To help more accurately date portraits taken by local photographers, we give a listing of "Fife Photographers to 1900."The listing is not complete.
ADAMSON, ROBERT: Cupar, 1863-64; in April 1863 his studio was located "nearly opposite the railway station;" by April 1864 he had removed to Galashiells, and set up business there as a photographer, but he had preserved the negatives taken while in Cupar
J.K. ALDERSLADE, Photographer & Picture Frame Maker, 8 Lower St James' Street (4 doors below the Star Inn) NEWPORT
ANDERSON, ANDREW: Kirkgate, Dunfermline, c 1883; opened studio, May l883
ASHER, ALEXANDER: Bonnar Street Dunfermline, 1862-64; commenced business in 1862, and in Dec 1863 went into partnership with John Drummond (qv) of Dunfermline, under the firm of ASHER & DRUMMOND, and opened a branch in Alloa; the partnership was disolved by mutual consent, Nov 8 1864, with the business in Dunfermline being conducted solely by Asher, and that in Alloa by Drummond; the following month Asher left Dunfermline to set up a photographic studio in Leith Walk, Edinburgh; in Edinburgh, 1864-97. Drummond succeeded to the Dunfermline studio
BRAID. JAMES Jnr., Kirkcaldy, 1866-69; he opened his photographic studio in Hill Street in May 1866, and in November 1866 succeeded to George Thomson's Scottish Photographic Institute at 110 High Street; these premises were completely distroyed by fire on Jan 18 1868, and Braid took temporary premises at 144 High Street, lately occupied by Alexander Ness Grant, unitl his new studio was opened at Townsend Place in August 1868; he retired from business in October 1869
BRAMWELL and FERGUSON: Leven; see Adam Diston
BUIST THOMAS: Elie, Anstruther, and St Andrews, 1860 - ; late of St Andrews ("Photography. T Buist Ambrotypist, 181 South Street, St Andews" -adv 1860), by 1864 he had established himself in Elie, and in April 1867 opened a branch studio in Rodger Street, Anstruther, opposite the Commercial Bank, later moving it "in that garden opposite Mr Brown's, Crail Road;" being "unable to attend properly" both studios, he gave up the Anstruther branch in May 1868, and confined "his whole energies" to the Elie studio, which he removed to "those spaceous premises, Wade House, close to Elie Lodge;" in April 1870 he left Elie to set up business in George Street, Edinburgh, but had returned to Elie by June 1872 and reopened his studio in Park Place; here he continued until May 1875, when he removed to 132 Market Street, St Andrews, but by march 1883 he was once again in business.in Elie.
BURROWS CHARLES. FREDERICK SETTON (d 1950): Pittenweem and Anstruther, I905 - ; he was already a photographer at "The Burgh Studios" in Pittenweem, when, in May 1906, he secured the tenancy of the long-established studio at 30 Shore Street, Anstruther (see William Wright and J S Ireland), where he opened for business on July 6 1906; by November 1912 he was manager of the East of Fife Cinematograph Co Ltd in Anstruther; d Pittenweem, Oct 30 1950
CARTLIDGE, J B; Kirkcaldy, c 1859: he was setting up business in Linktown in march 1859, and by May of that year was in Towsend Place; later he had the Scottish Photographic Institute in Thistle Street.
