Henry & Carruthers

Ladies' tailors

Henry & Carruthers were 'ladies' tailors, milliners and mourning specialists', at 233 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow. 1 Run by 'A. L. Henry' and William Carruthers (c. 1880–1956), they opened around 1905 in picture-dealer Andrew Duthie's former premises. 2 Carruthers was an ex-draper's assistant, whose prosperous father John Hornsby Carruthers (1836–1925) owned Polmadie Ironworks, steam- and vacuum-pump makers. 3 Henry's identity is less certain. Near (but not exact) matches include Alexander Young Henry (born c. 1872), a drapery warehouseman turned-commercial traveller from Maryhill, and Archibald J. Henry (born c. 1878), a millinery warehouseman from Cathcart. 4

Henry & Carruthers lasted only two years (1905–7), when Henry was living in the railway suburb of Bearsden, and Carruthers stayed with his parents. 5 However, around this time, the Abbey Craig Laundry Co. was founded in Causewayhead, near Stirling, by William and his brother Alfred, who was the manager in 1906. 6 As John and Alfred Carruthers were both mechanical engineers, the laundry business possibly combined the family machinery trade and William's clothes-retailing experience.

'Messrs Carruthers' laundry became a major employer, collecting washing by cart on Mondays, and returning it on Thursdays, and using 'up-to-date plant ... hydro-extractors and steam-heated' dryers. 7 Equipment was constantly renewed, such as their 1912 Glasgow-built Tullis machines replaced in 1919, and they washed clothes for 'practically every person in Stirling ... including the soldiers at Stirling Castle'. 8 In an obituary, Carruthers was noted as 'a benefactor of many causes ... the British Sailors' Society, the war blinded and the limbless'. 9


1: Glasgow Post Office Directory , 1905–6, p. 363.

2: Glasgow Post Office directories, 1900–10.

3: Census data, www.ancestry.co.uk [accessed 4 April 2013]; Glasgow Post Office directories, 1890–1910.

4: Census data, www.ancestry.co.uk [accessed 4 April 2013].

5: Glasgow Post Office directories, 1900–10.

6: Cook & Wylie's Stirling Directory 1906, pp. 86, 109; 1909, p. 116.

7: 'Abbey Craig Laundry, Causewayhead', Industries of Stirling and District, Stirling: Eneas Mackay, 1909, p. 69.

8: Scotsman, 11 August 1919, p. 1; Evening Telegraph, 10 January 1936, p. 6.

9: Evening Times, 16 March 1956, p. 14.