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The History of Stirlingshire
Chapter XL – General Industries


Calico-printing, although not a common industry in Stirlingshire, is carried on extensively in the western district of the county. The largest establishment of the kind is that of Messrs. R. Dalglish, Falconer & Co., known as the Lennox-mill, Campsie. The "field" was first opened as a print-work about 1786. In 1790 it contained 20 printing tables, and 6 flat presses. At that period, however, a great many women were employed to pencil on colour – a method which is now entirely abandoned. In 1807, the present firm became tenants of Lennox-mill, which had, by that time, been considerably enlarged, as it contained 50 tables, and 8 presses. In 1810, the first surface-printing machine was erected, which was an improvement on block-printing; and soon afterwards a cylinder-printing machine, which was an improvement on the copper-plate printing presses, similar to what the "surface" was on the "block." In both cases, what was formerly on a flat surface, was put on a cylinder of wood or copper. This, continually revolving, furnished itself with colour, which it, at the same time, transferred to the cloth.

At present, almost every description of printing is performed at Lennox-mill, and nearly every fabric of cloth printed, from the finest muslin worn by ladies, to the coarsest calico worn by the Pariahs of India. As most of the goods are for the Indian market, the colours are somewhat "loud" and the designs peculiar. The dress-pieces made for people of the Hindoo religion have a broad border of peacocks round the skirt, the upper part bearing a spotted or diaper pattern. The ground-work of all is Turkey-red, but the birds and other designs are produced in blue, yellow, and green. The Mahometans consider it sinful to try to imitate nature too closely; and though peacocks figure in the designs prepared for ladies of that faith, they are drawn in the rudest fashion, and worked out in mosaic. None of the designs of these Indian garments would find admirers in this country; and as the artists are bound down by certain conventional rules, they have no scope for the creation of original patterns. In cloth for turbans there is the same limitation in variety. The dress pieces are short, being only from 1 1/2 to 8 yards in length; and owing to that and other technical causes, it would be unprofitable to print them on a cylinder machine, so they are done by the block method. What is printed on the cloth is not the complete colour, but a substance to discharge the red and absorb another colour. This substance is applied in the form of paste, which has no resemblance to the ultimate colour.

Lennox-mill now contains 7 printing cylinders, and 200 tables. The water-power is equal to about 20 horses, and the steam-engine is 30 horse-power. The heating and dyeing are all done by steam, for which purpose about 250 horse-power of steam is employed. The coal consumed daily is about 30 tons. The engraving of the copper rollers is all performed on the premises, and requires very nice machinery. The stock of copper rollers is heavy, amounting in number to 1,500, weighing about 155,000 lbs. At present the works give employment to 545 hands – men, women, boys, and girls. About 250,000 pieces are produced annually, consisting of garments for home and export trade.

The art of calico-painting was introduced into Europe from India, about 1676; but a considerable time elapsed before the trade gained general attention. In 1774, however, the law which prohibited the printing of English-made calicoes was repealed, and, by the aid of a series of wonderful inventions and improvements, the industry flourished and increased, though the Excise duty of 6d. on every square yard of calico printed, stained, painted, or dyed, was not removed until 1831. The invention in 1785, of cylinder-printing by Mr. Bell, of Glasgow, worked a revolution in the trade; and the tedious process of painting designs by hand was immediately superseded by the use of blocks. There are five general styles in calico-printing, namely: - (1.) The fast-colour of chintz style, in which the mordants are applied to the white cloth, and the colours of the designs are afterwards developed in the dye-bath. The term "mordant" is applied to certain substances with which the cloth to be dyed must be impregnated, otherwise the colouring matters would not adhere to the cloth, but would be removed by washing. Thus the red colour given to cotton by madder would not be fixed unless the cloth were previously steeped in a solution of salt of alumina. (2.) Where the whole surface receives a uniform tint from one colouring matter, and figures of other colours are afterwards brought up by chemical discharges and reactions. (3.) Where the white surface is impressed with figures in a resist paste, and is afterwards subjected to a general dye. (4.) Steam-colours, in which a mixture of the mordants and dye-extracts is applied to the cloth, and the chemical combination is effected by the agency of steam. (5.) Spirit-colours, consisting of mixtures of dye-extracts with nitro-muriate of tin. The latter are brilliant but fugitive. The machine printers at Lennox-mill earn from 30s. to 50s. a-week; small-block printers, 25s. to 30s.; large-block printers, 30s to 40s.; and boys 4s. to 7s. In addition to Messrs. Dalglish, Falconer, & Co.’s establishment, there are extensive calico print works at Blanefield, which lies about 5 miles west of Campsie. There are also a cotton-mill in Killearn parish; but the building was destroyed by fire in 1806, and has not been rebuilt. A printfield in the same district was likewise abandoned the following year.

