Font Size

100% 150% 200%

Background Colour

Default Contrast
Close Reset

Edward Mervyn Patterson

551 353

Description Edward Mervyn Patterson

Collection Edward Mervyn Patterson

Catalogue Number 551 353

Category All Other

Scope and Content The collection contains a large amount of material relating principally to the manufacture of gunpowder/blackpowder, and to Nobel’s Explosives Ardeer Factory. To a lesser extent there are also documents relating to railways and steam driven railcars, Whiskey Distilleries, and various factories, mills, works and refineries throughout Scotland. These documents consist mainly of research notes, correspondence, photographs, negatives, magazine extracts, a miscellaneous selection of books (held in the RCAHMS library) and some plans.

Archive History Anna Singer, Patterson’s daughter, was instrumental in saving much of his archival legacy. In 1997, after Patterson had passed away, she donated material relating to industrial archaeology and the explosives industry to the three Royal Commissions; RCAHMS, English Heritage and CADW.

System of Arrangement As no identifiable original order existed above file level a new order has been imposed at the upper levels. Materials have been sorted into groups relating to the main themes within the collection, and then into subgroups either by site or by similar topic, where appropriate.

Related Material Additional material related to England and Wales is held by English Heritage and CADW

Administrative History Edward Mervyn Patterson DSc MRIA FRSE FRGS (1920 – 1997), also known as Ted Patterson, carried out extensive research into the history of gunpowder manufacture in the United Kingdom. In the recent years before his death he had developed an increasing interest in industrial archaeology. He took advantage of his position as Plant Manager at Nobel’s Explosives Ardeer Factory in Ayrshire, the United Kingdom’s first Dynamite factory, to focus his research on gunpowder manufacture and industrial archaeology. Ted Patterson was born in Bangor, Co Down, and attended the local grammar school and Queen’s University, Belfast. After graduating in 1941 he moved to Scotland where he worked as a research chemist in the Explosives Division of Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI). During this time his interest in geology flourished and in 1956 he was awarded a degree of Doctor of Science by Queen’s University, Belfast, for his research publications on geology and geochemistry. He became a lecturer in geology at the University of St Andrews in 1947, returning to work for ICI in 1954. In 1955 he was elected a member of the Royal Irish Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh a year later. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Chemistry in 1958 and became Plant Manager at Ardeer in 1960. Patterson was also the president of the Geological Society of Glasgow, 1964-7. One of Patterson’s major interests was transport history and he wrote several books on railways in Northern Ireland. His research on industrial archaeology and the manufacture of gunpowder resulted in several papers, and successful collaboration with several individuals and organisations, especially the Faversham Society and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS). He joined the Gunpowder Mills Study Group (GMSG) in its early days and was a substantial contributor to the Group’s Gazetteer. At the time of his passing he was in the midst of research on the gunpowder factory at Glyn Neath, South Wales, and the Castledirge and Victoria Bridge Tramway.

Accruals The collection is closed, no further accruals expected.

Accession Number 1997/119


Collection Hierarchy - Collection Level

Collection Level (551 353) Edward Mervyn Patterson

Preview Category Catalogue Number Title Date Level
All Other 551 353/2 Archive relating to Scottish Whisky Distilleries Group Level
All Other 551 353/3 Archive relating to the Manufacture and History of Explosives Group Level
All Other 551 353/5 Archive relating to Railways Group Level
All Other 551 353/1 Archive relating to Ardeer Explosives Factory Group Level
All Other 551 353/6 Archive relating to Scottish Factories, Mills, Works, and Refineries Group Level
All Other 551 353/4/1 Factory lists. Batch Level
All Other 551 353/4/2 Notes and correspondence regarding British Mills and blackpowder. Batch Level
All Other 551 353/4/3 Camilty. Sub-Group Level
All Other 551 353/9 Photographs of Black Powder Factory, Carsegowan 1979 Batch Level
All Other 551 353/7 Archive relating to E M Patterson Correspondence Group Level
All Other 551 353/8 Box of 23 magnetic reel to reel tapes Batch Level

People and Organisations