Engravings and Engravers





1.  Background

2.  Engravers and Photography

3.  Photo Process Engravers




Photography replaces Engraving?

The 19th century Edinburgh photographers, no doubt, saw the the potential for photography to replace engravings in book illustrations, just as it had become accepted, rather than miniature paintings, for portraiture.

Several of Edinburgh's photographers from the mid 19th century onwards came from families of engravers, or had other links with engraving.-  

John Horsburgh (1791-1869)
came from a family of engravers.
  His  grandfather, John Horsburgh,  worked chiefly in line on copper and produced views to illustrate The Land of Burns, published in 1840.

GW Wilson,

Alexander Adam Inglis,

Francis Caird Inglis,

Archibald Burns

and others were produced landscape and urban views, including  Edinburgh, in the 19th century.  It is interesting that some of these photos, themselves, became the subject of engravings for books.

Photographers appear to have taken an interest in engraving:

Thomas Annan, an exhibitor in several of the photographic exhibitions of the Photographic Society of Scotland established the printing and photo-engraving business, Swan & Annan in the 1880s. [P&P:RL]

Alexander Nicol gave a lecture to EPS in 1873
Photographic Printing on Wood as an assistance to the Engraver'

George Aikman [photographer, 1907-09] gave a lecture to Edinburgh Photographic Society in 1906, entitled:
"A Sketch History of Engraving".

George Aikman may well have been son of the Edinburgh landscape, portrait and topographical engraver George W Aikman, who was himself son of the engraver George Aikman who worked for Lizars. [P&P:RL]

[Edinburgh Trade Directories]  



Engravers who tried Photography

Some of Edinburgh's engravers turned their attention  to photography - in some cases briefly for longer:

Robert Bishop, partner of James Ross for a short period in 1844,  was a wood engraver.

RH Gibbs & Co
Photographic Artists & Engravers, 1891-93

John Hislop  
was Die stamper, Stamp Cutter and Engraver from 1885, and 
photographer from 1896.

John Le Conte
mezzotint engraver, worked for James Scott, engraver, 65 Princes St
c.1830.  He then set up his own engraving business 1845 until at least 1870. 
He became a professional photographer briefly,
He was described  as a Figure & Animal Painter

John Moffat (1819-1894)  
was Portrait Engraver  and Crayon & Chalk Portraitist  from about 1848.   He took up photography as an amateur from about 1850, and as a professional in 1853. 

Thomas Pringle
was originally engraver, but took up photography soon after completing his apprenticeship, working first for Ross & Thomson Later, he and James Ross created the Ross & Pringle Partnership, 1867-83

Hugh H Ritchie  
born in Edinburgh
c.1822 was engraver, lithographer and printer.  
He was an engraver
throughout the period 1842-94 and a photographer, 1856-70.

William Watson
was a wood engraver,
1877.  He became a professional photographer, 1894.



Photo Process Engravers

The Trade Directories

The Edinburgh trade directories listed several categories of trade connected with photography, one being Photo Process Engravers.  In some cases these same individuals or firm also appeared in the list of photographers.  

In many cases, it is not apparent whether they also took portraits or other photographs in addition to their engraving business.  These are the Photo Process Engravers and related trades who were also listed as photographers:

J M Bell & Co were Artists and Photo Engravers
Bell, Fowler & Co were Photo Process Engravers & Designers

J Munro Bell published the book, Old Edinburgh Closes, including his drawings and engravings.

Archibald, Fowler & Ferrier Ltd (photographers, 1897) were 
photo engravers, designers, litho-draughtsmen and electrotypers.

Davidson & Austin photographers, 1896-98]  were
photographers and photo process engravers.

Donald M Scott
working from 115 Rose Street
1909-26 was 
Trade Photographer & Process engraver.

Alexander Wood & Son
were Photolithographic Artists and Photo Engravers,

Stevenson & Co (1892-94) and succeeding companies, including
David Stevenson & Co
(1921-36) were 
photo process engravers

Theodore Guyot was a partner in Guyot & Wood,   
Geographical engravers, photo-lithographers and zincographers

[Edinburgh Trade Directories] 



Engravers and Engraving


Modern Athens - 1829

Old & New Edinburgh - 1890

Other engravings

Early engravers

More recent engravers

Engravings and Engravers

Engravings - index



Etchers etc


A selection of  Engravings