Perthshire implement and machine makers: Mr Morton and Mr Doe

If we think of the names of implement and machine makers in Perthshire from days gone by we could come up with quite a few names. They include J. Bisset & Sons, Blairgowrie, R. G. Morton & Son, Errol, H. W. Mathers, Errol, John Doe, Errol and Perth, J. D. Allan & Sons, Dunkeld. Other less-well names include George Bannerman, Coupar Angus, George Bell, Inchmichael, Errol, Duncan Cameron (harrows), Bank Street, Aberfeldy, and James Campbell, Trades Lane, Coupar Angus.

On 21 July 1896 the Dundee courier published an account on the businesses of two opf these makers: R. G. Morton & Sons, and John Doe. They provide a number of insights into the businesses, their activities, their reputations and family members employed. It is worth quoting at length for adding some “colour” to their business histories:

“Perthshire farmers

Errol Engineering Works

Near Errol are also situated the agricultural engineering works belonging to Messrs R. G. Morton & Sons, among the most extensive of their kind in the country, than Mr R. G. Morton, the senior partner of the firm, few men in Scotland have been more successful. Through his inventive genius agricultural implements and machinery have been brought almost to the point of perfection. Previous to 1870 he had already attained a name for himself in the world of agricultural engineering, and in that year he was fortunate in securing the premises and business so long and successfully carried on by Mr Watson. Five years later he found it necessary to feu the site of the present buildings, near Errol Station, and erect thereon new works and a dwelling-house. Since then the former have been considerably enlarged to meet the ever-increasing demands of the home and foreign trade. Many will doubtless be surprised to learn that from this comparatively small centre machinery has been sent to nearly every manufacturing country on the face of the globe. The jute machinery manufactured at Errol has found its way to America, Sweden, Germany, France, Belgium, Austria, Italy and India. In Ceylon, the Errol engines, boilers, and turbines can be counted by the score, while in Africa flour mills, water wheels, and turbines of Morton’s pattern testify to the patronage of the Boer.

In connection with the practical department of his business. Mr Morton has received most efficient and valuable assistance from his brother and partner, Mr Thomas Morton, whose zeal and enthusiasm have contributed in no small degree to the phenomenal success of the firm. Upwards of ninety hands are regularly employed at Errol Works, and it is a noteworthy fact that the relations between employers and employed have ever been of the most cordial description.

Messrs Doe, Errol

Another prominent Errol man is Mr John Doe, who, along with his two sons, Mr George Doe and Mr John Doe, jun, conducts one of the largest agricultural implement agencies north of the Tweed. The Messrs Doe, who are also extensive threshing machine owners, are well known and highly popular among the agriculturists of the Carse of Gowrie. They are also well known and highly respected in all the principal market towns in Perthshire and the adjacent counties. Mr Doe, sen, is a native of Lancashire, in England, but migrated to this quarter a considerable number of years ago.”