The McKean Family
Is it likely that Charles McKean and John McKean were related?
question is answered in 'Para 3. UPDATE 1' below. John was the
father of Charles.
- Peter Stubbs: August 17, 2007
I have looked again at the Edinburgh & Leith Post Office Directories
and the Portobello directories. I have found that:
- Between 1882 and 1900, John McKean's address was often given as Junction Bridge Studio, 1,3 Ferry Road,
Leith, though many variations were used, both in the trade directories and on
the back of his photographs.
- Between 1900 and 1903, John McKean appears to
have moved a short distance along Ferry Road to No 15, and to have
opened a studio at 47 Promenade, Portobello.
- John McKean's home address, as listed in the trade
directories, changed in 1899 from 6a Summerside Street (close to his
Ferry Road studio) to Straiton Lodge, Wellington Street (close to his
- Charles McKean does not appear to be listed in
the trade directories (at least for those that I've checked
- up to 1903). However, the address on his cabinet print is given
as Promenade Studio, Portobello.
This would seem to lend some weight to the idea that John and Charles
McKean may have been related to each other.
Incidentally, Portobello Promenade is first listed in the
Portobello directory in 1900. Perhaps that is when houses,
photographic studios, etc. first began to appear on the promenade.
- Peter Stubbs: August 18, 2007
Thank you to Archie Foley, Joppa, Edinburgh who wrote:
the promenade were built at different times had different names.
Houses and other buildings as can be seen on the 1894 Ordnance Survey
The promenade was named
Royal Terrace from around Bath Street to the Pier, then Prince of Wales
Terrace and then Victoria Terrace."
- Archie Foley: August 18, 2007
McKean Brothers -
- to Michael Wilson, Dollar, Clackmannanshire, Scotland, for
sending me a copy of a photo by McKean Brothers, Esk Side Studio,
- to Jo-Ann Craig, Meaford, Ontario, Canada, for sending me a
copy of a cabinet print of a fishwife by McKean Brothers, Esk Side Studio,
In fact McKean Brothers had a studio at 2 Eskside South, Musselburgh 1
from 1907 until at least 1914. 2
It has already been established that Charles was the son of John
McKean. 3 (but perhaps there
might have been more than one Charles and/or John in the family).
Did John, perhaps, have another son who went into partnership with
Charles, or were the McKean Brothers of Musselburgh completely different
Acknowledgements: Michael Wilson, Dollar,
Clackmannanshire, Scotland: March 7, 2009
and Jo-Ann Craig, Meaford, Ontario, Canada: January 13, 2010
Musselburgh lies about seven miles to the east of the
centre of Edinburgh, and about 3 miles SE of Portobello where both John
and Charles McKean had photographic studios.
Source: 'Photographers in Edinburgh and The
Lothians to 1914', D Richard Torrance.
'Para 3. UPDATE 1' below.
I have seen many cabinet
prints by John McKean, but just three by Charles McKean. Here they
are. Please click on them to enlarge them.
The style of the mounting of
the Charles McKean cabinet print looks to me as if it may have been
produced around 1900.
Charles McKean - When?
In his booklet
'Photographers in Edinburgh and The Lothians to 1914', D Richard
Torrance gives studio dates of 'c.1872-86' for Charles McKean's
Promenade Studio at Portobello. I don't know the source of the dates
that Richard quotes, but these dates seem rather earlier than the style of
the two photos above suggest.
Also, 'Promenade Studio -
UPDATE 1' below refers to Charles McKean being the son of John McKean.
John McKean appears in the trade directories as being a professional
photographer from 1882 until 1903. It would be usual for son to
follow father as being a professional phtographer, rather than vice versa.
Thank you to Archie
Foley and to Margaret Munro, both of Portobello, for telling me about the
Charles McKean cabinet print.
Thank you also to Isabel l Dominy for sending me (on
February 11, 2008) a photograph of another cabinet print by Charles
The Charles McKean cabinet prints above have the
Charles McKean, Promenade
I don't know the number of Charles McKean's studio on the promenade,
but in the early 1900s, there were several photographic
studios on Portobello Promenade, at nos.
24, 25a, 26, 26a, 29 and 47, the last of these being John McKean's studio,
Thank you to Isabel Dominy, Reading, Berkshire for letting me know that
Charles McKean was, in fact, the son of John McKean
[1901 census]. So, it seems likely that
Charles McKean's studio address would have been 47 Promenade, Portobello.
Thank you to Archie Foley who wrote:
"George Baird's book 'Places of Entertainment in Edinburgh'
(Portobello) has the following entry:
Portobello Street Directory
No. 47 Promenade, Next Victoria
This places the studio at the foot of present day Marlborough Street.
recently saw a picture postcard showing a large banner advertisement for
the Promenade Studio on that very site."
Archie Foley, Portobello, Edinburgh: February 15,
Charles McKean may have been the same photographer as the Edinburgh
Photographic Society member, Charles McKean, who was awarded an Honorary
Mention in the EPS Members' Section of the EPS Open Exhibition in 1905 for
his photograph titled "Snow Scene".