COOK AND LYLE: Kirkgate, Dunfermline, 1887 they were agents of the Fife Photographic Co in Kirkgate, and were succeeded by COOK &.Co by 1890, and COOK & MACKIE by 1894
COLLIE. CHARLES: photographic printer, copyist, and colourist, opposite Glasswork Street, Links, c 1865; adv in Fifeshire Advertiser, Oct 28 1865
CUPAR STUDIOS LTD: South Bridge, Cupar, 1915-1945; Incorporated June 1915, with share capital of £500 (500 shares of £1 each). the principal share-holder was Edward Rosslyn Mitchell, of Rosslyn, Mitchell & Son, solicitors and notaries in Glasgow; ceased trading on 28 Aug 1945, when the premises and contents were sold, although it remained on the Companies' Register until 1948 (see Dissolved Company File BT2/9425, SRO)
DISTON. -ADAM: Leven, 1855-1889, founder of the Talbot Studio, Leven, 1855-c 1980; commenced business in Station Road, Leven, in 1855, and named his studio after the pioneer photographer, William Fox Talbot (1800-1877); in June 1864 he opened a branch studio in Bonnygate, Cupar "opposite the Mason Lodge" (at 75 Bonnygate in 1866), and in May 1877 succeeded to John Porter's studio in Anstruther; in 1889 he was succeeded in business in Leven by his son, ADAM-DISTON Jnr, who died at Talbot Cottage,Leven, on June 28 1896, and he in turn by MRS- MARY -DISTON; in June 1905 the business was acquired by Misses BRAMWELL-and FERGUSON. thus ending the active participation of the Diston family in the concern; they were succeeded by EDGAR WILLIAM PARKEN, and in 1945 Z R. BLASIAK acquired the business, which celebrated its centenary in Feb; 1955-; the last proprietrix was Mrs MARGARET RINGAN (1976)
DOUGLAS. ROBERT (b Inverkeithing, c 1820): china merchant and photographer, Kirkcaldy, 1860's; china business at 9 Kirk Wynd in 1862 and 111 High Street in 1866, with studio at Vineyard, Whytecauseway (1866)
DOWNIE. WILLIAM (d 1866): Market Street, St Andrews, 1852-66; b Edinburgh, c 1782; in business in St Andrews as a carver and gilder, when he introduced photography in 1852; latterly at 128 Market Street; d April 1 1866 aged 76; succeeded by his son,
ARCHIBALD DOWNIE (b St Andrews, c 1828), who concentrated principally on photography at his studio at 145 Market Street
DRUMMOND, JOHN: Bonnar Street and James Street, Dunfermline, 1863-1875 ; "with a view of establishing business inEdinburgh," theDunfermline photographer, Alexander Asher, who had est business in Bonnar Street in 1862, had gone into partnership with John Drummond of Dunfermline, under the firm of ASHER & DRUMMOND, and they had then opened a branch studio in Alloa; the partnership was dissolved on Nov 8 1864, with Drummond succeeding to the Alloa studio; the following month Asher left for Edinburgh, and Drummond took over the Dunfermline studio; was in James Street in 1866-67, and later in Bonnar Street; his successor was William Toddie
DRYBURGH. JOHN (d 1887): 132 Market Street, St Andrews, c 1887; d 25 Nov 1887 leaving an estate of over £200 in inventory, recorded 2 Feb 1888 in Fife Sheriff Court, Register of Inventories (SRO ref: SC20/50/62 Pp 149-51); his brother was Rev William Dryburgh, Minister of the UP Church in Sunderland
DUNCAN. WILLIAM (d 1908): 17 High Street (West End), Kirkcaldy, c 1890-1908; was originally in business in Kirkcaldy as a stationer, bookbinder and paper-ruler; succeeded by son, William Duncan (d 1958)
FAIRWEATHER, JAMES (d 1904): 7 Ellice Place, St Andrews, 1870s-1904; business continued by his son. JAMES FAIRWEATHER (d 1943) until his death, April 18 1943 in 70th yr
FIFE PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPANY: Kirkgate, Dunfermline, c 1875-1894; had a number of proprietors/agents during this period, including Macdonald & Co (1875-76), Logan & Co (1876), Mackie & Co (1876 - ), Cook & Lyle (1887), Cook & Co (1890), and Cook & Mackie (1894)
FORBES AND-FRANKS: Eastport Street, Dunfermline, 1865-66; from Glasgow, the partnership of ROBERT--FORBES & FRANCIS--KENNEDY opened studio in Eastport Street on Feb-28 1865; partnership dissolved, July 4 1865, and Robert Forbes continued the business under his own name; on September 21 1866 he was moving to No 10 High Street, above George Lauder
FORBES, ROBERT: Dunfermline; see Forbes & Franks
GAY, JAMES ; (d 1922): Pittenweem and Elie, 1887-1918; a native of Crail , he was a soldier for 20 years, and saw much service in India; by April 1887 he was established as a photographer in Bruce's Wynd, Pittenweem, and also had a studio in Kingsbarns "for a short time" around June 1888; he was closing his studio in Pittenweem in February 1889 "until further notice," and then advertised himself in Crail, before re-opening his studio in Pittenweem on Nov 6 1890; by Jan 1899 he was established in Elie, and here he, remained until ill-health forced him to retire in March 1918, when the business was advertised for sale; he died Elie, 14 July 1922
