original proposers of the Photographic Society of Scotland anticipated that at the end of the first year,
the Society might
have about 20 or 30 members.
fact, Membership at the end of the first year had reached 119.
New applicants from Edinburgh and elsewhere in Scotland were balloted for and
elected as Members of the Society at the start of each meeting throughout the
January 1857 onwards, the Society moved from 117 George
Street to more convenient and commodious premises at the Antiquarian
Rooms 51 George Street for its meetings.
David Brewster, President, occasionally took the chair, but more frequently it
was Horatio Ross in the Chair.
first AGM was held on 10 March 1857. The
Patron, President, Vice Presidents, Hon Secretary and Hon Treasurer all
remained in office. John Coy was
elected as Hon Auditor. The Meeting
Formal business of the evening,
Portable cameras exhibited and explained
Paper on The Collodion
Process read by Mr
the Meeting, Mr Rodger also:
prepared a plate
took a picture of a Bas Relief lighted by a jet of gas, and
developed it in the presence of the meeting.
similar sequence of events had occurred at the meeting two months earlier,
when James Ross had read his Paper:
The Albumen Process on Glass.
Papers presented to the Society in
the early months of 1857 were on:
Photography in the
Uranium & other
Fluorescent Surfaces …...
A tour - the Coasts of
the speakers were, again, members of the Society, with the possible exception
of Professor George Wilson
some cases, the titles of the Papers were longer than those given above.
The full title of Collin Sinclair’s paper was:
"An Account of Experiments on the Various Adhesive Substances used in the
Mounting of Photographs as affecting the Permanency of the Print."
of the items displayed in early 1857 were collections of photos, demonstrating
Engravings by James Wood
Calotypes, and made some
observations on the use of Cyanide of Potassium in the Bromo-Iodizing Solution
by Mr Walker
Negative Photographs on
by Messrs McKinlay & Zeigler
Parchment paper by Prof. Wilson
Hon Secretary exhibited of and explained
a new form of portable camera
invented by Capt. Fowke RE:
- his newly invented
apparatus for printing stereoscopic transparencies on wet collodion
Pictures by his newly
discovered process of Heliography
of Prints to Members
was suggested at the 1857 AGM that there should be
a distribution amongst the members of photographic works of high class,
executed exclusively for the Society.
picture proposed on this occasion was
by Sir David Wilkie
"the only one of his works that had not yet been made public through the medium
of the engraver."
it was reported at the 1858 AGM that it had not possible to produce copies of
this print as planned "because of the unphotographic character of the
Report to PSS 1858 AGM]
instead, the Society selected and purchased pictures from the 2nd PSS
Exhibition, for an outlay of £33. These
were distributed to the members by ballot.
1858 AGM Report said:
"Believing that the funds of the Society cannot be laid out in a way better
calculated to aid and encourage the Art generally or more satisfactorily to
the Members themselves the Council propose that a similar distribution of
photos should be made next year."
tradition of distributing a photograph to each
members continued for a further 50 years - initially by PSS, and
subsequently by Edinburgh Photographic Society, in the form of a
of PSS Proceedings
the first year, PSS proceedings had been published in Photographic
Notes, the journal of the
Manchester Society. But this arrangement was not entirely satisfactory.
April 1857 it was announced that a change was to be made, and that the
Society's proceedings would in future be published in the Journal of the Photographic
journal of the London Society.
for Scott Archer
June 1857 the Society contributed towards a collection for the Widow and Family of the late
introducer of the Collodion Process. The family had been left completely destitute.
"It is important that
the sum collected be forwarded to London immediately"