Washing Yard

Gorgie Mills

J & G Cox Ltd

Glue Manufacturers


Buildings  -  Washing Yard, Gorgie Mills  -  J & G Cox Ltd, Glue Manufacturers

  Reproduced with acknowledgement to The Museum of Edinburgh

Gorgie Mills

J & G Cox Ltd


Gelatine for Photography

It was reported that in 1844, Cox's, glue manufacturers of Gorgie, Edinburgh, had perfected a new gelatine that was destined to be used some 25 years later in the production of rapid gelatino photographic plates.

It was reported that this gelatine had been tried for photographic purposes in 1849-50, but the tests had failed.

Lecture to EPS on early photography in Edinburgh by the Edinburgh Librarian, C S Minto.

1930s + 1940s


George Smith of British Colombia, Canada has provided some interesting recollections of Edinburgh for this web site.  (Thanks George.)  Here are his comments on Cox's Glueworks at Gorgie Mills:

Cox's Glueworks

"Looking at the picture of Cox's Glueworks brought back a few memories so thank you for the chance to see it.

Bones, Hooves and Hides

I always looked over the wall as I passed on the upper deck of a west bound No3 tram on my way home so as to see the  vats of some yellow looking turgid liquid -were they steaming and  heaving like a witches cauldron? Too short a view to be sure but I had just been to the cinema so.......

I understood that the raw material was bones, hooves and hides and the proximity to the Chesser Avenue cattlemarket/slaughter house must have been convenient though Cox's predated the Slateford Cattle market. Noticeably there was also a tannery westwards towards Delhaig. I used to see hides hanging in the upper stories of that building.

Factory Whistles

One memory about Cox's. During the war the use of factory whistles was banned, These were normally used to announce start, dinner break and end of work to men often scattered over a large site like Cox's. During the war they were only to be used to notify invasion or similar calamity.

At the end of the war they came into use again; I think firstly on VE -day and thereafter the triple toot of Cox's  at 0800, noon and 1700 was a daily reminder we were back to normal. Other factory hooters had their own sound and codes such as the "Store Laundry" and Manclarks but none so memorable as Cox's triple toot."

[George Smith, February 2005]




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