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Drummond Shiels

 

J Drummond Shiels

Studios

   Drummond Shiels Studio in Lauriston Place  -  1913-14 ©

Edinburgh Studios

J Drummond Shiels studio was established at 70 Lauriston Place in 1899, described in the company’s adverts as: “Successor to A Nichol”   - Note the usual spelling is Nicol. 

In most of the trade directories, the company was listed as Drummond Shiels from 1919.  In some trade directories, the change of name to Drummond Shiels did not occur until 1928 or later.  However, this postcard suggests that the change of name to Drummond Shiels may in fact have taken place around 1915 or earlier.

A second studio, James Drummond Shiels, opened at 22 Dalry Road, in 1924

Edinburgh Studio Dates

UPDATE

Trade directories give the following studio names and dates.

Shiels,  J Drummond

70      Lauriston Place

1899

Shiels,  J Drummond

70,72 Lauriston Place

1900-18

Shiels,  T Drummond

70,72 Lauriston Place

1917-18

Shiels,  Drummond

70,72 Lauriston Place

1919-44

Shiels,  James Drummond

22 Dalry Road

1924-33

Shiels,  Drummond

46 Hillpark Avenue

1950

However, Carol Jones sent me a copy of one of her photos that does not match the details above.  Her photo is of her great grandfather, David Douglas Brockie, who died in March 1914.  The photo was taken in late-1913 and has the studio name and address below.

Shiels,  Drummond

      Lauriston Place

1913

Carol Jones, Edinburgh:  18 June 2016

Glasgow Studios

There was a Drummond Shiels photographic studio at 49 Jamaica Street Glasgow.  It is listed under the following names:

-  1902-03      J Drummond Shields  (1)

-  1903-14+    James Drummond Shiels, junior  (2)

(1)  PhotoHistorian Supplement: Victorian and Edwardian Professional Photographers in Glasgow;  edited by Michael Hallett. 

Here and elsewhere I have seen the spelling 'Drummond Shields' or 'Drummond-Shields'.  However the name printed on all cabinet prints that I have seen  is 'Drummond Shiels'.

(2)  Photographers in Lanarkshire to 1914, compiled by D Richard Torrance.

 

J Drummond Shiels Jun.

Studio

Questions

The second photographer listed for the Glasgow studio above puzzles me, as it is the only time that I have seen 'junior' in a Drummond Shiels name. 

Might James Drummond Shiels junior with studios in Glasgow (1903-14+) be the same person as James Drummond Shiels who had a studio in Dalry Road, Edinburgh (1924-33).

Might James Drummond Shiels junior be the son of J Drummond Shiels  who had a studio at Lauriston Place, Edinburgh (from 1899) or of T Drummond Shiels who was also based at that studio (from 1917).

Comment

Thank you to Robert Shiels for e-mailing me to say he believes that 'junior' is unlikely to be a son, but he will check further.

 

J Drummond Shiels

Studio, Photographic Dealers and Opticians

Thank you to Eric Bower, Edinburgh  -  whose father's aunt was the wife of James Drummond Shiels and a partner with him in the business  -  for providing the following information.

Eric wrote:

Burlington Studio

"James Drummond Shiels  and his wife Nell were the business partners in a photographic studio in Dalry Road  ( Just across the bridge over the station ) called the Burlington Studio.  They had one assistant who seemed to be the main photographer.

Hand-Tinting

"My father's aunt Nell was very  skilled at hand-tinting the studio photographs.  She did this as well as handling the business side of things."

Photographic Dealers

"One or two years before 1939  James Drummond Shiels opened another shop in Haymarket (opposite the clock).  This was solely a photographic  retail outlet.

The studio and this shop were run together for a while and then (date unknown) the studio was closed. 

The photographic retail business (opposite the clock) continued. An opticians was added to the photographic business, and the business became 'Drummond & Sons'.

Opticians

"The optician was Drummond Shiels the son of James. The shop continued in this fashion until it the early 1960's when it closed and Drummond Shiels moved his opticians business to West Maitland Street.  

The photographic side was completely closed at this time."

Eric Bower, Edinburgh, based on information provided by his mother:  July 10, 2006

 

J Drummond Shiels

Family

Thank you to Robert Shiels, Edinburgh for e-mailing me with the following details.

 Robert wrote:

"The Dictionary of  National Biography (1951-1960) (published 1971)  says:

'James Drummond Shiels was a lithographic printer.  He was the father of 8 children one of whom became an MP.'

'The MP son at first went into business with the father and one of his sons (a brother of the MP) at Lauriston Place. The family had previously lived in Glasgow for a while.'

Robert added

 I have separately noticed that in 1908 a James Drummond Shiels photographer of 13 Cumin Place, Edinburgh was cited to appear as a possible juror at the famous trial of Oscar Slater although he was not actually balloted to sit on the jury."

