McGlashon, Alexander


Active 1857 – 77 died

Merchiston Tower, c.1860

224 - McGlashon - Merchiston Tower.jpg

McGlashon (sometimes spelt McGlashan) was a printer with business interests in both London and Edinburgh. In 1854, apparently for health reasons, he travelled to Australia, where he took early photographs of Melbourne. His wife remained in Scotland, where a business partner, H.E. Donald, was in charge of his affairs. On the death of Donald in 1857, McGlashon returned and by 1858 was advertising a list of 172 stereoviews, mainly of the Edinburgh area.

McGlashon’s stereoviews are readily identified when they feature the distinctive and informative pink label.

He sometimes displays a distinctive artistic vision, with interesting angles and good foreground interest. Perhaps this attracted the artist David Octavius Hill, whose photographic partner Robert Adamson had died in 1848. He formed a short-lived partnership with McGlashon around 1860. The photographic fruits of their cooperation were exhibited in 1861, followed in 1862 by an album entitled “Towards the Further Development of Fine Art Photography”.

McGlashon’s glass negatives ended up in the hands of Thomas Begbie and were recently rediscovered in Edinburgh,. Unfortunately they have been mis-ascribed to Begbie rather than being recognised as the much earlier work of McGlashon.