GORDON-, DAVID (d 1916): St Clairtown, Leslie, Leven and Cupar, 1855-1916; was b Westhall, nr Cupar; although advertisements state that the business was established in 1855, this date probably refers to the boot and shoemaking business which he had in Springfield, prior to turning his attention to photography; on November 28 1864 he opened a studio in St Clairtown, "a few doors above the Union Bank," purchased the negatives of the retiring Kirkcaldy photographer, Alexander Ness Grant, and on 28 March 1867 moved to 45 High Street, Kirkcaldy (West End), premises lately occupied by the late William Nesbit; in October 1867 he had returned to St Clairtown, "until more commodious premises can be secured;" in June 1866 he had opened a branch studio in Leven, and later opened similar studios in Leslie and Cupar (April 1873, succeeding Henry S Adamson); at one time he kept all 4 studios in operation, but ultimately devoted himself to the Cupar business only; he died in April 1916, in his 82nd year; the business was continued by his daughter, MARGARET GORDON, who was found dead at the studio in Hill Street, Cupar, Aug 19 1938
GIUSEPPI. MONSIEUR: calotypist and photographic artist, head of Oswald's wynd, Kirkcaldy, c 1857-62; commenced business in c 1857 and continued until March 1862, when the Kirkcaldy photographer, Alexander Ness Grant, succeeded to his premises
GRANT ALEXANDER NESS (d 1881): Kirkcaldy, 1855-1867; b Cupar, c 1817, the son of George Grant, who was afterwards a master draper in Colinsburgh, he had been in business at 49 High Street, Kirkcaldy, as a bookseller, bookbinder, and stationer, from Nov 1848, before turning his attention to photography in the early 1850's; in March 1 8 55 he had "now completed arrangements for the practice of photography," which was executed from 49 High Street, but by Jan 1857 had concluded arrangements "for the erection of new, large and commodious glass-house for photography," at probably 276 High Street, where he is listed in Jan 1858; at the end of Jan 1865 he removed to 138 High Street, and at Whitsunday 1866 to 193 High Street; he appears to have given up business in 1867, for the selling off by auction the whole of his photographic materials and equipment in March 1867; retired, and died March 30 1881
HANDU, HARDIE & FEDERWITZ: Dunfermline, Kirkcaldy & Leslie, c 1882-95; they were opening a studio at North Station Road, Dunfermline on 19 Jan 1882, with H Hardie as manager, and also had studios at 479 High Street, Kirkcaldy (Directory, 1882 & 1885), and East End, Leslie: in November 1885 the Dunfermline business was given up to James Norval (qv), their late manager, but they continued in Kirkcaldy. the studio is listed in Kirkcaldy Directory, 1894-95, as Handu Hardie, 131a High Street
HARRIS, JAMES: Market Street, St Andrews, 1880s; also in Dundee
HART.- J &- CO: Nethertown Broad Street, Dunfermline, c 1875; Opening studio, July 1875
HEGGIE,. ROBERT (1827-1904): South Bridge, Cupar, c 1869-1894; was b 1827, son of Thomas Heggie, ploughman, and Christian Burns; a graduate lithographer of the Fife Herald Office in Cupar, by June 1867 he had opened his own business there at 40 Crossgate for lithographic, and copper-plate printing, engraving, die stamping and paper-ruling; in c 1869 he introduced photography, and opened a studio in South Bridge, which he conducted for 25 years until July 1894, when he retired and sold the business to Wm Mcd Stuart, principal assistant to Thomas Rodger of St Andrews; he d Cupar, March 27 1904, aged 76; m oct 11 1850 Agnes Scott
HORNE, DAVID: Elie, c 1868; adv East of Fife Record, Nov 6 1868
IONS, JOHN (d 1867): photographer and glass stainer. Limekilns and Dunfermline, c 1861-67; originally in business in Limekilns before removing to Appin Crescent, Dunfermline, in May 1866; designed the Bruce Memorial Window in Dunfermine Abbey; d Nov 22 1867
IRELAND, J S : 30 Shore Street, Anstruther, 1889-1906; in May 1889 acquired the studio lately occupied by the late William Wright and continued there until May 1906, when the studio was destroyed by fire; successor, C S F Burrows
IRONS, JAMES: Anstruther, 1863-73: was a hat-presser and hairdresser in Shore Street, when, in 1863, he began photography on a part time basis; this became so successful that in May 1866 he was discontinuing with the shaving and hair cutting, and devoting himself solely to his photographic business at his studio in East Green, to where he had removed from shore street inSep 1865; in March 1870 he was opening his 7th session as a photographer, and by November of that year had gone into partnership with James Kenneth, under the firm of IRONS & KENNETH, East Green: partnership continued for a year or so, but had ended by May 10 1873, when Iron's studio was being sold by public roup, and later that year(September) adv himself as an auctioneer in Shore Street.
