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 149,254 pages of information and 234,232 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Thomas Black and Co

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1921. From The Medical Journal

of Greenock

1904 Thomas Black Junior was called home to wind up his father's failing business. Whilst journeying across America on his way home, he stopped off in Kansas City and saw a thriving canvas products business making tents, marquees and other large canvas goods. This set him thinking and, on returning home, decided not to close his father’s business, but instead, to change the product range, to bell tents, marquees and garden tents for fetes and functions - see Black's of Greenock

1905 Thomas Black Senior, the founder of the business, died. Thomas Junior became head of the firm, with his son, Daniel Crawford Black assisting. Hiring out equipment was begun with one-time sail-makers having to erect tents and marquees.

1914-18 During the First World War, the company manufactured large hospital marquees, army bell tents, ambulance covers and other canvas goods.

1921 Black’s Travel Agency started at 18 Nicholson Street, Greenock, to meet the demand for emigrant passages to North America and Australasia.

1923 Thomas Black and Sons (Greenock) Ltd. was incorporated.

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