The Tolbooth Steeple, Glasgow (PART I).

By the 1600’s, Glasgow probably had a population of 7,000.
In 1626 a new tolbooth was built. It was demolished in 1812 except for the steeple.
Today it looks like this:

The Tolbooth Steeple played an important part in the jurisprudence of the period. Its High Street face was cheerfully garnished with spikes for the heads of traitors and other first-class misdemeanants.
Commoner criminals were hung against its Trongate face. A scaffold was raised for them to the height of the first floor, facing appropriately down the Gallowgate, and the prisoner was brought out from the Tolbooth by a little window door.
Below this, on the level of the street, a low half door led direct to the prison, by a turnpike stair in the steeple.

Here are some pictures of The Tolbooth Steeple over the years…

Looking North Up High Street, 1887:

Men consulting electoral rolls posted on the Tolbooth Steeple,  1904:

The Tolbooth was demolished in 1921:




Illustration (Date Unkown):

Painting by artist L.S. Lowry:

Did you ever hear the story about the planned re-location of the Tolbooth Steeple?
Head on over to PART II to find out.

The Trongate, Glasgow.

I’ve got a bit of an obsession going on with the Trongate area of Glasgow.
It’s one of the oldest streets in Glasgow and these days I’m spending more and more time down there.
I was thinking the other day about how little the Trongate seems to have changed over the years.

For instance,
I took this photo 2 days ago:

And here’s a drawing of the area facing the same direction from 1774:

I’ve been looking for photographs of Glasgow Cross and Trongate for 2 weeks now.
Here are some of the more interesting ones…

Looking West, 1770:

A lithograph depicting the visit of Queen Victoria to Glasgow in 1849:

Looking East, 1860:



Looking West,
This is an oil painting of the Trongate circa 1770-1790 by an unknown artist:

Notice the now demolished tollbooth to the right of the painting attached to the Clock Tower/Steeple.
That clock tower still stands and is well loved.

Photographic Firsts.

The First Photograph Ever Taken:

Produced in 1826, This was the first permanent photograph.
Made by French inventor Joseph Nicéphore Niépce this image was later accidentally destroyed.

The First Photograph Of A Human Being:

Taken in Paris in 1838 the image is of a busy street but because the exposure time was over ten minutes,
The City traffic was moving too much to appear in the photograph.
The exception is a man in the bottom left corner who stood still long enough getting his boots polished to appear.

The First Light Picture & Human Portrait:

The first light picture was a self portrait taken in 1839 byRobert Cornelius.
It is also the first ever human portrait.

The First Colour Photograph:

Colour photography was explored throughout the 19th century.
Initial colour experiments resulted in projected temporary images, rather than permanent colour images.
Until the 1870s the emulsions available were not sensitive to red or green light.
The first colour photo, an additive projected image of a tartan ribbon, was taken in 1861 by Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell.

The First High Speed Photograph:

In 1878, using a series of trip wires, Eadweard Muybridge created the first high speed photo series which could be run together to give the effect of motion pictures.
View it HERE.

The First Motion Picture:

The first celluloid film created in 1888.
The film only lasts for two seconds but it is enough time to see the characters walking. It was recorded at 12 frames per second by French inventor Louis Le Prince. It was filmed at the home of Joseph and Sarah Whitley, in Roundhay, Leeds, West Yorkshire, England on October 14 and the people who appear are Adophe Le Prince (Louis’s son), Sarah Whitley, Joseph Whitley, and Harriet Hartley.

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