Members of the Glasgow Royal Exchange, photographed inside the Royal Exchange Building on 22 May 1908.
The first commodities exchange in the city was in the Exchange Room of the Tontine Hotel in Trongate. By the 1820s the facilities there were clearly inadequate, and money was raised for a new Exchange, in a building purchased from the Royal Bank of Scotland. Architect David Hamilton made considerable alterations to the building in Queen Street, which had originally been built as the town house of Tobacco Lord William Cuninghame. Glasgow Royal Exchange was opened on 3 September, 1829.
As the level of business increased, fortunes were made and lost in the buying and selling of commodities such as iron, sugar, coal, cotton and chemicals. In 1927 it was estimated that 75 per cent of the coal dealings in Scotland were transacted in the Glasgow Royal Exchange. However, alternative means of trading brought about a decline in the level of business as the 20th century progressed. In 1949 the Royal Exchange was purchased by Glasgow Corporation and in 2004 it is the home of the Gallery of Modern Art.
Reference: Mitchell Library, Gf 920.04 WHO
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning
coal, commodities dealers, commodities exchanges, Gallery of Modern Art, GoMA, mansions, merchants, Royal Bank of Scotland, Royal Exchange