Yarn spinning and woollen manufactures are confined for the most part to Alva, Stirling, and Bannockburn. Up till 1829, blankets and serges were the only goods produced in the first-mentioned village, when the manufacture of shawls was introduced. There are nine spinning-mills in the place, employed on yarns for making shawls, tartan dress goods, tweeds, &c. The mills contain 37 sets of carding-engines, driven by steam and water power. The number of persons engaged is about 220; and the amount of raw material put through in the course of a year is valued at 120,000 pounds. Some of the yarn is used in the locality, but the greater part of it goes to agents in Glasgow. The weaving of shawls, handkerchiefs, plaids, and shirtings is the staple trade of the village, and gives employment to about 700 journeymen and 100 apprentices in the busy season, besides from 500 to 600 women who do the winding, twisting, and finishing. A number of young boys are also employed as drawers and twisters. Since shawls and tartans ceased to be fashionable articles of feminine attire, and since the closing of the ports of the United States to our manufactured goods, trade has been limited to a few months of the year; and that circumstance presses hard on those employed in the weaving business, who generally seek work during the winter months in Galashiels, Selkirk, and Hawick. The value of the manufactured goods runs from about 200,000 pounds to 250,000 pounds annually. The chief market is Glasgow, but a considerable quantity also goes to Manchester, London, and some of the principal Irish towns.

In point of antiquity, the Tillicoultry woollen trade ranks among the first, if it was not the first, in Scotland. Mention is made of its woollen goods in the chartularies of Cambuskenneth so early as the reign of Mary Queen of Scots. At that period, and for about two centuries afterwards, the village was famous for weaving a coarse woollen cloth called "serge," which is described as a species of shalloon, having a worsted warp and woollen weft. It sold at about 1s. a yard, and was long known throughout the country as "Tillicoultry serge" – indeed, that name appears ultimately to have been applied to all serges made in the district. Towards the end of the eighteenth century the current of manufacturing enterprise in Tillicoultry seems to have become stagnant, and the making of serges was transferred to Alva; though it would appear from the old "statistical account" that a market for Alva goods was not easily obtained, it being a common saying that "a serge web from Alva would not sell in the market while one from Tillicoultry remained unsold." Notwithstanding such preference, Alva ultimately carried the trade in that class of goods. In 1792-5 the woollen trade of Tillcoutry appears to have been at its lowest ebb. There were then but 21 weavers in the parish, and the stamp-master (who kept no note of the goods) supposed that 7,000 ells of serge, and an equal quantity of plaiding, would cover the produce that passed through his hands annually from Tillicoultry. The manufacture of muslins was introduced about that time, but apparently met with small success. In 1789, or 1800, John Christie, "an ingenious and energetic native of the village," erected the first woollen factory in Tillicoultry. At a later period he introduced carding machines with improvements of his own. In 1817 the present firm of Messrs. R. Archibald & Sons began business, and soon other woollen factories were erected. The trade at the time was almost solely confined to the production of blankets and plaidings. It is worthy of note that the first "self-acting mulejenny" and "slubbing billy" made in the kingdom were purchased from the inventor and maker, Mr. Smith of Deanston, by Messrs. R. Archibald & Sons, in 1839. The machines are still in the possession of the firm, and in operation.

In these days, when strikes and intimidation are common, it may be interesting to relate an incident which happened in Tillicoultry in the transition period of its manufactures. When spinning machinery was first introduced to do the work which the wives of the village had formerly done with their "muckle wheels," Mr. William Archibald, who possessed the mill now occupied by Messrs. William Gibson & Co., endeavoured to introduce water as a driving power, and for that purpose erected a dam on the Mill Glen burn to divert the water to his mill. The wives considered that such a scheme was neither more nor less than "a new way of playing off an old-fashioned trick – taking the bread out of their mouths by taking the work out of their hands;" and a council of matrons was convened. What transpired at the meeting is not reported; but the result was that they mustered in a body, and armed with spades, hoes, pick-axes, pokers, and tongs, proceeded, "without let or hindrance," to the mill-dam, which they speedily demolished.

About 1824 the manufacture of tartans was introduced into Tillicoultry, and such were the enterprise, energy, and taste brought to bear upon it, and the success by which it was attended, that general prosperity prevailed, and that to such an extent as to add in twenty years over 3,000 to the population. The tartan trade has undergone a considerable change since then; "clan" patterns, which for many years were paramount, being now almost discarded for "fancy" patterns. Messrs. Paton, of Tillicoultry, have long held a high place in the market for these goods, and their manufactures in tartan have decorated the person of her Majesty the Queen, and serve as hangings in the Royal Palace at Balmoral. The woollen productions of Messrs. Paton are of a varied description, and consist of shawls, tartans for dress, and cloakings of various kinds. The firm employ from 900 to 1000 operatives, and pay annually in wages about 20,000 pounds. They have 16 sets of carding-engines in operation, each of which puts through wool to the value of about 2,600 pounds – the good when finished representing about three times that amount. Both water and steam are used to drive the machinery – the former of 25, and the latter of 75 nominal horse-power.

