Barker & Rennie

Barker & Rennie, 12, Stockwell Street.—

    An old-established and well-known Glasgow firm is that of Messrs. Barker & Rennie, general brush manufacturers, of 12, Stockwell Street. This business was originally established nearly a century ago — in 1790 — by Robert Pollock, brother-in-law of the late deceased Robert Rennie, in Turner’s Court, and was successfully carried on there for the long period of eighty years, until 1871, when the all-devouring requirements of nineteenth-century railway enterprise compelled a removal to premises in Stockwell Street, adjoining, and the present commodious building has been occupied since 1886. Messrs. Barker & Rennie succeeded to Mr. Pollock’s old business over thirty years ago, entering on the old lines, and applying all their energy, ability, and tact, followed with a persistent perseverance in the work. Success crowned their efforts, until Messrs. Barker & Rennie stood, as now, the leading firm of brush-makers in the city of Glasgow. Mr. Barker died some years ago, and during the past few months death has laid low the last member of this highly respected firm. The late partners were held in general esteem by all with whom they came in contact, and by none more so than those they met in their business capacity. The business, however, is conducted on the same lines as before by duly appointed trustees, and under the late partner’s confidential managers, on behalf of Mrs. Rennie and her family, with satisfaction, and even a greater degree of success than heretofore.

    The large and carefully arranged building is of extensive and spacious proportions, and is entirely devoted to the purposes of the business in all its departments and sections. The first floor, with a thirty feet frontage and extending forty-five feet back, is entirely used as a general saleroom and the offices of the firm, which latter are very roomy, well arranged, and extremely convenient and suitable for the purpose. A large quantity of superior goods, embracing practically all kinds of brushes, all manufactured on the premises, are disposed in the most attractive manner in the spacious show and salerooms, where the principal commercial business of the firm is transacted. Upstairs is a magnificent warehouse, crammed almost from floor to ceiling, and extending over the whole of the first floor, with the general manufactured goods of the firm. The next two floors, each of the same dimensions as those already described, are the workshops of the establishment, fitted up with every appliance and arrangement that has been designed in the trade during modem times, to save time and increase the output. Most ingenious machines are here in regular use, which, in the deft hands of the experienced employees, produce the most remarkable results. The lower of the two floors is principally the women’s department, of whom a considerable number are employed.

    In this busy hive everything, almost, in the brush industry is turned out in very large quantities, and of the very best quality. Messrs. Barker & Rennie have long made a speciality of their machinery brushes, of which every description is made to order in the most careful and efficient manner, and a large business is done by the firm in this special line, especially in the Glasgow industrial district, where enormous quantities of machinery brushes are required. In the ordinary trade the legion of names applied to the varieties of the genus brush is almost bewildering to the ordinary visitor, the number far exceeding any idea he might have previously of the different sorts of that very useful article. Duly tabulated, carefully made up, numbered, and priced, are amongst others, say :— long brooms, broom heads, “bass” heads, hearth brushes, whisk hearths, cocoa hearths, japanned hearths, gilt hearths, hair carpet brooms, bannisters, carpet bannisters, double bannister, whisk bannisters, French whisk bannisters, cocoa bannisters, japanned bannisters, japanned toy bannisters, carpet brooms, American brooms, leather-bound carpet, whisk carpet brooms, cocoa carpet brooms, hair carpet hearths, weavers’ carpet brushes, flat shoe brushes, best flat shoe, polished round-back shoe, solid back shoe, fine roach shoe, extra fine shoe, winged grate brushes, square grate, best winged grate, roached face grate, roached wing grate, porcupine grate, bevel or half-round grate, fine oval grate, round head, round dusters, curtain brushes, pop head dusters, furniture brushes, common cloth brushes, &e., &c. ; bagatelle cloth, crumb brushes, window washers, ringed butter or water brushes, bakers’ sweepers, laundry or duck scrubbers, cowmouth scrubbers, cocoa scrubbers, &c., &c.; hair and cocoa deck scrubbers, hair paint scrubbers, bass scrubbers, short and long tar brushes, varnish brushes, whitewashers (all sorts), paperhangers, glue brushes, bottle brushes, decanter brushes, lamp brushes, pastrycook brushes, jewellers’ brushes, all kinds of hair brushes, bath and hat brushes, horse brushes, water brushes, whisk dandys, compo brushes, harness brushes, oil brushes, wool mop heads, chamois skins, plate brushes, &c., &c., in still continuing variety.

    The firm also produces a number of miscellaneous goods, such as mane combs, clipping combs, house pails, stable pails, door-mats (brush or chain), bordered mats, shoemakers’ bristles, bellows, hair sieves (black and white), curriers’ brushes, dyers’ brushes, ivory combs, nail, tooth, and shaving brushes, &c., &c., and quilled jot fine tools, and fancy ivory and tortoise-shell hair brushes and dressing combs. In close connection also, leather goods, including ladies’ hand bags, travelling bags, school satchels, purses, rug straps, &c., &c. The trade connection of the firm is now of widespread extent. Several travellers are “on the road”, and goods are sent all over Great Britain and Ireland ; and chiefly through London and Glasgow merchants, shipping consignments are sent to America, India, and the colonies. The firm is well known throughout the trading circles of the Glasgow district, and the greatest confidence is entertained in its respectability, enterprise, and commercial standing.

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