History of Accumulator
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Born Carluke, Lanarkshire 1885; died Edinburgh 1967
After studying science at Heriot Watt College and drawing at Edinburgh College of Art, Adam started work at RBGE in 1903 preparing lecture illustrations for the Regius Keeper, Isaac Bayley Balfour. In 1914 he was made a permanent member of staff as assistant in charge of the studio and in 1915 promoted to the new post of Photographer and Artist, remaining in this post until his retirement in 1949. He became official artist to the Botanical Society of Edinburgh, but Adam became best known as one of the foremost landscape photographers in Scotland, illustrating publications such as Quigley’s ‘The Highlands of Scotland’, 1936, and publishing pictures regularly in the Scots Magazine, the Scotsman and Picture Post. In the later twentieth Century his mountain photographs have provided conservationists and landscape historians with a reliable historic record of the landscape and rural life. He continued to use his heavy 1908 half plate camera, printing all the photographs himself in a style difficult to replicate today and his negatives are now in the collection of St. Andrews University.
Source: DNB; Bown's '4 Gardens in 1'; Desmond's Dictionary; Fletcher & Brown's 'RBGE 1670-1970'
see also: https://stories.rbge.org.uk/archives/28160
- VIAF ID: 166770565 ( Personal )
Obituary published in German in Bauhinia v5/2, pp.103-104, 1974.
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Born Lanarkshire 1685 (or 1683); died Edinburgh 1760
Charles Alston initially attended Glasgow University and then spent time in legal training through the patronage of the Duchess of Hamilton, before eventually being employed as her ‘principal servant’ where he was able to use his leisure time to study medicine. When the position of superintendent of the physic garden at the Palace of Holyrood in Edinburgh became vacant in 1715, the Duchess used her political influence to secure the post for her protégé. She acquired a commission from George I appointing him King’s Botanist in 1716, a post he held for life. He then returned to Glasgow to obtain a degree, taking a year out to study under Herman Boerhaave at Leiden, before graduating in 1719. After this his reputation developed rapidly. He was elected to the fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians in 1721 and appointed Secretary in 1725, a post he held for 21 years. He taught botany and materia medica at Edinburgh University where he played a major part in enhancing the international reputation of the medical school, and he was appointed professor in 1738, thereby combining the commission of the Kings Botanist in Scotland with the Chair of Botany at the University of Edinburgh, a pattern set for the next two centuries forging a link between the Garden's collections and the University's research and teaching. By 1746 Alston's reputation and stipend (from the Town Council, Patrons of the Chair) were such that he could take on the revival of the University’s botanical garden at Trinity Hospital. The city’s original Garden at St. Anne’s Yard and the Royal Garden at Holyrood also thrived under Alston. Alston first published in 1740 an index to plants demonstrated to pupils in the Botanic Garden. His research interests latterly focused on the medicinal qualities of quick-lime and water. He also made an ‘ill-judged’ attack on the Linnaean sexual system of plant classification.
Sources: DNB; Fletcher & Brown's ‘The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh 1670-1970’; Desmond's Dictionary; Bown's '4 Gardens in 1'
James Robert Anderson, 1841-1930, the son of A.C. Anderson, left Fort Nisqually in 1850 to attend school in Victoria for two years. He returned in 1858 and remained until his death. He was an accountant and businessman, and from 1894 until 1908, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture. He had a keen interest in natural history. His father, Alexander C. Anderson, was an early B.C. land surveyor. (right click, open link in new tab) https://search-bcarchives.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/anderson-james-robert-1841-1930