Messrs. R. Archibald & Sons carry on an extensive business in shirtings, shawl goods, tartans, and thin tweeds; and Messrs. J. & R. Archibald, Devondale, have long been famous for the excellence of their Scotch tweeds.

In the parish there are twelve woollen factories, containing 40 sets of carding machines, and employing upwards of 2,000 persons. Besides these there are nine establishments where handloom weaving is carried on, containing in all about 180 looms, and employing nearly an equal number of weavers, whose chief productions are shawls and napkins. In connection with the factories there are 340 hand-looms and about 230 power-looms. Australian and Cape wools are those principally used in Tillicoultry; neither that grown on the Ochils nor on the Cheviots being suitable for the class of goods manufactured.

In Stirling two woollen manufactories are in operation. The most extensive is Forthvale mill, belonging to Messrs. John Todd & Sons. The chief branch of the woollen trade for which these works are used is spinning yarns for the manufacture of tweeds and shawls, and fancy stuffs. There are 6 sets of carding machines and 6,284 spindles employed in the spinning department. The machinery is propelled by an engine of 50 horse-power. The quantity of wool (all foreign) used annually is 376,000 lbs., and the value of the annual production is 30,000 pounds. There are 65 persons employed.

The Parkvale and Hayford mills, situated near the village of Cambusbarron, about 2 miles from Stirling, belong to Messrs. Robert Smith & Son, and comprise dyeing, spinning, and weaving by power. The goods manufactured are a superior quality of winceys and other materials for ladies’ dresses. Wincey has been brought to the greatest perfection by Messrs. Smith. The warps are composed of cotton yarn, which is chiefly spun in Lancashire; the wefts are of wool, the produce of the spinning department of the works. In the weaving factory, there are 530 power-looms, and in the spinning department 13 sets of carding-engines. The whole machinery is driven by 6 steam-engines of 300 horse-power in the aggregate. The wools manufactured are English, German, and colonial, and the quantity used annually is 610,000 lbs. The goods made amount in value to from 170,000 pounds to 200,000 pounds per annum, according to the price of raw material. There are in all 950 persons employed. The wages paid annually amount to 19,000 pounds.

At Bannockburn there are two extensive works – one owned by Messrs. William Wilson & Sons, the other by Messrs. J. & W. Wilson. That of William Wilson & Sons, embraces spinning, dyeing, and the weaving of carpets, tweeds, and tartans. 14 carding-machines are employed. The quantity of wood used annually, including 50,000 lbs. purchased from other spinners, is 680,000 lbs. The value of the annual production is 80,000 pounds; and the number of persons employed is from 500 to 600. Messrs. J. & W. Wilson manufacture carpets only. The wool used annually is 500,000 lbs., and the value of their annual production is about 25,000 pounds. They employ 180 hands, including weavers, dyers, and wool-sorters. There are, besides, two small manufactories, in which about 50 persons are employed in weaving tartans and kiltings. The value of their annual production is 45,000 pounds.

Manufactories for chemical products are numerous throughout the country. The works of the Hurlet and Campsie Co. were originally the property of Messrs. Mackintosh & Co. – the Mr. Mackintosh who invented the celebrated water-proof cloth, which bears his name. They were started in the year 1806, for the manufacture of alum, copperas, prussiate of potash, prussian blue, &c. The alum and copperas are derived from a schist or aluminous shale, which is found in the coal strata of the Campsie district, and is embedded between the coal and the limestone at a thickness of between 18 inches and 2 feet, the limestone being above and the coal below. The constituent principles of the schistus are various. After the coal has been wrought out, the schist, being exposed to the action of the air, undergoes decomposition. The sulphur it contains is, by the absorption of oxygen, converted into sulphates of the metallic bases with which it is combined, and by its exfoliation readily separates itself from the limestone, and falls down into the space formerly occupied by the coal. When in a state of complete decomposition, the schist assumes a beautiful efflorescent appearance, like that of flock silk, and is very soluble in water. This schistus, as drawn from the coal wastes, is lixiviated at the works in large stone cisterns, and the liquid being afterwards evaporated till it attains the requisite specific gravity, it receives the portion of sulphate or muriate of potash necessary to its formation into the state of crystallizable salt. This is the alum of commerce. In this process, the copperas, existing in the ore, is separated. The prussiate of potash manufactory, which was the first, and for many years the only work of the kind in Great Britain, is upon an extensive scale, and well arranged. This salt is the ferro-cyanate of potassium of chemists. It is used by calico-printers in blue dyeing, also by wool-dyers, and likewise in the manufacture of prussian blue. The exquisite beauty of this salt contrasts strangely with the filthiness of the animal matter out of which it is made. The Prussian blue manufactory, which is in connection with the above, produces an article of the finest quality. This product is the result of mutual decomposition of prussiate of potash and sulphate of iron. The present proprietors, with their branch establishment at Port Downie, Falkirk, employ over 300 hands.

