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Jessie Mann

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Jessie Mann (20 January 1805 - 12 April 1867), born in Perth, is believed to be the World first female photographer.

In March 2017, The Scotsman published an article which noted:

IT is strongly believed that Jessie Mann, from Perth, is the first woman photographer.

Jessie is understood to have been the first to capture images of people and places while working for photographic pioneers David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson.

It is believed that a print in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery of the King of Saxony in 1844, taken at the studio when Hill and Adamson were unavailable, was photographed by Mann.

This is believed to be the first photograph ever taken by a woman in the world.

- Is Scotland’s Jessie Mann the world’s first official female photographer?[1]

Following the death of her father in 1839, Jessie and her two unmarried sister went to Edinburgh to live with their brother Alexander, a solicitor in the city.

Alexander married in 1842, when the sisters moved to a flat in Leopold Place, near the studios of photographic pioneers Hill and Adamson.

In a letter, Jessie Mann is referred to as, "thrice worth Miss Mann that most skilful and zealous of assistants".

On Adamson's death, the studio closed, and Mann took a position as housekeeper for Andrew Balfour, who ran a private grammar school in Musselburgh.

Letter from 1865 show Hill and Mann were still corresponding with regard to photography.

Jessie Mann returned to Edinburgh to live with her surviving sister, but suffered a stroke in 1867 and dies on 12 April. She was buried in the city's Rosebank Cemetery, where the family had a plot.


1 Is Scotland’s Jessie Mann the world’s first official female photographer? - The Scotsman Retrieved 25 March 2017.


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