Morrison's Studios

George G Morrison


George Morrison


Studio Portraits


George G Morrison was a professional photographer based at several  addresses in Edinburgh, Leith and Portobello from 1912.  They had  studios at several addresses in Edinburgh.

Morrison's Studio addresses, 137 Leith Street and 21 Promenade Portobello, appear on the back of many post card portraits.  These studios operated from 1915-36 and 1912-28 respectively.

The Portobello Studio

  Valentine Postcard  -  Portobello sands and George G Morrison's Photographic Studio at No 21, Promenade ©

Postcard Portraits

Here is one of George G Morrison's postcard portraits.  Several of the his postcard portraits in my collection are of men in military uniform.

Morrison's Postcard 73646  -  Four Older Men ©



55 Lothian Road

George G Morrison

George G Morrison moved from his studio in Leith Walk to 55 Lothian Road in 1939.  The company advertised:









George Morrison

George Morrison, photographer, was based at 55 Lothian Road from 1952. 

Edinburgh Camera Shop

The address, 55 Lothian Road, became the Edinburgh Camera Shop in 1956, the company remaining there until 1999, then moving about a mile further south, to Bruntsfield.



Dates of Studio Portraits

Negative Numbers

GG Morrison produced a very large number of postcard portraits.  Many of these can still be found.  Most have negative numbers written on the back in pencil.  These negative numbers  would presumably have been allocated chronologically, so may be of some help in dating photos:

-  1 to 22,561:  Many of these postcards have both the Leith Street and Portobello addresses on the back.  I assume that these were all produced between about 1915 and 1923.

-  22,561 to 39463:  Many of these postcards have both the Leith Street and Portobello addresses on the back.  I assume that these were all produced between about 1923 and 1928.

-  39,464 to 52,032 **:  I have not seen any numbers in this range, so I cannot yet say which of these are likely to be pre-1928.

-  52,033 to 67,169 ** (the highest I have seen):  All of these postcards that I have seen give only one studio address, 137 Leith Street.  This suggests that these photographs probably date from the period 1928-36.

**  Update

I now see that Photo 2 in Recollections 4 below  is numbered 56856, but has the studio addresses of Leith Street and Portobello, so it appears that photos numbered 39,464 up to at least 56856 may well have been taken pre-1928.


Portobello and Leith Studios

If the Portobello studio did open in 1912 and the Leith Street studio opened in 1915, as the directories suggest, I would have expected to find some cards with early numbers giving just the Portobello address. 

In fact, the three lowest numbers I have in my own collection are 4742 (Leith Street address), 7515 (Leith Street address) and 8,142 (both addresses).  More research - and more postcards - needed!


Postcard Portraits

These postcards include children, soldiers and groups.

 Morrison's Postcard 73646  -  Four Older Men ©

There have been several styles of back to these cards, but I have never seen any that have been sent through the post.

 Back of Morrison's Postcard 45346  -  Lady ©



Was George Morrison (above)  the son of George G Morrison?


Thank you to Andy Aitken who wrote:

"You speculate on whether George G Morrison and George Morrison  were father and son?

The answer is 'yes'. George Morrison was my father's cousin and apparently was quite eccentric. He originally attended Edinburgh College of Art before leaving to help his father.

He sold the business (which became Edinburgh Cameras) to move to Ullapool and run a B&B.  Subsequently he moved to Lewis, apparently because it was the ancestral seat of the Morrisons!"

Andy Aitken, Linlithgow, West Lothian, Scotland:  June 18, 2007




Murray Hesketh Henderson

New South Wales, Australia

Photograph  -  1923

The dates above have been taken from postcard portraits in my own collection, with additional information provided by Murray Hesketh Henderson of New South Wales, Australia who told me of a photograph of his father in 1923 (No. 22561).

Mr Henderson comments that Morrisons did a good job on retouching his father's cheeks:  he had been burnt earlier in an e-ray machine.

Morrisons produced many postcards portraits.  I expect they were one of the more affordable studios in Edinbrugh, so it is good to know that they did good work with their retouching.

Acknowledgement: Murray Hesketh Henderson, New South Wales, Australia




Murray Hesketh Henderson

New South Wales, Australia

Photograph  -  Around 1921

Thank you also to Gavin Ramsay for telling me about his Morrison studio postcard of Ada Jardine.  Gavin tells me:

-  The card was numbered 3077 and had the address of the studio as 137 Leith St.

