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 7

POSTCARDS

Publishers

  

Below are a few examples of postcards from Scottish Publishers:

1.  George Stewart & Co

2.  Valentine & Sons

3.  James Patrick

4.  Cynicus

5.  JB White

 

1.

George Stewart & Co

  • George Stewart & Co was an early publisher of postcards.  The company was based in Edinburgh.

 

 

  • Here are some earliest postcards published by George Stewart & Co.

  • These  views of Edinburgh, with quotes from Burns or others, leave lots of room for the message to be written below the picture.  These cards were probably published around 1899. They have not been posted.

Princes Street  -  looking west

Postcard  -  Castle Series  -  Princes Street, looking west

  Reproduced with acknowledgement to Dave Ross, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Holyrood Palace and Arthur's Seat

Postcard  -  Castle Series  -  Holyrood Palace and Arthur's Seat

  Reproduced with acknowledgement to Dave Ross, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

St Giles Church

Postcard  -  Castle Series  -  St Giles Church

  Reproduced with acknowledgement to Dave Ross, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

  • This next series of George Stewart's cards was probably published around 1900 or 1901.  They continue the theme of popular views of Edinburgh accompanied by a line or two of verse.  But the picture has become larger, leaving less room for the message.

Holyrood Palace and Arthur's Seat

"Where Scotia's Kings of other years
fam'd heroes had their royal home."

BURNS' ADDRESS TO EDINBURGH

Postcard  -  Castle Series  -  Holyrood Palace and Arthur Seat

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

John Knox House

"Mine own romantic town"

SCOTT

Postcard  -  Castle Series  -  John Knox House

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

Edinburgh Castle and National Galleries

"I view yon Empress of the North, sit on her hilly throne."

SCOTT

Postcard  -  Castle Series  -  Edinburgh Castle and National Galleries with quote

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

  • George Stewart & Co made their cards more appealing by adding colour.

    Edinburgh Castle
    from
    George IV Bridge

    Postcard  -  Castle Series  -  Edinburgh Castle from George IV Bridge

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

    Edinburgh Castle
    from
    Grassmarket

    Postcard  -  Castle Series  -  Castle from Grassmarket

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

    General Post Office and Waterloo Place

    Postcard  - George Stewart & Co's Castle Series  -  General Post Office and Waterloo Place, Edinburgh

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

    General Post Office and Waterloo Place

    In this postcard and the one above,
    George Stewart & Co have added an advert
    for their postcards to the side of the tram!

    Postcard  -  Castle Series  -  General Post Office and Waterloo Place

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

_______________________________

 

2.

Valentine & Sons

  • Valentine & Sons of Dundee published an extensive range of photographic views in the 19th century and postcards in the 20th century.

  • The first card below is the view we saw earlier, published in Valentine's 'Photogravure  Series'.

Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh

Valentine Postcard  -  Holyrood Palace and Arthur's Seat in Holyrood Park  -  1923  -  Photogravure

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

  • Here are three more postcards from the same series:

Edinburgh Castle and National Gallery

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

Edinburgh Castle and Ross Fountain

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

 

Princes Street, looking east

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

 

________________________________

  • Valentine produced many series of cards.  Here are three cards from their 'Moonlight Series' published around 1903.  They appear to be daytime photos printed darker and with the lights and moon added afterwards!

Scott Monument

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

Scott Monument

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

Princes Street  -  Looking East

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

________________________________

Waterloo Place and Calton Hill

  • Valentine & Sons made good use of their negatives.  Sometimes, the same negative would be used as a basis for many issues of postcard, perhaps published over several decades.

  • All six postcards below have used the same 1902 negative.  It sometimes appears in black and white, sometimes in sepia, sometimes hand-tinted, and with and without tartan border, and in the later years with some of the transport removed.  This card continued to be sold up to the late-1930s.

Calton Hill  -   Post Card 1

This view looks along Waterloo Place to Calton Hill.

Rock House Studio is at the right-hand end of the upper row of houses.

This card was sent through the post in August 1904.

Valentine Postcard 1 -  Waterloo Place and Calton Hill

  Copyright: Peter Stubbs  -   please contact peter.stubbs@edinphoto.org.uk

Calton Hill  -   Post Card 2

Here is the same view but cropped a little.  The cable car is less obvious here.

Valentine Postcard 2 -  Waterloo Place and Calton Hil

  Copyright: Peter Stubbs  -   please contact peter.stubbs@edinphoto.org.uk

Calton Hill  -   Post Card 3

The view has been converted to mat sepia and cropped more.

The only transport left in this photo is the horse and cart.

Valentine Postcard 3 -  Waterloo Place and Calton Hil

  Copyright: Peter Stubbs  -   please contact peter.stubbs@edinphoto.org.uk

Calton Hill  -   Post Card 4

The card is now produced as glossy sepia

The horse and cart have now been removed, but not the men standing behind it.

This card was sent through the post in July 1934.

Valentine Postcard 4-  Waterloo Place and Calton Hil

  Copyright: Peter Stubbs  -   please contact peter.stubbs@edinphoto.org.uk

Calton Hill  -   Post Card 5

Here the picture has been colour tinted.

