Dundee is known for many things, including its three major historic industries - Jute, Jam and Journalism. The three cases in this gallery represent these three J’s. Find the Jute industry display, at the back of the gallery underneath the rib cage of the whale skeleton. During the 1800s and early 1900s, Dundee was the world centre for the manufacture of jute. In fact, the city became known as ‘Juteopolis’ – the jute capital of the world. The first bales of raw jute were unloaded at Dundee’s docks in 1820. The city already had a thriving textile industry, producing coarse linen fabrics, used primarily for sailcloth. Many of Dundee’s firms decided to change from linen to jute production. By the 1870s, 140,000 tons of raw jute were being imported through Dundee’s docks each year, and transformed into woven fibre in the City’s jute mills. Object number 6 in this display is a bottle of whale oil, and object 5 is an example of jute fiber going through a softening machine model. It was discovered that whale oil could be used to soften raw jute fiber, which made it workable by machine. This discovery by a Dundee spinner had an enormous effect on both the whaling and textile industries. In 1901, the population of Dundee was 160,000. Astonishingly, almost half of the working population was directly involved in textile production. From the 1920s onwards, jute production in Dundee declined significantly. This was mainly due to fierce competition from the Indian jute industry. The textile mills that did survive diversified into polypropylene production. Please find the case with Keillers Marmalade at the back of the gallery under the whale skeleton fin, to find out about Dundee and Jam.
The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery and Museum is situated in the centre of Dundee. The Museum and Art Gallery originally known as the Albert Institute was opened in 1867 as a memorial to Prince Albert. In 2005 The McManus closed for a major refurbishment, reopening again on the 28th February 2010. We celebrated our 150th Anniversay in 2017 with a year of celebration. In 2020 we were awarded Visitor Attraction of the Year by Visit Scotland. The McManus has 8 galleries, which are laid out on 2 floors. Visitors can embark on a journey through 400 million years, and witness how a small settlement developed into the City of Dundee as it is today. From exhibits relating to the life of early man in the area, stunning paintings and decorative art through to artefacts from industries past and present, the City's collections, many of which are recognised as being of national significance, give an insight into Dundee and its people.