Happy 565th Birthday University of Glasgow

The 7th of January marks the University’s official Birthday, when Pope Nicholas V issued the Bull that granted the permission for our foundation.

Since 2016 is the Scottish Government’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, we thought we would share: 5 UofG Innovators, 6 UofG Architectural stories, and 5 UofG Designs, to mark our 565th birthday!

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UofG Innovators: 1. James Watt

James Watt (1736-1819), famous engineer and innovator of the steam engine, was an employed as mathematical instrument maker to the University of Glasgow from 1756-1764. During his time here he began improving the Newcomen steam engine.

UofG Innovators 2. Sir William Macewen

Sir William Macewen (1848-1924), Regius Professsor of Surgery at the University of Glasgow 1892-1924, became famous for the introduction of successful aseptic procedures in the operating theatre; as a pioneer of brain surgery and for the development of a number of successful operating techniques and procedures in bone surgery. He was also involved in opening the Princess Louise Scottish Hospital for Limbless Soldiers and Sailors, in Erskine in 1916 and he was the hospital’s first chief surgeon.

UofG Innovators: 3. Muriel Robertson

Muriel Robertson (1883-1973) was a graduate of the University who joined the Lister Institute, studied tropical medicine in Sri Lanka and Africa, and who made key discoveries of the life cycle of Trypanosomes, a parasite leading to disease.

UofG Innovators 4. John Logie Baird

John Logie Baird (1888-1946), inventor and pioneer of the television, studied Engineering at the University of Glasgow in the session 1914-1915.

UofG Innovators 5. Mary Andross:

Mary Andross (1893-1968) was a graduate of the University of Glasgow who became a pioneer of the profession of dietetics.

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UofG Architecture 1. The Old College, 17th century courts:

The University, which started life on High Street next to Glasgow Cathedral, expanded in the seventeenth century with two courts, began in 1631 and finished in 1660. These buildings were grander, more solid and more regular than what had gone before. The buildings were described, in the 19th century, as “one of the finest, and certainly the most extensive specimen of the Scottish civil architecture of the seventeenth century”.

UofG Architecture 2. The Hamilton Building, 18th cent:

Growing student numbers at the end of the eighteenth century meant more teaching space was required and one of the sections of one of the Old College quadrangles was replaced by the Hamilton Building in 1811, funded by a bequest from a merchant, John Hamilton. This was a more spacious and well-lit building, though architecturally very different, with its Greek Doric Classical style.

UofG Architecture 3. The Gilbert Scott Building

The University eventually out-grew the High Street site in the North East of Glasgow and moved to Gilmorehill, in 1870, into beautiful Gothic revival-style buildings in the City’s West End designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott.

UofG Architecture 4. James Miller:

James Miller (1860-1947) was a Scottish architect known for designing the University’s West Medical Building and Natural Philosophy Building (now The Kelvin Building).

UofG Architecture 5. John James Burnet:

John James Burnet (1857-1938) was a Scottish Architect who worked on many of the University’s buildings on Gilmorehill, including The University Memorial Chapel, The James Watt Building, The Thomson Building, The Bower Building, The Graham Kerr Building, The Western Infirmary, The John McIntyre Building, and Hepburn House.

UofG Architecture 6. David Stark Reid Waugh:

David Stark Reid Waugh (1906-2002) was a Scottish architect known for working on many University buildings, including helping design the University’s Joseph Black Building and McMillan Reading Room.

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UofG Design 1. United Turkey Red Co Ltd:

United Turkey Red Co Ltd was by far the largest firm in the bleaching, finishing, dyeing and printing industry in Scotland and the company commercialised a process that created a very vibrant red colour. They began in the 1890s and traded their beautifully designed fabrics around the world. Their archive collection is housed at the University of Glasgow Archives as part of the Scottish Business Archive.

UofG Design 2. Wylie and Lochhead Ltd:

Wylie & Lochhead was a cabinet makers and funeral directors that began in Glasgow in 1883. The collection of their papers, held at the University as part of the Scottish Business Archive, includes beautifully illustrated catalogues for interior design and furniture.

UofG Design 3. Talwin Morris book binding:

The University of Glasgow Special Collections holds a collection of beautifully bound books, designed by Talwin Morris who became art director of Glasgow publishing firm, Blackie & Son in 1893. The designs are very identifiable as in the ‘Glasgow Style’ and Morris did a great deal to spread the influence of the Glasgow style in commissioning and designing book covers for popular titles.

UofG Design 4. Molly Macewen, Scottish Theatre Archive:

The University of Glasgow Special Collections holds the Scottish Theatre Archive, including records of over 60 theatres, theatre companies, and individuals connected with the theatre. These collections include some fantastic costume and set design, for example those of Inverness-born designer, Molly Macewen, who worked with the Citizens’ Theatre Company and with the Edinburgh Gateway Company.

UofG Design 5. James Templeton and Stoddard International Carpet Factories:

The University of Glasgow holds the records of two of Scotland’s most significant and influential carpet designers and manufacturers: James Templeton & Co Ltd and Stoddard International plc. The collection includes thousands of beautiful painted carpet designs, from which the inspiration would have been taken and from which carpets would have been woven.

Happy Birthday University of Glasgow! #UofG565

Categories: Archive Services, Special Collections


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