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Photographers in Scotland producing smaller sizes of portraits

In the information below we have tried to identify those photographers who traded in smaller sizes of portrait photographs, mainly from information gleaned from local newspapers. But many of these photographers would not have used newspapers to advertise, preferring instead to advertise extensively at their premises. Others will not have advertised at all and may only become known through surviving examples of their work. Survivals of smaller sized portrait photos are not that common due mainly to their small size and confusion with later photo booth images. This is a work in progress and much more awaits discovery - we would welcome any additional information on these photographers and their works which you may come across.

Relevant photographers have so far been found in: Aberdeen, Airdrie, Alloa, Burntisland, Coatbridge, Coupar, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Forfar, Glasgow. Hamilton, Kirkintilloch, Larkhall, Motherwell and Rothesay

ABERDEEN

Address: 45, 49, 51 School Hill, Aberdeen
Possible practitioner: TAYLOR, Alexander (1860-1929)
Operating dates: 1901 - at least 1922
References: See below a stamp sized photo of two unknown ladies in large hats, 1.2 x 0.9 inches pasted onto a white mount 3.1 x 2.3 inches embossed with a floral pattern on which is printed "Taylor Schoolhill Aberdeen". This is probably from around 1910 Alexander Taylor was listed as a photographer lodging at 20 Schoolhill Aberdeen in 1901. Numerous small ads appeared in the local press over ensuing years, initially about photographs, photo Christmas Cards, Dennisons Pass Partout binding, a boon for amateur photographers, and all sorts of arts and crafts materials and picture framing. Photography is not mentioned in these small ads beyond 1912 but clearly Alexander practised as a photographer over many years, this being given as his occupation on probate after his death in 1929. The firm which Alexander founder seems to have been a long term success surviving at least to the 1970s. A description of the firm as it was in the 1920s appears in the Aberdeen Press and Journal, Thursday 6 April 1922 p3: " MR ALEX. TAYLOR, FINE ART DEALER. In his particular departments of business, Alexander Taylor, photographer, pictureframe maker, and fine art dealer 45, 49, and 51 School-hill, stands unrivalled for the excellence and variety of his goods. Re-guilding and re-bronzing pictures and ornaments are a special feature of his work and an opportunity should not be lost to brighten the home by having tho pictures reframed and retouched, or even replaced with new ones, of which Mr Taylor has an extensive and beautiful range to select from. Up-to-date mouldings of every kind are available, and Mr Taylor's fame as a colour artist is a guarantee for the artistic quality of his productions. Indeed, when your home needs a fresh touch up, the place to go to is Mr Taylor's, Schoolhill, whose goods are certain to suit all tastes".

Stamp sized portrait of 2 ladies by Alex Taylor, Aberdeen c.1910

AIRDRIE

Address: 6 Alexandre Street Airdrie
Possible practitioner: Not currently known, trading as Macalpine's Stickybacks
Operating dates: 1908
Information and References: Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser, Saturday 25 January 1908 p1, carried an advertisement "Macalpine's Stickybacks. Your photograph taken day or night at 6 Alexandre Street Airdrie. Gem midgets 6d per dozen. Victoria Midgets 1s per dozen. Hours 11am to 10pm." This is a similar advert to one for Coatbridge in May 1908, so probably relates to a stickyback photographer moving around as sales dried up.

ALLOA

Address: 10 Shillinghill, Alloa
Possible practitioner: Not currently known - trading as The Sticky Back Photo Co.
Operating dates: 1905
References: Alloa Advertiser - Saturday 29 April 1905 p2. " Important Notice. The Sticky Back Photo Co wish to intimate that owing to unprecedented success of their photos at 6d per dozen have resolved to remain at 10 Shillinghill, Alloa for another 2 weeks"

BURNTISLAND

Address: Burntisland, Fife
Possible practitioner: WHITE
References: See below a pseudo midget carte of an unknown lady, c 1910. This measures 2.7 x 1.6 inches and, as a part of the photograph, beneath the portrait, is printed: WHITE, Burntisland. The reverse is blank. To date nothing has been discovered about this photographer.

