History of the Company

Hislop & Day


John Hislop

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

In 1895, he gave a lecture to EPS entitled:-  Photo-Process Work

From 1896 onwards, he also became photographer, then three years later he went into partnership with T Cuthbert Day, and formed the company that became:  

- 1899-1901:  Hislop & Day

-  Photographers and Photo-process engravers

- 1902-1919:  Hislop & Day Ltd.

-   Photo-process engravers

- 1920-1971:  Hislop & Day Ltd. 

-   Commercial photographers



Hislop & Day

In 1901, Hislop & Day advertised:

“Photo-engraving for illustrating books, magazines, catalogues, etc. on copper or zink, 

in half-tone or line, stamp cutting 

for biscuits, soap memorial brasses, name plates,  …”



Question 1

Thomas Hislop

I was contacted by Gary Moon of Listowel, Ontario, Canada in April 2005.  with the following request.

"I believe my great grandfather, Thomas Hislop (1835 to 1913) was from the Hislop printer/photographer family.  This is family legend, but I am having a difficult time proving it.  Can you help?

Thomas' father was James Hislop married to Elizabeth 'Betsy' Watson."

If you feel that you can help please e-mail me so that I can forward the information to Gary.

Thank you:   - Peter Stubbs:  April 2005 + April 2008


Question 2

What happened to Hislop & Day?

I was contacted by Brian Taylor in August 2005.  Brian says:

"I used to work for Hislop & Day  in the mid to late seventies as a camera operator, plate maker.  Do they still exist.  If so can they be contacted?

I made a return visit, I think around 1986.  They were still operating then"


Brian contacted me again, about three years later, giving more details.  Brian wrote:

"I was born in Edinburgh and immigrated to Victoria, Australia in the 1950s.  I went back to Edinburgh in 1973 for working holiday, and ended up working for Hyslop & Day, photoengravers as a camera operator, around 1975-79 .  I  think they were in Albany Street.

Does the company still exist? The one person I can remember was Jack Douglas ship steward.

Brian Taylor, Australia:  April 16, 2008

I've checked the 2005 telephone directory and can find no company under that name listed in it.

If you know what happened to this company, and when, please e-mail me so that I can pass on the news to Gary and Brian.

Thank you:   - Peter Stubbs:  April 2005 + April 2008

Answer 1

Thank you to Gordon, now working in Leith who replied:

"Mr Brian Taylor asked if Hislop & Day was still going.  I'm afraid to say it went out of business 1998-1999.

I served my time with them and also worked with Brian in his time with the company."

Gordon, Leith, November 30, 2006

Answer 2

Thank you to Jack Craig who replied:

"I served my apprenticeship with Hislop and Day from 1944. The Company was taken over in 1963 by Philipsons of Newcastle and W B Hislop retired and moved to Canada. His house was Summerside in Pentland Avenue at Colinton.

I became M D and the Company flourished in a very difficult market. The print trade was going through a transition moving from letterpress to photolitho. This meant retraining and re tooling plus intensive marketing to ensure image change.  However, the Group, centred in Newcastle, ran into difficulties and went down on April first 1992.

I got a management team together and bought out H & D and renamed the Company “Interface Graphics Ltd”. We moved to Coburg Street In Leith and re tooled with the most up to date equipment stepping into the digital era. I was 63 at the time and retired 6 years later.

The business was sold to an American company who went belly up through, I believe, very bad management and it closed in 1999 (I think).  The staff of Interface were hand picked so it was no fault of theirs that the Company failed. The Print trade has undergone a huge transformation with the advent of computers and is a poor representation of what it once was in Edinburgh.

I would be glad to correspond with old staff or anyone interested."

Jack Craig, Silverknowes, Edinburgh:  September 16, 2007

If you would like to contact Jack, please e-mail me and I will pass on your message to him.

Thank you:  -  Peter Stubbs:  September 16, 2007


Hislop & Day  -  Recollections

Other Photographers