JACKSON, JOHN WILLIAM: Kirkcaldy and Burntisland. 1866-68; a former concert manager in Glasgow, he had succeeded to ALEXANDER NESS GRANT'S photographic saloon at 138 High Street. Kirkcaldy, opening May1 1866, under the style of JACKSON & CO; as the business was not a paying one, later that year he moved along the coast to Burntisland, and in Aug 1866 re-opened the Scottish Photographic Institute, succeeding George Thomson; this business also did not pay, and he was declared bankrupt in Jan 1868
LOGAN -& CO: Kirkgate, Dunfermline, 1876; succeeded Macdonald & Co as proprietors of the Fife Photographic Co in Kirkgate in July 1876, and were themselves succeeded by Mackie & Co in Dec 1876
MACDONALD & CO: Kirkgate, Dunfermline, 1875-76; proprietors of the Fife Photographic Co in Kirkgate, in June 1875 they advertised, that they "have now got their arrangements complete and are open for the production of every size and style of photographs;" succeeded by Messrs Logan & Co in July 1876.
McDONALD-. JOHN: High Street, Dunfermline, c 1856- ; a photographer and bird stuffer, his "photographic likenesses ... from I/- upwards..warranted never to fade," were adv in July 1856; in April 1857 he adv the sale of his "Museum [of rate stuffed birds and animals], Tavern and photographic Rooms," but continued in business; listed Westwood (1862/1866)
McGHIE, JOHN: Dunfermline, c 1856; in March 1856 he adv his "photographic likenesses ... taken daily at Mrs Allister's, 13 Eastport Street," and in Aug 1856 adv "The Dunfermline Photographic Rooms," at 15 Bruce Street
MACINTYRE, -ALEXANDER: Dunfermline, 1884 from Oakbank Studio, Glasgow, he succeeded to A P Taylor's business at No 1 East Port Street, opening May 28 1884, and 3 years later removed to 12 Bonnar Street, opening 1 June 1887; listed at that address in Dunfermline Directories of 1890, 1894 and 1896
MACKIE &-CO: Dunfermline, 1876 - ; succeeded Messrs Logan & Co in the Fife Photographic Co's premises In Kirkgate, with Mr A Lothian as manager; the Mackie in the Co could be W- G, -MACKIE. who was (1894) a junior partner in the Fife Photographic Co. (COOK & MACKIE) in North Station Road, but who was later (1896) in business on his own account at that address.
MILLIKEN. ROBERT (d 1930): 82 High Street, Kirkcaldy, 1879-1930 late manager to R Rally jnr he came to Kirkcaldy from Edinburgh in June 1879 and succeeded to William Rally's studio at 82 High Street; here he continued until his death, 12 March 1930.
