Shopping in Old Inverclyde

Hamilton Street, Greenock in 1968 - Colour transparency by Eugene Jean Méhat (1920-2000) - 2008.72.555 - © McLean Museum and Art Gallery, Greenock Transparency by Eugene Jean Méhat (1920-2000) showing a view of Ann Street, Greenock with the premises of Greenock Co-operative shop and the Greenock Morton Development Club. - 2008.72.215  - © McLean Museum and Art Gallery, Greenock.   Shops in West Blackhall Street, Greenock.  This colour transparency was taken by Eugene Jean Méhat (1920-2000) in 1967. - 2008.72.615  - © McLean Museum and Art Gallery, Greenock. Transparency by Eugene Jean Méhat (1920-2000) showing a view dated 11-4-1968 of Lynedoch Street, Greenock with shop premises including Greenock Cooperative Society. - 2008.72.47 - © McLean Museum and Art Gallery, Greenock. Miss McArthur's Tearooms ('The smartest luncheon and tea rooms in Greenock') is typical of the growth during the Edwardian period of more genteel, non-alcoholic, meeting places where ladies could meet, especially during shopping. - 1907 - Lithograph on paper - 1997.123 - © McLean Museum and Art Gallery, Greenock. Advertisement for Mitchell Hodge and Son. This company specialised in home furnishings catering  to the increase in consumerism as fashion and taste exercised ever greater influence. - 1907 - Lithograph on paper - 1997.123 - © McLean Museum and Art Gallery, Greenock. This advert for Ramsay's of West Blackhall Street, Greenock was for a firm that dealt in womenswear including dresses, coats and, in this case, foundation garments. - 1907 - Lithograph on paper - 1997.122 - © McLean Museum and Art Gallery, Greenock. Transparency taken by Eugene Jean Méhat (1920-2000) showing a view of West Blackhall Street, Greenock in the 1960s with the Sea Palace Chinese restaurant and Televiewer shop. - 2008.72.86  - © McLean Museum and Art Gallery, Greenock. The Ohlms family originally came from Germany but anti-German prejudice during the First World War resulted in the family changing its name to 'Holms' by the 1920s. This advert dates from 1907 and refers to an early example of technology, 'The Compressed Air Appliance', being used in  hairdressing. - 1907 - Lithograph on paper - 1997.123 - © McLean Museum and Art Gallery, Greenock. This advertisement for Philips and Brown bikes shows the popularity of cycling during the Edwardian era. Used for work, sport and leisure, the bicycle became the main means to explore the local countryside.  - 1907 - Lithograph on paper - 1997.123 - © McLean Museum and Art Gallery, Greenock. This advert for Russell's Medicines is an indication of the popularity of potions, prescribed or not, as a means curing ailments. In fact many medicines contained narcotic, alcoholic and other harmful ingredients, but this did not dent their popularity. 1907 - Lithograph on Paper - 1997.123 - © McLean Museum and Art Gallery, Greenock. The well-known Greenock firm of Shannons were initially specialists in hats but in later years broadened out to include bespoke tailoring and ready-to-wear clothing for men and women. - 1907 - Lithograph on paper - 1997.122 - © McLean Museum and Art Gallery, Greenock. This advert for the famous Scotch Wool and Hosiery Stores sold a product that was actually made locally by Fleming, Reid & Co. Ltd. The qualities of 'Greenock Underwear' were claimed to be warmth, durability and price. - 1920 - Lithograph on paper - 1997.121 - © McLean Museum and Art Gallery, Greenock. This advert for Hodge's dates from Christmas 1920 and indicates the growing middle class market for toys. The price of the 'Kiddie Kar' would have been greater than a week's wages for many working in the local shipyards and other industries. - Lithograph on paper - 1997.121 - © McLean Museum and Art Gallery, Greenock. This advert for MacGregor's Rubber Emporium  shows the shop increasing its ranges from rainwear (always popular in Inverclyde!) to include accessories of various kinds. - 1920 - Lithograph on paper - 1997.121 - © McLean Museum and Art Gallery, Greenock. Colour transparency by Eugene Jean Méhat (1920-2000) showing a scene in Greenock during the mid 1960s. This shows a view dated 25-8-67 showing West Blackhall Street with Gas Board showroom, MacDonald Cleaners and Hector Russell shop. - 2008.72.154  - © McLean Museum and Art Gallery, Greenock. MacSymon's Stores - Advertisement from 1906 - MacSymon's operated a network of grocery shops in the Inverclyde area. - 1997.122 - © McLean Museum and Art Gallery, Greenock Glendinning and Co. - Advertisement from 1907 - Glendinning supplied the latest in entertainment for wealthy homes, in this case, the gramophone. - 1997.123 - © McLean Museum and Art Gallery, Greenock Burgh of Greenock Bye-law: Half-holiday order for shops for the sale of meat, sale of medicines and Fleshers Closing Order from the Shops Act of 1911 which sought to limit the hours of shop workers. - 2007.162 - © McLean Museum and Art Gallery, Greenock The Scotch Wool and Hosiery Store in West Blackhall Street, Greenock. This colour transparency was taken by Eugene Jean Méhat (1920-2000) in 1967 during the final years of the business. - 2008.72.620  - © McLean Museum and Art Gallery, Greenock.

Old Inverclyde had a thriving retail and shopping scene which provided residents and vistors with a wide range of goods and services. Many of these shops became famous retailers and their names still remain in the memory. In this gallery you can see some of the shops and old advertisements and can get some idea of the bustle and popularity of local shops and businesses.

Inverclyde saw a great expansion of retailing in the late Victorian and Edwardian periods as local industries reached their zenith. This brought money and a huge increase of population to the area as people came to share in the newly acquired prosperity of the area. Innovations in retailing, such as the department store, also appeared in Inverclyde which combined with specialist retailers supplying everything from fish to tools and equipment for local tradesmen to give a more broadly based retail economy.

The text and images on this page are the copyright of the McLean Museum and Art Gallery. For enquiries about this collection please contact the Inverclyde Heritage Hub at heritagehub@inverclyde.gov.uk.

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Page last updated: 6 August 2018