Edinburgh Stereographic Company


Active 1858 – 1860s

Roslin Chapel, c.1858

52 - ESC - Roslin hi

The E.S.C. remains a mysterious entity, not listed in trade directories of the period. It exhibited 12 transparent stereoviews in 1858 at the Photographic Society of Scotland Exhibition in Edinburgh. It may have been similar to the London Stereoscopic Company, with its own in-house production, but also retailing views by other photographers. For example, Moffat views are seen with the E.S.C. blindstamp.

Blindstamps on some views indicate that it also had premises at 337 Broadway, New York. Intriguingly, this address is called the Moffat Building!

A series entitled “Edinburgh and its Environs in the Stereoscope” is found with the E.S.C. blindstamp, but also with the Lennie blindstamp. Moffat used a strikingly similar “Edinburgh and its Environs” title.

So what is the link with John Moffat? In Moffat’s biography there is a photo of his second wife’s brother, James Brown Knott, posing with a stereoscopic camera. Knott had a studio at 60 Princes Street called the Edinburgh Photographic Rooms. He had US links; he married in Brooklyn in 1854. Could the E.S.C. be J.B. Knott?