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Earliest photo taken in Shetland?

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3 replies to this topic

#1 Skalavagr



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Posted 18 August 2019 - 06:54 PM

Here's a question we were arguing about the other night and one which I am curious to know the answer to - what is the earliest photograph taken in Shetland?

#2 MuckleJoannie



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Posted 18 August 2019 - 10:32 PM

I don't know if these were the first but George Washington Wilson took a lot of photos in Shetland at the end of the 19th century.



#3 Ghostrider



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Posted 19 August 2019 - 12:48 AM

There's a photo, I think its in the Museum collection, of the German emigrant barque Lessing wrecked on the Fair Isle. She went ashore in May 1868, and I can't imagine she survived intact beyond the end of that year, probably a lot shorter than that, so the photo is almost certainly the same year.


Don't know if its the first photo, but it must be among some of the first.


I think it was GWW who took the photo that Ratter sold as a p/c of Gert, next to Fitful. Grierson cleared that township in 1874, so it had to be taken earlier than that. There's nothing in the shot to date it accurately, so its possible it could have been taken in 1868 or even earlier.

Edited by Ghostrider, 19 August 2019 - 12:50 AM.

#4 Rivlins



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Posted 22 August 2019 - 02:35 PM

Now this is a good question! The earliest Shetland related photo I'm aware of was taken by David Octavius Hill in the early 1840s, a Calotype portrait of John Elder of Walls.


Link to the National Galleries website