Thomas Annan

Scottish (1829 - 1887)
Thomas Annan Close, No. 37 High Street 1868 - 1871


Born 1829
Died 1887
Nationality Scottish
Birth place Dairsie
Death place Lenzie

Having begun his career as a lithographic writer and engraver on a local newspaper in Fife, Thomas Annan set up a studio as a professional photographer in 1855. He founded his own photographic printing works in Hamilton in 1859 and by 1862 had begun to establish a reputation for photographing works of art. In 1866 he purchased the carbon process patent rights for Scotland and in 1883 he secured the British rights for photogravure. Between 1868 and 1871 he executed a commission from the City of Glasgow to photograph the slums of the old town before their demolition.

Glossary terms

  • A print with the chemicals carried in a film of egg white to give a clear, detailed image.

  • A transparent film of gun cotton dissolved in ether and containing potassium iodide spread over a glass plate negative. Wet collodion was sensitised on the spot and developed immediately. It gives high resolution of detail. Dry collodion was usually found to be less sensitive.

  • A style of photographs that presents straightforward records of events, people and places, often recording important historical or political moments.