Cheers to photography! The first ever photo of men drinking beers

We love photography and we love beer. Imagine our delight then when we stumbled across the first ever photo showing men doing what they love best, sharing a couple of bevies. Taken by the pioneering Scottish photographers, David Hill and Robert Adamson in Edinburgh in 1844, it came just five years after the first ever photo of a person was shot. And in case you’re wondering the beer they’re drinking is Edinburgh ale.


Composite photograph of David Octavius Hill (left) circa 1845, and Robert Adamson (right) circa 1845

Using the Calotype process, they worked together in Adamson’s studio “Rock House”.Here the pair produced over 3000 prints including a wide range of portraits of Scotland’s great and good.

first photo of beer

Rock House Studio, Calton Hill, Edinburgh (1879)

Alas, their productive partnership was cut short due to the ill health and untimely death of Adamson in 1848. Nonetheless, their collaboration produced several ground-breaking “action” photographs of soldiers and – perhaps their most famous photograph – two priests walking side by side.

Edinburgh Castle in 1846 - the woman and child are blurred because the child wouldn't sit still.

Edinburgh Castle – the woman and child are blurred due to the child not sitting still. (1846)

However, we can’t help but admire their work in the pub. While the glasses in this shot look surprisingly delicate, one thing that definitely hasn’t changed is the expression of men contemplating their next round. Priceless!

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