Born in Australia, Edgar sailed in 1918 as passenger bound for San Francisco aboard the bark JANE L. STANFORD. While working in Sydney he had gained a reputation as an accomplished ship portraitist and painter of marine views. He also created numerous works showing Newcastle, New South Wales. During the years in Sydney, he was affiliated with Samuel L. Hood's adelaide photo company, painting precise, striking portraits from photographs and frequently combining the two media.
Actively painting in Honolulu in the 1870's, his works indicate that he spent a good deal of time as a seaman for the majority of his ship's portraits are uncommonly accurate and well detailed.
Records indicate that he worked in San Francisco in the years between 1912 and 1918. He settled in the city by the bay more or less permanently after 1918. Some of his rarest and most accomplished paintings are those he created during this period.