Records of A R Brown Macfarlane & Co Ltd, merchants and engineering agents, Glasgow, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • Printed catalogues 1909-1914
  • Memorandum book 1906-1932
  • Press cuttings 1880-1967
  • Photographs 1863-1969
  • Correspondence and reports 1854-1964
  • Technical instruments 20th century
  • Miscellaneous volumes, charters and papers 1869-1972

Administrative / Biographical History

Captain A R Brown started in business as an agent for the export of machinery to Japan in  1889  , following his return to Scotland after 21 years in the service of the Japanese Government, responsible for siting and erecting lighthouses. Ten years later, his son joined the firm and, in  1900  , they joined forces with George Macfarlane to form the company  A R Brown, Macfarlane & Co Ltd . The company was initially responsible for placing contracts for ships in the United Kingdom for the Japanese Navy and Mercantile Marine. Later, as the Japanese began to build their own ships, the company supplied them with steel, becoming steel stockholders and scrap metal merchants. Subsequently the company began to diversify, importing clay roof tiles and forming a joint venture with the Kaumagraph Co of New York, USA, to manufacture textile transfers for the hosiery industry. In  1915  , the company opened a London office, followed later by offices in Antwerp, Belguim, and New York. From the  1970s  , the company concentrated on its steel stockholding business and in  1983  opened an office in Stoke-on-Trent, England. In  1990  , all its interests in the steel stockholding field were consolidated into a separate subsidiary, known as Brown MacFarlane Ltd. The following year it sold its textile transfer business which it had owned completely since buying out its American partner, Kaumagraph, during the  1950s  . In 2000, the firm remained active in the manufacture of fabricated metal products and trades.


This material is arranged into seven series as described in the scope and content note

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Gift : Brown MacFarlane Ltd : Stoke-on-Trent : 1996 : ACCN258*

Other Finding Aids

Digital file level list available in searchroom.

Manual file level list available at the National Register of Archives in Edinburgh (NRA(S)2533) and London (NRA19908)

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

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

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with normal procedures

Custodial History

Received directly from creators.


Accruals possible

Related Material

No related material

Material in other repositories: no material associated by provenance


Murata, Hanako,Early Photographs of Japan in Scottish Collections - A dissertation submitted to the School of Art History in candidacy for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Museum and Gallery Studies(1997)

Additional Information

This material is original

Updated by Lesley Richmond , Acting Director, 23 March 2000

Revised by David Powell, Hub Project Archivist, 13 May 2002

Geographical Names