Where and When?

Title:  Girls Gargling in a Large Store

Girls Gargling in a large store  -  Where and when was this photo taken?

  Reproduced with acknowledgement to John Stirling, Currie, Edinburgh:  Nov. 6, 2009   Photographer not known


Enlarge this photo

   Girls Gargling in a large store  -  Where and when was this photo taken?


Girls Gargling  -  in a Large Store

Old Photo

Thank you to John Stirling for allowing me to reproduce this photo.  The photo is taken from a collection of lantern slides that John rescued from being destroyed in 1974.  The photographer is not known.

Some of the other slides from this series are known to have been taken between about 1910 and 1920..

When and Where?

Can you suggest where and when this photo might have been taken.  The title on the slide is 'Girls Gargling in a Large Store'. The store was presumably somewhere in Edinburgh

Spanish Flu?

Might this photo have some connection with the Spanish Flu pandemic that spread across the world from 1918 to 1922?

Here is another lantern slide from the same collection.  It may also be connected with the same pandemic.  It shows Edinburgh tramway workers being inoculated.


If you have any ideas thoughts about the photo at the top of this page, please email me.

Thank you. 

Peter Stubbs:  December 17, 2009




Bob Henderson

Burdiehouse, Edinburgh

Thank you to Bob Henderson who replied:


"The badge the girl in the centre is wearing looks like it reads 'Jenners' to me."

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  December 17, 2009

Please see 'Answer' 3 below.




Danny Callaghan

Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland

Danny Callaghan independently reached the same conclusion as  Bob Henderson, above.  Danny wrote


"The girl in front is wearing an overtop with badge on it.    It could be Jenners as shape and size of name is correct.    Maybe you can zoom in better.

Festive Cheer?

"They are standing on a parquet floor so hope they are not going to spit all over it.   Or maybe they are just out for a fag and having some festive cheer!!!!!"

Danny Callaghan, Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland:  December 18, 2009

Please see 'Answer' 3 below.




Peter Stubbs


To Bob and Danny:  Thanks for your comments above.

The Badge

In fact I did have a look at a higher resolution scan of this photo before I added it to the web site.

I expected to find a name on the badge, but it just turned out to be a just a pattern, perhaps small stars or  circles.  This pattern was repeated elsewhere on the girl's outfit.

Please click on the thumbnail image below to see the pattern enlarged:

Zoom-in on a photograph of "Girls Gargling at a Large Store"

Christmas Cheer?

Maybe there was some Festive Cheer involved.  The girl on the right certainly looks happy enough!  But the title written on the lantern slide is: 'Girls Gargling in a Large Store'.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  December 18, 2009




Ian Green


Thank you to Ian Green for making the interesting observation below.

Ian wrote:

Girls Gargling


Girls Drinking?

   Girls Gargling in a large store  -  Where and when was this photo taken?

"Can I make a minor point about the 'girls gargling' photo above, in that the term 'gargling' used to be (perhaps still is) slang for consumption of alcohol.

The OED (available online from Edinburgh Libraries) lists both the verb (example from 1891: 'Its my birthday; lets gargle.') and noun (example from 1889: 'Were just going to have a gargle will you join us?')."

Ian Green, Edinburgh:  14 April 2016




Talia Felix

Thank you to Talia Felix who wrote:

Girls Gargling


Girls Drinking?

   Girls Gargling in a large store  -  Where and when was this photo taken?

1925 to 1928?

"I believe that this photo is probably no earlier than 1925 based on the length of the skirts.

If the girls weren't fashionistas who bought new outfits every year, it might even be as late as the early-1930s, but I would guess it's probably done between 1925 and 1928 since the girls all look like they're wearing faux-bobs, which were more common in that time.

It's interesting that the picture looks to have been painted in a little, like it was used for a newspaper or a postcard or some other formal purpose -- not just a family photo."

Talia Felix:  10 December 2016


Where is it?

Around Edinburgh