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John Pullar


1803 - 1878

Entrepreneur and local politician. Born in Perth, the son of a cloth manufacturer, Pullar served an apprenticeship as a cloth-dyer and established his own own dyeworks in the city in 1824. He diversified into the cleaning of clothes and carpets and soon moved his business to Mill Street, where he was able to use the Town Lade as to provide water and power. The extensive facade of the North British Dye Works (which replaced the Pullar's original premises on Mill Street in 1865) remain as Pullar House.

Pullar was a paternalistic employer, typical of his time, who promoted good relations with his workers, although he tried and failed to enforce temperance. In 1852, he was awarded a Royal Warrant - as Dyer to Queen Victoria - and his staff had grown to 100. He bought sewing machines from the USA to finish his cloth.

He became a town councillor in 1847, and served as Lord Provost of Perth (1867-73). He became a Director of the Caledonian Railway Company and promoted the development of the railways, realising their benefit to his own business.

He died at his home in St. Leonard's Bank and was buried in Wellshill Cemetery following a public funeral. His eldest son, Sir Robert Pullar (1828 - 1912), continued to build the business, which was also joined by other sons James, Edmund and Laurence.


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