Pseudo midget carte de visite by White Burntisland

COATBRIDGE

Address: 113 Bank Street Coatbridge
Possible practitioner: not currently known
Operating dates: 1908
Information and references: Coatbridge Leader, Saturday 16 May 1908 p1: "Stickybacks. Your photograph taken day or night at 113 Bank Street Coatbridge. Gem midgets 6d a dozen, Victorias 1s per dozen. Hours 10am to 10pm". This is a similar advert to one for Airdrie in Jan 1908, so probably relates to a stickyback photographer moving around as sales dried up. Another advertisement appeared in the Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser on Saturday 19 September 1908 p3: "Wanted, smart shop girl; hours 10 to 10 "Sticky-backs", 20 Stirling Street." There is a Stirling Street at both Airdrie and at Coatbridge, so it is possible this relates to the latter.

COUPAR

Address: Grand Scenic Touring Carnival Scotland
Possible practitioner: Not currently known
Operating dates: 1905
References: The Era - Saturday 02 December 1905 p32. "Grand Scenic Touring Carnival Scotland. Wanted to buy, set of five distorting mirrors, good condition, cheap for cash; or would let space for good set of mirrors, share terms. Also to let space for studio, sticky back photos. Address, J.Baxter, Royal Hotel, Coupar, Angus".

EDINBURGH

Address: 79 Princes Street Edinburgh (1888-9), 78 Princes Street (1889), 73 Princes Street (1890), 79 Princes Street (1890-93)
Possible Practitioner: W. Jamieson and Co (William Jamieson)
Operating dates: 1888-1903
References: Below is a midget carte with a 3/4 length portrait of an unknown lady, on a dark green card mount 2.4 x 1.5 inches with text on the face in red "W.Jamieson and Co Edinburgh" The reverse is blank. The image would appear to be from the 1890s. Edinburgh photographers: www.edinphoto.org.uk/P/photographers_J.htm

Midget carte by W.Jamieson and Co

Address: 75 Princes Street, Edinburgh
Possible Practitioner: Parisian Photo Co
Operating dates: 1887-1914
References: The excellent EdinPhoto website http://www.edinphoto.org.uk lists this firm at 75 Princes Street Edinburgh from 1887 to 1914. There are a number of examples of cabinet and cartes de visite from the firm on the EdinPhoto site, as well as photographs of the interior and exterior of the studio. The photograph below of an unknown lady measures 1.0 x 1.2 inches and is pasted into a dark green mount 2.3 x 3.1 inches with embossed floral border and oval aperture. On the face of the mount is printed in red "Parisian Photo Co 75 Princes Street Edinburgh". The photo is held in place be a stuck-on plain paper cover sheet. This item suggests that The Parisian Photo Co at one stage was offering cheaper non traditional products.


Portrait of an unknown woman by the Parisian Photo Co


FALKIRK

Address: Not currently known
Possible practitioner: Not currently known,
Operating dates: 1916
References: The following advert distances the Belgium Photographic Co from an unknown local sticky backs shop in Falkirk. Falkirk Herald - Saturday 26 February 1916 p1. "BABY COMPETITION. ALL MOTHERS are invited to take their CHILDREN, from 18 months to 3 years, to be photographed at the BELGIUM STUDIO, and the Baby that makes the best result will receive £1 in Cash. There is only one POST CARD SHOP in FALKIRK That is the BELGIUM, 36 GRAHAM’S ROAD. We have no connection with Sticky-Back Shop. We are Photographers in a large way. This Competition commences from 28th Feb. until 28th April. Come at once and be Photographed. Waste no time thinking. 1 Doz. Post Cards and a Large One Free 2/- - Old Cards Copied and Enlarged to any size from 2/6d. Our Manager will be the Judge in this Competition as to the party or child he considers best. His decision will be final, and the present of £1 1s will be handed over. The Belgium Photographic Co. Wish thank the Public and Inhabitants of Falkirk for the large support they have given in the past."

FORFAR

Address: Next Centrral Bar, Castle Street, Forfar.
Possible practitioner: Not currently known. Trading as "The Midget Photo Co"
Operating dates: 1906
Information and references: Forfar Herald - Friday 27 April 1906 p1: "For a short time only. Stickybacks in latest styles from 6d per doz. Midget Photo Co (Next Central Bar) Castle Street."

