This picture of Bank of Scotland apprentice Robert Richardson Cole is taken from a photograph album of Head Office bank staff. The album was started in June 1871.
The reason for collecting photographs of members of staff was originally a 'friendly' one. The album is headed as follows:
'It is proposed by some of the gentlemen in the Bank to keep a record of those associated with them in the Head Office, and to collect and preserve in some such manner as will leave them open to view in the office the photographs of all. Those who are agreeable to this friendly movement and who in particular will present their Cartes for this purpose, are invited to append their signatures.'
But in the 1880s, the Bank introduced a policy of photographing all branch agents and head office officials, as a security measure. In the event that an agent or official should abscond, a photographic likeness would be available to the police.
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