One o'Clock Gun

Edinburgh Castle

Time Gun  -  Edinburgh Castle

Postcard  -  One o' Clock Gun at Edinburgh Castle

  Reproduced with acknowledgement to Ian Scott, Hazelmere, Buckinghamshire, England


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    Postcard  -  One o' Clock Gun at Edinburgh Castle


One o' Clock Gun, Edinburgh Castle

The Time Gun

Thank you to Ian Scott for allowing me to reproduce this postcard.

Ian wrote:

"I would guess this photo is of the first one o'clock gun."

Ian Scott, Hazelmere, Buckinghamshire, England:  May 10+14, 2010


The first time gun at Edinburgh Castle was installed in 1861.  It was linked by an electric cable to the time ball on the top of the Nelson Monument on Calton Hill.

The time ball was raised daily, then dropped at 1pm, to give an accurate time check to the shipping in Leith Harbour and to others who were able to see it.

The Nelson Monument on Calton Hill.  The time ball photographed at 11.59pm on October 2, 2006  -  waiting to be lowered at 1pm


The time gun was introduced in 1861 to give an audible time check at 1pm, for days when the weather was misty and the time ball could not be seen.

This map was produced to show how many second it took for the sound from the one o'clock gun to travel to different parts of Edinburgh:

   For permission to reproduce, please contact



The Postcard

I believe that this card probably dates from the early 1900s.  There is no publisher's name on the back of the card, but there are initials- 'cZco' or similar - on the front of the card.



Do you know who this publisher might have been?  If so,  please email me.   Thank you.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  May 17, 2010




Richard Torrance


Thank you to Richard Torrance, Edinburgh who wrote:

Zinco Collotype Company

"cZco was the Zinco Collotype Company.  They were located next to the Library on McDonald Road, Edinburgh.   I am currently trying to find out more about this printer."

Richard Torrance, Edinburgh:  May 18, 2010




Fiona Mackintosh

Perth, Perthshire, Scotland

Thank you to Fiona Mackintosh, Edinburgh who wrote:

My Grandfather's Company

"I believe Zinco Collotype Company was my grandfather's company.  He was George Thomson, and he was in business with his brother-in-law, Arthur Dunbar, and one other.

George's daughter (my mother) says that the business was forced to close in the Second World War, because it was considered a luxury and not sustainable during these times.

The family lived in Bellevue Road. To the best of my knowledge, the above is correct.  I don't imagine that there were two collotype companies of the same name in that street, although my mother says that the premises were not next to the library, as suggested, but near the junction with Hopetoun Street."

Fiona Mackintosh, Perth, Perthshire, Scotland:  July 28, 2011

, Perth, Perthshire, Scotland:


Edinburgh Castle Mons Meg and One o'Clock Gun

All Postcards