Machines for the Trade

As print­ing machines became more com­plex a whole indus­try sup­ply­ing machin­ery to the trade grew up. As a major cen­tre of the print­ing trade, Edin­burgh was also home to a num­ber of these firms as well as firms sup­ply­ing machines to allied trades such as paper makers.

The third edi­tion of Kel­ly’s Direc­to­ry of Sta­tion­ers, Print­ers, etc, pub­lished in 1880, not only lists print­ers, pub­lish­ers, book­binders and sta­tion­ers but also includes many com­pa­nies mak­ing every­thing from ‘Book­binders’ Thread’ to ‘Paper Mak­ing Machines’. Some of these firms were large oper­a­tions and sup­plied print­ing firms through­out the world, includ­ing John Greig & Sons, of Foun­tain House and the paper mak­ers’ engi­neers com­pa­nies Bertrams of Sci­ennes and James Bertram & Son at the Lei­th Walk Foundry.

Greig’s made press­es for print­ers, book­binders and lith­o­g­ra­phers, and their out­put includ­ed enve­lope mak­ing machines, copy­ing press­es and numer­i­cal print­ing machines. Oth­er com­pa­nies who were based near Greig’s in the Foun­tain­bridge area of the city were Somerville & Crom­bie who also made press­es for the print­ing and book­bind­ing trades, as well as paper­mak­ing machin­ery, Walk­er & King who sup­plied the paper­mak­ing indus­try from the Cale­don­ian Engine Works in West Foun­tain­bridge. Seg­gie & Co were based fur­ther east in Broughton Market.

Archives have sur­vived for some of these firms:

Bertrams Ltd, (Bertrams of Sci­ennes) machine tool and paper machin­ery man­u­fac­tur­ers, Edin­burgh, 1860–1983. Nation­al Records of Scot­land, Edin­burgh: ref GD1/779; GD419. Oth­er records held pri­vate­ly Nation­al Reg­is­ter of Archives for Scot­land: ref 0322 

David Car­law & Sons Ltd, enve­lope machin­ery manufacturers,etc, Glas­gow, 1888–1976. Glas­gow City Archives, Mitchell Library, Glas­gow: ref TD935: Order books, etc. Oth­er records held pri­vate­ly Nation­al Reg­is­ter of Archives for Scot­land: ref 1924

James Bertram & Son Ltd, engi­neers and paper machin­ery man­u­fac­tur­ers, Lei­th, 1847–1976. Nation­al Records of Scot­land, Edin­burgh: ref GD284