Albert Octavus Knoblauch was born in Edinburgh in 1881. He was the eighth child of Hugo Knoblauch, a German immigrant who obtained the British nationality aged 19 and later became German Consul in Leith. In due course Albert joined the Leith timber importing business founded by his father, in Baltic Street, and travelled extensively for business purposes in Germany and the Baltic States. He married Doris Margaret Cunningham of Fife, with whom he had one daughter. Albert Knoblauch was an enthusiastic amateur photographer and also practiced wood-carving, batik work and early radio. He died in Edinburgh of a brain tumour on 8 January 1926.