Skip to main content

Duckworth, E. H., 1894-1972

 Person

Magazine editor and photographer. Edward Harland Duckworth was born in England in 1894. He attended Cheltenham College 1908-1911, then studied electrical engineering at the City and Guilds Engineering College, Finsbury, and later electrochemical engineering at the Royal College of Science of Imperial College, London University. After service in World War I with the Royal Engineers he returned to London University, taking an honors degree in chemistry; and studied botany for an additional year. He took temporary teaching posts at Cheltenham, Haileybury and Wellingborough, and eventually joined the staff of Dean Close School, Cheltenham, to build up the science department. This in turn led to Duckworth being suggested in 1930 to E.R.J. Hussey, Director of Education in Nigeria, who was looking for someone to develop the teaching of science in Nigeria and advise on science and technical education. The position of Inspector of Education was offered and accepted, and Duckworth sailed for Nigeria in October, 1930. He spent his first year teaching science at the Government Colleges of Ibadan and Umuahia, and was then attached to the headquarters staff of the Education Department in Lagos. His first tasks were the planning of science education at the Higher College, Yaba (established 1934), and giving advice on science teaching to mission schools. In 1933 Duckworth was asked by Hussey to edit a magazine for African teachers. This magazine was initially titled The Nigerian teacher, but was renamed Nigeria (and the scope broadened) with the ninth issue, published in 1937. Issue 14 (1938) was a special issue (with four color illustrations) that served as a handbook for the Nigerian arts and crafts exhibition sent to the Empire Exhibition in Glasgow. Articles in this issue on recent discoveries of sculpture at Ife, Esie and elsewhere, and Duckworth's continuing advocacy, were part of a movement that led to the establishment of the Museum of Nigerian Antiquities, Traditional Art and Ethnography in 1957. In collaboration with several others, Duckworth founded the Lagos Boys' Holiday Camp on the shore of the Kuramo Waters lagoon on Victoria Island. This led to the construction of a well and school at the neighboring village of Igbosere. The post of Inspector of Education was abolished in 1944 and Duckworth became "Editor of Nigeria and Organiser of Exhibitions." This allowed him to devote even more time to the magazine, and to develop the Exhibition Centre on the Marina in Lagos. Part of his last years in Nigeria centered on a "Clean up Lagos" campaign, published reports of which caused friction with the colonial administration. Duckworth retired in 1953 and returned to Cheltenham to live with his sister in the family home, Rosenhoe. He visited Nigeria at least twice, including an extended stay beginning in 1960, at the time of Nigeria's independence. Duckworth never married; he died in Cheltenham on January 14, 1972. [Summarized from the report on Duckworth's papers prepared for the Oxford University Colonial Records Project, Rhodes House Library, in 1972]

Found in 12014 Collections and/or Records:

Young woman with braided hair, wearing earrings and a sarong, carrying a baby on her back; other young women; framework for drying fish nets in the background, 1936-01-01

 File
Scope and Contents From the Collection: Collection consists chiefly of photographic prints and slides documenting early 20th century Nigeria.
Dates: 1936-01-01

Young woman with braided hair weaving a striped fabric at a vertical loom, outdoors

 File
Scope and Contents From the Collection: Collection consists chiefly of photographic prints and slides documenting early 20th century Nigeria.
Dates: 1930 - 1972

Young woman with hair braided into a crest; in profile

 File
Scope and Contents From the Collection: Collection consists chiefly of photographic prints and slides documenting early 20th century Nigeria.
Dates: 1930 - 1972

Young woman with hair braided into a crest; with head turned

 File
Scope and Contents From the Collection: Collection consists chiefly of photographic prints and slides documenting early 20th century Nigeria.
Dates: 1930 - 1972

Young women, many with baby dolls, sitting on a see-saw, at the Girl's School at Kano

 File
Scope and Contents From the Collection: Collection consists chiefly of photographic prints and slides documenting early 20th century Nigeria.
Dates: 1930 - 1972

Young women, many with baby dolls, sitting on a see-saw, at the Girl's School at Kano; woman stands behind them

 File
Scope and Contents From the Collection: Collection consists chiefly of photographic prints and slides documenting early 20th century Nigeria.
Dates: 1930 - 1972

Young women wearing headbands of beads and hairpins, holding blocks of wood connected by cords

 File
Scope and Contents From the Collection: Collection consists chiefly of photographic prints and slides documenting early 20th century Nigeria.
Dates: 1930 - 1972

Younger male and older male next to a canoe pulled up on dry land; other boats, people, and racks for drying fish nets, in the background

 File
Scope and Contents From the Collection: Collection consists chiefly of photographic prints and slides documenting early 20th century Nigeria.
Dates: 1930 - 1972

Yucca plant; a set of steps on one side, and another plant on the other

 File
Scope and Contents From the Collection: Collection consists chiefly of photographic prints and slides documenting early 20th century Nigeria.
Dates: 1930 - 1972

Yucca plants growing beside a stair railing

 File
Scope and Contents From the Collection: Collection consists chiefly of photographic prints and slides documenting early 20th century Nigeria.
Dates: 1930 - 1972

Zeiss Ikon photograph enlarger, in Duckworth's darkroom in his house at No. 4 Onikan Road, Lagos

 File
Scope and Contents From the Collection: Collection consists chiefly of photographic prints and slides documenting early 20th century Nigeria.
Dates: 1930 - 1972

Zuma Rock

 File
Scope and Contents From the Collection: Collection consists chiefly of photographic prints and slides documenting early 20th century Nigeria.
Dates: 1930 - 1972

Zuma Rock rising over a forested landscape

 File
Scope and Contents From the Collection: Collection consists chiefly of photographic prints and slides documenting early 20th century Nigeria.
Dates: 1930 - 1972

Zuma Rock; two people in the foreground (one holds a rifle)

 File
Scope and Contents From the Collection: Collection consists chiefly of photographic prints and slides documenting early 20th century Nigeria.
Dates: 1930 - 1972