Robert Shiels, Corstorphine, Edinburgh,  9 January 2006

Eric Bower, Edinburgh, wrote:

"James Drummond Shiels  ( the photographer and studio owner)  was an official in the Hibernian Football Club at Easter Road.

His brother Sir Drummond Shiels was a Member of Parliament."

Drummond Shiels

Post Cards

Please click on the thumbnail images for further details.

Postcard 1

Post Card Portraits  -  Drummond Shiels ©

Postcard 2

Post Card Portrait by Drummond Shiels   -  The Gourlay family ©

Post Card Portrait by Drummond Shiels   -  The Gourlay family ©

Folder containing a Postcard

Folder containing a postcard portrait of a lady  -  from the studio of Drummond Shiels  -  folder closed ©    Folder containing a studio portrait of a lady  -  from the studio of Drummond Shiels  -  folder open ©

 

Drummond Shiels

Mounted Photos

Please click on the thumbnail image for further details.

Portrait of the Oswald Family by Drummond Shiels, Edinburgh ©            Portrait of the Oswald Family by Drummond Shiels, Edinburgh ©

 

J Drummond Shiels

EPS Debates

J Drummond Shiels was a prominent speaker in EPS debates.  He proposed the first motion below and led the opposition to the second:   

 In Jan 1910, he proposed the Motion:  

“That Photography achieves its greatest success in Portraiture” . 

J Robertson Christie led the argument against the motion.  The motion was narrowly defeated.

 In Dec1910, he led the opposition to the Motion:

“That the picture which shows most of the individuality of the Artist is the most  Artistic.”.

 In Jan 1913, he led a debate on:

“Judging the Awards at Photographic Exhibitions”.

 

T Drummond Shiels

Professional Photographer

Question

T Drummond Shiels only appeared briefly in the trade directories under his own name.  He was listed in 1917 and 1918. 

However, judging from the titles of Wednesday evening lectures given to Edinburgh Photographic Society, he appears to have been a professional photographer for many years before being listed in the directories.

 -  May 1904

"Photography as a Profession and as a Recreation"

 -  Mar 1907

"Some Experiences of a Professional Photographer"

Please click here to read extracts from the T Drummond Shiels' 1907 Lecture to the Edinburgh Photographic Society.

For how long was T Drummond Shiels a Professional photographer in Edinburgh?

Reply

Thank you to Robert Shiels, for e-mailing me with the following details.   Robert wrote:

T Drummond Shiels

"T Drummond Shiels was a professional photographer, soldier, medical student (became a doctor) and was later a Member of Parliament."

Robert Shiels, Corstorphine, Edinburgh,  24 November 2005

 

T Drummond Shiels

"There is a lot in there about T D Shiels and his parliamentary career in a book by Wm Knox on members of the Scottish Labour Party.

It seems that after his career in Lauriston Place he left the photographic trade and never went back.

I looked him up as most people called Shiels in Edinburgh are eventually related somehow.  There are not many with that spelling.

There are a lot in the Tyne and Wear area though, and a lot of Irish Shiels and a Shiels Road in Belfast but we are not related as my granny told me (regularly)."

Robert Shiels, Corstorphine, Edinburgh,  27 November 2005

Robert wrote two months later to say that the book he was looking for had not yet appeared in the library.  However, he sent the following additional details.

J Drummond Shiels

"The Dictionary of  National Biography (1951-1960) (published 1971)  says:

'James Drummond Shiels was a lithographic printer.  He was the father of 8 children one of whom became an MP." 

"The MP son at first went into business with the father and one of his sons (a brother of the MP) at Lauriston Place. The family had previously lived in Glasgow for a while.'

 I have separately noticed that in 1908 a James Drummond Shiels photographer of 13 Cumin Place, Edinburgh was cited to appear as a possible juror at the famous trial of Oscar Slater although he was not actually balloted to sit on the jury."

Robert Shiels, Corstorphine, Edinburgh,  9 January 2006
Source:  The Dictionary of National Biography (1951-1960), Publ. 1971

 

  

BJP and Professional Photographers' Association

Sunday Closing

At the time of the Professional Photographers' Convention, in May 1911, Parliament was debating a Shops Bill, under which there were Sunday Closing provisions.

The Bill proposed that Sunday closing should apply to traders - those  who buy and sell - but that photographic studios should be exempt.

The subject was debated in the correspondence pages of the BJP with contributions in the early months of 1911from:

- A Professional, 

- William Coles, 

- John Arnall, 

- H Roe, 

- McMahon,

- Nimrod, 

- James J Honohon,

Manager II, 

-  Disgusted, 

Ajax Secundus,

-  A Simpson 

-  HJ Rigden 

[BJP 1911,  pp12, 13, 54, 90, 130, 149, 184, 294, 350]

At the Professional Photographers' Congress, in May 1911, T Drummond Shiels advanced vigorous arguments in favour of the Sunday Closing provisions also being applied to photographic studios.

