Methven and Garnkirk chimney pots, Dundee

Many thanks to Mike Allan for the following information and photographs.

Mike states – These two octagonal chimney ‘cans’ were salvaged by me from our family house at Osborne Place, Dundee (built 1869). Methven, Kirkcaldy, was in the business of both homewares and utilities. Garnkirk, Lanark, made utilitarian wares. Ours was one of 4 houses, there were 24 chimneys in total. 6 fireplaces per house! Can you imagine them all smoking away? No wonder Dundee was just one black fog in winter. And Edinburgh was “Auld Reekie”. The builder bought a mixture of the 2 brands of chimney from a merchant. No doubt brought from the two works to Dundee by horse and cart. An octagonal chimney ‘can’ cost 1s6d or … 7 and 1/2p decimal but this needs to be converted into today’s cost. In 1870 average wage was £40 / year. 80p / week. So a chimney was about 10% of a week’s wage. Today average weekly earning is £500, so in real terms the chimney was £50. They don’t make octagonal pottery chimney cans anymore, certainly not for £50. You might pay £50 at an auction, if you can find one.

Below – David Methven & Sons Links Brick & Tile Works Kirkcaldy – David Methven & Son, Brick and Tile Maker, The Links, Kirkcaldy
Below – Garnkirk chimney – Garnkirk Fireclay Works, Garnkirk, Lanarkshire.

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