December 2: Tobogganing in the fields near St Andrews, ca. 1930
Tobogganing in the fields near St Andrews, ca. 1930 (ID: GMC-EC-30-c). A 5×4 ins. plate glass negative from the George M Cowie Collection.
George Cowie was a local St Andrews man who became a noted press photographer covering events from 1930 in St Andrews and the local Fife area, from local news – cars falling in harbours – to international – the Golf Opens. He also collected early photographs of people and places in Fife.
Plate glass negatives were used from the 1870s until superseded by film negatives in the 1940s. They came in a range of set sizes to fit the cameras and used the dry collodion process which allowed the photographer to prepare plates, then exposed them on location and taken them back to the studio to be developed – a huge improvement on the wet collodion (used from 1860) which had to be prepared, exposed and developed at the location, before the plate dried.