Monday’s Photography Inspiration – Thomas Annan

Thomas Annan was a Scottish photographer known for being the first to record the poor housing conditions of the poor.

Originally from Dairsie in Fife,  Annan moved to Glasgow as an apprentice engraver, and was friendly with a trainee Chemist called, Berwick. They set up business together in 1855 as photographers. Berwick then left to pursue a medical career.

In 1857 the firm moved to premises in Sauchiehall Street, a lot of business at that time came from photographing country Houses and Mansions around Glasgow. Also photographing paintings whilst at the houses. General landscape views were photographed then sold as individual prints bound into albums.

He also took a series of images documenting the new Glasgow Water Work Scheme including a view of Queen Victoria at the Official opening.

In 1868 The City of Glasgow Improvement Trust approached Thomas Annan to take pictures of some of the slum areas prior to demolition. This is claimed to be one of the first times photography was used as documentary evidence. Exposure times in some cases were measured in minutes.

Please take some time to discover more of his work by clicking here

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Fabulous pictures. Probably not a great place to live but the photos make it look beautiful ….

    1. pammyv02 says:

      I completely agree 🙂

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