Histories of Carpet Manufacturers

GSA Library has recently purchased a number of rare books to complement the Stoddard Design Library, the working library of the A. F. Stoddard and James Templeton & Co. carpet factories that came to the Library in 2009. These books, either published in-house by the companies or written by people connected to them, are important documents in reconstructing the histories of these important manufacturers.

Short Essays Delivered and Now Dedicated to the Workers of James Templeton & Co.’s and J. & J. S. Templeton’s Carpet Factories
was written by J. Murray Templeton and published in Glasgow by James Maclehose in 1887. It reproduces speeches and lectures given by Templeton and addressed to his staff, normally designed to instill good morals and responsibilities. The subjects covered are diverse, from temperance to the labour programme of America. There’s even a lecture on stars and atoms!

A Century of Carpet Making
by Fred H. Young provides a short history of James Templeton & Co. by a senior partner in the business. It was published posthumously around 1943 in a limited edition and modest form due to wartime rationing.

In 1953 James Templeton & Co. designed the carpet for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in Westminster Abbey. Coronation Carpet Review was a trade publication designed to drum up trade and was published in June that year by the British Continental Trade Press. It includes an advertisement to the front for a specially designed Coronation Axminster carpet by A. F. Stoddard and Co.

During World War II many of the carpet factories in the area were requisitioned for the war effort and adapted for wartime use. The Stoddard factory at Elderslie becomes a naval laundry, servicing the hammocks, bedding and life jackets of ships on the Clyde. Blackwood Morton & Sons of Kilmarnock moved production from carpets into machine parts and electric hub motors. From Loom to Lathe – And Back Again was published in-house in 1946 to recount the story.


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