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John Moffat

Early Days

John Moffat

John Moffat  -  Professional photographer

  Reproduced by courtesy of John Moffat, formerly of Eastbourne.

John Moffat (1819-1894) was born in Aberdeen.  The family moved to Edinburgh in 1826.  From about 1848, he was Portrait Engraver  and Crayon & Chalk Portraitist.

He took up photography as an amateur from about 1850, and as a professional in 1853.  His business remained in Princes Street for over a hundred years.  By 1887, it was employing 20 photographic assistants.    [ME]

John Moffat was a wet plate collodion worker who went on to take an early interest in new developments.  He took stereo photographs and was one of the early bromoil workers. 

I have also been told of a Daguerreotype (a portrait of a young gentleman) by Moffat.  This had the address '60 Princes Street' which suggests that it was produced in the period 1858-60.

John Moffat was an astute businessman, an amateur landscape artist in watercolours, sketches and oils and an accomplished violinist.  He had eight children.  Two of his sons and one daughter were also musicians.    [JM]

At the 1890 EPS Exhibition John Moffat exhibited a stereoscope with a Daguerreotype of the Queen in the 1851 Crystal Palace Exhibition.


Photographs in Exhibitions  1839 to 1865

Link to Photographic Exhibitions web site
with facility to search by photographer

Photographs exhibited

Other Edinburgh Photographers


John Moffat

1881 Census

John Moffat was listed in the 1881 census as:

Master Photographer, employing 6 men, 2 boys and 11 women.

Aged: 61

Born:  Aberdeen

Resident:  'The Avenue', 40 Greenhill Gardens, Edinburgh

Second Wife:  Sophia Maria M


1.  Ellen J:    aged 32    (born:  Edinburgh)

2.  Frank P:   aged 27    (born:  Edinburgh)

3.  Sophia E:  aged 25    (born:  Edinburgh)

4.  John F:     aged 23    (born:  Edinburgh)

5.  Kate R:     aged 21    (born:  Edinburgh)

6.  Arthur E:   aged 19    (born:  Edinburgh)

7.  Alfred E:   aged 17    (born:  Edinburgh)

8.  Alice M:    aged  ?    (born:  Edinburgh)

John Moffat was son of Francis Moffat and Elizabeth Rankin.  

His first wife was Ellen Notman.

[DR Torrance]