Also in 1856, McEwan’s Brewery established itself in Fountainbridge. Within just five years, the firm was turning over £40,000 and, over the next 100 years, it became a household name across the UK. In 1973, a new Fountain Brewery opened on the back of a £13 million investment on the premises of the former North British Rubber Company. The brewery closed in 2004 and the building was demolished in 2011.
Set up in 1856, the canalside North British Rubber Company manufactured everything from galoshes to the first Wellington boots to 2.5 million feet of hosepipe. The company also supported the war effort with millions of gas masks and boots. In 1958, the company produced Britain’s first traffic cones, but a gradual take-over by US Rubber Incorporated led to the mill’s closure in 1959.
Now, thanks to a Heritage Lottery Fund grant, the former HQ building will become a world-leading centre for 3D printing technology, with facilities for artists to practise the craft.