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The Sawyer

Burrell Collection Photo Library

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The Sawyer

The Sawyer by Stephen Adam, c 1878, one of a series of twenty stained glass windows made for Maryhill Burgh Halls depicting local trades and professions. This window shows a man at work in a sawmill guiding a piece of timber onto a circular saw. The machinery's steam engine-powered belt drive can be seen above his head.

The first sawmill in Glasgow was probably built in 1751 on the banks of the Molendinar Burn. The opening of the Forth and Clyde Canal at the end of the 18th century facilitated the transport of Baltic timber to the Glasgow area, and a timber basin was built at Firhill in 1788 for the storage of logs. Sawmills sprang up along the banks of the canal as a result. The industry flourished and new steam-powered sawmills such as Ruchill Sawmills (1885) and Firhill Sawmills (1893) were still being opened in the Maryhill area a century later.

Reference: 621.86.38

Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Museums

Keywords:
belt drives, circular saws, Firhill Sawmills, Forth and Clyde Canal, Maryhill Burgh Halls, Molendinar Burn, Ruchill Sawmills, sawmills, sawyers, stained glass windows, steam engines, steam power, timber, timber basins



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