Two Newhaven fishwives, perhaps Mrs Elizabeth (Johnstone) Hall on the right
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Two Newhaven fishwives, perhaps Mrs Elizabeth (Johnstone) Hall on the right 1843 - 1847
  • Scottish Art
This calotype of two fishwives is one of about 120 photographs by Hill and Adamson that document the life and work of the fishermen and women of Newhaven, an independent fishing village to the north of Edinburgh. Whilst the men went out to sea, the women did most of the land work, such as gutting and preparing the fish and carrying them up into town to sell. Their distinctive striped dresses and natural beauty made them a tourist attraction and they were admired for their strong and heroic character. Because of the dangerous work of their men at sea, the women’s life-long friendships were crucial in creating a close-knit community that cared for those in need, including the widows and orphans.

Glossary Open

Calotype

The first effective version of photography, using drawing or writing paper for both the negative and the positive. The paper was sensitised with potassium iodide and silver nitrate, exposed and developed in gallic acid and silver nitrate.

Calotype

Details

  • Acc. No. PGP HA 328
  • Medium Calotype print
  • Size 29.90 x 22.80 cm
  • Credit Purchased from Howard Ricketts 1975, who purchased the Royal Scottish Academy albums