The Boat Builder by Stephen Adam, c 1878, one of a series of twenty stained glass windows from Maryhill Burgh Halls showing local trades and professions. This window depicts a boat builder in his workshop with the tools of his trade.
The development of the Forth and Clyde Canal brought boat building to Maryhill. A graving dock was built between locks 22 and 23 on the canal and the area became known locally as "Drydock" or "Kelvindock".
The family of David Swan, Maryhill's first provost, owned the boatyard from 1837-1893. Many of their iron vessels were built in sections and despatched to Bowling for assembly near the junction of the canal and the Clyde. But the firm was best known for building the small steam cargo boats originally described as screw lighters but better known as puffers, which traded along canals and with the towns and villages along the west coast of Scotland until they became uneconomic in the 1960s.
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Museum
boat builders, boat repairers, boats, boatyards, canals, Drydock, Forth and Clyde Canal, graving docks, Kelvin Dock, Kelvindock, Maryhill Burgh Halls, puffers, screw lighters, stained glass windows, steam ships, steamboats