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John Barbour

1849 - 1918

Draper, who gave his name to the Barbour Jacket. Born and raised at Bogue (Dumfries and Galloway), the second son of a farmer, Barbour moved to the North-East of England and setup as a travelling draper in 1870. In 1894, he began trading as J. Barbour & Sons from a shop in South Shields. They sold all forms of clothing, but soon began to specialise in oilskin coats for fishermen, sailors and other outdoor workers. By 1906, the range had expanded to include oiled clothing for landowners, farmers and shepherds. A mail-order catalogue introduced in 1908 and, by 1917, 75% of the company's business was through that medium.

The company now operates internationally and enjoys three Royal Warrants, together with a Queens Award for Export Achievement, gained successively in 1992, 1994 and 1995.

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