December 10: Letham Glen in Winter, Leven, 1939

Thursday 10 December 2020

Letham Glen in Winter, Leven, 1939 (JV-A-8079). A half plate print from the James Valentine Photographic Collection.

Letham Glen on the outskirts of Leven was part of the Durie Estate and formerly known as Spinkie Den. Its name was changed in 1925 to commemorate the gift of funds to lease it for the town by John Letham of Lower Largo.

Valentines of Dundee produced prints and then postcards of topographical views for the emerging tourist market from the 1860s until the 1960s.

The silver gelatin print replaced the albumen print in the 1870s. This process was chemically more stable and produced a longer lasting, less light sensitive, image. For the firm of Valentine there was a further advantage in that the printing papers prepared and then stored until needed. A half plate print like this would taken directly from the negative and used as a reference for the image – saving the need to handle the delicate negative.

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