Transport and Photography



In the late nineteenth century, cycling with a camera became popular.  Edinburgh Photographic Society created the EPS Cycling Camera Corps in 1898.  Twelve years earlier a lecture had been given to EPS, titled Suburban Tour with a Tricycle, from which the following extracts are taken.

“Photography on wheels is assuredly making rapid progress”

“Lighting my lamp, I mounted the iron steed once more”

“The ‘Coventry-Rotary’ for safety and convenience has met with most favour. Though the ‘Humber’ or ‘Sparbrook’ is difficult to steer, it is in other respects well suited for photographic purposes.  With a whole plate camera, tripod and six plates, I find it comparatively easy to work on a journey.”



The Edinburgh in May 1903, the Edinburgh photographic dealer, A H Baird, wrote an article entitled Photography and the Motor Car in his journal, Photographic Chat.  In this article he said:

“The motor car and photography will, no doubt, come to be associated together in the public eye to an equal extent, if not greater than is the case with the camera and cycle.  For while the bicycle is a good means of transporting the paraphernalia of 'the camerist abroad', the motor car is an even better one;  and indeed it would be a fair statement to make that any car unfitted with those appliances necessary to make pictorial records of the sights and scenes with which it brings its owner into contact, is not properly equipped"

"A car is at the present time an expensive luxury;  but that will be different before long, when the little engines are manufactured extensively on the interchangeable system, and when it is recognised that there is a big market open for an article which is serviceable rather than ornamental, and when the great question of the tyres has been solved with the abolition of the costly pneumatic ring."

[Photographic Chart:  May 1903, p.7]



The Photographic Convention of the United Kingdom brought perhaps about 200 photographers to a different location each year.  In 1892, it was Edinburgh's turn to host the convention.  One contributor to the British Journal of Photography predicted:

“A hundred years hence, a Convention will be held to which Members would proceed on flying machines, 25,000 Members being present.”






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