Scotts of Greenock: shipbuilders and engineers, 1820-1920; a family enterprise

Robb, Johnston Fraser (1993) Scotts of Greenock: shipbuilders and engineers, 1820-1920; a family enterprise. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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It would be an exaggeration to claim that the history of a great industry like shipbuilding in Britain, can be fully understood by concentrating on the history of only one of the many companies that contributed to the developers. However, Scotts of Greenock represent a case study that in many ways encapsulates the critical ingredients which came together to project British shipbuilding from purely local significance to world leadership between the late eighteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century.

The roots of modern British shipbuilding lie in the craft industry based on wood and sail, one dominated by small scale family and partnership enterprises typical of the eighteenth and early nineteenth century. The Scotts grew out of this milieu, their family firm dating from 1711, and their survival from that date to the 1980s, marking them out as the longest surviving and oldest firm in British shipbuilding, probably the longest established shipbuilding enterprise in the world. Survival in the small scale world of local markets for wood and sail demanded ingenuity and flexibility, together with a willingness to tackle almost any type of related trade. The Scotts excelled in this unpredictable and opportunistic environment. In Chapter 1 which examines the characteristics of the family, their enterprise in the first century of activity between 1711 and 1820, the foundation of their success is set out.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
V Naval Science > VM Naval architecture. Shipbuilding. Marine engineering
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Economics
Supervisor's Name: Slaven, Prof. A.
Date of Award: 1993
Depositing User: Elaine Ballantyne
Unique ID: glathesis:1993-1376
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2009
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:38

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