Working Scots exhibition opens in Edinburgh

An application to the Scottish Widows Fund and Life Assurance Society by Sir Walter Scott. Picture: Contributed

An application to the Scottish Widows Fund and Life Assurance Society by Sir Walter Scott. Picture: Contributed

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A NEW exhibition charting hundreds of years of working Scots has opened in Edinburgh.

Rarely-seen documents linked to the banking, engineering, brewing and textiles industries have gone on display at the nation’s main archives store in the capital.

Early sales records, salary lists and orders, along with a host of other memorabilia has been unearthed for the display, which will run until 21 June at General Register House, which is home to the National Records of Scotland, on Princes Street.

Highlights include Sir Walter Scott’s application to the Scottish Widows Fund and Life Assurance Society for life assurance in 1824, written when the famous author was 54 years old.

The exhibition also features one of the earliest surviving records of salaries of Bank of Scotland staff, dating back to 1733, a 1749 contract for salmon fishing on the River Tay, and a list of colliers working at Loanhead mine in Midlothian in 1763.

Objects on display including an order for a range-finder for Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s final expedition from the instrument-making firm Barr and Stroud, an 18th century journal from a Dumfriesshire farm, a recipe book from 19th century Edinburgh wine and spirit merchants JG Thomson and a McEwan’s beer can from 1937.

Culture secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “This exhibition gives a fascinating insight into the diverse heritage of Scotland’s businesses, and their products and services.

“Visitors have the chance to view artefacts that show not only the historic contribution of the nation’s companies to globally important events, but also how consumers and employees carried out their business at home and abroad over hundreds of years.”

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