one of the prominent members of
Edinburgh Photographic Society
Society of Scotland
John Nicol wrote
an article in The American Amateur Photographer on the Jubilee
number of British Journal of Photography. in this article, he looked back
many years to the early days of photography in Edinburgh.
"During the early sixties (I am too far from
home to look up dates), my laboratory at 21 Dundas Street, Edinburgh was a
kind of headquarters for those interested in Photography, a class
considerably different from the average amateur of to-day; and there came
together such landmarks, if I may use the term, as
all or most of them members of the
Photographic Society of Scotland.
And it was in consequence of
certain features of that Society that the still energetic
Edinburgh Photographic Society was formed.
EPS Founding Members
John Nicol was one of the
founding members of Edinburgh Photographic Society in 1861. He spoke of
dissatisfaction when Papers were read to the Photographic Society of
Scotland and were not followed by discussion.
As a result,
he explained, a number of members met in J T
Taylor's little watchmaker's shop in South Bridge on 20 February 1861 and
founded Edinburgh Photographic Society.
"There were present about ten, what would be
here called 'charter members' including
Valentine of Dundee
of whom, so far as I know, only Slight and
John Nicol was, perhaps, the most
prolific of the many men who gave lectures to EPS. Between
1861 and 1878 he delivered
to EPS Wednesday Meetings on more than 40 occasions.
the role of the BJP, John Nicol added:
"The 'British Journal of Photography' became
the organ of the [Edinburgh Photographic] Society. ... said so on its title page, and the
members were supplied with it at a reduced rate."
A J Taylor looked after BJP subscriptions and distribution of the
Members of Edinburgh Photographic Society until he was transferred to London to become Editor of the
Thank you to Richard Holzman,
Michigan, USA, for telling me more about John Nicol and his connections
with the early photographic journals.
Richard has an interest in
early photographic exposure meters and their inventors, and hence in Dr
Nicol and F Dundas Todd.
Richard tells me:
"The Photo Beacon Exposure Tables issued by F
Dundas Todd in 1896 and later
changed into the American Photography Tables which were sold into the late
Here is what I have discovered about the early
photographic journals, verified by the World Cat:
1885 to Feb 1887 or later)
1889 to Dec 1891)
1885 - Feb 1887 or later)
Nicol sold his interest to
Todd whose first issue was Jan. 1893.
Todd sold his interest in
1907 to Frank Fraprie of American Photographic Publishing Co. who also
just acquired American Amateur Photography and Camera and Darkroom,
edited by Nicol and Beach. These were combined to form American
Photography in July 1907. Todd, Nicol and Beach remained as