Records of Anderson & Robertson Ltd, textile throwsters, Motherwell, North Lanarkshire, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • Articles of Association, 1895;
  • Minutes, 1895-1964;
  • Shareholder Records, 1895-1963;
  • Correspondence and Letter Books, 1876-1951;
  • Financial Records, 1896-1964;
  • Sales and Production Records, c1900-1963;
  • Research and Networking Papers, 1938-1950;
  • Specialist Reports, 1954-1963;
  • Staff Records, 1957-1964;
  • Photographs, c1910;
  • Scrap Books and Company History Material, 1929-1941;
  • Property Records, 1936-1950.

Administrative / Biographical History

Anderson & Robertson was formed in  1877  when George Robertson and William Anderson became business partners. The firm became a limited company in 1895. Previously, George Robertson had worked as a cashier for silk throwing firm Morris Pollok, before starting his own business in 1876 as an independent throwster in Govan. When Morris Pollok went out of business several years later, Anderson & Robertson would rent the firm's old mill, which had been the first mill in Scotland built for throwing pure silk.

The firm proved successful, and built a new mill in Motherwell in  1890 . This would be the main source of employment for women in the area. The company followed this by opening a mill in Glemsford, Suffolk. When the local silk trade began to fail, towards the turn of the century, the company managed to survive by gaining business outside Scotland. The ability to produce silk stockings much more cheaply, by using yarn which had not been "boiled off", led to an expansion of the business from 1924 onwards. During the Second World War (1939-1945) the business became centralised at Motherwell and the John Street factory in Govan was sold. In the post-war period, the company became established as the leading processor of man-made fibres, such as Rayon, Nylon, and 'Terylene'. It also became one of the first businesses to use the Norcross Viscometer, a progressive system for measuring textile viscosity, thus the company managed to establish itself as a one of the leaders in the production of such fibre. However, silk production still continued, including the production of silk for the insulation of fine wires, which had begun in 1912.

The business continued to be run by the family during the twentieth century and the second generation of directors included John G Anderson, chairman 1925-1951; W Kenneth Anderson, joint managing director 1942-1957 and chairman 1951-1957; and J C Scott, joint managing director 1942-1952. By the 1960s, the company was struggling, and production ceased in  1964 . The company was the last silk throwster in Scotland.

Source: GB 0248 UGD 029/11/5


Arranged Chronologically within record series

Access Information

Some records may be subject to Data Protection legislation, such as Staff Records (GB 0248 UGD 029/9). One Scrap Books also contains staff records (GB 0248 UGD 029/11/1)

Acquisition Information

Deposit: W F Gemmill, Thomson, Jackson, Gourlay & Taylor : Glasgow : 1967

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 Archivist.

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 0248 procedures

Custodial History

Held by the company's liquidators, Jackson, Gourlay & Taylor


None expected

Related Material

GB 174 HC525 Correspondence and plans relating to Glemsford Mill 1895-1953 (Suffolk Record Office)

Location of Originals

This material is original


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

Description compiled in line with the following international standards: International Council on Archives, ISAD(G) Second Edition, September 1999and National Council on Archives, Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names

Scotland is the location of all place names in the administrative/biographical history element, unless otherwise stated.

Fonds and lower-level description compiled by Emma Anthony, Assistant Archivist, 29 February 2012. Amended April-June 2016 by Kim Beasley, Retro-Conversion Cataloguing Assistant.