A portrait of Willie Graham (1845-1914) in his working clothes by Duncan Brown c 1860s.
William Graham was born in Springburn and became a railway fireman on locomotives working on the North British Railway Co’s Edinburgh to Glasgow line. He was sacked after participating in the railwaymen's strike of 1890-1891 and then went into business on his own as a photographer, having been an enthusiastic amateur for many years. It was probably through their shared interest in photography that he met Duncan Brown (1819-1897), another amateur who had acquired a reputation for his work in the 1850s and 1860s.
Both Brown and Graham were acquainted with the writer Hugh MacDonald (1817-1860), and Brown gave copies of some of his own photographs to MacDonald. After the latter’s death his relatives passed these copies to Graham, who copied them in turn. The copies have created confusion, as MacDonald and Graham are sometimes credited for work by the lesser-known Brown.
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow School of Art Archives
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