PSS and Talbot

PSS Gold Medal awarded to Talbot

Talbot was not a Member of PSS, but he made several donations to the Society.  In 1859, PSS awarded a Gold Medal to Talbot in consideration of his discoveries in photography. 

Five years later, on 8 March 1864, Talbot attended one of the Society’s meetings and had his portrait taken by John Moffat.  The meeting was held at 117 George Street.  The subject was:   

“On the Light of Magnesium wire in Combustion as a Photographic Agent”.   

The minutes of this meeting record:

“After the paper had been read, an experiment was tried as to the value of this light, first on the bust and then on a group composed of Sir David Brewster and Mr Henry Fox Talbot, the inventor of Photography who had honoured the meeting with his presence.  After an exposure of 42 seconds, the negative of the group when developed, was quite successful.  Mr Moffat kindly acted as photographer on the occasion.”

The PSS Meeting on 8 March 1864 ended with:

  • an exhibition of new washing apparatus invented by the Member Mr Sang of Kirkcaldy and

  • a presentation of medals for the 1864 PSS Exhibition

  • two Silver Medals for Henry Peach Robinson (Leamington)

  • a Silver Medal for John Moffat (Edinburgh)

  • a Bronze Medal for Francis Bedford (London)

  • a Bronze Medal for Thomas Rodger (St Andrews)

Photography by John Moffat

Brewster and Talbot

Carte de Visite  -  Brewster and Talbot

©  Reproduced from the National Museum of Photography Film, and Television by courtesy of the Science and Society Picture Library.   Click here for link to web site.

Brewster and Talbot -  by John Moffat

This photograph may have been taken by John Moffat at the PSS Meeting on 8 March 1864.


  Engraving of Talbot  -  based on a photograph by Moffat 

©  Reproduced by courtesy of Edinburgh Photographic Society

Talbot    -  by John Moffat

This is an engraving of a photograph taken by John Moffat’s in his studio.  John Moffat made the arrangements for Talbot to sit for this photograph following the session on 8 March 1864.  This engraving was issued with the 12 August 1864 edition of the British Journal of Photography.