Stitcher: Lisbeth Cajstam (Gothenburg).
William Gibson (the oldest) left Arbroath and immigrated to Sweden in May 1797, at the age of 14. In the early 1820s he concentrated on rope and sail making and in 1834 he moved his factory to Jonsered. Here there was an opportunity for expansion and yet not too far away from the port and trade centre, Gotëborg. In addition, the proximity to the Säveän River and hence the availability of hydro-electric power, was an added advantage. A gasworks provided power to the factories as well as heating and electricity for the workers’ houses. Together with his friend, Alexander Keiller, Gibson set up a modern factory that dominated the Scandinavian market. A foundry was added and in the 1850s, an engineering shop producing agricultural machinery as well as a cotton spinning mill and a weaving mill.
Jonsered is the equivalent of New Lanark in Scotland, an industrial village set up by social pioneer Robert Owen. Housing was provided for the workers, health care, a crèche, a church, a school and a retirement home. The first terraced town houses in Sweden are at Nybygget in Jonsered. These red brick homes were built from 1841 using bricks manufactured at the Jonsered brickworks.
Gibson created what was a unique self-sufficient industrial community at the time, in Sweden. This first example of ‘industrial welfare’ was continued by his son William (the older: 1816-1865) and grandson, William (the younger: 1848-1917) respectively. William (the older) began the production of timber processing machines in the 1880s and William (the younger) continued the successful venture. The Jonseredfabriken was re-organised in 1872 and became Jonsered Fabriker AB.
SE06 Uilleam Gibson: Jonsered
Dh’fhàg Uilleam Gibson Obar Bhrothaig agus ghluais e don t-Suain sa Chèitean 1797 aig aois ceithir bliadhna deug. Tràth sna 1820an, chuir e a dhlùth-aire ri bhith a’ dèanamh ròpaichean agus siùil agus ann an 1834 ghluais e fhactaraidh gu Jonsered, far an robh farsaingeachd ann airson leudachadh agus aig an aon àm a bhith a’ fuireach faisg air mòr-ionad na malairt ann an Gothenburg. Bha ionad-obrach gas a’ solarachadh cumhachd do na factaraidhean a thuilleadh air dealan airson taighean an luchd-obrach. Còmhla ri a charaid Alasdair Keiller, chuir Gibson air bhonn baile beag gnìomhachasail a ghabh buaidh air a’ mhargaid Shuainich. Am measg sochair an luchdobrach thùsail, bha taigheadas, cùram slàinte, cròileagan, eaglais, sgoil agus taigh airson seann daoine.