The first is a positive image printed on glass of a group of four.
Photographs of this vintage rarely include people smiling as the exposure times were too long for sitters to hold a smile for. Dusty and I thought the woman looked particularly grim and wondered if she was having a bad day. VOC informed us that they were 'probably all in clamps' to keep them still (photographers used posing rods and neck rests to help sitters to remain static) and wondered why we were not more intrigued by the fellow on the right who was feeling his fellow sitter's ear and holding what appeared to be a small pipe.
What's his deal?
The instruction not to smile clearly caused this wee lass some mirth and we were amazed by how modern this picture seemed. It could have been taken yesterday. VOC thought it was early twentieth century and guessed from THE WALL BEHIND HER that it was taken on the isle of Westray.
The Orkney Photographic Archive comprises of close to 70,000 images of people, places, transport, archaeological digs, sporting events, terrifying creatures, mystery (poo-like) objects and many, many more subjects and/or events. Most of these are available to peruse in the Archive Search Room on the first floor of Orkney Library.
We can photocopy and scan images we own the copyright of and VOC can makephotographic prints for you in his Tardis-like darkroom.
Update: VOC investigated the origin of this photograph and it was indeed taken on Westray.