The collection contains the following material:-
Records of J. & W. Stuart Ltd, 1843-1951: including ledgers, account, production, contracts and letter books, 1843-1951; papers on wages, legal documents, patents, cotton mill balance sheets, 1859-1925.
Records of James Jack & Sons Ltd. 1904-1922: including agreements, accounts, balance sheets, correspondence and miscellaneous legal documents relating to the amalgamation of James Jack & Sons Ltd. and J. & W. Stuart, 1920 and Correspondence between National Union of General Workers, Ministry of Labour and James Jack and Sons Ltd., relating to weavers' strike at Caronside Works, Stonehaven, 1918
Directors minute books, 1904-1920, now in NRS reference GD1/911.
In 1812 James Paterson, a cooper in Musselburgh, invented a net loom which revolutionised the production of fishing nets. On his death in 1849 the business was sold by his executors to John and William Stuart. William, the main partner, had formerly been engaged in business as a wine and spirit merchant in Edinburgh. The company expanded rapidly from 1850 onwards, opening new premises in 1860-1865.These buildings are still in use today. Later on in the century William became involved in several business enterprises in America and Canada, including the first National Bank of Salem, Oregon.
J & W Stuart remained a partnership unitl 1920 when, in order to obtain limited liability status, it amalgamated with the smaller firm of James Jack and Sons Ltd of Stonehavaen. The resultant company was known as Stuart and Jack Ltd., until c 1930 when the present title was adopted.