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Object details



Object Number


Object Name

photograph album


photograph album containing 46 black and white photographs taken to illustrate the progress made in the erection of a bench of 80 Young & Fyfe retorts at the Hopetoun Oil Works for Messrs Young's Paraffin Light & Mineral Oil Company Ltd. Handwritten note in ink on inside cover explaining the content of the album and stating "Order given 30th August 1906. Completion promised 30th Nov 1906". Photographs in chronological order dating from 11th September 1906 to 18th December 1906. Album possibly created by A.F. Craig, Paisley? Photographs annotated and show: preparing foundations starting the brickwork cast iron plates in position the dinner hour putting screws in position west end of bench showing cast iron plates building condenser foundation starting iron work of condenser building brick retorts screws all in position placing condenser chests building outer walls discharging iron retorts Commencing erection of condenser pipes proceeding with erection of condenser pipes cast iron retorts waiting on brickwork riveting hoppers at Paisley trying hoppers in position in yard at Paisley loading hoppers at Paisley setting cast iron retorts all cast iron retorts in place building in cast iron retorts erecting steel hoppers setting last hopper in position hoppers completed hydraulic mains and chimneys erected erecting condenser condenser nearly completed Blue hard cover impressed with "Kodak" in gold coloured lettering and geometric design towards the bottom in black. Inside front cover stamped "West Lothian Council Library Services". Two blank spaces in album


Hopetoun Oil works was established in c 1873 by the Uphall Mineral Oil Company, which was absorbed by Young's Paraffin Light & Mineral Oil Company in 1884. This is a series of photographs documenting the construction of "Young and Fyfe" shale oil retorts at Hopetoun Oil works in 1906 by A F Craig & Company Ltd. This design of retort was presumably a development of the Young and Beilby retort incorporating improvements made by John Fyfe of Young's Company. donor was former employee of BP Oil (Grangemouth) Refinery Ltd.

creative commons

We are happy to licence use of many images, extracts, and other resources of this website under a Creative Commons attribution, non-commercial licence (Scotland). See full copyright statement. Such material should be attributed to Almond Valley Heritage Trust and, where practical, a hyperlink provided to www.scottishshale.co.uk.