with light. I also believe the skylight was also used to make prints using the sun as a light source.  Most professional photographers of this era used 4x5, 5x7 and 8x10 film and contact printed the negatives using the sun as a light source.  This car also included  living quarters for the photographers, the Timmerman Brothers  whom were subcontracted by McMillian Bros & McGee to manage their photo car. This car is probably an old worn out RPO and Baggage Car purchased second hand by the photo company. Note the link and pin couplers and lack of air brakes. Also note the two blacked out windows near the side door, probably used for film developing.

Milliard Fillmore Timmerman and the McMillian Bros & McGee Photo Car celebrate the Fourth of July. Milliard Fillmore Timmerman was born on Feb. 15, 1857 and died on July 17, 1927. Milliard and an unknown brother traveled throughout the southern states photographing in many of the smaller towns that had no photographers.  They were probably invited by local merchants to photographed children and families in their stores.

This is the close-up of the car from the photo above. Appears to be the opposite side as the first photo. The skylight is visible as well as the smoke stacks from the car's stoves. This shows that the skylight did indeed covered both sides of the roof. A generous storage area is under the car.

east tenn
A.F. McGee seems to have bought out the McMillian Brothers and rebuilt the car without the sky light.  This is the opposite side of the first photo shown , showing the stove pipes, but the under car storage area is now smaller. Milliard Timmerman was the sole photographer at this point and managed the East Tennessee Photo Car for McGee. The white color would have made the car cooler during the hot Southern Summers. Doubtful he made anymore indoor photography, opting instead for environmental pictures. Printing could still be taken outside for contact sun prints.

east tenn in snow
Six and a half inches of snow at Cochran, Georgia on February 23, 1901. Cochran is on the Georgia Southern & Florida south of Macon. Business was more then likely slow that day for Timmerman.  I believe the rebuilding was done to put the cars back into class one standards for use on the Southern and Coast Line. Looking at the coupler area on the original photo under glass reveals nothing, the snow covers the evidence to well. The couplers could still be link and pin with no brakes in which case it would be delegated to the rear of slow freights.

An example of Timmerman's photography. His daughter Florence is the girl on the upper right corner. She was his favorite and traveled with him in the photo car.

An other example of Timmerman's work, the old mill east of Stockton on the Alapaha River. A popular spot for Baptisms.

steam logging tractor
Here is a steam tractor pulling log carts somewhere in South Georgia. Timmerman took many industrial shots in his travels.

Timmerman was very fond of the Georgia Southern & Florida, and took many portraits of the locomotives and their crews, here he shoots the 114. I have several photos like this, which were more then likely made for free for the train crew which were responsible for carrying his car. On the other hand I have several shots of GS&F's crack passenger trains which were probably made under contract by the railroad's management. Note that this train has stopped directly over a railroad crossing, hopefully it was protected.

On the back of the Mill Photo. His rubber stamp was definitely worn from much use.

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