Early Photography
  Photo Collection Tenement House  

The photograph on the left is a daguerreotype (named after its French inventor, Louis-Jacques Daguerre) and was taken in a professional studio. The daguerreotype was invented in 1838, and the first photographic studio in Edinburgh opened three years later.

In 1842 Mr Treffry set up his shop in Glasgow, the first in the city. He charged 1 guinea for a portrait and frame. This was more than most working people made in a month.

The photograph on the right is an ambrotype – a photograph printed directly onto a glass plate. These were available from 1851 and were less expensive than the daguerreotype, which was printed on silver-plated copper. Like the daguerreotype it soon became obsolete, for a single camera shot only produced one unique image.

From 1841, Glaswegians could also purchase calotypes, photographs printed from paper negatives. These prints did not have the precision of the daguerreotype but many images could be processed from just one sitting, making them much cheaper to produce. The negative process eventually dominated the market.


Can you identify any of these faces and places? If so, please email and let us know at tenementphotos@nts.org.uk.