James Good Tunny

Early Days

Photographic Inventions

During the 1850s Tunny made claims that he was the inventor of both the collodion process and of the New Porcelain Process.  This was disputed by William McCraw and James Ross, and resulted in a further long letter to the from Tunny.

[PNo: No 22], [JPS:1857 p48], [JPS, 21/9/1857] [JPS 21/10/1857]

John Nicol looks back

John Nicol, one of the early members of EPS looking back, in 1879, on  Thomas Davidsons contribution to the early days of photography, referred to JG Tunny and his studio: 


Notes from the North

One of the earliest lenses made by him [Thomas Davidson] was for Mr Tunny, whose pictures by this time were beginning to attract a good deal of attention; and as the latter was ever ready to communicate all he knew, and was constantly experimenting with a view to acquire knowledge.

His studio (I suppose it might be so designated, although it would now hardly be worthy of the title) was the constant resort of all who were anxious to learn.  Many, too, there were who, desirous of avoiding the drudgery incident to feeling their way to success persuaded Mr. Tunny to take them as pupils; and in this way no fewer than 257 pupils were under his care during a period of two years. 

[BJP1879 ,p400]

Thomas Davidson's Lens

Thomas Davidson  made camera lenses in Edinburgh from as early as 1840, so if John Nicol is correct in asserting that one of Davidson's early lenses was for Tunny, this suggests that Tunny may have taken an interest in photography at least a decade before he first appeared in the Edinburgh trade directories, listed as a  photographer in 1852.

Royal Scottish Academy

In 1854, Tunny was commissioned to take photographs of members of the Academy.  The Royal Scottish Academy now holds the album of these photos.


James Good Tunny





Maine to California



Collections and For Sale

Early Negatives

Tunny &  Rodger

William Miller



Mrs Tunny

Edinburgh Views

Princes Street  1850s

Princes Street   c1880

Shakespeare Square



Early Days


Studio 1852

Studio 1876

JG Tunny & Co

Tunny & Asher

Family Photos

Cartes de Visite

A carte de visiet by James Good Tunny  -  1860-1870

Cabinet Prints

The back of a cabinet print by James Good Tunny  -  13 Maitland Street + 19 Salisbury Place  - Lady wearing a hat


Here is a link to a web page that gives details of a book, written and published in 2009 by Julian Bukits, on the life and work of James G Tunny

Cover of a book 'A Study of James G Tunny - 1820-1887'  by Julian Bukits