At Stirling, Denny, and Falkirk there are several pyroligneous acid works, in which the distillation from wood is used in making iron-liquor for printfields, and also vinegar. The oldest of the firms engaged in this manufacture are Messrs. William M’Laren & Sons and Mr. James M’Alley, Grahamston. The Lime Wharf Chemical Works were started in 1845 by Mr. James Ross, who has now retired from the business, but the manufactory is still being carried on vigorously and successfully by the present co-partnery.

The spelter works at Lower Greenhill were originally started by Mr. William R. Hutton, who employed between 60 and 70 men. There are 8 double furnaces connected with the manufactory, each of which required 4 men a shift, and were wrought night and day. The charge put into each furnace is 20 cwt. of calamine mixed with ground coal for a flux, which is then heated up – the zinc coming off as a distillate. The produce from the charge is about 7 cwt. This industry was quite a new one to Scotland, the great bulk of the zinc required being previously brought from Germany. There are now, however, a few works of the same kind at Swansea, in England. The calamine, before being put into the furnace, at one time required to be calcined, but Mr. Hutton discovered a process by which this could be done without, and which effected a saving of about 5 per cent. of zinc, apart from the value of coal and labour necessary in the calcining. The working or ore was stopped here some years ago owing to the great difficulty of obtaining the same, and the low prices ruling for spelter. There is, however, one furnace still working, but this produces the spelter from the refuse of the galvanizers, which is an oxide of zinc, and usually contains from 30 to 60 per cent. This refuse formerly had to be carted away as rubbish. It will now produce to an average sized galvanizing work about 300 pounds per annum – the price obtainable for it being from 30s. to 6 pounds per ton. The ore used in the manufacture of calamine and zinc blende is principally found in Spain and Italy, and the mines being eagerly bought up by the continental manufacturers, it can only be got by the British smelter at what to him is ruinous prices. The zinc blende has been occasionally found in England, but in no great quantity. There is, however, a considerable amount of blind blende turned out from the Great Laxey mines in the Isle of Man.

Paper-making is one of the principal industries of the Denny district. Herbertshire mill is the oldest establishment of its kind in the parish, and is the property of William Forbes, Esq. of Callendar. Messrs. Alexander Duncan & Sons carry on at this mill the manufacture of writing and printing papers. They employ about 100 hands – men and women. No material has yet been discovered to supersede the use of linen and cotton rags in making the finer qualities of paper. Many attempts have been made to find other kinds of fibre that would be equally suitable, and the list of substances which have been subjected to a trial is an exceedingly curious one. Up till the year 1857, upwards of 200 patents had been taken out in Britain for the protection of inventions of this kind, and they relate to about fifty varieties of fibre. The list includes asbestos, bean-stalks, clover, dung, gutta percha, heather, moss, nettles, peat, sawdust, seaweed, thistles, and tobacco-stalks. In the year 1772, a book was published at Regensburg, in which there were eighty-one specimens of paper, made from as many different substances. The demand for paper has always threatened to exceed the supply of rags, and hence the desire to find a substitute or auxiliary. The application of machinery to the manufacture of paper is of recent date. Both in preparing the pulp and in making the paper, the appliances used by the early paper-makers were of the simplest kind. The rags, after being thoroughly washed and bleached, were, while still wet, laid in heaps and covered over with sacking. In that way they were allowed to ferment for about a week, when they were taken out and cut into smaller portions by means of a sharp hook. They were next placed in large mortars made of oak, and there pounded with iron-shod rods, kept in motion by either wind or water power. So slow was this process of pulping, that eighty pairs of stamps produced only 1 cwt. of pulp a-day. Even then the work was so imperfectly done, that the stuff had to be pressed into boxes, and allowed to "mellow" for several weeks. After that, it had to be subjected to a series of beatings in the mortars, before it was ready for use. The pulp was next placed in a "vat," along with a certain quantity of water. The fibrous matter was held in suspension by the liquor being constantly stirred by a revolving frame or series of wooden arms. The first important mechanical contrivance introduced into the trade was the pulping-engine invented in Holland about the middle of last century. The tedious method of fermenting the rags and bruising them in a mortar was superseded by this machine, which, in its present improved form, reduces the rags to pulp in a few hours, and is capable of comminuting 5 or 6 tons a-week. The following is an account of the process of paper-making at Herbertshire mill: - As soon as the rags are cut by women across a scythe-blade fixed into a table covered with wire-cloth, for the purpose of getting rid of the dust and sand, they are passed into the boiling-house, where they are boiled for twelve hours; afterwards, they are washed, and broke into a pulp by an iron cistern, called a paper-engine, capable of boiling 1 cwt. of rags, which are beat by a roller with 36 steel bars, which turn on a plate in the bottom of the cistern. 5 of these engines, of 20 steel bars, are kept going night and day, requiring upwards of 40 horse-power to drive them and the other requisite machinery. After the rags are broke in, and bleached for twenty-four hours, they are beat into pulp, or stuff, ready for passing on to the paper-machine, perhaps one of the most complete pieces of machinery ever invented in this country; as, in one room, 60 feet in length by 25 feet wide, one may see the material, much resembling churned milk, passing, by means of a fine web of wire-cloth, 15 feet long, into a series of rollers used in pressing out the water, and forming the paper into a firm body. It then passes into a set of cylinders heated by steam, from which it is reeled into rolls in a perfectly finished state, quite dry and pressed, ready for use. Six of the rolls are then put on to the cutting machine, which cuts them into the sizes required. This machine is capable of cutting 144 sheets per minute of post or writing paper. On an average, 26 cwt. of rags are cut per day, and 21 cwt. of them beat into pulp. The water-wheel for driving the paper-engine is 24 feet diameter, and fully 12 feet wide. It is wholly of iron, and weighs 33 tons. Another small wheel is used for driving the paper-machine, 22 feet diameter, and 18 inches wide. Nearly 150 pounds a-month is paid in wages, the following being the rates: mill-workers (men and lads), 17s. to 19s. a-week; women, from 7s. to 10s.

