Pioneering photographer Thomas Vernon Begbie produced more than 400 glass plate negatives of Scotland’s capital city from the late 1850s onwards when photography was still in its infancy.
Pioneering photographer Thomas Vernon Begbie produced more than 400 glass plate negatives of Scotland’s capital city from the late 1850s onwards when photography was still in its infancy.

14 amazing Edinburgh photos showing what 19th century life was like

Saved from almost certain destruction 70 years ago, they are among the historically important images of Edinburgh ever captured.

Thomas Vernon Begbie, the pioneering photographer, produced more than 400 glass plate negatives of Scotland’s capital city from the late 1850s onwards when photography was still in its infancy.

The incredible collection, which includes a large variety of stereo views taken all over the city, was discovered in a house in St James’ Square in 1950, where Begbie was born 110 years earlier.

Had Begbie’s cache of images not been uncovered, they would've likely been destroyed a decade later when three sides of St James’ Square were demolished.

Begbie’s images were later gifted to the City of Edinburgh by Stanley Cavaye, and the collection of glass negatives are currently held at the City Art Centre on Market Street.

Page 1 of 4