Ruth Montgomery was born in 1880 to a seafaring family (her father, both grandfathers, and many uncles were all deep water ship masters). Her father, Adelbert, assumed command of the bark Carrie Winslow (a bark has three or more masts; the aftermost is rigged fore and aft, while the rest are square) in 1895, when Ruth was 15 years old.
The family went to sea, and at some point around this time, young Ruth took up photography, which she employed skillfully enough to document her perspective on their voyages (the ship ran cargo to South America, primarily Argentina). Her titles are the only original source of information on the photographs. This collection of close to 600 4x5" glass plates is now under the Penobscot Marine Museum's curatorship in Searsport, Maine.