of the British Period to 1947
George Edward Dobson (1844-1895)
G. E. Dobson was born on 4th September 1844 but nothing is known of his family background and early life - and little of his later life.
We fist meet him as a surgeon in the British Army with a considerable talent for photography. In 1872 he was posted to the Andaman Islands but it is not clear how long he stayed there. While stationed at Port Blair he made a number of impressive anthropological photographs of Andaman islanders. We do not know what relationship Dobson had with E.H. Man and M.V. Portman or indeed whether they ever met. However, it is obvious that Dobson's work was known and greatly influenced the two men's work.
The Andamanese Negrito obviously fascinated the army surgeon. He not only made high-quality photographs of them, he also published two scholarly articles on the Andamanese in 1875 and 1877 in the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (see the Bibliography of the Andaman Association). In 1876 he published a monograph on Asian bats and in 1889 his successful collection of medical hints for travellers reached its sixth edition.
Shadowy though his personality and biography remains, Dobson's Andamanese photographs are so early and of such quality that we must regard him as a pioneer of Andamanese studies.
Dobson died on 26th November 1895 at West Malling in Kent, England.
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