New Lanark World Heritage Site Blog

New Lanark Search Room

25/07/16 New Lanark Search Room # , , , ,

Search Room Spotlight: Glass bottle of IRN BRU

Search Room Spotlight: Glass bottle of IRN BRU

This item was found on site during the restoration of New Lanark that began in the late 1970s. In comparing the design of bottles over the years it appears as though the date of the bottle is sometime during the late 1940s. The shape of the bottle was designed in the form of “BA BRU” who was featured in the long running cartoon strip that advertised the product, which began in 1930 until the early 1970s. Ba-Bru was inspired by the character of “Sabu” in Rudyard Kipling’s book “Sab: The Elephant Boy”.

Ba-bru-design 1948ba-bru

During the 1830s, Robert Barr started a family business of cork cutting in Falkirk. In 1857, Robert’s son, Robert decided to start selling aerated waters (soft drinks) out of Glasgow. During the nineteenth century, Scotland had problems with poor sanitation due to the industrial revolution. As a result, soft drinks became popular as they were guaranteed to be a safe, quality drink for people.

Iron Brew was officially launched in 1901 and featured Adam Brown on the design label, who was a famous highland athlete from Shotts. The production of Iron Brew stopped during the second war as it was not a designated “standard drink” and as a result of shortages of raw materials, production temporarily shut down. With their re-launch in 1947, the brand also changed their name due to emerging food labeling regulations enforced by the Government and since the beverage was neither brewed nor made of Iron, they changed their name to IRN BRU.

DSC_0150

Today, Scotland remains one of the only countries where IRN BRU is more popular than Coca Cola.

RESOURCES

http://www.agbarr.co.uk/about-us/our-history/bottle-gallery/

http://www.agbarr.co.uk/about-us/our-history/

 

Holly – New Lanark Archive Intern

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18/07/16 New Lanark Search Room # , , , , ,

Search Room Spotlight: New Lanark Shipping Label

Search Room Spotlight: New Lanark Shipping Label

shippinglabel (2)

This is a photographic reproduction of an original drawing of New Lanark by resident artist, John Winning. By 1813, the value of the mills had risen to £114, 000 (from £60,000 in 1799) and enough cotton was produced in a week to go around the world 2.5 times. As a result, Owen had commissioned Winning in 1818 to produce a series of illustrations of New Lanark to be used as export labels as a way to promote their product. Each 10lb. bundle of yarn from New Lanark had a label with a print of the mills and became recognized by foreign buyers as “Picture Yarn”.

The bulk of New Lanark’s home sales were done through the Glasgow yarn market while still maintaining sales throughout Britain to places as far apart as Dublin and Norwich. New Lanark cotton was also sent all over the world to places such as Holland, the Baltic, and Russia though the majority of sales were made in Amsterdam, Elberfeld, and St. Petersburg.

We currently have an export label in our collection that is on display in the Robert Owen House. This label was translated and attached to packages of yarn that were sent to Russia.

russianlabel

Today, the Mills still continue to produce yarn using traditional 19th century spinning mules powered by our own hydro-electricity production. Now we produce woolen yarn instead of cotton in Double Knitting, Chunky, Aran and Organic varieties. All proceeds from our wool production are returned to New Lanark Trust to be reinvested in the care of our historic village. You can purchase New Lanark Wool & Textiles online at www.newlanarkshop.co.uk or at New Lanark in our Mill Shop.

RESOURCES:

Historic New Lanark
The Story of New Lanark
Robert Owen: Owen of New Lanark & New Harmony – Ian Donnachie

Holly – New Lanark Archive Intern

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06/07/16 Behind the scenes at New Lanark , New Lanark Search Room , New Lanark World Heritage Site # , , , , , ,

Search Room Spotlight: Keys from New Lanark

Search Room Spotlight: Keys from New Lanark

There are numerous keys in our collection that were found during the restoration of New Lanark that began in the late 1970s. The photo above depicts a selection of keys that originally belonged to former residents of the village.

