Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,415 pages of information and 233,868 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

North British Rubber Co

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Advertising Plaque.
January 1872.
June 1872.
June 1872.
October 1956.
Oct 1960.
Oct 1962.

See Image Gallery

Head Office and Factory - Castle Mills, Edinburgh. [1] Warehouses - 4 Cannon Street, London and 6 Charlotte Street, Manchester. [2]

London Office, Sales and Exports Departments: 200-208 Tottenham Court Road, London, W1. Telephone: Museum 5460.

Cables: Edinburgh - "Weba, Edinburgh"; London - "Clinchex, Phone, London". (1929)

1856 American in leadership, equipment and ownership, it was established at Edinburgh, and remained under American direction until the closing years of the 19th century when it came under local ownership

1857 Incorporated with the Scottish Vulcanite Co and became a limited company.

1888 The company was registered, in reconstruction of a company of similar title. [3]

1890 William Erskine Bartlett, General Manager of the company, took out the Bartlett-Clincher patent on the first detachable pneumatic tyre.

1891 the first detachable tyres in Great Britain were produced at Castle Mills and offered for sale to the general public.

c.1897 Sold the Bartlett (Clincher) patent for pneumatic tyre to the Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Co [4].

1910 Exhibited rubber fabric for use in dirigible balloons at the Olympia exhibition[5]

1912 A client, Mr Willows, sued the company for the loss he had incurred due to the porosity of the material supplied for his dirigible balloone; Mr Willows recognised that the material supplied by the Continental Fabric Co had low porosity but he wanted an all-British balloon[6]

1914 Manufacturers of Indiarubber. Specialities: solid and pneumatic tyres, rubber footwear of all kinds. [7]

1921 Mr Alexander Johnston was Managing Director of the Company.[8]

1929 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Manufacturers of Rubber Footwear, Bathing Sandals, Caps, Golf Bags, Balls, Racket Covers, Handle Grips, Football Bladders, Leather Cloths, Hose, Waterproof Clothing, Motor Clothing, Overboots, Rubber flooring, Mats and Matting, Hot Water Bottles, Rugs. (Stand No. B.36) [9]

1947 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Manufacturers of Hot Water Bottles (fabric, moulded); Air and Water Beds, Cushions, Waterproof Sheeting; Jaconete, Vulcanite Combs; X-Ray, Nursing Aprons, Gloves, etc. (Olympia, Ground Floor, Stand No. F.1867) [10]

1963 Motor Show exhibitor. Tyres US Royal brand. [11]

1966 The company was re-named Uniroyal.

Castle Mills, Edinburgh

Castle Mills were bounded by three roads called Fountain Bridge, Viewforth, Gilmore Park, and by the Union Canal to the south. See map (last photo in series alongside). Gilmore Park (road) crossed the canal by the Leamington Lift Bridge. The 1851 map shows the plot of land occupied by Castle Silk Mills. The rubber business moved out to Newbridge in the 1960s, and the site was largely cleared c.1971 for the construction of a modern brewery, but this has now gone. Some of the NBR office buildings have been saved (see photos), pending re-use (2016). See CANMORE entry for more information.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1872 advert.
  2. 1872 advert.
  3. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  4. The Morning Post 10 March 1897
  5. The Times, Mar 14, 1910
  6. The Times, 1912
  7. 1914 Whitakers Red Book
  8. The Engineer 1921/11/11
  9. 1929 British Industries Fair p127
  10. 1947 British Industries Fair p202
  11. 1963 Motor Show
  • [1] NBR Wrinklies
  • [2] EdinPhoto