-  Ada died on 10th Jan 1922 aged 16 of 'flu and its complications.

-  Ada looks about 16 in the photo, so believes the photo was taken around 1921.

This seems a very low number for a 1921 postcard.  More research is needed!

Acknowledgement: Gavin Ramsay




Heather Sims

Heather Sims subsequently wrote:

Edwardian or Flapper?

"Here is a postcard numbered 30941 with the two addresses of 137 Leith Street, Edinburgh and 21 Promenade Portobello.

Postcard by Morrisons  -  Family possibly wearing Edwardian clothing ©

From the number on the back of the card your web site would suggest that the photo was taken between 1923 and 1928.  However, I would say that the lady is dressed more like an Edwardian than a flapper!

Sadly, I don’t know who the lady is.  The postcard was in the collection of a second cousin of mine.  I think the lady is likely to be related to us both as she does “have a look” of some other members of the family, but I just can’t find anyone with a boy, girl and a baby of about the right ages. 

Perhaps you recognise the backdrop and would be able to more nearly date the photo for me.

Heather Sims:  May 8, 2011


I don't know a lot about fashions, so will leave others to comment on the clothing in this portrait.

Postcard by Morrisons  -  Family possibly wearing Edwardian clothing ©

However, whatever the period the clothing dates from, I think the portrait would have been taken after the Edwardian era and probably in the 1920s.  (According to the trade directories, Morrison's Leith Street studio did not open until 1915.)

Some photographers provided different styles of clothing for the sitters to wear.  I don't know whether that or not Morrison's studio did so.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh May 13, 2011




David Abrahams

Middle Ridge, Queensland, Australia

Thank you to David Abrahams for sending me the two photos below,  The photographer for Photo 1 is not known, but Photo 2 comes from Morrison's Studio, 137 Leith Street, Edinburgh & 21 Promenade, Portobello.

David wrote


"Can you help in this identification process?  My cousin and I believe that the young man in Photo 1 and on the left side facing the camera in Photo 2 is our Great Aunt's fiancé as told by our parents (now deceased) who was killed in action during WW1 or possibly died from injuries sustained during WW1. Unfortunately we don't know any personal details about him or his companion."

Photo 1

   Postcard Portrait  -  A soldier (from wich Regiment?)  -  possibly a relative of David Abrahams ©

Photo 2


   Postcard Portrait from Morrison's Studio  -  Two soldiers (from which Regiment?) - one possibly being a relative of David Abrahams ©


    The back of a Postcard Portrait from Morrison's Studio  -  Two soldiers (from which Regiment?) - one possibly being a relative of David Abrahams ©

[Please click on the thumbnail images above to enlarge them.]

David added

"What we are trying to establish is:

Q.1.  When were these photos taken?

(From studying these two photos, it seems possible that Photo  might have been taken some time after Photo 1  as he seems to have aged.  This would not be surprising considering the horrendous conditions that these men served under.)

Q.2.  What Regiment did these young men serve in?

(We think it may be the Royal Artillery)

Q.3.  What was the name of the young man and when did the young man in Photo 1 die?

(It would be an incredible bonus to find these answers, but after 90-odd years I realise that it is very unlikely.)"

David Abrahams:  December 12, 2013


I have only a couple of brief comments in response to the questions that David asks.

(a)  There were Morrison's studios at:

-  Portobello from around 1912 to 1928.

-  137 Leith Walk from around 1915 to 1936

Both these addresses appear on the back of Photo 2, so it seems likely that Photo 2 would have been taken some time between about 1915 and 1928, possibly towards the end of that period because of the relatively high negative number on the back of this photo.

However,  that raises another question.  If the photo is of a soldier who was killed during WW1, then it must have been taken towards the start of that period.

(b) The soldiers in Photos 1 and 2 appear to be wearing spurs on their boots, so were they in one of the Cavalry Regiments?

I am not familiar with Regimental Uniforms and Cap Badges, but hope that somebody else who knows more about the subject might send in a reply.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  January 4, 2013

Further Replies?

If you'd like to comment on these photos, please email me, then I'll pass on your comments to David.  Thank you.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  January 4, 2013


Developing and Printing

Morrison's Studios

Morriosn's Studios  -  Developing and Printing wallet  -  Outside ©


Morrison's Studios  -  Developing and Printing wallet  -  Inside ©



Postcard portraits from  Morrison's Studio

Other Edinburgh photographers  Developing & Printing wallets

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