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GLASGOW

Address: 20 Stirling Street, Airdrie
Possible practitioner: Not currently known,
Operating dates: c.1908
References: Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser - Saturday 19 September 1908 p3. "Wanted Smart shop girl; hours 10 to 10, "Sticky-backs" 20 Stirling Street. "

Address: 6 Alexander St Airdrie
Possible practitioner: Macalpine's Stickybacks.
Operating dates: c.1908
References: Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser - Saturday 25 January 1908 p1: "Macalpine's Stickybacks. Your photograph taken day or night at 6 Alexander St Airdrie. Gem midgets 6d per dozen, Victoria midgets 1s per dozen, hours 11am to 10pm".

Address: 202 Sauchiehall Street Glasgow (1910-13), 77 Renfrew Street, Glasgow (1913)
Possible practitioner: Henry L LLOYD
Operating dates: c.1913
References: The 1913 Register of Electors for Glasgow lists Henry L.Lloyd as a photographer at 77 Renfrew Street, and also at 202 Sauchiehall Street Glasgow, home address Dublin. He also appears at the Sauchiehall St address as a photographer in a local trade directory for 1910-11. Henry L Lloyd was a stickyback photographer who traded as Mr Stickybacks from 30 Grafrton Street Dublin.

HAMILTON LANARKSHIRE

Address: 70 Cadzow Street, Hamilton
Possible practitioner: Not currently known, trading as "The Sticky Back Photo Co"
Operating dates: 1905 - for a short period only
References: Hamilton Herald and Lanarkshire Weekly News - Wednesday 29 March 1905 p1. "Stickybacks now open. The Sticky Back Photo Co (late of Earl's Court Exhibition. London), wish to inform the residents of Hamilton and district that they have secured premises at 70 Cadzow Street, Hamilton for a short period only, and are taking PHOTOGRAPHS At the ridiculously low figure of 6d per dozen. These Photos are taken by the latest American Patented Process, by Edison's Incandescent Gas Light 1700 candle power, and all Photos taken are finished within 24 hours from time of sitting. They are printed on the finest Bromide Paper, and are guaranteed permanent and finished in strips. We take photos at night. It's not how it's done; it's how we do It. Don't think because the price is low that they cannot he good. They are absolutely the best value ever offered. Our VICTORIA PHOTOS at 1s per dozen are a marvel at the price. Photographers elsewhere charge 3s 6d per doz for the same. Shakespeare Said—" Secure the shadow ere the substance fade." WE say—" Grasp this opportunity ere it is too late. Call and See Specimens in our Window. Business Hours —l2 Noon to 10 pm. Remember this opportunity prevails for a FEW WEEKS ONLY, and don't forget THE'VE ALL GOT STICKY BACKS!" The same advertisment appeared in the same newspaper on 15 April 1905.

KIRKINTILLOCH

Address: 31 East High Street or 51 High Street
Possible practitioner: Not currently known, trading as "The Sticky Back Co" or "The Sticky Back Photo Co" or the Sticky Backs Photo Co.
Operating dates: 1906
References: Kirkintilloch Herald - Wednesday 07 February 1906. "Sticky backs. There was a time when a photograph was the monopoly of those possessed of a superfluity of cash, but no such excuse now offers for an empty album. The Sticky Back Co who have taken up temporary quarters in East High Street have bought the coveted photo within reach of all and for the humble "tanner" no fewer than a dozen midget photos may be had a ha'penny a piece. The Co is meeting with liberal encouragement and from what we have seen of their productions they certainly deserve it." Kirkintilloch Herald - Wednesday 07 February 1906 p4 " Sticky Backs, late of Earl's Court, London, Now open. The Sticky Back Photo Coy 31 East High Street, Kirkintilloch are now taking photographs at 6d per dozen, dull or rainy weather no obstacle. Call and see specimens in window. Shakespeare Said—" Secure the shadow ere the substance fade." WE say—" Grasp this opportunity ere it is too late. Call and See Specimens in our Window. Business Hours —2 till 9pm. Saturdays 12 till 10pm". Kirkintilloch Herald - Wednesday 07 March 1906 P 7 - above firm offering ladies and gents watch to the lady or man collecting the largest no of midget or stamp photographs by the end of March. Kirkintilloch Herald - Wednesday 07 February 1906 p5. ""STICKY BACKS.” There was time when a photograph was the monopoly of those possessed of a superfluity of cash, hut no such excuse now offers for an empty album. The Sticky Back Photo. Co., who have taken up temporary quarters in East High Street, have brought the coveted photo within reach of all, and for the humble “tanner” no fewer than a dozen midget photos may had —a ha’penny a piece. The Co. is meeting with liberal encouragement, and from what we have seen of their productions they certainly deserve it." Kirkintilloch Herald, Wednesday 28 March 1906 p4: "The Sticky Backs Photo Co 51 East High Street, Kirkintilloch, last 3 days - positively the last day for taking photographs Saturday 31st March". (Thanks to Allan Collier for this rederence)

