- Photographs taken in or around unidentified whisky distilleries. Images include workman, bottling plants, cooperages, whisky warehouses, offices, blending halls, saw mills and a distillery's steam engine 1887-1900
Records of W P Lowrie and Co, whisky stockholders, Glasgow, Scotland
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
William Phaup Lowrie ( 1831-1916 ) was born in Dalkeith, Argyll and Bute, Scotland, in 1831 . After serving an apprenticeship with the Commercial Bank of Scotland, Edinburgh, he became associated with John Ramsay of Kildalton Estate, Islay, Argyll & Bute, in the management of Port Ellen whisky distillery. In 1869 , he started his own business as a broker and commission agent for Scotch whiskies from premises first of all at Ann Street, Glasgow, Scotland, and later at Washington Street, Glasgow.
As a wine and spirit broker he was one of the largest stockholders in Scotland of Scotch whisky. Lowrie helped James Buchanan to devise a blend of whisky that appealed to the London market. The blend was produced by Lowrie and marketed by Buchanan, W P Lowrie & Co supplying whisky exclusively to James Buchanan & Co from 1885. In 1906 , at a time when the company could not provide the capital required to modernise its bonding, blending and bottling capacity, it was acquired by James Buchanan & Co. Around this time, the company was restructured and incorporated as a limited liability company as W P Lowrie & Co Ltd. Its warehouse was rebuilt and re-equipped and it became the largest branded store in the world. In 1916 , W P Lowrie & Co Ltd was one of four distiller-blender firms which took over the Highland distillery firm of Dailuaine-Talisker Distilleries Ltd, the others being Distillers Co Ltd (DCL), Edinburgh; John Walker & Sons Ltd, London; and John Dewar & Sons Ltd, Glasgow. When W P Lowrie died in July 1916 an obituary claimed that he had been the first to employ modern methods of blending Scotch whiskies. However, according to recent research, it is generally accepted that Andrew Usher, junior, was in fact the pioneer and patron of the modern blending technique. W P Lowrie & Co Ltd was dissolved in 1992 .
Sources: Slaven, A and Checkland, S (eds.), , vol 2Dictionary of Scottish Business Biography 1860-1960 , ( 1990 , Aberdeen )
Wilson, Ross , Scotch, the Formative Years ( 1970 , London )
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Fonds level description compiled by Jenny Bunn, Assistant Archivist, 31 January 2000.
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