A number of extensive quarries have been opened in Stirlingshire since the advent of the railways. These have competed with the local quarries in supplying stone to both Edinburgh and Glasgow. The most important are those of Dunmore, Polmaise, and Plean in the neighbourhood of Bannockburn, where the coal measure sandstone terminates. The stone obtained from these quarries is durable, and a number of the houses recently built on the south side of Edinburgh have been constructed of stone from Stirlingshire. In 1867 Mr. James Gowans of Rockville, Edinburgh, who is the most enterprising and extensive lessee of quarries in Scotland, sent from the Plean Quarry a large quantity of stone to be used in the erection of a new warehouse in Paternoster Row, London, for Messrs. Nelson & Sons, publishers. It would be interesting to note the effect of the London atmosphere on the stone of Messrs. Nelson’s warehouse, which is composed entirely of silica, as compared with the limestone generally used in London. Had the new Houses of Parliament been built of Scotch stone, there is every reason to believe that the nation would have been spared the regret caused by the premature decay of that costly edifice. And good building stone is abundant all through the west of Scotland. To the north of the Ochil range the rock for a long distance belongs to the old red sandstone. The Scottish Central Railway passes over that formation during its entire route from Stirling to Perth. The stone all through the district referred to is suitable for building purposes. It is durable if used with the strata lying horizontally, but if laid with the strata in a perpendicular position it wears away rapidly. Cases of decay arising from ignorance or neglect of this peculiarity may be seen in the houses in Perth. About 150 men are employed in the freestone quarries of the county. They receive from 20s. to 25 s. a week, which is an increase of 25 per cent. on the wages paid thirty years ago. Steam-power is used in the quarries to work cranes, pumps, and inclined planes. Horses are also employed.

Lennoxtown (Campsie) is the favourite district for limestone. There are here three firms presently engaged in the lime trade. Mr. Matthew H. Muirhead of the Balglass works, Mr. Daniel Wilson of the Glorat works, and Mr. John Kirk of the Balgrochan works, who employ in all about 160 hands. This limestone is of the very finest quality, being almost a pure carbonate of lime, as will be seen by the following analysis of a portion of the stone: -

Carbonate of lime 93.00

Protoxide of iron

2.99

Magnesia

1.30
Insoluble earthy matter 2.21
Iron pyrites 0.50
  100.00

The limestone lies about 2 feet above the coal, and is about 3 feet 10 inches in thickness. Another stratum is found at 9 inches under the coal. It is provincially called the white limestone, and is of very excellent quality. From the quantity of siliceous matter it contains, it possesses peculiar properties of binding where exposed to the weather, as also of setting, in buildings under water. Indeed, it is a stipulation in the schedules of all important contracts that the lime must be that of Lennoxtown. The following are its constituents in 100 parts: -

Carbonate of lime 83.20

Protoxide of iron

2.17
Insoluble earthy matter 11.87
Iron pyrites 0.13
Carbonate of magnesia, moisture, &c. 2.63
  100.00

Stirling is the seat of coach-building. Mr. George Thomson, whose establishment has for many years been foremost in the trade, is known far beyond the bounds of the county, even in the metropolis south of the Tweed, and his handwork is admired wherever it is seen. For waggonettes, landaus, broughams, &c., he carried off the prize medal at Perth in 1850 and 1871; at London, in 1851; at Dublin, in 1854 and 1865; at Edinburgh, in 1869; at Glasgow, in 1870 and 1872; at Dumfries, in 1870; at Kelso, in 1872; and at Stirling in 1873. Strength, lightness, and elegance, combined with suitable accommodation and easy springs, are the object to which the coachmaker has to pay chief attention, so that the material used must be carefully selected and judiciously combined. In the construction of a carriage six distinct trades are directly concerned, and contributions from as many more are required. Take a brougham, for instance, and trace it through the various stages of construction. As in building a house or a ship, the first thing to be done is to prepare a design – a full-sized chalk drawing of the proposed vehicle on a black-board. The different kinds of carriage derive their names from some peculiar arrangement of the more important parts, but carriages of the same designation may differ widely in details. Persons ordering carriages are allowed an opportunity of inspecting the design, and suggesting alterations thereon, and the result is that it is rare to find two carriages exactly alike. After the chalk drawing has been approved of, operations are commenced. The body-makers take measurements of the upper or principal parts of the drawing, and forthwith begin to make that part, to which their attention is exclusively confined.