The artist seems to have forgotten about the pavement in the foreground.

Valentine Postcard 5 -  Waterloo Place and Calton Hil

  Copyright: Peter Stubbs  -   please contact peter.stubbs@edinphoto.org.uk

Calton Hill  -   Post Card 6

This time, the photo has been given a clear blue sky and a tartan border.

Valentines added a range of tartan borders to many of their Edinburgh views.

Valentine Postcard 6 -  Waterloo Place and Calton Hil

  Copyright: Peter Stubbs  -   please contact peter.stubbs@edinphoto.org.uk

  • Valentines sometimes added people or vehicles to their postcards to add more interest or to create a different atmosphere, perhaps elegantly dressed ladies would be added to the streets in the suburbs of Edinburgh.

__________________________________

 

3.

James Patrick

  • Here are three postcards of Swanston from the early 1900s.  The first has an undivided back -  i.e. it would have been published in 1902 or earlier.  At that time, the sender was allowed to write only the address on the back of the card, and no message.

  • Swanston is a small village at the foot of the Pentland Hills, about six miles south of the centre of Edinburgh.

  • I was interested to read the message on the front of the first of these postcards.  Over a hundred years ago, when this card was posted, the sender wrote:

"Very old fashioned looking place this.

Swanston Village  -  Edinburgh

The Roaring Shepherd's Cottage, Swanston

James Patrick  -  'Castle Series' postcards

James Patrick 'Castle Series' postcard  -  The Roaring Shepherd's Cottage, Swanston

  Reproduced with acknowledgement to Carol Stubbs

The Farm House, Swanston

James Patrick  -  'Castle Series' postcards

James Patrick 'Castle Series' postcard  -  The Farm House, Swanston

  Reproduced with acknowledgement to Carol Stubbs

Tending the Flock, Swanston

James Patrick  -  'Pixie Series' postcards

James Patrick 'Castle Series' postcard  -  Tending the Flock, Swanston

  Reproduced with acknowledgement to Carol Stubbs

__________________________________

 

4.

Cynicus

The Victorian artist Martin Anderson (Cynicus) was born in Leuchars, Fife in 1854.   He set up the Cynicus Publishing Co in Tayport, Fife in 1902.

Our Village

Different town names could be added to this card.
It could pretend to be any town in Scotland.

Cynicus Postcard  -  Our Village

  Reproduced with acknowledgement to Margeorie Mekie

Our Summer Quarters

Different place names could be added to this card.
It could pretend to be a holiday home anywhere in Scotland.

Cynicus Postcard  -  Our Summer Quarters

  Reproduced with acknowledgement to Margeorie Mekie

 

5.

J B White

'Best  of All' Series3

The postcards below all have Scottish themes:

-  The first six are views of Edinburgh with tartan borders.

-  The next two feature the Loch Ness Monster

1.

Edinburgh Castle and Ross Fountain

Gordon Tartan and Thistles, Brooch

Postcard in the "Best of All" series by J B White, Dundee  -  Edinburgh Castle and the Ross Fountain  -  Gordon tartan border

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

2.

Edinburgh Castle and National Gallery of Scotland

Royal Stewart Tartan, Thistles, Heather, Shield

Postcard in the "Best of All" series by J B White of Dundee  -  Edinburgh Castle and the National Gallery of Scotland  -  framed in a Royal Stewart tartan border

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

3.

Highland Pipers at Edinburgh Castle

Mackenzie Tartan, Thistles, Bluebells, Heather, Brooch

Postcard in the "Best of All" series by J B White Ltd, Dundee  -  Castle and Pipers  -  framed in a MacKenzie tartan border

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

4.

Princes Street Looking East, Edinburgh

Buchanan Tartan, Thistles, Bluebells, Shield

Princes Street  -  looking east towards the North British Hotel from the Scott Monument

Postcard in the "Best of All" series by J B White Ltd, Dundee  -  Princes Street looking east towards the North British Hotel  -  framed by a Buchanan tartan

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

5.

Princes Street, Edinburgh

MacDonald Tartan, Thistles, Heather, Brooch

Postcard in the "Best of All" series by J B White Ltd, Dundee  -  Princes Street looking east towards the Scott Monument and the North British Hotel  -  framed by a MacDonals tartan

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

6.

The Forth Bridge

Cameron Tartan, Thistles, Heather, Brooch

Postcard in teh "Best of All" series by J B White, Dundee  -  The Forth Bridge  -  Framed in a Cameron tartan

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

Loch Ness Monster  -  1

The Angler's Dream - Tackling the Loch Ness Monster

J B White postcard  -  Loch Ness Monster and a car

  Reproduced with acknowledgement to Margeorie Mekie

Loch Ness Monster  -  2

I guess this is 'Nessie' - I'll have something to tell the folks back home!

J B White postcard  -  Loch Ness Monster and a car

  Reproduced with acknowledgement to Margeorie Mekie

________________________________

End of Page 7

 

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

 

__________________