MUNRO. J K: 1 East Port Street, Dunfermline, 1887 - a photographer and portrait painter from Princes Street, Edinburgh, he opened the studio at No 1 Eastport Street, corner of New Row, in June 1887, and is listed there, 1890-1896
NISBET, WILLIAM (d 1864): 47 High Street, Kirkcaldy, 1863-64; commenced business in Nov 1863; d Aug 20 1864
NORVAL PHOTOGRAPHERS LTD: Dunfermline, 1879 to date; business founded by Sir James Norval (1862-1936), who was Provost of Dunfermline in 1918-24; he had come from his native Dundee to commence business, and although later advs state that this was in 1879, Norval was originally the manager of Handu, Hardie & Federwitz's studio at North Station Road (est 1882), and took over the business in Nov 1885; by 1894 he had moved to 123 New Row; here the business remained for many years, and sometime after 1959 was removed to 40 Priory Lane
PATON, JAMES; Nethertown Street, Dunfermline, 1866-67; with James Baird as his partner, commenced business in Nethertown Street on June 4 1866 under the firm of PATON. & BAIRD; this partnership was dissolved by mutual consent on Dec 21 1866, and Paton continued the business under his own name, re-opening the studio, after "extensive alterations," on March 7 1867; by June 1867 he had left Dunfermline, and was in business as a photographer in Linlithgow
PATRICK, JOHN ; (1830-1923): Leven, 1853?-1867, & Kirkcaldy, 1867-1884 & c 1890-1900; b Buckhaven, 18 Jan 1830, he was originally a master baker in Leven; although adv for his photographic business stating that it was est in 1853, this date seems to refer to his baking business, for when his dau, Mrs Jessie Patrick Finlay (1857-1933), the Fife poet and author, was born in Leven on March 15 1857, he described himself on the birth certificate as a "master baker;" by the beginning of 1858, when he became agent for the "Fife Herald" of Cupar, he seems to have given up baking for bookselling; his bookshop was at 71 High Street, Leven; it was not until May 1866 that he disposed of his bookselling business to David Malcolm, and set up a photographic studio in his own property at the Links of Leven, which he called "Photo Villa;" in Aug 1867 he left Leven for Kirkcaldy and set up business at 194 High Street, removing to Wemyssfield in Oct 1869; in May 1884 he removed to 5 Coniston Road, Edinburgh, and sold his studio in Kirkcaldy to R G Rettie; in Edinburgh, he took his son, James Patrick, into partnership under the firm of JOHN PATRICK & SON, later J PATRICK & SONS (1897-1912), and a branch was opened in Kirkcaldy (Wemyssfield) in c 1890 (see Kirkcaldy Directory, 1894); he retired from business in 1912, and in 1917 went to reside with his dau, Mrs J P Findlay in Kennoway, where he died May 19 1923
PORTER. JOHN: West End, Cellardyke, then Anstruther, 1860-1876; originally in Cellardyke (adv Nov 1865), he had removed to Anstruther by March 1869; after 16 yrs in business, was retiring in Sep 1876; Adam Diston of Leven took a lease of his former studio in Anstruther in April 1877
RALLEY. WILLIAM: 82 High Street, Kirkcaldy, 1877-1879; purchased the business and negatives of George Thomson at 82 High Street in Nov 1877, and continued there for 2 yrs until June 1879, when he was succeeded by Robert milliken
RETTIE,, ROBERT- GIBSON (d 1925): Wemyssfield, later Townsend Place, Kirkcaldy, traded under the name of R G Rettie; trained in Inverness, and afterwards in Fraserburgh and then Stirling, he came to Kirkcaldy in May 1884, having acquired the business and negatives of John Patrick at Wemyssfield and by 1894 had removed to 1 Townsend Place, where he remained until death; for his business, Rettie used Patrick's logo of "est 1853" and sold from time to time prints of some of Patrick's early negatives; he died 19 Dec 1925
REID, DRYSDALE F: 204 High Street, Kirkcaldy, 1866-69; commenced business inOctober 1866, but was giving up in April 1869; was also in business at same time as a chemist and aerated water manufacturer, which was given up in Nov 1869
RODGER,. THOMAS (1833-1883): St Mary's Place, Market Street, St Andrews, 1849-83; son of Thomas Rodger (d 1876), journeyman painter in St Andrews, and Elizabeth Greenhill (1811-1896), he had become assistant to Dr John Adamson of St Andrews, who, with his brother, Robert Adamson and David Octavius Hill, was one of the pioneers of early photography; after the death of Robert Adamson in Jan 1848, John Adamson decided to concentrate on his growing medical practice in St Andrews, but he urged his boy assistant to carry on the photographic experiments and set up business as a professional photographer, which he did in 1849, in his studio in St Mary's Place, Market Street; d Jan 6 1883; his son, George Berwick Rodger (d July 19 1922) continued the business
STUART WM McD: South Bridge, Cupar, 1894-c 1915; principal assistant to Thomas Rodger of St Andrews, he succeeded to Robert Heggie's studio at South Bridge in July 1894, and continued to c 1915
TAYLOR. ALEXANDER P (d 1892): Dunfermline, c 1860-1884; son of James Taylor (d 1853), grocer and spirit dealer in Kirkgate Street, he followed in the same line, but being interested in photography, he began practising on a commercial basis; by June 1860 he had erected a studio in Kirkgate "for carrying on photography in all its departments;" the grocery was given up in June 1864, and he concentrated soley on his photographic business, which was later removed to 1 Eastport Street; retiring in May 1884, and he was succeeded by Aexander McIntyre of the Oakbank Studio in Glasgow; died June 23 1892 in 68th yr.
