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Seeking information: early 19th century photographer D Montreal of Paris

In research I am conducting about the first exhibitions of photography, I have been made aware of entries in the 1841 Royal Scottish Academy annual exhibition catalogue. 

Roddy Simpson, in his book The Photography of Victorian Scotland, states that four Daguerreotypes were exhibited, but information I received directly from the RSA indicates only three were displayed.The catalogue provides entries for three Daguerreotypes, all by a photographer identified only as "Montreal, D. 18 Drummond Street, Paris."

I am unable to find anything online about this individual, and I am posting this to see if anyone has any further information. Here is the entry page from the catalogue:

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Comment by Timothy Greyhavens on September 11, 2015 at 5:28

Sandy Wood, Collections Curator at the RSA, has let me know that the exact entry wording in the 1841 catalogue was "Montreal, D, of Paris, 18 Drummond Street." In the catalogue all addresses outside of Edinburgh have their place name along with the street name, and it is only Edinburgh addresses that do not state the city’s name. Thus, the ‘of Paris’ almost certainly means this photographer was a traveler from France.

Comment by Larry J Schaaf on August 31, 2015 at 23:40

Marcel, you are always beating me!  While I had the privilege of seeing Alison's proof copy in Edinburgh a couple of months ago, the release date for the US is not until 30 September and I can't wait to see my pre-ordered copy.  It will be an invaluable resource and a crowning achievement for two residents of Edinburgh who have done more for the field than anyone I can think of.  And now I wonder what they will do for an encore?

Comment by Marcel Safier on August 31, 2015 at 22:25

Alison and Sara's magnum opus "Scottish Photography: The First Thirty Years" that you refer to Larry has been published. I got my copy on Friday. It is sumptuous and highly recommended.

Comment by Larry J Schaaf on August 31, 2015 at 20:47

I happened to know Drummond St in Edinburgh and it certainly didn't sound like a Parisian address so that was the first place that I turned.  A fine online resource is the superb and freely available collection of PODs for Edinburgh: , which will give you the boarding house owner but of course no tenants.  There were no Montreals in the 1841 or 1851 Edinburgh census, but there were some later in the century so a branch of the family might have taken root - it was a bit more common name in England - another good source, of course, is the growing set of online newspapers - Montreal might well have been mentioned.  Have you checked with Dr Alison Morrison-Low of the Royal Scottish Musuem (as I shall always call it).  Her excellent survey show is up right now and she might have encountered this.  She and Sara Stevenson are also working on their magnum opus of Scottish photography which we all look forward to.  Good luck and keep us posted.

Comment by Timothy Greyhavens on August 31, 2015 at 18:31

Thank you, Larry and Marcel. Larry - could you please provide a reference source for your statement? It makes perfect sense that 18 Drummond St would be a boarding house, but I am trying to document as much as possible in this inquiry.  Marcel - I appreciate the links you provided and will put them to good use in future research.

Comment by Marcel Safier on August 31, 2015 at 11:58

I've just checked the book "Répertoire des photographes parisiens du XIXe siècle" (Directory Parisian photographers of the XIXth century) by my friend François Boisjoly and there is no listing for Montreal or similar spelling. I should add that François' book is the best source of information on Parisian photographers I know of and he has a companion volume "Répertoire des photographes français d'Outre-Mer du XIXe siècle" (Directory of French photographers overseas XIXth century) with tomes to covers other regions of France planned.  François' website is:

Comment by Larry J Schaaf on August 31, 2015 at 9:46

18 Drummond St was a boarding house in Edinburgh, so I suspect that D Montreal was a visitor from Paris staying there while he made his daguerreotypes. The fact that two of them were of Edinburgh scenes and two of Parisian ones would also imply that he/she was a visitor. Heriot's no longer has an archivist, I believe, but they were very helpful when I was trying to determine more about Talbot's calotypes taken there - it is just possible that they have some record of the visit to their grounds.

Comment by Michael Pritchard on August 31, 2015 at 8:14

Montreal is not listed in McCauley's directory of Paris photographers or the index of her Industrial Madness.

Comment by Timothy Greyhavens on August 31, 2015 at 4:34

More curiosity: the fourth Daguerreotype exhibited by "D. Montreal" is listed simply as "Holyrood". Louis Daguerre himself made a painting of Holyrood Abbey in 1824. Was the Daguerreotype exhibited in 1841 an homage to Daguerre or simply another coincidence in this mystery?

Comment by Timothy Greyhavens on August 31, 2015 at 2:53

Further research has revealed that Mr. Simpson was correct in his assertion that four Daguerreotypes were shown at the 1841 exhibition. An additional work was listed out of sequence in the catalogue, at number 538, and the researcher at RSA failed to note this. In addition, M. Daniel Catan of Paris was kind enough to search for the street address listed for "D. Montreal" and was unable to find any record of a Rue Drummond or other street named Drummond at any time in Paris. Oddly, there is a Drummond Street in Montreal, Canada, but this is perhaps a coincidence. I have made an inquiry of the RSA to see if they have any further information about this photographer and am awaiting their reply.

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