North British Rubber Company
This was one of Scotland's oldest rubber companies, founded in 1855. The name "North British" was one of the many legacies of the Jacobite risings of the 18th century and it was hoped that calling Scotland North Britain would quell any nationalism and make us all good unionists.
The company took Forgan's sole agency for selling clubs in Edinburgh away from Thornton & Co in September 1891 with Forgan announcing the firm would sell clubs fitted with 'Brand's patent facings which, being unaffected by wet and quite unbreakable, are much superior to the old ram's horn mounts'.
The company started making gutty balls in Rose Street in Edinburgh in the 1890s and supposedly employed Wilfred Reid who had served an apprenticeship in Edinburgh with Willie Armour. As this side of the business expanded, a retail outlet was opened at 106 Princes Street and a large factory established at Castle Mills. Although famous for golf balls they also made clubs during the hickory era.
Many of their brands were renowned, Pin-Hi, the Chick (and Big Chick, Bramble Chick, Dimple Chick, Diamond Chick and Dixie Chick, OK maybe I made one of those up!); The New Kite, The Osprey and The Twin Dot. Another very collectible item from the company is from the 1940s and 1950s when they commissioned Sylvac to make a pottery version of their then logo, a Scottie dog with a golfball in his mouth. These figures are sometimes mounted on a blue plinth with the inscription "North British: The Choice of Champions".
It was one of several British manufaturers on which Albert E Penfold had a major influence. He came to Edinburgh in 1928 to redesign and refurbish the factory,
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