Edwin George Lutz was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on August 26, 1868, according to his 1900 passport application at Ancestry.com, and Who’s Who in American Art (1938). In the 1870 U.S. Federal Census, he was the only child of John and Annie; a family tree at Ancestry.com said his parents were John Martin and Anna Ernestine Hall. They lived in Philadelphia where his father was a bookkeeper. Lutz was followed by three siblings: William Florence (1872–1945), Flora (1874–?) and Earnest Martin (1877–1928). At a young age, the children lost their parents; the father passed away October 4, 1878 and, less than a year later, the mother on September 12, 1879. Sometime in 1879, Lutz was enrolled in Nazareth Hall, in Nazareth, Pennsylvania. He was recorded in the book Nazareth Hall: An Historical Sketch and Roster of Principals, Teachers, and Pupils (1910).

The 1880 census recorded the siblings separation. In Philadelphia, William was a ward of the Bachmann household, while Flora and Earnest stayed with their uncle, L.P. Kurnstler and his family, which included Johanna Bachman, his mother-in-law. Lutz remained at Nazareth Hall. From 1885 to 1887, he was a student at the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art according to the school’s Circular of the Committee on Instruction, for the years 1886–87 and 1887–88. In the following circular, 1888–89 (below), he was listed as a former student currently working as a general designer in Philadelphia (… continues here).