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A number of test séances for spirit photography had been held with Mr. David Duguid, of which no records have been kept, but in April and May, 1892, four séances were held under strict test conditions, notes of which were made at the time, and signed by the various persons who were present. These notes were printed for private circulation, and a copy was sent, with some of the photographs, to Mr. Frederic W. H. Myers, Cambridge, (Hon. Secretary Psychical Research Society).
He suggested that when there was another opportunity for a test séance, the presence of a “scientific man,” and some one well acquainted with photographic manipulations, be got to attend to watch the experiments.
One of the investigators induced Mr. Duguid to come to London to give a séance under the strictest test conditions which could be devised; and Mr. J. Traill Taylor, Editor of the British Journal of Photography, by special request consented to take charge of the experiments, and to fix the conditions under which they should be made.
Mr. Taylor combines in himself the special qualities named by Mr. Myers, inasmuch as he is a “scientific man,” and an expert in photographic chemistry, optical research, and all photographic manipulations.
Mr. Taylor is the author of several works relating to the chemistry, optics, physics, and practice of photography; and besides being a member of Council of the Photographic Society of Great Britain, is an honorary member of the Imperial Polytechnic Society of Russia, and of all the leading Photographic Clubs and Societies in London, and of several in New York.
“For many years we have had resident amongst us one whose name is world-wide, and whose character is above reproach; go where you will, David Duguid is recognised as one of the world’s mediums. From his lips have come forth volumes full of wonderful information which he, the normal man, never gathered of himself, but which is the product of intelligences who have ripened in that other sphere of existence. The story of the early life of Jesus, which is to be found in Hafed, the glimpses of ancient peoples, their manners and customs, are a valuable contribution to our knowledge. But he has been famous as a medium for every phase of the subject, including those marvellous direct paintings which have done much missionary work, the direct voices, materialisation, perfumes, writings in language utterly unknown to him, and specially in the conclusive evidence he has been the means of furnishing as to the reality of spirit photography. The striking story contributed to Light by ‘Edina,’ of how a picture of the dead boy was got after patient waiting, is amongst the best-attested phenomena. The early and close friend of D. D. Home, he has revealed almost similar mediumistic gifts. One of the most genial and retiring of men, he has ever reverenced his gifts, and sought in his own modest way to give all and sundry the benefit of their light.”