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St Andrews 1842

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St Andrews 1842 1842

Not on display

  • Scottish Art
This small picture may be the result of the photography lessons that John Adamson was giving to his younger brother, Robert, using particular spots in the town of St Andrews. After a long struggle with the difficult chemistry of the calotype process, Dr John Adamson took his first successful portrait calotype in May 1842 and continued to develop this technique until he could obtain clear and strong images. The success of this photograph is in itself a remarkable technical achievement.

Glossary Open


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.



  • Acc. No. PGP HA 546
  • Medium Calotype print
  • Size 8.40 x 10.00 cm
  • Credit Given by Mrs Elizabeth Uldall 1998