David Octavius Hill (1802-1870) was a painter and engraver who is perhaps best known for his four views of the Garnkirk & Glasgow Railway on its opening day, 27 September 1831. The railway was the first to enter Glasgow and was built to transport coal, iron ore and minerals to the city from Monklands and other areas to the east of the city, and especially to carry coal to the chemical works of Charles Tennant & Co, one of the railway's main sponsors.
The two steam locomotives seen passing here at Provanmill were purchased from Robert Stephenson & Co in Newcastle. Although the railway was built primarily as a goods and minerals line, the carriages were filled with dignitaries and other guests on the opening day, when one train traveled from Garnkirk to the terminus at Townhead, and the second carried passengers in the other direction.
Reference: Mitchell Library GC 385.09 HIL
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning
Charles Tennant & Co, coal, Garnkirk & Glasgow Railway Co, Glasgow, Garnkirk & Coatbridge Railway Co, iron ore, locomotives, minerals, railway cuttings, railways, Robert Stephenson & Co, St Rollox chemical works, Stockton & Darlington Railway, trains