Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Inveresk Paper Co

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of Inveresk Mills, Musselburgh, N.B.

The Inveresk mill was the lowest paper mill on the River Esk.

1867 Mill built by Alex Cowan and Sons of Valleyfield following the great pollution case of 1866 which was brought against all the papermakers on the River Esk by the Duke of Buccleuch, Lord Melville and Sir J.W. Drummond of Hawthornden. With the introduction of esparto grass, which could only be used by boiling it in caustic soda, the pollution of the River Esk had become intolerable.

Losing the case, the mill owners were forced to take steps to reduce the pollution. Alex Cowan & Sons responded by building a pulping mill at Musselburgh. This did not reduce the total amount of pollution but it did allow it to flow directly into the sea thereby by-passing the people most likely to complain about it. Later it was converted into a paper mill.

1887 Incorporated as a limited company.

1914 Paper manufacturers. Specialities: fine writing, printing and art papers. [1]

1938 One of the founding shareholders in Birds Eye Foods Ltd.

1966 With Peter Dixon and Son, Wiggins Teape, and Smith and Nephew, set up British Tissues through Associated Tissues, to provide a British source of tissues to compete with the American imports[2]

1970 The Inveresk Mill closed and was mostly demolished.

1973 Peter Dixon and Son, and Inveresk, sold their shares in British Tissues to Finnish companies.

1972 Included Keith Mill, Inverkeithing, St. Cuthberts Paper Mill, Wells and Westfield, Bathgate, and Woodhall Mill, Juniper Green.

Inveresk PLC still operated one paper mill in Devon.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1914 Whitakers Red Book
  2. The Times June 11, 1980
  • [1] Penicuik Papermaking