Thomas Rodger

Pioneer Photographer

    Thomas Rodger and Tunny ©




Thomas Rodger was born on April 17, 1832 *.  He died, aged 50, on January 6, 1883 in St Andrews.

He was widower of Margaret Walker

Father:  Thomas Rodger  - Photographer's Assistant

Mother:  Elizabeth Rodger  (née Greenhill)

[Death Certificate]

In fact, Peter Francis (g.g.grandson of Thomas Rodger b.1832) tells me that Thomas was born on April 18, 1832.  [Peter Francis:  June 11, 2008]



Family Name

Peter Francis has also been researching the family name.

Peter writes:

"The spelling of Rodger is a bit of a minefield.  Senior was born Roger in 1809, married as Roger in 1832, shown as the father of his son who was born 3 months later (!) as Roger, yet he died as Rodger in 1876.  Junior was born Roger in 1832, married as Rodger in 1855 and died as Rodger in 1883.  So somewhere between 1832 and 1855, they all added a D!  Best left alone perhaps, we’ll never know the answer.

Another curiosity to which there will be no answer is why Thomas Rodger, my great grandfather, born 1856, became Thomas Rodger Rodger by the time of his marriage in 1880.  And to add a red herring for family tree researchers, Thomas Rodger junior’s youngest brother, John, christened his first born son Thomas Rodger Rodger in 1884!  Crazy!

Peter Francis, g.g.g.grandson of Thomas Rodger, Sen: June 11, 2008



Thomas Rodger learnt photography  whilst working as laboratory and photographic assistant to Dr. John Adamson, brother of Robert Adamson (of Hill & Adamson).

It was John Adamson who probably encouraged Thomas Rodger [jun.] to establish the first professional photographic studio in St Andrews from 1849 until 1883.  [RC]   [FFHS]   This studio was continued by the son of Thomas Rodger [jun.], George Berwick Rodger (d.1922).  [FFHS] 

Despite using the name, Thomas Rodger  (jun.), he was the father of the professional photographer Thomas R Rodger, who practiced photography in Fife, Edinburgh, Inverness and London.


1856 Lecture

Thomas Rodger (jun.) read a Paper to the Royal Scottish Society of Arts in Edinburgh  in February 1856, in which he described his use of the Wet Collodion Process.

Please click here to read details from Thomas Rodger's  Paper.




Peter Francis, is attempting to discover more about the pioneer photographer, Thomas Rodger, his great great grandfather

Peter writes:

Most of my knowledge of him has been gleaned from visiting St Andrews, studying Karen Johnstone's 1997 thesis on Thomas Rodger and talking to various people at the University. 

Peter Francis:  February 2006



More Thomas Rodger pages


Early Days      Photographs      PSS Exhibitions    Collections

Thomas R Rodger     Edinburgh    St Andrews    Wet Collodion

Photos of Rodger

Thomas Rodger [Sen]   Thomas Rodger [Jun]   Thomas R Rodger

Photos by Rodger

Cartes de Visite     Cabinet Prints    Other Photos

Photos by TR Rodger

Large Photos

FULL INDEX:   Thomas Rodger pages