John Paton & Sons
John Paton & Sons, Skinners, Vinegar Hill.—
This old-established and well-known firm has for very many years held a prominent and influential position amongst the great industrial establishments of Glasgow. The business dates back in its foundation to the year 1867, and the works have been from time to time enlarged and extended. They now occupy fully an acre of ground covered by large buildings, in which the various operations take place. Few persons are probably aware, unless in some way connected with the trade, of the toil, detail, and anxiety inseparable from the practical working of this important industry.
The first operation is conducted in the washing department, which is an immense shed in which the sheepskins, of which many thousands pass through the process, are washed in clean water to remove the grease and dirt, and then put through a lime process. Being thoroughly treated in this manner, they are well washed with pure water and removed to the drying department, where they remain for about twelve hours to ensure their being thoroughly dried. They pass from here to the pulling department, where upwards of thirty men are actively engaged in pulling the wool from the skins, sorting and arranging it according to quality. To complete the process the wool is now removed to the drying sheds, two very large buildings kept at a temperature from a hundred and fifty to two hundred degrees, and after being thoroughly dried it is packed and dispatched to the manufacturers. The skins are sent to the dressers, where they are split for use, such as hat linings, book bindings, chair covers, &c., &c. In every department the work is carried out with great energy.
The whole establishment presents an animated scene of industrial activity. Messrs. Paton & Sons have a first-class connection with the leading wholesale houses extending over the whole of the United Kingdom. This firm is well recognised as one of the oldest in the trade, and the extent and magnitude of their operations contribute most materially to the permanent employment of a fair section of the industrial community, and to the commercial prosperity of this district.
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