Ernest H Mills

(1874-1942)

Ernest Herbert Mills was born in 1874 in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, the eldest of the six children of William F Mills, ironmonger, and his wife Ellen.

By the age of 16 he was employed locally as an artist/photographer. During the 1890s he moved to London and was employed by the editor William Thomas Stead to photograph persons of note for the monthly magazine The Review of Reviews. He married Ethel Jane Hall in 1898 and they set up home (and studio) in Hampstead. Mills became a noted portrait photographer, specialising in photographing celebrities in their own homes.

Their son David was born in 1910, by which time Ernest had extended his occupations to include cartoonist and stage entertainer, performing a 'Lightning Artist' act.

In 1916 Mills was hired by Frank Zeitlin to draw and animate war propaganda films for a new company, Kine Komedy Kartoons. (Zeitlin, the producer for the company, may have previously been the booking agent who had handled Mills' act.)



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Peter Hale
Last updated 2017