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Ardeer in the early years: McRoberts.

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Myrfin
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Ardeer in the early years: McRoberts.

Post by Myrfin » Sun Dec 23, 2007 3:36 pm

Has anyone heard of George McRoberts who was the factory manager at the Nobel works in the first few years? he was injured in the very first explosion in the works, I am looking for a photgraph of him, can anyone suggest a lead? has anyone any info on him?
Also are there any sources of photgraphs of the staff/works in the first 25 years.

Jim McCreadie
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Ardeer in the early years: McRoberts.

Post by Jim McCreadie » Tue Dec 25, 2007 10:56 am

Hi Myrfin
Here's a link which may prove useful:
http://www.archiveshub.ac.uk/news/0412nobel.html

Note the reference to "Photographs 1860-1904"

Jim McCreadie
Fremantle
Western Australia

Myrfin
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thabks for info on Mcroberts

Post by Myrfin » Tue Dec 25, 2007 2:16 pm

HI Jim, that looks useful, I will explore this, thank you for your response , regards Myrin

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Re: Ardeer in the early years: McRoberts.

Post by Myrfin » Sat Feb 16, 2008 3:24 pm

Hi Jim, Last week I went to the Archives in Glasgow, They do not have a huge amount but it is of excellent quality. I have a list if anyone is interested, The day was rewarding in that I was reading a cash book of 1874-1876, In it is the day today doings of the factory in its early days. I found that workers were fined 1/6p for using obcene language, these were the women- men were fined for swearing. I found my first primary source of his existence in an entry on the 27th of September 1875 where Mcroberts signed the book as being a correct entry. There were many reportsof McRobertssending Telegrams to people including his wife Jane and to Nobel himself.I also went to Ayr to the local archives,they have hundreds of photos, It took my wife and I best part of the day to go through them,I got some good information. I was very dissapointed at the end of the day because a photo listed as 'Mr and Mrs George McRoberts' was not to be found. If any reader can throw light onto this I would be gratefull. Thank you again Jim forourhelpjind regards Myrfin.

Jim McCreadie
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Re: Ardeer in the early years: McRoberts.

Post by Jim McCreadie » Sat Feb 16, 2008 11:44 pm

I'm pleased to have been of assistance with your search. After years of googling "McCreadie" and variations, I found out only last week my recently my grandfather was, in January 1940, granted a patent (GB516755) regarding fire-fighting in ships. I recall my father telling me about it but that the Govt "took" it for the war effort.

I know the applicant was my grandfather because the address he gave was "22 Manse Street, Saltcoats" where my grandparents lived.

Ah well, there you go eh? Good luck with your hunt.

Jim McCreadie
Fremantle
Western Austraia

Myrfin
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Re: Ardeer in the early years: McRoberts.

Post by Myrfin » Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:15 am

Hi Jim, your grandfather was not alone in getting his ideas 'nicked' by the War Office, please read the following exract from a book that I am writing:
Cordite- A very Un-British slice of history.
Cordite had a particularly painful inception. It was officially invented by
Professors Abel and Dewar in 1889, but two private industrialists, Hiram
Maxim and Alfred Nobel, claimed that the War Office had rejected their1
exactly similar inventions in 1887. Between the two dates there had been a
Committee briefed to discover a military propellant. The suspicion was that
Abel and Dewar had misused their authority as members. Their memorandum
to the Director of Artillery began a national scandal, sounded more like a
buccaneering plan of campaign than an official disclaimer: 'The Committee
will unavoidably come under the stigma of profiting from information imparted
in confidence in working out subjects which they afterwards put forward as
emanating from themselves. The wording found a strange echo in the fears
of a trade spokesman that, Government officials look upon the inventor as a
natural enemy, frequently endeavouring to evade or use his patents without
remuneration in place of encouraging him and treating him fairly.
The Times, disturbed by the fact that the two scientists had only taken up sue months of the three years allotted to them to 'discover' cordite, commented, No other inventors were so favoured as to have eighteen others submit their best ideas to them (Corn to Cordite - copyright retained)
regards Myrfin

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Re: Ardeer in the early years: McRoberts.

Post by Myrfin » Mon Sep 13, 2010 2:44 pm

:D in my post looking for a photograph of George McRoberts but were unable to locate it. I did a little forensic comparison of some of the images that I looked at. I eventually located a photograph of Alarik Liedbeck, a predecessor of McRoberts, taken at Nitroglycerin Aktiebolaget in Stockholm. The best one could personally say about was that he was a grump, this show in all his photographs. There is photo in the Ayrshire Archives of a group of people in front of Mr and Mrs house at the Ardeer works. Alarick at the back of the group. The date is correct so we now have an identifiable photograph of Mr and Mrs McRoberts. It only took me 25 years before I found it. Thank you all again for all your help. This has meant that I can finally finish my book called From Corn To Cordite; a History of Nobel Explosives and the subsidiary The British Explosives Syndicate in Essex. the website is http://corntocordite.vpweb.co.uk/.

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