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Solemn facial expressions were prevalent at the time taking on the traditions originating in painting so perhaps ‘Ben’ was not as gloomy as he appears.

The stamp on the back identifies John Henry Curtis as the artist and photographer , born 1850.

There are many web sites which contain information, guides and examples which are of great assistance in identifying and dating old photographs.

In 1879, Henry Spink, who had a studio in Western Road, Brighton and another at Goldstone Villas in Cliftonville, was advertising "an instantaneous process for invalids and children. First rate photographs taken in any weather at any hour of the day." In the early 1850s, when exposure times were lengthy, making portraits of children or a group of several figures were regarded as difficult operations.

In 1853, Robert Farmer of 59 North Street, Brighton advertised that the time of a sitting was ten seconds.

These are mainly English, but it is likely that the information is valid for Scotland also.

Another is which draws on a vast collection of some 200,000 images to provide a dating service, or to provide images or other information.

I bought the CVD that represents Ben Fountain as a boy (my fictional grandfather) from e Bay.

It attracted my attention for two reasons ; the determined sullen look on the boy’s face and the fact he is holding a rather large shotgun !References to this comprehensive and definitive work will be identified simply as 'TORRANCE'.For information prior to 1854, there is a paper published in the 'Scottish Photography Bulletin' (Spring 1988} entitled 'Photography Comes to Glasgow: a Survey of Fifteen Years 1839 - 1854' by William Buchanan.1s (£1.05p) at Mayall's new photographic portrait studio in Brighton's Kings Road.J J E Mayall charged extra for more than one sitter. Instantaneous photography enabled studio photographers to make sharp images of young children and restless babies .There is also a Royal Photographic Society 'Photohistorian Supplement' entitled 'Victorian and Edwardian Photographers in Glasgow' edited by Michael Hallett.It is noted in the tables in this site where the contents of this document differ from, or offer something additional to, the entries in the trade directories. 1.' A booklet published by the Scottish Genealogical Society ( entitled 'Photographers of Lanarkshire to 1914' compiled by D.A cdv portrait of a couple would be priced at £1.11s 6d (£1.57A family of five (c.1895). In 1878, the firm of C Hawkins of Preston Street, Brighton were offering to photograph large groups on "moderate terms".An advertisement for Hawkins' studio in January 1881, when the larger cabinet format and instantaneous photography were making family portraits more popular, does not mention additional charges for groups of sitters.However the development of studios run as industries had consequences for ‘authorship ….within the economy of the carte , the names of photographers had become trademarks rather than embodied presences , and these trademarks could be bought and sold like any other commodity’ (p.p 89).I feel it is reasonable to still use this image as it is still believable that the photograph was taken at a later date by the studio which was under new ownership but retained the name of the business.

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