Founded by William Home Lizars (1788–1859) in Edinburgh, the Lizars family is probably best known for engraving the first ten plates for John James Audubon’s monumental work on the Birds of America from 1826, the same year in which William helped to found the Royal Scottish Academy. Lizars secured the commission from Audubon as he was a superb topographical draughtsman, etcher, and illustrator, perfecting a method of copper-engraving which imitated the effect of wood-engraving.
William ran the family firm with his brother Daniel, as W. and D. Lizars or W. H. and D. Lizars. They published many illustrated maps, charts, anatomical plates, and Scottish scenes. Sadly, the company was declared bankrupt in 1832, and Daniel Lizars emigrated to Canada shortly thereafter.