John M Turnbull


Professional Photographer and Photographic Chemical Dealer

John M Turnbull was a professional photographer until 1865-78, but his interest in photography continued well  beyond 1878.

His entries in the trade directories appeared as:

- 1865-78:    Photographer  
- 14 Nicolson Street 

- 1879:        Photographic Warehouse 
-  2 Hanover Street

- 1880-84:   Chemical Dealer & Photographic Warehouse 
- 19 South Saint David St

- 1885-00:   Chemical Dealer & Photographic Warehouse 
- 6 Rose Street


JM Turnbull's business was one under investigation in 1895.  The British Journal of Photography wrote:

The Poisons Act.  -  That Trade Union, the Pharmaceutical Society have been raiding photographic dealers again for selling chemicals used in photography scheduled in the Pharmacy Act.

This time, they have given our friends up north - Edinburgh - a turn, and, in this instance, they claim a greater monopoly than usual, namely that it is illegal for any one to use the term "chemist" who is not registered as a "pharmaceutical chemist".

In one case, the defendant had on his facia "photographic chemist" but as it was a corner shop, chemist could be read from one point without the qualifying term

[BJP 4 Oct 1895, p.628]

A letter from JM Turnbull on the same subject appeared in the same edition of the BJP.  He wrote:


To the Editor.

Sir - Many thanks for your very concise report on this matter.  I enclose you the leaders of two evening papers on the subject, which you may not have seen.  Though I have at present got a judgement in my favour, I am not yet out of the wood.

As my agent has received a case which will carry it to a higher Court, I beg of you that you will do your best for the trade and profession in this matter, as their support will be much needed in order that a proper decision may be come to in these matters.

 -  I am, yours, &c.,   JM TURNBULL

6, Rose-street, Edinburgh, September 30, 1895

[BJP 4 Oct 1895, p.638]

On 8 November 1895, the BJP printed an extract from the Edinburgh Evening Dispatch, reporting that an appeal by the Pharmaceutical Society had been upheld in the Edinburgh High Court, and that Messrs Hume and Turnbull had been found guilty.  The charges against Turnbull were that he:

-  used the word "chemist" unlawfully" and

- kept open a shop for the retailing of poisons, &c.

The Lord Justice Clark added that "there was nothing whatever against the character of these gentlemen.  It was only technically that the Court had come to its conclusions."

[BJP 4 Oct 1895, p.713]





Studio Photos

Boat and Pier    Zoom-in (studio addresses)    

Zoom-in (photo)      Cabinet Print 1        Cabinet Print 2

John M Turnbull

EPS Lectures      Dry Plates      Businesses        Exhibitor

Turnbull Family

Censuses and Wills     Advertisements

Charles      Robert       Walton     Turnbull & Sons