Edinburgh University, School of Literature, Language and Cultures, Celtic and Scottish Studies

2nd Year Lecture  -  March 3 2014

Ethnographic Photography and Postcards in Scotland

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

This talk was subsequently given to Colinton Literary Society on February 4, 2015 under the title

Old Photographs and Postcards of Scotland

For further details on any of the topics below, please see these pages:    Ethnographic Photography      Ethnographic Postcards

1

PHOTOGRAPHY

Early History

Page 1

2

PHOTOGRAPHY

Cameras and  Photos

Page 2

3

PHOTOGRAPHY

Photographic Societies

Page 3

4

PHOTOGRAPHY

Professional
Photographers

Page 4

5

POSTCARDS

Early History

Page 5

6

POSTCARDS

Postcard Use

Page 6

7

POSTCARDS

Publishers

Page 7

8

POSTCARDS

Views of Scotland

Page 8

 

Ethnographic Photography and Postcards in Scotland

Page 6

POSTCARDS

Postcard Use

 

Messages

written on

Postcards

  • Postcards were popular in the early 20th century.  There were many postcard collectors, and the cheap postage rates encouraged their use. 

  • Frequent collections and deliveries of letters and postcards at regular intervals throughout the day encouraged their use in much the same way as emails and text messages might be used today.

  • Here are 10 examples of messages written on postcards in the early 1900s. 

1.

A Religious Message

Messages on Postcards - 1

  Please contact peter.stubbs@edinphoto.org.uk                                                         Posted:  Coldingham, Berwickshire: Dec 4, 1921

MESSAGE
1.

"Beloved Bro & Sister in Him, our Life and Blessed Hope.

Just read a glowing epistle from our dearly loved Sister, Miss Young, and she says Bro Murdie is so bright.  Hallelujah!   ... "

ADDRESS

Bro Murdie

"The Light of the World"

     MATT  5-14

The Manse

North Sunderland

Northumberland

2.

Postcard Collecting

The buyer was impressed!

Messages on Postcards - 3

  Please contact peter.stubbs@edinphoto.org.uk                                                                                Posted:  Edinburgh:  April 29, 1903

MESSAGE
2.

"Hope this will please you. I am sure you could not wish for anything more beautiful."

3.

Postcard Collecting

The buyer was not impressed!

Messages on Postcards - 5

  Please contact peter.stubbs@edinphoto.org.uk                                                                              Posted:  Edinburgh:  March 1, 1903

MESSAGE
3.

"These are the most awful black looking things but I suppose your collection will admit it."

 

4.

University and Shopping

Messages on Postcards - 7

  Please contact peter.stubbs@edinphoto.org.uk                                                                                      Posted:  Paisley:  July 8, 1904

MESSAGE
4.

ON THE FRONT OF THE CARD: 

"How would George like to go to this school?"

ON THE BACK OF THE CARD: 

"I forgot to tell you in my letter to write and say how many yds of cloth you want and what colour.  I think you should try navy blue.  Annie has got a nice blue out of the Co-op. ..."

 

5.

An Accident

The writer certainly made good use of the available space on the front of this card.

Messages on Postcards - 8

  Please contact peter.stubbs@edinphoto.org.uk                                                                         Posted:  Portobello:  February 20, 1903

MESSAGE
5.

"I am still in bed but am mending as well as can be expected.  I have had a very narrow escape, or rather a Devine deliverance from a tragic death.

I got well kicked by the horse on the left leg and the lorry wheel took out a piece of the calf on the right leg and laid bare the bone.

God stopped the wheel suddenly.  I dare not use the right leg and am kept in bed.  Love to you and the girls."

 

6.

Motoring and the Weather

A message from the early days of motoring  -  winter, near Edinburgh

Messages on Postcards - 9

  Please contact peter.stubbs@edinphoto.org.uk                                                                        Posted:  Portobello:  February 20, 1903

MESSAGE
6.

"Dear Mrs C  -  We, Pa and I, have been out a motor ride today.  We went nearly to Mid Calder.  It was dreadfully cold but we enjoyed it.

Pa is buying a new one tomorrow and we're testing it.  It's frightfully cold here today."

 

7.

Trusting the Post

This postcard was postmarked 8pm.  Delivery the same day was anticipated.

