Street was the main street in the Edinburgh’s New Town, with buildings on the
North side and an open outlook towards Edinburgh Castle to the South. This was the location chosen by many of Edinburgh’s early professional
photographers. The central part of Princes Street, the block of buildings between the
Sir Walter Scott Monument and the Royal Scottish Academy was particularly
the listing of photographers by address. This shows just how extensively some Princes Street addresses, such as No
75, were used over many years.
premises on the corner of Hanover Street and Princes Street, were home to a
succession of photographers for sixty years from 1864. This site was directly opposite the entrance to the Royal Scottish
Academy in Princes Street. Its address was 1 Hanover Street.
Photographic Society of Scotland's first Exhibition opened in Edinburgh in
December 1856. The Exhibition was widely reported in the Press. The
Daily Express wrote:
Edinburgh the professional photographers are counted by dozens; and the art
which, a few years ago was left in the hands of dabblers, destitute alike of
skills and taste, now numbers amongst its professors first-rate artists - men
capable of understanding and turning to account all its varied and astonishing
[Daily Express: 3 January 1857]
Tunny and Messrs Ross & Thomson were
all praised for their entries in this
professional photographers from the 1850s onwards produced cartes-de-visite –
small photographs the size of this one, mounted on thin card. Most were portraits, sold by the dozen to the sitter. However some photographers produced cartes de visite of other subjects.
Washington Wilson of Aberdeen travelled throughout Scotland, taking landscapes. He photographed from this site in Princes Street in 1859. He returned to take more photos in 1860, and again in 1863-64.
photograph was taken around 1859, and issued originally as stereo pair. Later the left hand side was cropped off, and the photograph was issued
in a smaller format as the carte de visite shown here.
Princes Street, Looking East
by George Washington Wilson
photographs of princes Street, please select:
Princes Street Photographs