Sunday Closing

The Edinburgh Campaign

He reported that the Edinburgh branch of Professional Photographers' Association had already created a petition in favour of Sunday closing, which had been circulated to Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen.  T Drummond Shiels added:

"Practically every photographer's signature was secured in these towns, except those of the Sunday openers, though one of these who had been approached by mistake gladly signed the petition, showing that many open only out of self-defence, and would willingly be closed if all others were compelled to be."

"The difficulty of what seems to be a comparatively simple matter is that a photographic studio is both a factory and a shop.  Under the Factory Acts, printing, retouching, etc., may not be done on Sunday, but men over eighteen are not affected by these acts, nor are receptionists who do not retouch or spot."

"But we have pointed out that if a hairdresser is to be considered a shop, there is no reason why the front saloon and actual studio of a photographer should not also be entitled to be called a shop."

"... And the best wishes of all Scottish photographers will be with their English brethren in their efforts to stop a seven days' week, which is degrading to the status of photography as a profession, and which encourages the worst  type of camera-exploiter and gives him power to regulate the hours and prices of bona-fide photographers."

T Drummond Shiels spoke of the considerable amount of work being done in support of this cause by FP Moffat, President of the Congress and Hon Secretary of Edinburgh PPA, with support from:

- Fred J Hardie (Aberdeen), 
- William Crooke
(Edinburgh), 
-
Mr Swan Watson (Edinburgh), 
- Craig Annan
(Glasgow), 
- Mr Whyte (Glasgow) and
-
Messrs Valentine (Dundee).

 [BJP, 26 May 1911,  pp394, 408]

Sunday Closing

 Amendment to the Bill

Two months later the Scottish campaigners heard the news they had been waiting for.  It was reported that the Lord Advocate had amended the Shops Bill so as to make the Sunday Closing provisions apply to Scotland:

"As milk shops and chemists' are the only shops allowed to open on Sunday under this Act it follows as a matter of course in the almost certain event of the Bill passing into law this session, that after January 1, 1912 all photographic studios in Scotland will be closed ion Sundays."

[BJP:  7 Jul 1911,  p.520]

Meanwhile letters continued to be written to the  British Journal of Photography on Sunday Closing.  Correspondents included:

- Only an Assistant 

- Free Sunday,

- Disgusted (again)

- An Observer

 [BJP,   pp.522, 582, 618

 

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Links to Other Pages

EdinPhoto - Home Page  Please send me an e-mail ...  with your questions, comments, suggestions or news.   At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.     At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.  

Photographs and Other Images  -  These include portraits of photographers  -  photographic outings -  Princes Street views  -  Newhaven Fishwives  -  etc.   Early Photography in Edinburgh  -  Talbot, Brewster, Hill & Adamson, Early Professional Photographers in Princes Street, etc.   Professional Photographers in Edinburgh  -  1840 to 1940  -  Their names, dates of business and studio addresses.   The Photographic Society of Scotland  -  1856 to 1873  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, etc.   The History of Edinburgh Photographic Society  -  1861 to date  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, Poems, etc.   EPS Publications - EPS Handwritten Records  -  Photographic Journals  -  Trade Directories  -  Books  -  etc.   Thanks to all who have encouraged and supported me in creating the EdinPhoto web site  -  including descendants of photographers  -  researchers  -  providers of photographs and other material   Background notes on the research thal led up to the creation of this site  -   together with lists of new material added to the site since its launch.   Brief comments on how this site might be used  -  Just browsing?  -  Seeking specific information?    Links to other web sites  -  Photographic Societies  -  Photographic History  -  Family History  -  etc.   Click here to find the link to the Edinburgh Photogrpahic Society web site.

 

A selection of my photographs, many from Edinburgh throughout the year.   Also photos from Scotland, London, Iceland, Italy, Hong Kong and elsewhere     Many old maps of Edinburgh (Old Town, New Town, while City), Leith and Newhaven.  Includes several old transport maps and a comparison of old maps with recent aerial photos.   Old engravings, mailly of Edinburgh scenes.  Some from the 1820s, some from the 1890s,  some others - includes many hand-coloured examples from the 1820s.   News from Edinburgh today  -  Events, Collections, Buildings and Gardens, Transport   This site includes     1. Post card portraits taken in studios in Edinburgh:    2. Post card views either takeen/published by Ediburgh photographers or views of Edinburgh, or both.y Edinburgh    Views of Edinburgh, grouped into three sections:     1. Street views:    2. Buildings:    3. Around Edinburgh   Views of transport around Edinburgh  -  Horse drawn trams and buses, cable cars, electric trams, buses and a few railway photos.  Also several maps of Edinburgh's bus and tram routes.   Links to pages with Photos of Groups   Frequently Asked Questions

  Summary of the updates added to this site each month since the site was launched   Links to Dumbiedykes pages  Link to Granton pages  Link to Leith pages   Link to Newhaven pages   Links to Portobello pages   Link to My Recent Talks