Samuel John Milton Brown was born in Liverpool on the 13th April 1873. He was apprenticed to a firm of lithographic artists at the age of fourteen. Much of his early life was spent on Liverpool docks, studying ships rigging, this gave him a great depth of knowledge on the intricacies of the subject.
He took formal art lessons at the Liverpool School of Art, studying under John Finnie, a well-known engraver and landscape artist. In his art he was able to capture the everyday Mersey scene with the well-recognized waterfront acting as back drop to the comings and goings of the various vessels he portrayed. He was adept at both watercolor and oil, though the former was his most popular medium. With failing eyesight and reduced circumstances he died in 1965.