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By-gone ads laud Scotland’s past industrial might

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A unique collection of poster adverts used to sell Scotland’s industrial might to world at the turn of the twentieth century have been released.

• Adverts were sent around the world to highlight country’s industrial achievements

• Most factories depicted have now been demolished or repurposed

The adverts were contained trade catalogue Scotland’s Industrial Souvenir volume 2, sent out all over the world in 1905 to highlight Scotland’s industrial achievements.

Over 6000 copies of the catalogue were sent out to Chambers of Commerce, British Embassies, Boards of Trade in every part of the world, British Consuls, and Consular Officers.

Copies were also distributed to the waiting rooms of the Midland Railway Company and the Glasgow & South Western Railway Company as well as on the passenger vessels of the Cunard SS Line, the Natal SS Line, the Aberdeen SS Line and the Japan Mail SS Line.

The trade magazine shows advertisements for soap, smoked fish and sacking, alongside others for brushes and boilers, heavy engineering and horseshoes.

The advertisements show not only the products that are created, but the Scottish factories that they are made in.

The adverts show a diverse range of products manufactured in Scotland and shows advertisements for soap, smoked fish and sacking, alongside others for brushes and boilers, heavy engineering and horseshoes.

Online

The catalogue is now available online after being identified for digitisation by a curator at the Royal Commission on the Ancient ad Historical Monuments of Scotland researching Scotland’s industrial past.

A number of the buildings featured in the catalogue are now long gone, have fallen into disrepair, or have been repurposed for other uses.

RCAHMS Head of Collections Lesley Ferguson, said: “From Edinburgh’s breweries, brush makers, glue factories and ironmongers, to fish merchants in Aberdeen and confectioners and jute merchants in Dundee, these beautifully detailed advertisements conjure up the sights, sounds and smells of Scotland’s industrial heyday.

“It is wonderful to think of these catalogues being sent all around the world as a way of promoting the industrial expertise of Scotland at the time.”

RCAHMS has an ongoing programme to digitise rare archive material, like the Industrial Souvenir, and make it available to the public online.

 

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