Ross & Thomson


James Ross entered into partnership first with John Thomson from 1848 until 1864, and possibly over a longer period.  Their studio addresses are given below.

In 1848, John Thomson took over the daguerreotype business of Thomas Davidson #

Lecture to EPS on early photography in Edinburgh by the Edinburgh Librarian, C S Minto.

From June 1849, Ross & Thomson were awarded the Royal Warrant “Photographers to the Queen” .  [NLSR]

The last three of these addresses did have been taken from the back of cartes de visite.  As there was no entry for Ross & Thomson at any of these three addresses in the Edinburgh trade directories, I cannot say when the partnership worked from these addresses.  Calton Hill, however, is likely to have been towards the beginning of their partnership.


90 Princes Street


80 Princes Street


_ Calton Hill


10 Greenside Street


_ Lothian Road



Ross & Thomson


In 1850 the press reported that Ross & Thomson had exhibited "the first British albumen photograph taken by a modified method of their own"., at the British Association meeting in Aberdeen.


Ross & Thomson

Paris Exhibition  -  1855

Award to Ross & Thomson

Ross & Thomson received Honourable Mentions in the 1855 Paris Exhibition for their daguerreotype entry.

John Hannavy reports that Ross & Thomson were:

-  the only Scottish photographers to exhibit.

-  one of only 3 British photographers to exhibit daguerreotypes, the others being Claudet and another London photographer. of only three British photograph

Source:  Exhibition Catalogue - British Section  -  Acknowledgement to John Hannavy and Roger Taylor

Other Awards at the Paris Exhibition

British photographers receiving awards in the 1855 Paris Exhibition were:

Grand Medal of Honour:

H F Talbot

Silver Medals

J A F Claudet,
R Fenton,
J D Llewellyn,
Maxwell Lyte,
Count de Montizon,
C Thompson,
H White.

Bronze Medals

P H Delamotte,
H W Diamond,
W T Kingsley,
O G Rejlander,
B B Turner,
F Townshend,
H R Williams

Honourable Mentions

J E Myall,
W J Newton,
Ross & Thomson,


Source:  Journal of the Photographic Society;   21 Dec 1855,  page 217,


Ross & Thomson

Edinburgh Exhibitions

1st PSS Exhibition, Dec 1856

Ross & Thomson exhibited 44 photographs including:

22 Daguerreotypes

-  7 stereoscopic views

Speaking of one of their entries, the Press enthused:

“He has a poor taste indeed who will not at once admit its immense superiority, even as a picture over every other in the room, and especially over the coloured abominations we have been noticing.   It is above any of Claudet’s hanging beside it in vigour and relief; and even in tone it is superior.”        [DE:6/1/1857]

2nd Art Manufactures Exhibition, Dec 1857

Ross & Thomson exhibited ... [I have to check exactly what they exhibited.]

5th PSS Exhibition, Feb 1861

John Ross exhibited two portraits in the 5th PSS Exhibition in 1861.

1890 EPS Exhibition

John Ross exhibited platinotype photographs of interiors in the 1890 EPS Exhibition.

[Source:  1856 and 1890 = Exhibition Catalogues.  Other years = contemporary Scottish newspapers]


Photographs in Exhibitions  1839 to 1865

Link to Photographic Exhibitions web site
with facility to search by photographer

Photographs exhibited

Other Edinburgh Photographers


Ross & Thomson

Other British Exhibitions

London - Great Exhibition - 1851

Frames of Tablotype pictures and negatives on albumenised glass.

London Society of Arts - 1852

17 photos on albumenised glass, most being views in and around Edinburgh.

Aberdeen Mechanics' Institution - 1853

-  49 calotypes, including many landscapes

-  4 Daguerreotype portraits

-  1 Stereoscopic view of draught players

Society of Arts  1st Tour  -  1853-54

-  1 landscape (Melrose Abbey)

Dundee Royal Infirmary Fund - 1854

-  2 albumenised landscapes (Edinburgh))

London Society of Arts - 1854

-  3 albumen on glass (Scottish landscapes)

-  3 collodion (Scottish landscapes)

-  1 collodion (portrait)

Society of Arts  2nd Tour  -  1854

-  1 albumised glass (Melrose Abbey)

Society of Arts  3rd Tour  -  1855-56

1st set:   1 albumised glass (Melrose Abbey)

2nd set:  1 albumised glass (Melrose Abbey)

London Society of Arts - 1858

-  37 collodion (mostly Scottish landscapes)

-  1 collodion (portrait)

British Association, Aberdeen - 1859

-  39 collodion (mostly plants and leaves)

Glasgow - 1859

-  35 collodion (mostly plants and leaves, a few views)

London - 1859

-  4 collodion (mostly plants and leaves, a few views)

London - 1860

-  4 collodion (mostly plants and leaves, a few views)

London International Exhibition  - 1862

-  cartes de visite

-   2 portraits

London - 1863

-  1 collodion

London - 1864

-  4 collodion

[Source:  Photographs exhibited in Britain 1839-1855 (Roger Taylor)]


Ross & Thomson

Photographs in Collections

Early photographs by Ross & Thomson are held by The Scottish National Portrait Gallery, The Royal Commission of Ancient & Historic Monuments in Scotland, and in the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle.


Ross Photographers

James Ross  cartes de visite

James Ross  professional photographer

James Ross  property owner

James Ross  censuses

James Ross  Royal Warrant photographer

James Ross  obituary

James Ross  at Calton Hill

James Ross  EPS Lectures

James Ross  retiral

James Ross  printing methods

James Ross  Isle of Wight question

Ross & Bishop

Ross & Pringle

Ross & Thomson

Ross & Thomson  adverts

Ross & Thomson  cartes de visite

Ross & Thomson  Daguerreotypes

John Ross

John Ross  cartes de visite

John Ross  addresses

John Ross  family

Charles Ross,  Charles E Ross,   James Ross,   John Ross Ross & Thomson studio addresses and dates



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