Textiles Collection

Repository: Derry City Council, Archives and Genealogy Service

Identity Statement

TitleTextiles Collection
Archive ReferenceDCC/MSS2
Web Link to this Entryhttps://iar.ie/archive/textiles-collection
Creation Datesc1819-1966
Extent Mediumc200 items including photographs, volumes of minutes, correspondence and accounts and newspaper cuttings

Context

Creator(s): McIntyre, Hogg, Marsh and Co. of Queen Street (City Factory, Derry); Tillie and Henderson factory of Foyle Road, Derry

  • Administrative History ↴

    The first strides in the direction of the shirt industry were taken in the middle of the nineteenth century; Tillie and Henderson; McIntyre, Hogg, Marsh and Co; and Welch Margetson amongst others raised a ring of factories around the city walls. Derry last linen weaver, William Scott, had put out large quantities of shirt-making and sewing to Derry women, local handloom weavers and bought cloth they could produce at a rate of a quarter of a million a year. The new technology that Tillie and other factory owners used was the sewing machine, which was shortly to be proliferated by Singer’s mass production methods. A chief characteristic of Tillie and other major shirt-makers in Derry was that they were merchants as well as manufactures, which integrated the processes of clothing production from fabric purchase to wholesale warehousing and sale. The relatively stable prosperity enjoyed by the Derry shirt industry during the last two decades of the nineteenth century gave way to turbulence in the early part of the twentieth century. Sharp alteration in the price of cotton and the dislocation brought about by the onset of war had serve effects on sales. On the other hand new firms were being created. In 1907 they were 30 firms in the city and by 1920 there were 40. Bryce and Weston at the end of the First World War built the last shirt factory on the Strand Road. The inter-war year was the period that the shirt industry most completely dominated the city’s economy. It employed more than all of transport, commerce and distribution put together and sustained many jobs in each of these areas. The whole demographic pattern in the city was centred towards the sustenance of the shirt industry’s mainly female workforce. The Second World War did not yield the same jobs bonanza as the first. The Belfast Department of Commerce had other priorities, Armed Services orders, clothes rationing and a Government fibre and fabric quota changed the way the industry operated. The Government scheme cost every production operation and left a profit margin that catered for all but the least efficient producers. The progressive withdrawal of Government protection from the British clothing market and its exposure to competition from rising low cost producers in Europe, Africa and Asia, turned the shirt-making strengths of Derry into weaknesses. More attention had to be paid to the finishing end of the business and the interface with retail outlets.
  • Archival History ↴

    The collection was donated to the Museum Service.
  • Immediate Source Acquisition ↴

    Donation

Content & Structure

  • Scope & Content: McIntyre, Hogg, Marsh and Co. of Queen Street (City Factory, Derry); Tillie and Henderson factory of Foyle Road, Derry ↴

    Collection of items mainly relating to the City Factory, Derry, (the firm was also known as McIntyre, Hogg, Marsh and Co. of Queen Street), and the collection also includes some items from the Tillie and Henderson factory of Foyle Road, Derry. The collection includes a variety of scrapbooks, photographs, newspaper cuttings and volumes detailing workers and day-to-day activities. The collection also refers to the history of the shirt and collar industry in Derry particularly through the collection of photographs which reflects the working lives of those people who worked in the shirt factories.

  • Appraisal Destruction ↴

    All items retained permanently
  • Accruals ↴

    No further accruals expected
  • Arrangement ↴

    Contact Derry City Council Archives Service for information

Conditions of Access & Use

Access Conditions Open
Conditions Governing ReproductionReproduction is at the discretion of the archivist
Creation Datesc1819-1966
Extent Mediumc200 items including photographs, volumes of minutes, correspondence and accounts and newspaper cuttings
Material Language ScriptEnglish
Finding Aids Descriptive list Archive Web Link →

Allied Materials

Publication NoteFabrics and Fabrication traditional, Context Gallery, 2001

Descriptive Control Area

Archivist NoteList adapted by Natalie Milne
Rules/ConventionsISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description. 2nd ed. Ottawa: International Council on Archives, 2000. National Council on Archives: Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names. Chippenham: National Council on Archives, 1997.
Date of Descriptions41699