CollectionGB 0231 University of Aberdeen, Special Collections
Ref NoMS 3232
TitleC. Davidson and Sons Ltd.: paper manufacturers, Aberdeen
Date1852 - 1977
Extent32 volumes, 8 files and 10 boxes (3.5 linear metres)
Creator NameC. Davidson and Sons Ltd., Paper Manufacturers, Mugiemoss Mills, Bucksburn, Aberdeen (1796 - ongoing)
Administrative HistoryThe Davidson family came to Bucksburn from Tarland c 1760. Charles Davidson first began manufacturing paper and snuff in partnership with Charles Smith of Stoneywood, but in 1796, set up on his own, and paper has been made without interruption at Mugiemoss since that date. In 1859 George Davidson took out a patent on the first machine for block-bottom bags, and the firm became the largest paper bag maker in Britain. By 1875 they were turning out over two million bags per week. In the second half of the nineteenth century the company moved into the fields of wrapping papers and felts. It was incorporated as a limited liability company in 1875, and opened warehouses in London, Glasgow, Newcastle, Liverpool and Edinburgh. Unlike other mills in Aberdeenshire, Davidsons have never made fine quality writing papers, but have concentrated upon wrapping papers and packaging products.

The collection also contains records of Davidson's subsidiary companies, Bonlinkion Felt Company Ltd. (est. c 1883), Davidson's Paper Sales Ltd. (est. 1936), Abertay Paper Sacks Ltd. (est. 1950), and Northern Waste Paper Co. Ltd. (fl 1946 - 1952). Boulinikon Felt Company Ltd. was sold together with its various trade marks and patents to Thomas Mitchell, William Stansfield and Richard Ashworth, felt manufacturers of Waterfoot and Rawtenstall, Lancashire, in Sept 1904. Davidson's Paper Sales Ltd. was formed in 1936 as a wholly owned subsidiary of C. Davidsons and Sons Ltd., whilst Abertay Paper Sacks Ltd., which was formed in 1950 as a joint venture with Jute Industries Ltd. and Low Bonar Ltd., became a wholly owned subsidiary in 1953, when Davidsons purchased the other firm's shares.

For further details see Dr J.N. Bartlett, 'Davidson's of Mugiemoss: a History of C. Davidson and Sons, Makers of Wrapping Papers, Paper Bags and Boards' (London: Athlone Press, 1996).
Custodial HistoryDeposited in the University in May 1986, through the agency of Dr. J. Neville Bartlett. Additional deposits in Oct 1986, Feb - Jun 1987, Sept 1991, Oct 1992, Jun 1993, and subsequently.
SourceThe records were retained by the firm in their premises at Bucksburn, and in the offices of Messrs Davidson and Garden, Advocates, Aberdeen, prior to deposit.
DescriptionC. Davidson and Sons Ltd.
Annual report and balance sheet, 1875 - 1945; articles of association, 1883; director's minutes, 1898 - 1900 and 1948 - 1952; register of directors, 1901 - 1936; share ledgers, 1923 - 1945; register of share transfer certificates, 1918 - 1920 and 1935 - 1943; share allocation book, 1935; correspondence returns to the Register of Joint Stock Companies, 1900 - 1909; letter books, 1871 - 1904 (John Davidson) and 1940 - 1941 (Colonel Davidson); private journals, 1895 - 1932; private ledgers, 1891 - 1919; ledgers (other), 1852 - 1865 and 1874 - 1877; cash books, 1930 - 1932; wages books (Papermaking dept.), 1930 - 1932; daily report books (Paper and Board), 1923 - 1972; mortgage register, 1876 - 1925; debenture ledger, 1896 - 1933; inventory of title deeds, 1877 and 1914; insurance specifications and mill plans, 1874 - 1920; various patent specifications by the firm, n.d.; letters patent from George Davidson, Dec 1859 and Jan 1863, regarding improvements in manufacture of paper bags and the machinery for making these.

Boulinikon Felt Company Ltd.
Memorandum and articles of association, 1883 [n.b. minutes of AGMs, 1891 - 1905 - listed in NRA(S) survey list 1460, but do not seem to be deposited here]

Davidson's Paper Sales Ltd.
Directors' minutes, 1931 - 1962 and valuation certificates and inventory, 1946 - 1951

Abertay Paper Sacks Ltd.
Share transfers, 1953 - 1957

Northern Waste Paper Co. Ltd.
Valuation certificate and inventory, 1946 - 1952
AppraisalThis material has been appraised in line with normal procedures.
AccrualsNone anticipated at present, though additional deposits may be made if further records are discovered.
Access StatusOpen
Access ConditionsThe records are available subject to the signed acceptance of the Department's access conditions.
Physical DescriptionNo physical conditions affecting use of collection.
Publication NoteDr J.N. Bartlett, 'Davidson's of Mugiemoss: a History of C. Davidson and Sons, Makers of Wrapping Papers, Paper Bags and Boards' (London: Athlone Press, 1996).
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