How Glasgow Flourished, 1714-1837

How Glasgow Flourished, 1714-1837

How Glasgow Flourished takes a fresh look at a hugely significant but often overlooked period in Glasgow’s history.​
Discover how over 300 years ago, Glasgow’s businessmen made their fortunes from trading in colonial goods and through slave labour, and how they manufactured and exported products made in Glasgow, across the world. 

This was also when ordinary Glaswegians came together in workers’ associations and co-ops to campaign for better working and living conditions for them and their families and paved the way for the Trade Union movement. 

The exhibition shows how weaving changed from a cottage industry to a full-blown manufacturing industry and green fields were covered over by some of the largest and most advanced dyeing and smelting factories in the world. You can see a reconstructed weaver’s loom, factory engines and dresses and outfits, which have never been displayed before.

Other exclusive displays include new portraits of members of one of Glasgow’s wealthiest families, the Glassfords and a newly conserved music organ made by James Watt, as well as the great man’s steam engine with its condenser unit. There are also many other pieces from Glasgow Museums’ collection that have never been on display before, including art and objects relating to the lives of Glaswegians. 

A recurring theme throughout the exhibition is family history, showing how you can make connections with your life and family to the history of this wonderful city, through our incredible museum and archives collections.

There is a programme of events, talk and tours to accompany this exhibition. Please download the leaflet on the right for full details of the event programme. 

Join us on facebook here, where we will have an object of the week, Georgian News and more. 

Explore The Georgian Era Further 

Download our new, free app How Glasgow Flourished, from the iStore and delve deeper into Glasgow's glorious Georgian past! Click here for more information.

For a further insight into the city's Georgian past, you can also visit the National Trust for Scotland! A visit to Pollok House (open 10am-5pm every day) on Glasgow's Southside in the centre of Pollok Country Park will allow you to put what you have seen in the exhibition into context and see Glasgow's Georgian past in a genuine setting, with its decorative plasterwork, magnificent furniture and period contents.
On a smaller scale Greenbank House at Clarkston (open Sunday afternoons 2-4 pm) shows how the Glasgow Tobacco Lords spent their cash on becoming country gentlemen.​
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