The Royal Scottish Society of Arts


The Royal Scottish Society of Arts



The society was established  in Edinburgh in 1821.  It was originally named:  The Society for Promoting Useful Arts in Scotland.

The principal objects of its founders were:

"To stimulate and reward genius and mechanical industry, and to afford a ready and useful medium of intercourse among men of all ranks, who were engaged either in the pursuits of Science or in the various practical departments of the Arts"

[Preface to Vol 1 of the Journal of the Royal Scottish Society of Arts:  25 Oct 1841]

Proceedings of the society were published quarterly in The Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal.


Around 1840, the society, then named The Society of Arts for Scotland, was granted a Royal Charter.  It  become the Royal Scottish Society of Arts.


In the 1850s, the Royal Scottish Society of Arts awarded Prizes.  The Society proposed that there would be:

"prizes of different value (not to exceed thirty sovereigns in Gold or Silver Medals, or Money) for approved Communications primarily submitted to the Society relative to Inventions, Discoveries and Improvements in Mechanical Arts and Chemical Arts in General."

 In 1851, thee were three categories of work considered for prizes:

1. Mechanical Arts

2. Chemical Arts

3. The Mechanical Branch of Fine Arts
(including Daguerreotype, Tablotype of other Photographic Processes).


The Royal Scottish Society of Arts