At its peak in 1818, there were 2,500 employees at New Lanark. The majority of people who worked in the Mills, lived in the early tenement blocks built by New Lanark’s founder, David Dale, to accommodate his workers. These buildings, including Braxfield Row, Long Row, Double Row, Wee Row, Nursery Row, Caithness Row, Mantila Row & New Buildings provided housing for around 200 families. Each family had one room with a window – excellent conditions for the period!. A typical tenement room had two “set in” beds on the wall opposite the fireplace. These consisted of a sturdy wooden framework built into the wall and a mattress which was a bag made of ticking and stuffed with chaff or straw. To accommodate larger families, a “hurlie bed” was used which was a simple cot-like bed on wheels that was stored under the “set in” bed. Each of the beds were shared by three or more family members as most tenements housed entire families that ranged from 8 to 10 members.

Traditional Housing at New Lanark

Traditional Housing at New Lanark

As the population of New Lanark declined over time, so the layout of the houses changed. Families would take over two rooms, sometimes even three, doors would be blocked up, new ones opened and most importantly, the house numbers would change with these alterations. Hence trying to match a key to a house is not as easy a task as it may seem!

Following a 40+ year restoration programme, all but one of the tenement blocks have now been restored (an the restoration of the last is underway).Today, there are 45 tenancies and 20 owner-occupied houses at New Lanark with a population of roughly 150-200 people who live here permanently. Mantila Row was unfortunately demolished during the restoration period as the building was unsafe but the exteriors of the other buildings remain pretty much unchanged. The keys however have got much smaller!

 

RESEARCH RESOURCES:

The Story of New Lanark, World Heritage Site

Living in New Lanark, New Lanark Conversation Trust

Historic New Lanark, Ian Donnachie & George Hewitt

 

Holly – New Lanark Archive Intern

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29/06/16 New Lanark Search Room # , , , ,

Search Room Spotlight: Sock Making Machine

Search Room Spotlight: Sock Making Machine

Since the New Lanark Conservation Trust was formed in 1974 we have acquired a number of objects either found during the restoration process or graciously donated by the public. Initially, we had no intention of creating a collection but have now managed to acquire a large collection of artefacts, books, archival documents, photographs, architectural drawings, and much more which are now all housed in the New Lanark Search Room. Each week, we will give you an up close and personal look at a featured item from our collection.

This week’s Search Room Spotlight: Sock Making Machine

knittingmachine

This object is known as a sock knitting machine or circular knitting machine. It was donated by a woman whose husband purchased it in the 1980’s whilst he was working for a knitwear company, Lorne Knitwear in Kilmarkock. The machine is made to be clamped to a table, much like a vice. The main body of the machine is comprised of cast iron with metal needles used to thread the yarn from the top of the device into the bottom, forming a tube. The threading process is made possible by a separate piece attached to the top of the machine that threads the yarn into the device using a variety of gears that move using a hand crank that runs around the exterior of the device (please click the link for a full demonstration).

The exact make of the machine is unknown as there is no patent or any other indication of a company name. The previous owner had mentioned the name “Groz-Beckert” which is a German company that opened in the 1850’s specializing in the manufacturing of various parts for knitting/weaving machines such as needles. Although this may be a possibility, we have yet to uncover evidence to support this theory.

Circular knitting machines have been around since the early 1800’s when a French inventor Marc Brunel challenged the traditional flatbed knitting machines by arranging needles into a circular form. Since this development, there have been many alterations and improvements; more notably, Henry Griswold who was an American inventor that patented his own knitting machine in 1873 while visiting France and Britain. Since its invention, there have been many improvements such as a second set of needles to enable rib knitting and the cuff or welt for socks.

Knitting machines were used for mass production in English workhouses. It was also not uncommon to find children often using these machines as they were very efficient and quite compact. During the First World War the Red Cross urged the Home Front to knit socks for soldiers in order to prevent Trench Foot and machines such as these became an important part in the war effort. According to the previous owner, she believed it was used to make Argyll socks as well as socks for bandsmen. As New Lanark was known for its high quality cotton, knitting machines such as this would have used similar material to produce socks during the mid to late 1880s up until the second World War and are still used today by knitting enthusiasts.