Equally distinct are the occupations of the carriage-makers, the wheel-wrights, and the smiths. The carriage-makers construct the framework on which the body of the carriage rests, and the pole or shafts. The wheel-wrights are solely occupied in making the wheels. The amount of smith work required for a carriage is considerable, and some of the pieces are exceedingly complicated in shape. The woods chiefly employed in coach-making are ash, mahogany, and oak, and these must be thoroughly "seasoned." Ash strengthened with iron is used in the framework of the "body." The nave, or centre, of the wheel is made of elm, the spokes of oak, and the felloes or rim of ash. Last of all, the painters and trimmers execute their part of the work. In the best class of broughams, however, a piece of currying work has to be done before painting can be proceeded with. The roof and upper part of the back and sides are covered with a hide of leather, which is so manipulated, that, without a seam, it covers the parts mentioned, imparting strength and rendering the carriage waterproof. In all, twenty-five coats of paint and varnish are required. Most carriages are decorated on the wheels, shafts, and other parts, by fine lines of a light colour. These are executed before the varnishing is done, and so are the armorial bearings or monograms, which few carriages are without now-a-days. The heraldic painting is done by a superior tradesman, and some specimens of this kind of work are remarkable for clearness of outline and vividness of colour. When the painting is completed, the carriage is put together and passed to the trimmers, of whom there are two classes – one doing the upholstery work for the interior, and the other the "black-work," or leather fittings. The metallic beading, door-handles, and other decorations of the kind, are obtained from manufacturers who devote special attention to their production. Mr. Thomson, in addition to an extensive home trade, exports a large number of carriages annually. Mr. William Kinross, of Stirling coach works, also does a considerable business throughout the county; while Messrs. J. & A. Fea, Messrs. James Robertson & Son, and Mr. Thomas Hastie, carry on the same industry, on a small scale, at Falkirk. The following are current rate of wages, earned by piecework and otherwise, in the shops of the two leading firms: - Bodymakers, 20s to 35s. a-week; carriage-makers, 20s to 25s.; smiths, 17s to 30s.; wheelwrights, 21s. to 25s.; painters, 19s. to 26s.; and trimmers, 20s. to 24s.

A distillery was erected in the village of Fintry, by Messrs. Cowan & Co., in 1816, who sent out 70,000 gallons of spirits annually, produced from malt. The kinds of grain used are maize, rye, buckwheat, oats, and barley. For "grain whisky" the latter is converted into malt, which is used in certain proportions, with the other grains in a raw state. There are distilleries also in the Blane Valley (Glenguin), at Gargunnock (Glenfoyle), at Cambus, Bankier, Bonnymuir, Rosebank, and Camelon – the latter of which was established some thirty-eight years ago, by the father of the present proprietor, Mr. R.W. Rankine. In the year 1799 there were 87 licensed distillers in Scotland, who paid duty on spirits retained for home consumption to the amount of 1,620,388 pounds. That was the first year of the change in the mode of levying duty. Previously so much was paid according to the capacity of the still, but now a 4s. 10 1/4d. duty was laid on every gallon of spirits made for home consumption. The change was not approved of by the distillers, about a third of whom gave up business in the following year, and the duty decreased to 775,700 pounds. The lowering of the duty to 3s. 10 1/2d. in 1802 revived the trade, and the returns for 1803 showed 88 distillers paying 2,022,409 pounds. In 1804 progress was checked by another advance in the duty, and the number of distillers dwindled down, until, in 1813, there were only 24. The duty reached 9s 4 1/2d. a gallon in 1815, but the produce was considerably under a million pounds. It is probable, however, that the quantity of whisky actually made in the county was greater than at any previous time, the high duty tending to foster illicit distillation and smuggling. The lowering of the duty to 2s. 4 3/4d. in 1823 had the effect of giving an impetus to the trade. The number of licensed distillers greatly increased, and the revenue rose steadily. There were 243 distilleries in 1833, who paid duty to the amount of 5,988,556 pounds, the rate then being 3s. 4d. a gallon. Passing over many changes that have taken place in the interval, it may be sufficient to state here that the license duty at present payable by distillers is 10 pounds, 10s., with 10s of spirit-duty for every gallon of whisky sent out for home consumption.

