The Edinburgh Society of Professional Photographers


Summer Holidays

At a Meeting in Mr Moffat's Office on 10 June 1918, the proposed 10-day summer holiday closing of photographic studios was discussed.  Mr Coltart was concerned at the possible loss of business as this period included two Saturdays. 

It was agreed that it was now too late to change the arrangements for 1918, but the point would be considered for the following year.

The following firms were reported to have agreed to the proposed closing dates:

Miss Anderson, Princes Street

Mr Ayton, Bruntsfield Place

James Bacon & Sons, Hanover Street

Mr Balmain, Shandwick Place + Salisbury Place

Mr Barrie, 4 West Maitland Street + Princes Street

Miss Bertram, Rose Street

Mr Coltart, Dalmeny Street, Leith

William Crooke, Princes Street

-  Miss D'Arcy, Queensferry Street

Mr Campbell Harper, Leith Walk

-  Mr Claude Lauder, Gayfield Place

Messrs MacAlpine & Son, Greenside Place

Mr Mackay, North Bridge + Leith Walk

Messrs John Moffat, Princes Street

E W Parken, Dalry Road

-  Miss Pirrie, Comiston Road

Alex Roberts, Piershill Studio

Mr Ross, Raeburn Place

Mr Drummond Shiels, Lauriston Place

Messrs Thomson Brothers, 5 West Maitland Street

Mr Swan Watson, Bruntsfield Links

Messrs E R Yerbury & Son, Morningside Road

Messrs Drummond, Young & Watson, George Street

A Committee was asked to consider creating a poster and postcards to advertise the holiday.                                                                        [BJP 1918, pp284-5]

Subscription and Meetings

It was agreed, on 10 June, that the subscription for the Association should be 5/- pa, and that the Society should meet normally on the first Monday of each month, but with no meeting to be held in July, August of September.   [BJP 1918, pp284-5]

Co-operative Plate Factory

There was brief discussion, on 10 June, of a proposed co-operative plate factory.  Several members had received invitations to subscribe for shares.  The Meeting felt that the project was laudable, but that the information given to date was scanty.                                                                                          [BJP 1918, pp284-5]

It was subsequently reported at the Meeting on 7 October that "No notice had been taken of the Society's order for four gross of half plates (from this company)"
[BJP 1918, p560]


It was reported on 15 November that the Art School had been approached and asked to run a series of Retouching Classes for photographers, and that they seemed sympathetic to such a scheme.                                          [BJP 1918, p518]

Electric Light

The proposed rationing of photographers' light was discussed at the Meeting on 15 November.  It was thought that a 25% reduction would be difficult to achieve for those photographers who had been economical in the past.          [BJP 1918, p518]

Co-operative Printing Rom

The proposal to create a Co-operative Printing Room in Edinburgh was discussed on 15 November.  Some clear advantages and disadvantages of this proposal were identified.  Further discussion was deferred until a later date.  [BJP 1918, p518]


The Society's Dinner was held on 3 December.  Robert Scott paid tribute to the President, Drummond Shiels, describing him as:

"a gentleman with a broad outlook and ideas and the courage to put these into action."

The Society, at this time appeared to have been established fairly recently.  Robert Scott expressed the hope that:

"the inauguration of EPPS would prove to be of benefit not only to the Edinburgh photographers but also to the followers of the craft throughout the British Isle."

The President replied, and referred to forthcoming exhibition.  He said he:

"would like to see all professionals taking part, the man who charged 5s as well as the man who charged 5"

[BJP 1918, p560]


This Meeting was described as the "1st AGM" -  even though there had been reports of the Society's activities in the BJP in 1916.

Condolences were given to Mr Balmain on the loss of his youngest son as a result of wounds in France.  (One month later, at the ESPP Meeting on 15 November, it was reported "Thank God, we have Peace.")

Subjects for forthcoming lectures were announced:

-  November:  Principles and Construction of Emulsion Developing Papers

-  January:  Criticism of Prints (by Mr Young ARSA)

[BJP 1918, p560]

Ref:  BJP 1918, pp284-5