EPS Wednesday Meetings - Overview


Photography and Fine Art

The decade began with two lectures given by Robert H Bow in 1870 on Theories of Colour.  Colour photography was the subject of many lectures over the following years, though I believe the colour referred to was the tone of the metal in the monochrome prints, rather than colour photography as we know it today.

Art and Photography continued to be a popular subject for discussion, and dominated the summer 1872 General Meetings of the Society. Papers read were

-   Apr 1872

-  Photography in Relation to Fine Arts

WH Davis

-   May 1872

- What is Fine Arts and does it include Photography?

Mr Neilson

-   Jun 1872

- What is Fine Arts and does it include Photography?

James Ross - reply

-   Jul  1872

- What is Fine Arts and does it include Photography?

Wm Neilson - again

-   Aug 1872

- What is Fine Arts and does it include Photography?

James Ross - again

-   Oct  1872

-  Aliquis and Fine Art

Mr Neilson - again

A regular feature in the syllabus throughout the 1870s was a lecture in January to review the photo­graphic literature of the past year.

Art and Photography remained topical. 1874 lectures included:

-  Art Criticism

- The Aid which the Fine Arts have derived from Photography.

Exhibitions and Outings

There were lectures dealing specifically with the activities of the Society, including N H Davies’ lecture in 1875 in preparation for Edinburgh Photographic Society’s 1876 Exhibition.

-   What should be done to make the Exhibition a Success?

The 1876 Exhibition was to be “on a scale never before attempted by any Provincial Society.” It was held at the Royal Scottish Academy and was open for 2 months.

There were also a many EPS Outings and an Annual Picnic organized during the 1870 - by wagonette, by train, and canal barge. These were the subject of  lectures in 1873 by John Pringle, and in 1877 and  James Crighton:

-   Observations on the Outdoor Meetings of the Season and their results


-    Our Outdoor Meetings

Lantern Slides

Several lectures dealt with the equipment used for displaying magic lanterns and the dangers associated with this equipment  -  e.g.  Dr. Nicol’s paper of 1872:

Some Recent Explosions and their Causes in connection with the oxyhydrogen Light

Colour Photography

In 1873, the Society discussed returned to the subject of colour photography with a paper:

-   Notes on colouring Albumenised Photographs with Powder Colours without infringing any of the so called patents

Advice from this meeting was: “Use ashes of papers that have been saturated with various metallic oxides before burning, thereby getting many shades of colour”

Discussion continued the following year, with a paper:

-  Notes on some experiments upon the effects of sunlight on the colours of pigment

Photographic Processes

On a more practical level, lectures during the 1870s included:

-   A few Reasons why the Photographer should study Practical Chemistry

-   The Platinotype Process

-   The Gelatine Process 

-   Carbon Printing

-   Gelatino-bromide Emulsion

-   The Beer and Albumin Process

-   On the Whisky-and-Water Process:  a Northern Development of the Gin-and-Water Process

The first of these lectures was given in 1879 by Thomas Drinkwater, who over the next twenty years gave further lectures on pyrogallic acid, the latent image, platinum toning and the properties of light.


Scientific subjects in 1873 and 1874 were:

-      A Communication on the Production of Microphotography and 

-   On Polarised Light


AGMs were reported in the British Journal of Photography.  Here is a summary of the 1878 AGM


EPS Wednesday Meetings - Index