The brewery of the county is situated in Falkirk, and belongs to Messrs. James Aitken & Co. The business, which has been conducted for four generations by the same family, has, from first to last, been very successful on account of the superior quality of the "brew;" and year by year "Aitken’s Ale" continues to gain wider ground as a favourite beverage. The process of malting embraces four operations – namely, steeping, couching, flooring, and kiln-drying – the object of all being to force the barley to germinate, and then to check the germination at a certain point. Across the end of each of the malting floors is a steep for containing the barley. The grain is run into the steep from the store-loft, and when the steep is partly filled, water is allowed to flow in. After the grain has been steeped for about sixty hours, the superfluous water is run off, and the barley is thrown out of the steep. At this stage it is measured by the excise officers, and charged with malt duty. It is then "couched," that is, allowed to lie in a heap on the floor for twenty-six hours or so, during which time its temperature rises about ten degrees, and it gives off some of the superfluous water. This "sweating," as it is termed, is the result of the partial germination of the barley. On examining the grain at this stage, it is seen that rootlets have begun to appear, and traces of a stem may be detected beneath the husk. Now is the time for "flooring." The barley is spread in an even layer on the floor, to a depth of 6 or 8 inches, and as it dries it is frequently turned. The operation extends over several days, at the end of which the barley is placed in a kiln and dried thoroughly. The action of the kiln in drying is not confined to expelling the moisture from the germinated grain, but serves to convert into sugar a portion of the starch which remained unchanged. Malt is generally distinguished by its colour – as pale, amber, brown, or black malt – arising from the different degrees of heat and the management in drying. The pale and amber coloured varieties are used for brewing the lighter kinds of beer; a darker variety is used for sweet ale; and the darkest for porter. A remarkable change takes place in the grain during its conversion into malt, as will appear from the following analysis: -

 

Barley

Malt

Hordein (a form of starch) 55 12
Starch 32 56
Sugar 5 15
Gluten 3 1
Gum 4 15
Resin 1 1
  100 100

These figures show that the amount of the convertible starch and sugar has been nearly doubled at the expense of the hordein, a portion of which has also passed into the condition of mucilage, or a soluble gum, while the gluten is reduced to one-third of its original quantity. In converting barley into malt a loss of material occurs. Thus, 100 lbs. of barley yield only 80 lbs. of malt; but, on the other hand, there is an increase in bulk, 100 measures of barley yielding 101 to 109 measures of malt. This change in weight and bulk may be tested by casting some grains of barley and malt into water, when it will be seen that, while the barley sinks at once, the malt keeps afloat. The extract of malt is called "wort," and when the tuns are filled, yeast is added to it, in order to start fermentation. In a short time carbonic gas is evolved, and the liquid becomes covered with froth. The gas is so abundant that it becomes dangerous to breathe over the tuns. Even after the vats have been emptied, the gas hangs about, and workmen entering them without ascertaining whether the fatal gas has disappeared, have fallen victims to their negligence. Great skill is required in determining the temperature to which the wort should be reduced before adding the yeast. In summer it is usual to cool it some 20 degrees below the temperature of the tun-room, while in winter it is worked at several degrees above the temperature of the room. The pale amber colour and mild balsamic flavour which characterise Scotch beer are owing in some degree to the low temperature at which it is fermented. The process of fermentation is completed in from three to eight days, and then the yeast is skimmed off and the beer "cleared" by being subjected to a filtering and settling process, which removes all traces of fermentation. That completes the manufacturing operations, and all varieties of beer, ale, and porter are made by processes similar to those above described. The liquor may differ in strength according to the quantity of water used, or in colour from the malt being more or less charred in drying. That beer making has passed through many stages is a matter of history. Our Anglo-Saxon ancestors drank a sweet beer or mead made either from malted grain or from honey, partially alcoholised or fermented; and it was not until the introduction of hops at the beginning of the sixteenth century that any change in national preference for bitter over sweet beer occurred. For some time, indeed, the taste for mead remained, and the old conservatives of the days of Henry VIII. were those who resented the introduction of the newfangled notion from Germany that hops and malt made the best brew. Such as had overcome the repugnance to the bitter flavour, which was first given by means of cloves, wormwood, camomile flowers, &c., to preserve the beverage for prolonged periods, were obstinate in their opposition to the foreign invader, and it required one of Henry’s sharp laws to make the employment of hops compulsory and universal.

Shipbuilding is confined, for the most part, to Grangemouth. There Messrs. Dobson & Charles build vessels both of iron and wood, varying from 300 to 1000 tons. The first steamboat built in the port was launched in 1839, being a towing vessel for Memel. To flavour this branch of industry, an excellent graving dock was constructed by the late Lord Dundas in 1811, which was capable of taking in two vessels of 300 tons each, and had a depth of water at spring tides of 14 feet. Boat-building, chiefly for the canal trade, is also carried on prosperously at Port-Downie, by Mr. Gilbert Wilkie, whose business was established about twenty years ago, under the firm of Messrs. Mackay & Wilkie. Sails and ropes are manufactured both at Grangemouth and Bainsford. Timber yards and saw mills are very numerous in this district, the most extensive being situated in the "Port," Grahamston, Bonnybridge, and Larbert.