Address: Milngavie and Bearsden Herald
Possible practitioner: Not currently known
Operating dates: 1906
References: Milngavie and Bearsden Herald - Friday 04 May 1906 p4. "Sticky Backs - put your collection of miniature photographs in one of the neat little albums to be had at the Herald Office"

LARKHALL

Address: Montgomery Street, Larkhall
Possible practitioner: CUNNINGHAM, William
Operating dates: 1906
References: Hamilton Herald and Lanarkshire Weekly News - Wednesday 24 January 1906 p6. "Up to date photography at William Cunningham's Studio, Montgomery Street, Larkhall. Photographs taken up till ten o'clock at night by the latest process in incandescent lighting. results giving universal satisfaction. Sticky backs a a leading speciality for a few weeks longer." Hamilton Herald and Lanarkshire Weekly News - Wednesday 07 February 1906 p1. "Up to date photography at William Cunningham's Studio, Montgomery Street Larkhall. Photographs take up till 10 o'clock at night by the latest process in incandescent lighting. Results giving universal satisfaction. Sticky Backs a leading speciality for a few weeks longer".

Address: 37 London Street Larkhall
Possible practitioner: Not currently known - trading as The Sticky Back Photographic Co
Operating dates: 1906
References: Hamilton Herald and Lanarkshire Weekly News - Saturday 30 June 1906 p3. "Your photo for a half penny. The Sticky Back Photographic company have opened that shop at 37 London Street Larkhall and will take your photo at sixpence per dozen."

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MOTHERWELL

Address: Oakfield Chambers, Brandon Street, Motherwell
Possible practitioner: Not currently known
Operating dates: 1905
References: Hamilton Herald and Lanarkshire Weekly News - Wednesday 20 December 1905 p6. "Now open! Sticky Backs Beg to announce that they have secured premises for a few weeks only at Oakfield Chambers, Brandon Street, Motherwell and are taking photographs at 6d per doz. The photos are taken day or night by compressed incandescent gaslight. Dull or rainy weather no obstacle."

ROTHESAY

Address: 1 Gallowgate, Rothesay
Possible practitioner: Not currently known
Operating dates: 1906
References: The Era - Saturday 11 August 1906 p27. "Stickybacks. Wanted a thoroughly experienced man for stamp and midget photos, to operate and develop. Permanancy. Manager, 1 Gallowgate, Rothesay, N.B."

OTHER GENERAL REFERENCES TO STICKYBACK PHOTOS

Edinburgh Evening News 27 November 1905 P3
"Identified by a sticky back photograph. The farmer at Cults Mill, Fife, has for some time been lodging complaints with the police about the disappearance of his poultry. While investigating the latest complaint the police found a "sticky back" photograph in the hen-house and following up the clue they apprehended one of the limestone miners named McKinney, who resides at Pitlessie. He appeared at Cupar today, admitted stealing one hen and was fined 10s or three days' imprisonment."

Music Hall and Theatre Review, Friday 16 February 1906 p12. "To let, one or two spaces in the original scenic touring exhibition "Japan". Photos, stickybacks, jewellery, engraving. Apply "Manager", Japan Exhibition, Victoria Hall, Lin-lithgow"

Orkney Herald, and Weekly Advertiser and Gazette for the Orkney & Zetland Islands - Wednesday 29 June 1910 p8
Review of the summer number of the Peoples Friend magazine mentions - an amusing item "the Seaside Photographer - Secrets of the Sticky-Back Studio".

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www.stickybacks.uk is a non-commercial web site for local and family historians, exploring smaller sized portrait photographs and those who worked in this trade.
This page was last modified: 03 April 2021, 12:04

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