Edward Caird

1805 - 1889

Jute Baron. Born in Montrose, Caird was one of the first to see the value of jute as an alternative to the more expensive flax. In 1832, Caird set up a twelve-loom shed in Dundee's Hawkhill, which became known as Ashton Works. The jute fibre was softened with locally-available whale oil which allowed it to be spun. As the new textile became popular, so his business expanded, eventually growing to include the Craigie Works and employ more than 2000 people under his son Sir James Caird (1837 - 1916). In 1870, the elder Caird retired to his home, Finnart House on Loch Long. He died in Edinburgh and lies buried in Dean Cemetery.

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