Why did Edinburgh embrace photography with such
enthusiasm in the 1840s?
was well placed to take advantage of the new
discovery of photography.
The copyright restrictions that limited the commercial use
of both Daguerre’s and Talbot’s inventions applied throughout England
and Wales, but not to Scotland.
The University of Edinburgh, renowned for its Faculties of
Medicine and Chemistry, and other academic institutions, provided a forum
for discussion of and experimenting in photography.
The City had many artists and painters, who, over the next
few years, added photography to their skills. Edinburgh offered a good
supply of clients – both tourists and local residents.
There was a ready market both for portraits and, in later
years landscapes of Edinburgh. This
was recognised by Edinburgh’s own photographers and by those based
elsewhere in Scotland, including GW Wilson of Aberdeen and James Valentine
of Dundee, both of whom became Members of the Photographic Society of