The North British Rubber Company started life in January 1856 when an American investor called Henry Lee Norris arrived in Scotland as a passenger aboard the SS Harmonia. The ship was carrying as cargo some rather specialised equipment, and among the other passengers were four skilled American workers called Louise Dixon, Sophia Terry, Hannah Dixon and Walter P. Dunn. With the specialised equipment, these five people were to found the first vulcanized rubber plant in Scotland for the manufacture of India-rubber boots and overshoes.
As I was researching for the book I came across a rather interesting copy of the labour contract which was entered into by one of the American workers, Louise Dixon, and her employer in 1855. It gives a revealing glimpse of the working conditions at the time, and were probably considered to be quite reasonable back then in 1855.