William Bryden & Son
William Bryden & Son ('Sons' appears to be an error) was an offshoot of an older Edinburgh firm of bellhangers, John Bryden & Son, established in 1809. This firm had split in 1846. One brother, Adam Bryden, had retained the original firm and its goodwill, becoming Bryden & Sons (later confusingly changing yet again, to John Bryden & Sons); the other brother, William, had established his own workshop as William Bryden & Son, bell-hangers and window blind manufacturers, and from 1846 the siblings' firms had traded separately.
William Bryden & Son had premises at 55 George Street, Edinburgh, and in Glasgow. The Glasgow branch moved to Gordon Street in 1871. Bellhanging was not the firm's only activity: one of Bryden's partners, giving expert testimony in a court case in 1890, described part of their business as 'the manufacture and putting up of lifts and hoists ... in hotels, warehouses, shops and private homes', a field in which they had 40 years experience. As with other tradesmen who worked with wire, cords and ropes, they moved into electric light installation; they also contracted for the Government's Board of Works.
One of William Bryden's most prestigious jobs was to refurbish the twenty-three musical bells and keyboard in St Giles' crown steeple, Edinburgh, in 1888. A later high-profile ecclesiastical commission was to replace the bell at the Church of Scotland's General Assembly Hall in Edinburgh in 1902.
William Bryden & Son's business, goodwill and retail stock was sold to J. Sibbald & Sons, ironmongers, in 1915, who transferred trade to their own premises at Shandwick Place and Queensferry Street, Edinburgh.
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