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EdinPhoto - Home Page  Please send me an e-mail ...  with your questions, comments, suggestions or news.   At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.     At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.  

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A selection of my photographs, many from Edinburgh throughout the year.   Also photos from Scotland, London, Iceland, Italy, Hong Kong and elsewhere    Many old maps of Edinburgh (Old Town, New Town, while City), Leith and Newhaven.  Includes several old transport maps and a comparison of old maps with recent aerial photos.   Old engravings, mailly of Edinburgh scenes.  Some from the 1820s, some from the 1890s,  some others - includes many hand-coloured examples from the 1820s.   News from Edinburgh today  -  Events, Collections, Buildings and Gardens, Transport   This site includes     1. Post card portraits taken in studios in Edinburgh:    2. Post card views either takeen/published by Ediburgh photographers or views of Edinburgh, or both.y Edinburgh    Views of Edinburgh, grouped into three sections:     1. Street views:    2. Buildings:    3. Around Edinburgh   Views of transport around Edinburgh  -  Horse drawn trams and buses, cable cars, electric trams, buses and a few railway photos.  Also several maps of Edinburgh's bus and tram routes.   Links to pages with Photos of Groups   Frequently Asked Questions

  Summary of the updates added to this site each month since the site was launched   Links to Dumbiedykes pages  Link to Granton pages  Link to Leith pages   Link to Newhaven pages   Links to Portobello pages   Link to My Recent Talks

 

Lizars

 

Established - Glasgow 1830

1830

John Lizars was born around 1810 and brought up in Berwick on Tweed.  He died in Glasgow in 1879.

In 1830, he founded the Lizars business in Glasgow  based on his faith in his ability to provide a useful service for all afflicted with defective eyesight. 

The original business was at at 12 Glassford Street in the Merchant City,   It later moved to larger premises, a shop and workroom at 14 and 16 Glassford Street, where all types of optical instruments were made and repaired.  In 1859, the company advertised:

SIGN OF THE GOLDEN SPECTACLES

24 Glassford Street, Glasgow

Mr J Lizars, Optician

...

Spectacles, Eyeglasses, Telescopes, Microscopes, Barometers, Thermometers, and a great assortment of other articles, of which an inspection is solicited.

Patronised by Sir David Brewster

Spectacles from 1s 6d to 3 3s per pair.  Every description of Repairs done.

 

1879

John Lizars died in Glasgow in 1879, and the business was placed in the hands of trustees for three years, until 1882 when Matthew Ballantine, son of a photogrpaher from Ayrshire who had married John Lizars' youngest daughter Juliet, was invited to run the business.  Under his management, the company began to sell photographic apparatus.

From the 1890s onwards, Lizars began to build their Challenge range of cameras at their Goldenacre factory in the East End of the City.  Here is an advert for one, placed in Transactions of the Edinburgh Photographic Society:

Lizars Advert  -  May 1910

The Company won a bronze medal for its photographic apparatus at the Glasgow & West of Scotland Exhibition in 1891 and a bronze medal for its cameras at the Glasgow International Photographic Exhibition in 1897.

The company also specialised in magic lanterns and lantern slides from the nineteenth century until the 1960s.  They hired out the equipment together with a "Lanternist" to operate it.

1900s

The business continued under the management of two of Matthew Ballantine's three sons, Arthur and Stanley, in the early 1900s.

By the 1920's photographers were increasingly turning to roll film.  Some of Lizars' cameras were designed to operate with either film or plates. 

Lizars started to produce metal-bodied cameras and ceased production of their mahogany cameras in the late 1920s.  However, they were facing increasing competition from Kodak and other major manufacturers.

By the 1930s, Lizars established further branches in Glasgow (from 1880s),  Belfast (from 1891),  Edinburgh (from 1895), Paisley, Greenock, Motherwell, Aberdeen,  and Liverpool.

Details above have been taken from the following booklets:

-  Lizars:  A Century of Progress:  1830-1890

-  A History of Lizars:  1830-1990 by Rachel Pateman, The Glasgow File, Glasgow

 

Lizars' arrival in Edinburgh

The Practical Photographer in 1895 announced the arrival of Lizars in Edinburgh:

Mr J Lizars, of Glasgow and Belfast, has opened a branch warehouse in Maitland Street, Edinburgh, with a large assortment of photographic and optical goods.

Lizars have now been based at Shandwick Place (previously named Maitland Street) close to the West End of Princes Street for over 100 years.

They are still in business as Black & Lizars at 6 Shandwick Place, as opticians, and dealers in cameras, binoculars and telescopes.   They have a selection of second-hand cameras and a wholesale photographic department selling photographic materials.

 

Lizars:      Old Adverts      Developing and Printing Wallets

 

__________________

 

Links to Other Pages

EdinPhoto - Home Page  Please send me an e-mail ...  with your questions, comments, suggestions or news.   At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.     At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.  

Photographs and Other Images  -  These include portraits of photographers  -  photographic outings -  Princes Street views  -  Newhaven Fishwives  -  etc.  Early Photography in Edinburgh  -  Talbot, Brewster, Hill & Adamson, Early Professional Photographers in Princes Street, etc.  Professional Photographers in Edinburgh  -  1840 to 1940  -  Their names, dates of business and studio addresses.  The Photographic Society of Scotland  -  1856 to 1873  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, etc.  The History of Edinburgh Photographic Society  -  1861 to date  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, Poems, etc.  EPS Publications - EPS Handwritten Records  -  Photographic Journals  -  Trade Directories  -  Books  -  etc.  Thanks to all who have encouraged and supported me in creating the EdinPhoto web site  -  including descendants of photographers  -  researchers  -  providers of photographs and other material  Background notes on the research thal led up to the creation of this site  -   together with lists of new material added to the site since its launch.  Brief comments on how this site might be used  -  Just browsing?  -  Seeking specific information?  Please add your questions, suggestions or other comments to the Guest Book.  Links to other web sites  -  Photographic Societies  -  Photographic History  -  Family History  -  etc.  Click here to find the link to the Edinburgh Photogrpahic Society web site.

 

A selection of my photographs, many from Edinburgh throughout the year.   Also photos from Scotland, London, Iceland, Italy, Hong Kong and elsewhere    Many old maps of Edinburgh (Old Town, New Town, while City), Leith and Newhaven.  Includes several old transport maps and a comparison of old maps with recent aerial photos.   Old engravings, mailly of Edinburgh scenes.  Some from the 1820s, some from the 1890s,  some others - includes many hand-coloured examples from the 1820s.   News from Edinburgh today  -  Events, Collections, Buildings and Gardens, Transport   This site includes     1. Post card portraits taken in studios in Edinburgh:    2. Post card views either takeen/published by Ediburgh photographers or views of Edinburgh, or both.y Edinburgh    Views of Edinburgh, grouped into three sections:     1. Street views:    2. Buildings:    3. Around Edinburgh   Views of transport around Edinburgh  -  Horse drawn trams and buses, cable cars, electric trams, buses and a few railway photos.  Also several maps of Edinburgh's bus and tram routes.   Links to pages with Photos of Groups   Frequently Asked Questions

  Summary of the updates added to this site each month since the site was launched   Links to Dumbiedykes pages  Link to Granton pages  Link to Leith pages   Link to Newhaven pages   Links to Portobello pages   Link to My Recent Talks