organization or economic system where goods and services are exchanged for one another or for money.  Every business requires some form of investment and enough customers to whom its output can be sold on a consistent basis in order to make a profit.

Allan Shipping Line

The Allan Shipping Line
The Allan Shipping Line
was started in 1819, by Captain Alexander Allan of Saltcoats, Ayrshire, trading and transporting between Scotland and Montreal, a route which quickly became synonymous with the Allan Line. By the 1830s the company had offices in Glasgow, Liverpool and Montreal. All five of Captain Allan's sons were actively involved with the business, but it was his second son, Sir Hugh Allan, who spearheaded the second generation. In 1854, Hugh launched the Montreal Ocean Steamship Company as part of the Allan Line, and two years later ousted Samuel Cunard to take control of the Royal Mail contract between Britain and North America. By the 1880s, the Allan Line was the world's largest privately owned shipping concern. In 1891, the company took over the State Line (founded 1872) and was often referred to as the Allan & State Line. In 1897, Andrew Allan amalgamated the various branches of the Allan shipping empire under one company, Allan Line Steamship Company Ltd., of Glasgow. The company by then had added offices in Boston and London. In 1917, under Sir Montagu Allan, who represented the third generation of the Allan family, the company was purchased by Canadian Pacific Steamships, and by the following year the Allan name had disappeared from the waves.

IHC Farm Equipment

Bryce Houstoun & Son Limited

Agriculture; Most of the families were landowners some for hundreds of years. Bryce Houstoun was an early pioneer in Farm Machinery with his brother Andy developing a potato harvester. Bryce went on to work for International Harvester Company before joining James Bowen and finally acquiring his own farm Equipment Dealerships. 


Bryant and May

Bryant and May was a United Kingdom (UK) company created in the mid-nineteenth century specifically to make matches. Their original Bryant and May Factory was located in Bow, London. They later opened other match factories in the United Kingdom and Australia, such as the Bryant and May Factory, Melbourne; and owned match factories in other parts of the world. Bryant and May survived as an independent company for over seventy years, but went through a series of mergers with other match companies and later with consumer products companies; and were taken over.

 Ardrossan canal

Glasgow, Paisley and Ardrossan Canal

The initial stretch opened was between Paisley and Johnstone; with the length between Paisley and Port Eglinton in Glasgow was completed and opened the opening the following year. Shareholders in the Canal Company included many Merchants and landed gentry of the county and beyond.   The Instigator of the project, The Earl of Eglinton held 60 shares, followed by the likes of George Houstoun of Johnstone and Robert Fulton of Hartfield.

 Paisley Weavers

J & P Coats Ltd

In 1802,
James Coats, snr, (1774-1857), a weaver from Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland, set up in business, laying the foundation of the business that was later to become J & P Coats Ltd, thread manufacturers, Paisley. James Coats senior was born in 1774, into a family of Paisley weavers. After serving his apprenticeship as a weaver, he spent six years in the army with the Ayrshire Fencibles, a cavalry regiment. He returned to weaving in 1796 on leaving the army and in 1802, shortly after his marriage, he went into business on his own. Seeing a market for Canton Crape, the majority of which was at that time imported from China, he set about trying to reproduce this material in his own factory. Canton Crape was made from silk, the manufacture of which had been introduced to Paisley in 1760 by Humphrey Fulton; hence both the raw material and the skilled labour were readily available. Another manufacturer, James Whyte, had also been trying to produce Canton Crape, with much the same degree of limited success as James Coats. He and Coats decided to combine their knowledge by entering into partnership, and were eventually successful in producing Canton Crape in such quantities as to virtually corner the market.

Dumbarton Glass Works

Dumbarton Glass Works

Dumbarton's glassworks was established in 1777, and from 1800 to the 1830s was the most influential glassworks in Britain. In the few years before Queen Victoria's succession, 1814-1826, the glassworks produced 92.5% of all approved glass made in Scotland and 35.4% of glass purchased in England. In 1816 financial control was wielded by Alexander Houston of Clerkington.

 Grenada County Map
Alexander Houstoun & Co

The greatest of the Scottish West India merchant houses, their location in Glasgow was of enormous significance. The partners in 1795 were two sons of the founder, Alexander Houston, namely, Andrew Houston of Jordanhill, and his brother, Robert Houston-Rae of Little Govan, and two grandsons of Col. W. Macdowall, namely, William Macdowall of Castle Sempill, M.P., and his brother, James Macdowall, Provost of Glasgow. This great firm failed, and there had been no such crash since the Virginian collapse in 1775, and there has been no such crash since till the collapse of the Western and City Banks. Ultimately, after untold delay and confusion, every creditor was paid in full, principal and interest; for the assets, including the great estates of the partners, realised over £1,000,000 sterling.

 R A Houstoun Jardines

Jardine Matheson & Co
Jardine Matheson was one of the original Hong Kong trading houses or Hongs that date back to Imperial China, and as of December 2010, 41 percent of the company's profits are still earned in China. The company is controlled by the Keswick family, who are descendants by marriage of the Jardine family.
In 2013, both Jardine Matheson and Jardine Strategic were among the top 200 publicly traded companies in the world as valued by market capitalization

 Sugar Macfies

"Sugar" Macfie's
Robert Macfie of Langhouse, Inverkip, started business as a grocer in Greenock 1769, which activity he subsequently evolved into a sugar refining business, evolved into Macfie of Liverpool became one of the largest British sugar producers of the day.

Houston Lines

R. P. Houston & Co.

Founded in 1880, Liverpool as R. P. Houston & Co. Cargo and passenger services between Argentina and UK. In 1898 a subsidiary, British & South American Steam Navigation Co. Sold to the Clan Line in 1918 and renamed Houston Line in 1932. In 1956, Houston Line and others, merged to form the British & Commonwealth Shipping Company. The company disappeared by 1970.

 Lombes Mill

Lombe Silk

Lombe's Mill was the first successful silk throwing mill in England and probably the first fully mechanised factory in the world.Thomas Cotchett's mill, built in Derby in 1704, was a failure. John Lombe had visited the successful silk throwing mill in Piedmont in 1716, an early example of industrial espionage. He returned to Derby with the necessary knowledge and a group of Italians. He designed the mill, and he his half brother Thomas Lombe (born 1685) instructed George Sorocold to build it and fit it with the new machines. It was built to the south of Cotchett's Mill.

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