TAYLOR. THOMAS (d 1916): St Clairtown and Kirkcaldy, 1870's - ; a native of Leven, he had spent many years in Dundee, before commencing business in St Clairtown; by 1885 he had removed to 481 High Street, Kirkcaldy, and taken his son into partnership under the firm of THOMAS TAYLOR & SON: had retired in favour of his son before his death in Oct in 80th yr
TERRAS. JOHN (d 23 Nov 1922): Markinch, founder of Terras Photography (1880 to date); native of Cameron, also carried on business as a news-agent; in later years was assisted by his 2 sons, Peter and James, under whose names, P &, J TERRAS, the firm now trades today from 5 High Street, Markinch
THOMSON, GEORGE: Kirkcaldy, 1862-77; in Jan 1864 he became proprietor of the Scottish Photographic Institute in Thistle Street, Kirkcaldy, removing to 194 High Street in Feb 1864, and to Burntisland in July 1864; however, the death, in Aug 1864, of the Kirkcaldy photographer, William Nesbit, persuaded him to return to Kirkcaldy in Sep 1864 and re-open the Photographic Institute in Nisbet's former premises at 47 High Street; in 1866 he was at 110 High Street, but retired in Dec 1866 in favour of James Braid jnr; the latter retired in Oct 1869, and Thomson succeeded once again to the Scottish Photographic Institute, which had been moved by Braid to the top of Oswald's Wynd, Townsend Place; shortly afterwards he moved to 82 High Street, where he continued until Nov 1877, when William Rally purchased his business and negatives.
TODDIE, WILLIAM: Bonnar Street, Dunfermline, c 1875; adv himself as the successor to John Drummond
TURNER, WILLIAM THOMSON: Leslie and Pathhead, late 1860's and early 1870's; was in-Leslie (Westwood, 1866), before opening business in Pathhead in July 1869; adv, June 1870
WALKER, WILLIAM: Anstruther and Dunfermline (?), 1865-68; as a sculptor and photographer, opened photographic studio in Anstruther at the Braes in May 1865, but name does not appear in Westwood's Directory of 1866; in May 1868 a William Walker opened a photographic studio in Nethertown Street, Dunfermline, but it has yet not been determined whether he was the same person who was in business in Anstruther
WILSON. JOHN: Railway Station, Cupar, c 1865-66; he was "now working in the new patent enamelling process" at his studio at the Railway Station in April 1865, and in Nov 1866 was making large additions and improvements to his premises.
WRIGHT, WILLIAM (d 1889): 30 Shore Street, Anstruther, 1881-89; a native of Edinburgh, he had been in business as a grocer in Strathmiglo, before coming to Anstruther in Dec 1876 and succeeding to the late James Brown's grocery at 30 Shore Street; in 1881 he abandoned the grocery for photography, and built up a large business; d 30 Shore Street, 23 June 1889, in 46th yr; successor, J S Ireland
For details of Photographers who worked in Edinburgh see EDIN PHOTO