John Blair & Co.
John Blair & Co., Hat and Cap Manufacturers and Warehousemen, St. Enoch Square.
The old and representative house named above was founded upwards of half a
century ago in Trongate by Mr. John Blair, whose two sons, Messrs. John and
Robert Blair, are now the sole principals of the firm. The foundations of the
business were well and truly laid in Trongate, but for over thirty years
Messrs. John Blair & Co. have occupied their present very extensive and
centrally situated premises in St. Enoch Square, than which there are none of
larger proportions or more commodious character in the country, devoted to the
wholesale trade in hats and caps.
This block of buildings is one of noble dimensions and particularly fine appearance, and comprises at the front a large range of warehouse accommodation, four storeys in height, with a facade of nearly one hundred feet in length in St. Enoch Square. The major portion of the roomy ground floor is utilised for packing purposes, and its busy aspect testifies at once to the great magnitude of the trade here centred. The first and second floors are occupied as the warehouse, and are fitted up throughout with every facility and convenience conducive to the effective and attractive display of an immense stock of Messrs. Blairs well-known and highly reputed manufactures. The departments exemplified in these admirably ordered showrooms comprise satin hats, felt hats, tweed hats, Scotch bonnets, cloth caps, and several sections of stock of a nature allied to or usually associated with these, such as umbrellas, waterproof coats, oil garments, leather and carpet bags, portmanteaux, scarves, ties, braces, collars, stays, hosiery, and shirts. It would be superfluous to dilate here upon the merits and excellences of these goods. The firm under notice maintain a reputation that has been the worthy outcome of fifty years of honourable trade and industrial enterprise, and in that reputation consists the most appropriate and the only necessary commendation of the goods they manufacture and supply. The top flat of the main building, in conjunction with the factory proper (a large square brick structure in the rear, containing four spacious floors), is entirely devoted to workroom purposes, and has excellent accommodation for a very numerous staff of hands, all of whom are busily engaged in the manufacture of hats and caps of every description.
Hats and caps are distinctly the speciality of the house, and this industry has been developed in a most vigorous and masterly manner in its every branch, having acquired for Messrs. John Blair & Co. a world-wide fame for their manufactures. There is certainly no article of apparel of British manufacture that possesses such universal acceptance and celebrity as the hat, and the fame of this national industry will assuredly never lapse or languish while there are firms so eminently qualified to sustain it at every point as the one herein briefly reviewed.
The business affairs of the house of Messrs. John Blair & Co. are administered in a most energetic and judiciously enterprising spirit by the capable principals named early in this sketch. The commercial connections of the firm are valuable and influential in all the principal home, foreign, and colonial markets, and the execution of shipping orders and the filling of indents constitute a very prominent and important feature in the operations of the house, and speak for the esteem and confidence in which it is held by a widespread circle of custom in distant parts of the world.
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