William Anderson

Plumber, gasfitter, bell hanger

B/W Advertisement for William Anderson, 'Glasgow Building Trades Exchange', 1896, p. 223

William Anderson (c. 1856–1924), plumber and gasfitter in Glasgow, was the son and brother of John Anderson Senior and John Anderson Junior of master slaters John Anderson. 1 William appears in the local directory from 1876, as a plumber and lead merchant, and by 1880 had branches both in city-centre Buchanan Street, and in the Gorbals. 2

During the early 1900s, the firm opened additional branches in the city centre and Dumbarton Road, and also traded as electricians. 3 Anderson was joined in the business by his son, James K. Anderson, who was killed in 1917 while serving as a captain in the Scottish Rifles, but William Anderson & Sons Ltd was still trading in the 1960s. 4

William Anderson was one of the earliest 'registered' plumbers in Glasgow after the quality-assurance scheme was introduced to Scotland in 1888. 5 He was also a founder-member in 1894, along with John Keppie, painter R. J. Bennett of J. B. Bennett & Son, and engineer William Arrol, of the Glasgow Building Trades Exchange, another professional body aiming to standardise contracts, and arbitrate disputes. 6 In 1909, he made a more unusual investment, becoming a partner in Govan Skating Rink, which was designed for roller skating. 7


1: Census, www.ancestry.co.uk; Wills Search at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk [accessed 22 February 2013].

2: Glasgow Post Office Directories, 1870–1910.

3: Glasgow Post Office Directories, 1870–1910.

4: Scotsman, 11 December 1917, p. 6; Wills Search, www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk [accessed 24 February 2012]; Evening Times, 2 December 1964, p. 19.

5: Glasgow Herald, 10 January 1888, p. 2; Jack House, The Plumber in Glasgow, Glasgow: Robert Maclehose, 1948, p. 33.

6: Glasgow Herald, 28 April 1894, p. 5; Scotsman, 25 April 1894, p. 1.

7: Scotsman, 14 August 1909, p 6.