The craze for photography ripped through Scotland like a whirlwind following its invention in 1839. Over the next century, Scottish photographers captured a stunning visual record of their land and its people, their mixed fortunes, hopes and aspirations. Their achievements – never before so tellingly collected – document a century of profound contrasts, of division, upheaval and change that recast forever the character of Scotland.
Here are the triumphs – the completion of the Forth Bridge and the stream of vessels that slid down the slipways of the Clyde – but also its injustices, the story of the rural and urban poor, and the Clearances that drove people from the land to seek work in the cities or new hope in emigration to the New World. See Gordon Highlanders drinking whisky from enamel buckets in the New Year celebrations of 1890; the caves of Staffa; the grandeur of Edinburgh Castle; John Logie Baird, scientist-hero and inventor of the television; the golfers of Scotscraig just after the beginning of photography; or salmon-netting on the River Oykel.