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Photography & Tourism

Photography & the Scottish Tourism Industry

Dunfermline Abbey (JPG – 34kb)

Dunfermline Abbey, from the North-East
photograph by George Washington Wilson XS1 MS A195


In the nineteenth century, photography was a new and thriving enterprise and photographic businesses began to emerge throughout Scotland. Photography's commercial application in the tourist industry became possible primarily through the introduction of the wet-collodion process.

Unlike previous photographic processes, wet-collodion offered a cheaper and faster way to produce photographs from a single negative. Many printing and publishing businesses used this technology to cater to tourist demands for visual reminders and souvenirs of their travels. These photographs commonly depicted iconic and picturesque views of popular locales and were sold in a variety of formats including stereographic views, postcards, and bound albums.

Publishing firms such as Valentine & Sons and George Washington Wilson & Co. used photography to cater to the middle and upper class tourist market, and played a significant role in the development of tourism in Scotland through their commercial photographic endeavours.