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British Industrial History

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Andrew Bruce MacLean

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Andrew Bruce MacLean (1856-1925)

1925 Obituary [1]

ANDREW BRUCE MACLEAN was born in Glasgow in 1856 and died on the 17th May, 1925.

Educated in Glasgow, he left school early to take up a career of commerce. While still a boy he joined the Glasgow agency of the India Rubber, Gutta Percha and Telegraph Works Co., Ltd. (the Silvertown Company), then under the management of the late Mr. Matthew Gray. His business aptitude and alertness were quickly recognized by Mr. Gray, and rapid promotion followed.

While still in his early twenties he was appointed to the Silvertown agency in Sheffield; this was followed a few years later by the similar post in Birmingham, and in 1890 he returned to Glasgow to take charge of the Silvertown agency in his native city.

He continued with the company until 1897, when he founded the Craigpark Co., Ltd.

Five years later the need for expansion of premises, and of the business generally, called for further capital. A suitable factory was found in Springburn, and the new company, the Craigpark Electric Cable Co., Ltd., of which he was managing director until his death, absorbed the original company.

His tireless energy, fearlessness, grasp of detail and an unusually quick and active mind soon led the company through the troubled waters of its early years. The electrical trade loses one of its oldest members; probably no one at the present time can claim to have been in the trade for 54 years. In Scotland at any rate he was, from the commercial point of view, a real pioneer, and he was probably the first to attempt to sell telephones for use in offices and factories, and this at a time when exchanges had not been thought of. His geniality and kindliness endeared him to a large circle of friends, who were quick to appreciate his sterling qualities of heart and mind.

He was elected a Member of the Institution in 1904.

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