Articles

Dunfermline without the Handlooms?

In “An Excellent Goose for Dunfermline“, our last new article for this year, Jean Barclay brings to our attention an unusual newspaper article written in 1865 and collected in the “Folio of Oddities”. In it, the unknown author speculates on how Dunfermline may have developed, or rather , not developed, had the Damask Linen business not become established. This gives us an unusual assessment of how important hand-loom weaving industry actually was to the growth of the town.

The Schweppes of Scotland?

In the first of three articles about Dunfermline soft drinks manufactures, George Beattie tells the story of Gilbert Rae, whose company demonstrated the innovation and experimentation of late Victorian Scotland. Gilbert Rae produced ginger beer, lemonade, kola and many other products and he pioneered the use of electricity, motor transport, scientific testing and much more as he built up a large business.

Reminiscences of Dunfermline – Pharmacy

In the next of his articles based on Alexander Stewart’s “Reminiscences of Dunfermline – Sixty Years Ago”, George Robertson describes the provision of pharmacy and medical care available in Dunfermline in the early years of the 19th Century. As you might imagine, they are very basic and seem to be based largely on traditional remedies. “Old Fashioned Pharmacy” indeed. Stewart himself notes by how much pharmacy and medical practice had improved even over his “60 Years”.

Peter Chalmers, minister and antiquary

The Dunfermline Historical Society recently received a portrait photograph of the Reverend Peter Chalmers, a minister of the Abbey Church, a local historian and an influential figure in Dunfermline life in the 19th Century. Jean Barclay has researched his life and in “REVEREND DOCTOR PETER CHALMERS,  1790-1870” she summarises his achievements in education, charitable work and historical research and also his difficulties in coping with the Great Disruption of 1843.