Singer in Scotland
In 1867 the Singer Company decided that the demand for their sewing machines in the UK was sufficiently high to open a local factory in John Street. Glasgow was selected for its iron making industries, cheap labour and possibly because at the time the General Manager of the US Singer Sewing Machine Company was George McKenzie, who was of Scottish descent. Demand for sewing machines outstripped production at the new plant and by 1873 a new larger factory was completed in James Street, Bridgeton. By now Singer employed over 2,000 people in Scotland but still they could not produce enough machines.
With nearly a million square feet of space and almost 7,000 employees it was possible to produce on average 13,000 machines a week, making it the largest sewing machine factory in the world. The Clydebank factory was so productive that in 1905 the US Singer Company set up the Singer Manufacturing Company Ltd. as a UK registered company.