In St. Ninians there are two leather manufactories, and in Falkirk four, in the majority of which currying as well as tanning is performed. The latter is the more important process. The object of the tanner is to destroy in the hides and skins the liability to putrefaction common to animal matter, and to render them impervious to the action of agents which would decompose them under ordinary circumstances. This is done by steeping the skins in an astringent liquid prepared from bark. The active principle eliminated from the bark is called tannin or tannic acid, which forms a chemical combination with the skins. The bark of the oak is the most valuable to the tanner, and is most extensively used; and for a long time no other substance was employed in tanning. The demand for oak bark having come to exceed the supply, various substitutes were tried, among these being heath, myrtle leaves, wild laurel leaves, birch bark, and oak sawdust. Varied results attended the experiments, but oak bark has never lost its supremacy. The hides arrive at the tannery in one of three states – they are either fresh from the slaughterhouse, salted, or dried. The fresh hides give least trouble, but the salted and dried ones require special manipulation to make them soft. The hair in all cases is removed by steeping the hides in a solution of lime and water. As the hides, after steeping a certain time, are withdrawn from the pits, they are laid on a sloping bench, with a convex top, and subjected to scraping with a large two-handled knife. That operation completed, they are conveyed to the tan-yards, in which are a series of square tanks of various sizes, divided by walls; while each is also furnished with a waste-pipe, by which it may be emptied. The hides prepared for sole leather are washed and dried after being taken from the tan-pits, and are then ready for use. Those that have to be dressed are removed from the tan-yards to the currying shops, where the leather is scoured, and, by series of operations, brought into a condition for use. The currier’s occupation, though not one of the most pleasant-looking, is one of the most healthy of trades. The work, however, is very laborious. The average wages may be stated at 26s. a week; tanners earn 20s., and tannery labourers 16s.

Dynamite is manufactured at Redding, near Falkirk, by the British Dynamite Company (Limited), who have a still larger establishment at Stevenston, near Saltcoats. At these works sulphuric acid is made in the usual way from sulphur or pyrites. By the action of the acid on nitrate of soda, nitric acid is got and bisulphate of soda, which is a bye-product. These are the only chemical re-agents required. A mixture of two parts of sulphuric acid and one of strong nitric acid is made, and to this glycerine is added with careful regulation of temperature. After standing, the mixture is poured into cold water, when the nitro-glycerine sinks to the bottom as a heavy oily fluid. It is washed to get rid of the sulphuric acid, which is afterwards recovered, and then it is converted into dynamite by mixture with some inert substance. That which was originally employed by Nobel was Kieselguhr, a very friable siliceous matter from Oberlohe, in Hanover; an intimate mixture of about 25 parts of this was made with about 75 of nitro-glycerine in a porcelain vessel. This is the material used both at the Stevenston and Redding works. Instead of it charcoal powder, fine sand, sawdust, finely ground burned clay, &c., have also been employed. The last stages of the manufacture consist in making the dynamite into cartridges, in which form it is packed and ready for sale. This substance is a most valuable agent in mining quarrying. It is not affected by damp, and it requires far less labour in boring blast holes than gunpowder, besides being about eight times more powerful.

Candlemaking, before the invention and introduction of gas, was no mean industry. Excepting the finer sorts, such as wax and spermacetic candles, no great business, however, is now done in this branch of trade. Mr. John Rintoul, of Falkirk, is the oldest representative of candle manufacture in the shire, and his chief work in these more illuminated times is tallow for the mines. But common candles are still made, which are either dipped or moulded. As the quality of the article depends on the material employed in the manufacture, the first part of the tallow-chandler’s process is the sorting of the tallow. Mutton suet, with a proportion of ox tallow, is selected for mould candles, because it gives them gloss and consistence. Coarse tallow is reserved for the dipped candles. After being sorted it is cut into small pieces preparatory to being melted; and to prevent putrefaction this is done immediately after the fat is taken from the carcase. When fused a considerable time, the membranous matters collect at the surface, constituting the cracklings used sometimes for feeding dogs, after the fat has been squeezed out of it by a press. The liquid tallow is strained through a sieve into another copper, where it is treated with water at a boiling temperature in order to wash it. After a while, when the foul water has settled to the bottom, the purified tallow is lifted out by means of tinned iron buckets, into tubes of moderate size, where it concretes, and is ready for use. It is a remarkable circumstance that the wicks for the best dipped candles are still cotton rovings imported from Turkey, notwithstanding the vast extension and perfection of cotton-spinning in this country. Four or more of these Turkey skeins, according to the intended thickness of the wick, are wound off at once into bottoms or clues, and afterwards cut by a simple machine into lengths corresponding to those of the candles to be made. With modern machinery about 8,000 dipped candles can be manufactured per day by a single workman. But the more outlandish districts of the country can only produce a demand for the means of supply. And that demand is comparatively a bagatelle. Lime-light, however, may, by-and-by, do the same for gas as gas has done for candle. City streets and railway stations have begun it.


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