THOUGH he retired from the Postmastership of Glasgow on 1st June, 1900, Mr. Braid continues to have a very real claim to the regard of the city by reason of the work which he did during his term at the General Post Office in George Square. He was, moreover, the only Scotsman appointed to the Postmastership of Glasgow within recent times, at any rate since 1840, the year in which inland penny postage was introduced.
Born in Edinburgh in 1838, he entered the G.P.O. there, 3rd August, 1857. At that time, in addition to the letter post, there was a book post, a newspaper post, and a very restricted circular-post. These, with money order business, comprised the entire work of the department. It was in January, 1892, when holding the position of principal clerk in the secretary's office, that Mr. Braid was appointed by Sir James Fergusson, Bart., then Postmaster-General, to the Postmastership of Glasgow. At that time the Post Office in George Square was only about half its present size, the portion facing Ingram Street having been little more than begun. The enlargement of the building, when completed, rendered necessary a rearrangement and readjustment of the various branches, which fell to Mr, Braid to undertake. During his period of occupancy the business of the office immensely increased. In 1891 the number of letters dealt with weekly was 3,545,234, in 1899 it was 5,211,340. The number of parcels weekly in 1891 was 60,188, and in 1899, 94,857. During the Christmas twelve days of 1891 the number of parcels was 260,195, and in 1899 it was 522,955. In 1891 the number of telegrams was 7,136,980, and in 1899 it was 8,576,269. To cope with this increase the staff also was greatly enlarged. In 1857, when the Head Post Office was removed to George Square, the entire Glasgow staff had numbered only 150. In 1892 it was 1,871, and in 1899 it exceeded 2,700. One of the last acts of Mr. Braid's reign was to secure a site in Waterloo Street for a new Parcel Office, which has since been built, and in which parcel business is now carried on. In the top floor the telephone business acquired by the department will be conducted.
On his retirement in 1900 he was presented by the Post Office staff with a valuable gift for himself and a diamond ring for Mrs. Braid. He afterwards employed some of his leisure in making investigations into the Glasgow Post Office of former days, and he contributed the results of these enquiries, in a series of five highly interesting papers, under the title of "Old Glasgow's Postal Story," to the columns of the Glasgow Herald. Since his retirement he has resided in his native city of Edinburgh.
Index of Glasgow Men (1909)