Dundee is famous for its 19th century jute production, which propelled the trading port into Scotland’s fourth largest city.
In the same era Great Britain’s first commercial marmalade producer, Dundee-based James Keiller & Son, mass produced Dundee cake, using a widespread Scottish recipe.
The city has undergone dramatic transformation since the end of the local jute trade. Today it’s home to the University of Dundee, Captain Scott’s Antarctic expedition ship RRS Discovery, 19th-century warship HM Frigate Unicorn, and Scotland’s first design museum, the V&A Dundee.
Moreover, 10% of the United Kingdom’s digital entertainment industry, including mobile app development and gaming, is reportedly based in the city, which in 2014 was recognised by the United Nations as the UK’s first UNESCO City of Design for its diverse contributions to fields including medical research, comics and video games.
Old Photos of Dundee
A fascinating range of locations, time periods and activity. From YouTube channel whatgoesaround70.
Old Dundee Street, on YouTube
Camperdown Jute Mill 1912
The Scottish Screen Archive collection has a clip of factory workers leaving Camperdown jute mill in Dundee, back in 1912. The tram, and the horse and cart, struggle to get through the crowds of workers.
It has been uploaded to YouTube by the National Library of Scotland. Unfortunately, restrictions mean I can’t display the image link here.
But if you can click through to watch the video on YouTube here.
There are so many fascinating aspects to this short film, lasting just over nine minutes. The accents, the industrial history, the steam trains in action, very young teenagers working in factories, seeing the processing of jute when it was still a major source of employment, and the many different views of the city at the time.
The tongue-in-cheek contempt of the locals for their visitor is still funny today.
Dundee on Film 1938 – on YouTube
Trams In The 1950s
The quality of this HuntleyFilmArchives isn’t great because they watermark it to stop it being copied.
However, there are a lot of lovely scenes showing the trams negotiating their way through the streets.
Dundee, 1950’s – Film 33111 – HuntleyFilmArchives on YouTube
A Changing City In The 1960s
Using black and white photographs from the 1960s, YouTube channel lordpitnolen created a video slideshow showing the city at a time of great change.
The selection of old photographs includes:
- Construction of Tay Road Bridge
- Demolition of the old Overgate
- Building of the Angus Hotel and Overgate shopping centre,
- Construction of the (already demolished) Caroline Port Power Station
- Views from Dundee, Camperdown House, and Dundee Harbour
Dundee in the mid-1960s – lordpitnolen on YouTube
Next, enjoy this lovely collection of colour photographs showing a wide range of locations, many of them with people going about their daily lives.
Auld Dundee in Colour .wmv – on YouTube
Town And Gown In The 1970s
Not only does this short film from hooly dundee capture the main shopping area before it significantly changed, but many local people also appear.
THE OVERGATE, DUNDEE 1974 – on YouTube
Made available as part of the University’s 50th century celebrations, this half-hour film from the archives shows lots of students in flares and taking part in a wide range of activities.
Live and Learn in Tayside 1977 – on YouTube
Dundee Jute StowersIn The 1980s
This short film records a working environment long gone.
The introduction and commentary are highly informative and saves this knowledge for future generations.
Dundee Jute Stowers – 1980’s – hooly dundee on YouTube
Local Buses In The 1990s
A trailer for a 76 minute DVD showing buses at work in the city in 1992. Lots of pedestrians appear, some of them close to the camera.
TRAILER FOR PMP DVD 57 DUNDEE 19922 – on YouTube
More pages about Scotland