Just as Instagram feeds us with selected details about someone’s life, a collection of historic photographs allows us a look into the past, to see people and their outfits, poses and smiles. The following photos from the Scottish Life Archive date from the 1880s to the 1920s, are reproduced on glass lantern slides and were taken in the Glenfinnan area in the Scottish Highlands, where in 1745 Prince Charles Edward Stuart raised his standard to initiate the final Jacobite Rising. Most photos are monochrome, #nofilter, and show us relationships with animals in a time when cat videos didn’t exist and Bambi wasn’t even a novel.
1) Let’s begin this with a selfie, or rather, a photo of a photographer if we assume that he’s not standing in front of a mirror. He’s wearing tweed, countryside clothing, and surely looks very dapper.
2) And it’s not all selfies. This man wore a tweed outfit, too, and surely liked cats.
3) But more extraordinary animals were also domesticated. Here a badger mesmerised two men, and they fed him.
4) And of course, there are photos of man’s best friend.
5) Loyal companion to many.
6) But badgers still steal the show.
7) Farm animals were, as always, commonplace.
8) Rather extraordinary and surely shy was this pet deer. What was its name?
9) In the wild, deer steer clear of humans. But they can surely pose for a picture.
10) Or eventually for a photo shoot, around more majestic scenery.
11) However, the photographer wasn’t the only one observing the beasts.
12) In fact, a hunter was ready to take a quite different shot.
13) And later, the hunters and the hunted had their photos taken.
14) The final shot of the deer is arguably on a less impressive background.
Want to see more? You can explore historic photos of Scotland in the Scottish Life Archive and our Victorian Photography collection.