VIDEO OF SOCK MAKING: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVbPi0EAVoA 

RESEARCH:

https://sockmachine.wordpress.com/sock-machine-history/

http://www.sockknittingmachines.co.uk/about_machines.php

http://www.guild-mach-knit.org.uk/forms/history_part1.pdf

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/11/the-technology-of-socks-in-a-time-of-war/248006/

 

You can find out more about the New Lanark Search Room, and becoming an Archive Volunteer on the New Lanark website.

Holly – New Lanark Archive Intern 

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24/06/16 Behind the scenes at New Lanark , New Lanark Search Room # , , , , ,

Search Room Spotlight – Clogs

Search Room Spotlight – Clogs

Since the New Lanark Conservation Trust was formed in 1974 we have acquired a number of objects either found during the restoration process or graciously donated by the public. Initially, we had no intention of creating a collection but have now managed to acquire a large collection of artefacts, books, archival documents, photographs, architectural drawings, and much more which are now all housed in the New Lanark Search Room. Each week, we will give you an up close and personal look at a featured item from our collection.

This week’s Search Room Spotlight: Pair of Lanchasire-style clogs

Pair of Lanchasire-style clogs

Pair of Lanchasire-style clogs

The item pictured is one of three pairs of wooden clogs that were donated to New Lanark. The boots are incredibly heavy and durable, made of leather with wooden soles and metal plates on the bottom as well as in the toe. These wooden clogs are similar to the 19th century Lanchasire style clogs that originated in Lanchasire, England. The Industrial Revolution gave rise to the popularity of clogs being used by workers in the mills, mines, and factories as they required strong, cheap footwear that was easy to repair. Further research indicates that many weavers adopted the wooden clogs while working in the mills which leads us to believe that these wooden clogs could have very well been used by the weavers at New Lanark during the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Look out for next week’s Search Room Spotlight! You can find out more about the New Lanark Search Room on the New Lanark website.

Research links:

https://theeverydayclothingproject.wordpress.com/2014/06/17/clogs/

http://www.antiques-atlas.com/antique/pair_of_19thc_wood__leather_pitt_lancashire_clogs/as155a878

http://bytesdaily.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/clogs.html

Holly – New Lanark Archive Intern 

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19/08/15 Events at New Lanark , New Lanark Search Room , New Lanark World Heritage Site # , , , , , , ,

New Lanark welcomes visitors for ‘Doors Open’ Weekend 2015

New Lanark welcomes visitors for ‘Doors Open’ Weekend 2015

On Saturday 12th & Sunday 13th September New Lanark will take part in the nationwide Doors Open Days initiative, giving visitors a fantastic opportunity to explore its buildings not usually open to the public.

Between 12pm and 4pm the Counting House, Robert Owen’s School for Children, The Search Room and War Memorial Garden will be open to the public for free. Also open will be the ‘Museum Stair’ tenement. This derelict building is one of 8 in Double Row, a block of tenements which will be restored as part of a £4million project funded by Historic Scotland and the Heritage Lottery Fund. Due to the building’s historic & fragile interior it is currently only open for special events. As part of the project an exciting new 3D virtual tour of the ‘Museum Stair’ interior will be opening within the New Lanark Visitor Centre in future years.

The Counting House

The Counting House

Double Row - Museum Stair

Double Row – Museum Stair

During the Doors Open Weekend there will also be lots of free activities for families to enjoy as part of the Scottish Archaeology and Heritage Festival. Craft workshops will be held allowing visitors to try their hand at printing historic wallpaper, and families will be able to discover historic artefacts around New Lanark & claim a prize with the fun Discovery Trail.

There’s so much going on for Doors Open Weekend that New Lanark’s founders, Richard Arkwright and David Dale, will be travelling forward in time to see how New Lanark has changed since they founded it in 1785. They will also be giving free tours of the site to visitors and there are sure to be hilarious results!

