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General view of mill

SC 740625

Description General view of mill

Date c. 1890

Collection Erskine Beveridge

Catalogue Number SC 740625

Category On-line Digital Images

Copy of F 2021

Scope and Content Former Spinning Mill, Lower Largo, Fife (latterly an oil and cake mill and now demolished) Lower Largo, a small fishing village on the east coast of Fife, was once the centre of the linen industry, with a spinning mill which prepared and spun flax for linen manufacture. In the 1860s it was adapted as an oil and cake mill, and by the 1870s was producing linseed oil, a principal ingredient in the manufacture of linoleum. The mill, now demolished, was photographed c.1890 by the Scottish photographer, Erskine Beveridge. This two-storeyed, harled and whitewashed building, dating from the early 19th century, stands on the banks of the Kiel Burn a short distance upstream from the harbour. It is roofed with the distinctive curved pantiles traditionally found in East Neuk villages, and has distinctive ball finials on the apices of the gables. In 1860 David Russell took lease of the mill, and installed four box-presses for crushing seeds to obtain natural plant oils. In 1861 he patented his own oil-filtering process, initially concentrating on extracting rapeseed oil, but, in 1871, using the seed heads of flax plants to produce linseed oil, a component used in paints, varnishes and linoleum manufacture. The residue was made into linseed cake and sold as cattle fodder. Russell's decision to begin extracting linseed oil may have been motivated by the success of Nairn's factory in Kirkcaldy which began making linoleum in 1860 using vast quantities of linseed oil. Source: RCAHMS contribution to SCRAN.

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/collection/740625

File Format (TIF) Tagged Image File Format bitmap

Collection Hierarchy - Item Level

Collection Level (551 59) Erskine Beveridge

> Item Level (SC 740625) General view of mill

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Attribution & Licence Summary

Attribution: © Courtesy of HES (Erskine Beveridge Collection)

Licence Type: Full

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