Can anybody help me to interpret the message on the front of this card?

Messages on Postcards - 11

  Please contact peter.stubbs@edinphoto.org.uk                                                    Posted:  Edinburgh:  May 12, 1904.  Posted at 8pm.

MESSAGE
7.

"Miss Johnston will not be in Edinburgh tonight.  You will hear from her later."

 

8.

A Brief Message

Messages on Postcards - 12

  Please contact peter.stubbs@edinphoto.org.uk                                                                        Posted:  Edinburgh:  February 19, 1903.

MESSAGE
8.

"Ye ken wha frae."

 

9.

Another Brief Message

The shortest message yet!

Messages on Postcards - 14

  Please contact peter.stubbs@edinphoto.org.uk                                                                            Posted:  Broughty Ferry:  May 4, 1905

MESSAGE
9.

"Nothing"

 

10.

Chess Move

The back of the postcard begins with a chess move  -  'King's Knight to King 2'

I've included both sides of this card because I found both sides to be interesting.

Messages on Postcards - 15

  Please contact peter.stubbs@edinphoto.org.uk                                                                          Posted:  Edinburgh:  July 14, 1905

Messages on Postcards - 15

  Please contact peter.stubbs@edinphoto.org.uk                                                                          Posted:  Edinburgh:  July 14, 1905

MESSAGE
10.

"K Kt to K2"

"Ferry boat at Granton.  Horses being loaded up for manoeuvres.  Went to Tantallon Castle yesterday."

 

 

_________________________________

 

Postcard Portraits

  • In the first half of the 20th century, 'portrait postcards' were popular.  There are 7 examples below from Edinburgh photographic studios.

  • The photos are printed on photographic paper marked, 'Post Card' on the back.  They tended to be inexpensive, and were targeted at the mass market clients by companies such as Jerome's.

  • I've seen lots of postcard portraits, but I've never seen any that have been sent through the post!

Jerome Postcards

Studios throughout Britain

A variety of fashions and backdrops

Jerome  -  Fashions 1

Jerome postcard  -  Date and place not known  -  Elephant

  Reproduced with acknowledgement to Joyce Gallois

Jerome  -  Fashions 2

Jerome postcard  -  1930  -  Lady with Handbag

  Copyright: For permission to reproduce, please contact peter.stubbs@edinphoto.org.uk

Jerome  -   Fashions 3

Jerome postcard  -  1927  -  Lady in Hat and Chair

  Copyright: For permission to reproduce, please contact peter.stubbs@edinphoto.org.uk

Jerome  -   Fashions 4

Jerome postcard  -  1927  -  Lady and Chair

  Copyright: For permission to reproduce, please contact peter.stubbs@edinphoto.org.uk

Claude Low

Postcards

Low  -  Transport 1

Postcard portrait with a studio car and backdrop by Claude Low

  Copyright: For permission to reproduce, please contact peter.stubbs@edinphoto.org.uk

Low  -  Transport 2

Postcard portrait with a studio car and backdrop by Claude Low

  Copyright: For permission to reproduce, please contact peter.stubbs@edinphoto.org.uk

Low  -  Transport 3

Post Card Portraits  -  Claude Low - Post Card 2

  Copyright: For permission to reproduce, please contact peter.stubbs@edinphoto.org.uk

 

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End of Page 6

 

Edinburgh University, School of Literature, Language and Cultures, Celtic and Scottish Studies

2nd Year Lecture  -  March 3 2014

Ethnographic Photography and Postcards in Scotland

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

This talk was subsequently given to Colinton Literary Society on February 4, 2015 under the title

Old Photographs and Postcards of Scotland

For further details on any of the topics below, please see these pages:    Ethnographic Photography      Ethnographic Postcards

1

PHOTOGRAPHY

Early History

Page 1

2

PHOTOGRAPHY

Cameras and  Photos

Page 2

3

PHOTOGRAPHY

Photographic Societies

Page 3

4

PHOTOGRAPHY

Professional
Photographers

Page 4

5

POSTCARDS

Early History

Page 5

6

POSTCARDS

Postcard Use

Page 6

7

POSTCARDS

Publishers

Page 7

8

POSTCARDS

Views of Scotland

Page 8

 

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