Thursday, November 3, 2022

Jovial Scots in 1844

This remarkable photo was made in Edinburgh in 1844.  It shows Scotsmen 
David Octavius, John Ballantine, and Dr. George Bell enjoying a wee drinkie or three.  
They look amazingly natural, and one gets the feeling that they were close friends.
I would love to have known these guys.  "Scots, wha hae . . . "



  1. That is quite a remarkable photograph in a social and psychological sense rather than as an example of an emerging technology. I have never, ever seen so relaxed and informal subjects in a photograph so early. Up until perhaps the 1920s or even '30s, the stilted, formal and self-conscious poses of the subjects are constant to the point of custom. These three seem completely undaunted by the camera and are captured as a true "still life" in that they actually look alive. All the more remarkable when one considers the extremely formal nature of Scottish society at that time.

    1. You sum it up pretty well, Julian. Maybe the alcohol helped loosen them up, lol.