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Glasgow and Liverpool, 1900

Black and white photograph showing horses and carts carrying goods down Dale Street, Liverpool

Dale Street, Liverpool 1900.
Photographed by City Engineer's Department, Liverpool.
Liverpool Record Office, Liverpool Libraries.

The professional careers of Frances Macdonald and Herbert McNair were divided between Glasgow and Liverpool, two of Britain’s most economically and culturally vibrant cities at the end of the nineteenth century. By 1900 each laid claim to the title ‘second city of the Empire’.

Prosperous, confident and modern, open to international influences through trade and transport, and expanding and rebuilding at an astonishing rate, both cities offered the promise of employment and creative stimulation to designers like the McNairs.

From the 1890s to the early 1900s the couple thrived within the design communities provided by Glasgow School of Art and Liverpool’s School of Architecture and Applied Art, both of which institutions were a direct product of their city’s ambition and burgeoning expansion.

Black and white photograph of a bridge over a river with trams travelling across it.

Jamaica Bridge, Glasgow c.1894
(c) Annan, Glasgow