F. & J. Smith

Messrs. F. & J. Smith, Tobacco Manufacturers, 33, North Albion Street.—

    The middle of the eighteenth century saw Glasgow possessed of a tobacco trade the immense volume of which made her for a time pre-eminent among British ports in this particular branch of commerce. The American War of Independence shattered the fabric of the tobacco monopoly the city was rapidly building up, but to this day the manufacture of Raleigh’s “divine weed” in various forms constitutes a notable Glaswegian industry, and among the several firms thus engaged in the Scottish commercial metropolis one of the largest and most prominent is that of Messrs. F. & J. Smith.

    This well-known and important house was founded about thirty years ago in London Street, and in 1883 was transferred to its present commodious premises, where the industry is vigorously and very extensively carried on under the direct personal supervision and management of Messrs. Finlay Smith, James Smith, and John Dunn, who constitute the personnel of the firm. Thirty years ago the start was made in a small way and the foundation laid for a commercial prosperity that is practically assured to-day. The business early manifested tendencies towards continuous growth and development, extending its scope and resources very rapidly, and necessitating frequent removals to larger and more accommodative quarters.

    Eventually Messrs. Smith acquired the present eligible site in North Albion Street, and erected thereon the fine factory they now occupy. The building was specially designed to meet the requirements of their peculiar industry, and comprises a large and massive block of six floors, one flat being used as warehouse, counting-house, &c., and very handsomely and appropriately fitted up for those purposes, while the upper floors are laid out as factory and stores. Fully two hundred work people are employed. In designing the building’ special attention was given to every detail calculated to conduce to the health and comfort of a large operative staff, and the chief Government Inspector, on his visit to the establishment, expressed the opinion that this was one of the finest factories of its kind in the kingdom. Extensive and commodious as it is, however, it is already taxed well-nigh to the utmost by the ever-growing business to which it is devoted. The mechanical equipment of the factory is perfect.

    Messrs. F. & J. Smith manufacture Black and Brown Roll Tobaccos, Cake Tobaccos, Cut Tobaccos in bulk, Flaked and Packet Tobaccos, a great variety of snuffs, and a number of excellent brands of cigarettes in boxes, in packets, and by weight. Special attention is devoted to the manufacture of distinct and well-known “brands” of cake, flaked, and cut tobaccos, and comprise in cut tobaccos their celebrated Glasgow Smoking Mixture, better known as Smith’s Mixture, Bright Cut Navy, Sun-Cured Mixture, Harvest Moon, and Blight Flake ; in cakes their well-known Golden Bar, Bright Cake, and Yankee Plug. The roll tobacco of the Messrs. Smith is so largely consumed north of the border that no further comment on our part is necessary.

    All of these tobaccos are produced in the finest qualities and all are exceedingly popular among smokers in all parts of the United Kingdom, they being suited to every taste in smoking. The greatest care is taken to insure the maintenance of a uniform standard of worth and excellence in each class and grade of tobacco produced. This attention has caused the house to have an unsurpassed reputation for the purity of its goods, which are prepared from the best qualities of selected American leaf upon the most approved modern principles, and all the manufactures of the firm are guaranteed to be in accordance with the recent Act regarding moisture.

    Messrs. Smith are also large dealers in cigars, holding stocks in these goods of home and foreign manufacture — Manillas, Burmahs, Havana cigars, &c. The firm obtained the gold medal, the highest award, at the Edinburgh Exhibition, 1886, for the excellence of the attractive variety of tobacco manufactures they there displayed.

Back to Index of Firms (1888)