The process shown in this panel had long been a mystery, finally been solved by author Michael Meighan, who had been researching for his new book ‘Glaswegians with a Flourish’.
He came across the Institute’s ‘Mechanics Magazine’ published in 1824 and held by the National Library of Scotland. On the front page of one of the issues was a drawing of a press almost exactly like the equipment being used in the stained glass window.
Imagine my growing interest as I started reading a ‘Description of the Great Bandana Gallery in the Turkey Red factory of Messrs Monteith & Co. at Glasgow’. Turkey red dyeing was originally brought to Scotland from France, and became a massively important industry in the West of Scotland in the 1800’s. Cowboy bandanas, and beautifully patterned cloths were exported throughout the world. The dyeing process was revolutionary as it allowed whole cloths to be dyed, rather than the threads from which they were made, shortening the process considerably.
But just as one puzzle is solved, it also reveals more questions to be asked – we don’t know which company in the Maryhill area might have been using this process at the time the panels were commissioned – so there’s still more to find out...