New Lanark World Heritage Site Blog

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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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25/04/12 Behind the scenes at New Lanark , New Lanark World Heritage Site # ,

Search Room – a volunteer’s tale

New Lanark Trust has started work on an exciting project to digitise its archives and I am one of 6 volunters recruited to help with the development of the project. I thought it would be a good idea to record our experiences right from the beginning, so this is the first of what I hope will be many posts from us volunteers. We have a lot to learn! We have all completed the formal induction process and have three days of training in collections management, digitisation and on-line archiving – all the material will be made available on line in the fullness of time. I think I speak for all the volunteers when I say that we are really looking forward to getting started. So… watch this space!

18 May

spent two days this week at New Lanark learning about collections managment – still very much a paper based system with forms in triplicate for taking in items, recording movement, disposal etc.  On the second day we got to play – practicing marking items in a variety of ways – marking with permanent markers, sewing on labels and sticking on labels with wheat starch paste.  We also handled artifacts wearing white cotton gloves!

next Wednesday we are learing how to use the eHive on-line archiving system before we start work for real the following week.  Knowing  the amount of photos New Lanark has in the filing cabinets I imagine we will have our work cut out!

special welcome to Catherine, our intern from the University of Southern Indiana, who is sharing this journey with us for 6 weeks.

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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.

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