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Histories of the industry

broxburn coopers

Broxburn coopers

Scotland's shale oil industry operated for more than a century. Its history is a stirring and involved tale of enterprise and invention, triumph and despair, hard labour and strong communities. It remains a source of pride with a continuing legacy. For those seeking a simple introduction to the history of the industry we present:

For others intent in delving more deeply into the story of Scotland's shale, it is often best to consult accounts written while the industry was still active. In A practical treatise on mineral oils and their by-products, published in 1897, Iltyd I. Redwood writes from first hand experience about the evolution of the industry since the days of James Young, and of the many oil business that emerged during the Victorian period. The third edition of Geological Survey memoir Oil-shales of the Lothians contains a chapter on the history of shale oil industry written by H.R.J. Conacher, Manager of Scottish Oils, in 1927. This provides a full and well rounded account of the industry to that date, and has been the major source for many accounts of the industry published in recent years. Various pamphlets published by Scottish Oils Ltd help to extend that history.

Academic studies concerning aspects of the history of Scottish shale include:

John completed a major development to his thesis shortly before his death in 2012:

Other recent publications include:

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.