The Decorative Tile & Fireplace Co.

Suppliers of grates

The Decorative Tile and Fireplace Company were mosaic and encaustic tile, and marble workers, founded around 1905 by Parlane (Gaelic for 'Bartholomew') MacFarlane (b. Cardross, 1863–1933) and Robert Crooks MacInnes (1863–1932), based at 332–334 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow. MacInnes left the firm in 1912; MacFarlane moved premises to Blythswood Square, before ceasing business c. 1914. The firm's listing in the Glasgow Post Office Directory described them as carrying out 'decorative work for public buildings, steamships and private dwellings' as well as being 'specialists in fireplace construction'. 1

MacFarlane's father managed the Dalquhurn Calico Printing Works, part of the cloth-finishing industry around Dumbarton. In 1882, MacFarlane was a manufacturer's warehouse clerk, and in 1896, he and his brother Andrew (with whose family he lodged) appear as manufacturers' agents, representing Dyffryn Steel and Tinplate Works, Swansea, and Avon Steelworks, Sheffield. By 1900, A. & P. MacFarlane were metal brokers in the newly-built Baltic Chambers, Wellington Street. Alongside this, MacFarlane was also a manager for textile-bleacher Robert McConnell. MacFarlane began yet another sideline around 1901, ‘P. MacFarlane & Co., mosaic and encaustic tile layers’, advertised in terms virtually identical to the later Decorative Tile Co. He briefly ran the two firms in parallel before concentrating solely on the latter after around 1908. 2

MacInnes grew up in Ayr, the son of a United Presbyterian minister. By 1901, he was working as an iron-founder's clerk in Glasgow and had a young family. 3


1: Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1905–6, p. 246.; Edinburgh Gazette, 4 June 1912, p. 576; Glasgow Post Office directories, 1883–1930; birth and death information, [accessed 20 October 2012]; probate information [accessed 20 October 2012].

2: Census information, [accessed 20 October 2012]; will information, [accessed 20 October 2012]; Glasgow Post Office directories, 1883–1930; Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1882–3, pp. 352, 372; 1896–97, p. 346; 1897–8, p. 353; 1899–1900, p. 373; 1900–1, pp. 363, 377–8; 1901–2, p. 380.

3: Census information, [accessed 20 October 2012].