Enterprise and Industry

A frontier land, full of restless but pitiless industrialists and business entrepreneurs red in truth and claw? Nick Morgan tries to separate myth from reality in this survey of Glasgow's Victorian and Edwardian elites.

Glasgow was a city of enterprise and industry: 'The greatness of the town', wrote a guidebook prepared for visitors to the city's International Exhibition of 1901,

is not so much an affair of well-built streets and warehouses or municipal parts, as of creative work that transforms the iron ore brought in at one end into the machinery that throbs out at the other. The glory of Glasgow is what the unknown ‘working-class' districts contain; the crazy workshops straggling over acres of outskirts, the gaunt blind barns that hide the smelting, forging and casting, and squat here and there in the distant views of the town's environs that one gets from the hill-tops.

This was a frontier land, where the pioneers prepared to take on its challenges were ‘the man manufacturing “in a big way” and the black squad within his gates'.

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