Slater’s Royal National Commercial Directory has just been made available online.
The subscription/pay-per-view website Family Relatives has added to its collection of trade directories by releasing trade and individual records dedicated to Scotland.
Family Relatives says: “Slater’s Royal National Commercial Directory is an impressive record of all aspects of life in Scotland in 1889. Apart from topographical and postal Information, it contains lists of professionals, landowners, gentry, farmers, factors, London and provincial bankers and a fascinating array of advertisements accompanies the text.
“The Slater’s Directories form a unique collection of Scottish counties with invaluable occupational and commercial information for 1889 at the peak of Victoria’s reign. The directories with over a quarter of a million entries contain all the major professions, trades and occupations including taverns and public houses as well as the nobility, gentry and clergy. Even the addresses are identified.
“The Slater’s Royal National Commercial Directory of Scotland in its day was more than equal to today’s telephone directory and Yellow Pages combined. Interestingly – following the invention of the telephone, the abbreviations state that: ‘TN with the figures following denote the number in the List of the National Telephone Company Limited’, established only a few years earlier in 1881.
“Towns and parishes are detailed for each area and the introduction contains key information including the number of inhabitants (taken from the 1871 census) with a geographical and topographical description and the local history. A description of the main trades, produce, manufacturers and industries of the area or town are also covered.
“Trade was often at the centre of every community – not only were there many shops but the produce, available minerals, manufacturing, transport and shipping all contributed to the growing Victorian economy. Many of the buildings that remain today reflect the social history and economic growth of Scotland. Educational establishments as well as teachers and local government officials, public buildings and offices are listed and formed part of these communities.”