- Newspaper articles and extracts from books and pamphlets, 1862-1965;
- Catalogues and price lists, 1882-1913.
Records of Walter MacFarlane & Co Ltd, architectural iron founders, Possilpark, Glasgow, Scotland
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
Walter MacFarlane (1817-1885) was born in Torrance of Campsie, East Dunbartonshire, Scotland, and worked for a jeweller in the Trongate, Glasgow, Scotland, before starting an apprenticeship to James Buchanan, blacksmith, Stockwell Street, Glasgow. He subsequently worked for 10 years as a foreman of the Cumberland foundry of Moses, McCulloch & Co, Gallowgate, Glasgow. In 1850, he established the firm of Walter MacFarlane & Co with Thomas Russell, his brother-in-law, and later an MP, and James Marshall, a businessman.
Initially the firm operated in premises at Saracen Lane, Gallowgate, manufacturing plumbing castings, but soon production moved into ornamental and sanitary cast iron work. In 1861 the firm employed a workforce of 120, increasing to 1,200 in the 1890s. In 1862, they moved into new premises in Washington Street, Glasgow and then in 1872 they moved to a new 7 acre site at the Saracen Foundry in Possilpark, Glasgow . Walter MacFarlane's nephew, who was also called Walter MacFarlane (1853-1932), joined the firm in 1872 and entered the partnership in 1880 . At some point after 1880, the company was incorporated as a limited liability company as Walter MacFarlane & Co Ltd with the MacFarlane family maintaining an interest in the company through to its eventual demise.
The business had major successes at the Glasgow Exhibition of 1901 and held a worldwide reputation for its design work. In 1911, King George V was crowned emperor of India in Delhi in a prefabricated cast iron hall made by Walter MacFarlane.
In 1965, Walter MacFarlane (1883-1965), son of the second Walter MacFarlane, died. He had been chairman of the company and a director of its parent company, Federated Foundries Ltd . MacFarlane's was taken over by Allied Founders in 1965, which was itself absorbed by Glynwed Ltd, and the Possilpark works were eventually demolished in 1967.
This material is arranged into three series as described in the scope and content element
Conditions Governing Access
Pemanent Loan : 2 March 1990
Other Finding Aids
Digital file level list available in searchroom
Alternative Form Available
No known copies
Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements
None which affect the use of this material
Conditions Governing Use
Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the University Archivist
Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use & condition of documents
This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 0248 procedures
Location of Originals
This material is mainly original, although there are some photocopies from various published works
No known publications using this material
Fonds level description compiled by Jenny Bunn, Assistant Archivist, 11 February 2000. Revised by David Powell, Hub Project Archivist, 4 December 2002. Lower level descriptions complied by Alma Topen, Senior Assistant Archivist (Cataloguing), 22 May 2014.