R.G. Finlay & Brothers
Messrs. R.G. Finlay & Brothers, Manufacturers by Power-loom and Hand-loom of
Shirtings, Skirtings, Druggets, Winceys, Ginghams, and Coloured Handkerchiefs.
Works, 65 to 79, John Street, Bridgeton; Warehouse and Counting-house, 170, Ingram Street, Glasgow.—
The district of Bridgeton has always been celebrated for its textile productions, even from the days of the old hand-loom, and still maintains its position as the centre of the Glasgow fancy weaving trade by power-loom. Among those firms whose works are situated there, one of the oldest is that of R. G. Finlay & Brothers, having their city warehouse at 170, Ingram Street. This firm was founded in 1837 by Mr. R. G. Finlay and his two brothers, John and Hunter. At that date their manufacture was entirely by hand-loom. In 1864 they leased their present works at John Street, Bridgeton, and subsequently bought the property ; in 1871 built several additions, adding new machinery, and again in 1877 further enlarged the works to their present size, covering about an acre of ground, and giving employment to over three hundred hands.
Messrs. Finlay & Brothers, after considerable examination, adopted the “Anderston Foundry Loom” as being most suitable for manufacturing their various classes of fabrics, and by taking advantage of all the most recent improvements, have kept all their looms, as well as their machinery, up to date, so that this factory is one of the best equipped for general weaving in the east end of Glasgow. In addition to the power-loom branch, they still carry on a small hand-loom business, to supply the wants of some of their oldest customers.
None of the original partners are now in the firm. Mr. Hunter Finlay retired in 1860, and purchased the business of Daniel Gilchrist & Co., block printers, Maryhiil. Mr. John Finlay also retired from the firm of R. G. Finlay & Brothers in 1870, and joined his brother Hunter in the calico-printing business. In 1866 Mr. Robert Gilchrist Finlay, junior, and Mr. Thomas Alston, were assumed as partners, and on the retirement of Mr. R. G. Finlay, senior, in 1881, Mr. Hunter Gilchrist Finlay was assumed a partner, so that the firm now consists of these three gentlemen.
Like many of the other larger houses of the day, Messrs. Finlay commenced business on a small scale, but by carefulness and honesty in their manufactures and dealings, they have built up a large business connection and a good reputation. The manufacture of the firm has varied at different times, being at first entirely suited for the home consumption ; then for several years an American trade was opened out, with an East Indian connection, but latterly the business has been confined principally to the home trade with the large wholesale houses in the country trade, and Messrs. Finlay are well known especially for their manufactures of skirtings, shirtings, and druggets, ginghams, and woven coloured handkerchiefs.
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