Glasgow is renowned throughout the world as a centre for shipbuilding,
this reputation is reflected in the city’s internationally
significant collection of ship models, which are cared for by Glasgow
Museums. A new book GLASGOW MUSEUMS: THE SHIP MODELS – A HISTORY AND
COMPLETE ILLUSTRATED CATALOGUE is the first fully illustrated record
of all 676 ship models held in our collection. The book took over a
decade to compile.
Some of the most famous ships launched on the Clyde are included, such
as the RMS _Queen Mary_ and HMS _Hood, _as well as models of
historically significant vessels, including the first European
passenger steamer_ Comet _and the world’s first turbine-powered
vessel_ King Edward. _
They are complemented by river steamers, tea clippers, oil tankers,
yachts, battleships, dredgers and tugs. An extensive array of fine
amateur models include everything from tiny miniatures made by French
prisoners during the Napoleonic Wars to the much-loved Clyde puffer
and even a talented example of the familiar ship in a bottle.
Amassed mainly through a uniquely successful relationship between
shipbuilders, ship owners and Glasgow Museums over the last one
hundred and fifty years, the models range in size from a few
centimetres to over 6 metres in length and represent ships built on
every part of the Clyde. Models made for and by great Glasgow
shipbuilders, smaller specialist shipyards and a wealth of skilled,
amateur model makers are on show.
For the first time ever we can show the collection in its splendid
entirety. The book includes a description and stunning images that
reveal exquisite detail of each of the 676 models or model groups in
Glasgow Museums’ collection, ranging from the eighteenth century,
through every decade of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries right
up to the present day. Together with newly researched and in-depth
chapters about the making and history of models and fascinating
historic photographs of exhibitions, model makers and model workshops
from a period spanning 150 years.
The industry ship models were often constructed to refine the design
of a new vessel or to illustrate and promote a completed vessel at
exhibitions. Most were built at a scale of 1:48, 1 inch to 4 feet, and
in one of two forms; a half hull, which shows one half of the hull as
if divided down the centre line of the vessel or a full-hull, which
was usually fitted with a realistic framework of how the finished ship
First displayed in Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum’s ‘Ship
Court’, the models were moved to the newly created ‘Clyde Room’
at the Museum of Transport in Albert Drive in 1978. By the time the
museum moved to the Kelvin Hall in 1988, the Clyde Room had become a
much-loved feature, so it was recreated on a larger scale and proved
Riverside Museum now displays around one quarter of Glasgow’s world
famous ship model collection, which remains a favourite exhibit with
visitors. Glasgow Museum Resource Centre houses the remainder of the
collection, which is publically accessible by appointment.
_Glasgow Museums: The Ship Models – A History and Complete
Illustrated Catalogue _is now available to buy at Riverside Museum and
can be ordered from www.booksource.net [http://www.booksource.net/].
It is co-published with Seaforth Publishing, £35.