Detailed description of brand:
The brand of George Albert Edwards consists of his capitalized initials, GAE, hot branded with a branding iron.
George Albert Edwards, 1875-1956, was a gunner and boat builder from Bengies, MD. He established the Edwards’ Boat Yard on Frog Mortar Creek in Bowley’s Quarters, MD, and made hand crafted boats using traditional methods.
The Edwards’ Boat Yard produced boats including the Beverly Ober, named after the former Baltimore Police Commissioner (1949-1955), for the Baltimore Police Department; the Jolly Roger that transported members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, including then Senator John F. Kennedy, during a review of a Glenn L. Martin Company produced anti-submarine seaplane; and safety boats contracted by the Glenn L. Martin Company to support aircraft test flights.
Mr. Edwards was especially fond of gunning for redhead ducks, and examples from his rig, regardless of original paint, will often be found in redhead paint. Mr. Edwards gunned Spry Island (now a shoal due to a storm many years ago) off of Carroll’s Island prior to World War II. Harden Foote, a friend and gunning partner of Mr. Edwards, captured what it was like to gun redhead ducks on Spry Island in an original painting circa 1931. Mr. Foote, also from Bengies, MD, was a regular competitor in the Federal Duck Stamp competition.
Mr. Edwards made a limited number of decoys including full sized geese; goose silhouettes; redhead, bluebill, and widgeon V-boards; and possibly some full sized ducks. This information is based on interviews with Mr. Rich Edwards, George Albert Edwards’ grandson, and his wife Marion of Bowley’s Quarters, MD. Rich Edwards’ father was George Albert Eugene Edwards. He was documented in Upper Chesapeake Bay Decoys and Their Makers by David and Joan Hagen. The book attributes the featured decoys and V-boards to George Albert Eugene Edwards (correct name, not a Junior), but Rich Edwards stated that his grandfather was the maker of the V-boards. George Albert Eugene Edwards took over the Edwards’ Boat Yard from his father, and made approximately 25 balsa goose decoys, 1 decorative swan, some goose silhouettes, and some decorative balsa decoys given as gifts to friends.
Other Brands on this decoy:
Decoys from the Edwards’ rig may feature a various brands from the Gunpowder and Middle River areas of Baltimore County. These decoys were drifters picked up by Mr. Edwards, and added to the rig. Many of these decoys had very long service lives and have been re-headed and over-painted many times.
This brand has been identified on the following decoys:
Maker Specie Drake or Hen
George Albert Edwards Redhead Both- V Board
George Albert Edwards Bluebill Both- V Board
John “Daddy” Holly Redhead Drake
Mr. and Mrs. Rich Edwards