School for Children

Robert Owen’s School for Children

The Search Room

The Search Room

War Memorial garden

War Memorial Garden

Visitors on Doors Open Weekend can also take advantage of a special offer of 25% off visitor centre tickets, allowing them to explore other parts of the site including the Annie McLeod Experience Ride, Millworkers’ Housing, Village Store Exhibition and Robert Owen’s House.

Further information on Doors Open Days at New Lanark, and New Lanark’s upcoming events including the 2015 Book Festival in October can be found at www.newlanark.org

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15/06/15 New Lanark Search Room # , , , , ,

How to create your first family tree…

How to create your first family tree…

The New Lanark Search Room contains a diverse collection of archive material including:

  • Historic & modern photographs
  • Archival documents
  • Architectural drawings
  • Maps
  • Paintings
  • Artefacts
  • Family history records
  • Oral histories

The collection helps to tell the fascinating story of New Lanark, from its days as a working mill, to its decline, restoration and inscription as a World Heritage site.  From Pauper Apprentices to Robert Owen, millworkers to mill managers and residents to famous visitors, the collection also gives us an insight into the lives of the thousands of people who lived in, worked at and visited the village.

As such, we were delighted to welcome Suzie Kolber from obituarieshelp.org to write a guest blog for us on how to kick-start your family history research by creating your first family tree. 

 

How to Create a Small Family Tree Template
Studying your family history can be a complicated process, especially if you want to go back as far as possible or trace different branches of the family tree. Creating a template for your family tree is one way to organize information and break it down into sections that are easy to manage. Begin with a small template that is limited to three or four generations.

 

The Benefits of a Small Family Tree
When organizing your information, it can be easier to find people you are searching for or recognize their relationships with each other if you use small templates. Choose a person and trace his or her parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. Fill in the information as you discover it and it won’t seem as overwhelming as with a large template of numerous generations when most of them would be blank.

 

Choosing the Right Template
You can search online and find all kinds of templates. Some will work better for your purpose than others. If you are tracing your family’s genealogy, you won’t need to include photos, but you will want space to write information about each person. Create a template with the person’s name and lines for the birthdate, date of death and marriage date.

It may be helpful to list locations for each of those events or other relevant information that you may need in your research. One of the reasons that a small three- or four-generation template is ideal is that it leaves you extra space to write more.

 

Entering Information
While you want to have easy access to the most important information about your ancestors, especially if you are traveling, do not try to include every tidbit about your family members. It will clutter up the template and make it difficult to read. Instead, keep it short and simple. Abbreviate as much as possible. For instance, date of birth would be DOB, date of death would be DOD and so on.

Consider using an online template where you can type the information instead of hand-writing it. This allows you to make changes or even erase information or people as you need to without having to start all over with a blank template.

Store your family tree online as well so that you can easily access it if you are traveling and need to look up information as you research. This also makes it easy to print or email a copy of the tree to others who may be helping you in your research.

The most important thing in choosing a template for your small family tree is to find one that works for you. It should fit your needs, be easy to use and look appealing to you.

If you are beginning your research into your family history, start with finding the right family tree template. It makes it much easier to record and keep track of data. Plus, it is fun to share with others who share your interest in genealogy.

Suzie Kolber created http://obituarieshelp.org/free_printable_blank_family_tree.html to be the complete online resource for “do it yourself” genealogy projects.  The site offers the largest offering of free family tree templates online. The site is a not for profit website dedicated to offering free resources for those that are trying to trace their family history.

Suzie – New Lanark Guest Blogger

Find out more about visiting the New Lanark Search Room. 

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New Lanark World Heritage Site Aerial View

New Lanark is a beautifully restored 18th century cotton mill village in Scotland, and is one of Scotland's six UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

On our blog you'll find a behind-the-scenes look at all the latest news, events, stories and general 'goings-on' from New Lanark World Heritage Site.

We are always looking for guest bloggers to become involved with the blog. If you are interested in writing for us, please get in touch.

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