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.

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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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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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