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Lady Matilda Maxwell
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Calton tannery, 1895

Burrell Collection Photo Library

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Calton tannery, 1895

An old tannery probably at Spoutmouth, Calton c 1895.

Tanning became a major industry in 18th century Glasgow and continued to be important in the 19th. The term refers to the process by which animal hides are prepared to produce workable leather, originally by soaking in a preparation of bark extract and other agents to soften and preserve the material. Tanners sold the leather to manufacturers to be made into everything from shoes and belts to hosepipes and saddles, although some made leather goods themselves.

Older tanneries often had drying rooms on the top floor, with wooden louvres instead of solid walls (as shown here) to allow the free flow of air to assist in the drying of the tanned leather.

Reference: 140.77.130

Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Museums

Keywords:
animal hides, boys, children, drying rooms, leather manufacturers/suppliers, tanneries, tanners and leather dressers, wooden louvre walls



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