Thomas Lipton Collection

A collection of over 100 volumes of press cuttings and photographs covering the business and social life of Sir Thomas Lipton.

About the collection

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Detail from an advertisement for Lipton's Tea

Sir Thomas Lipton was one of Glasgow's most famous and successful sons. A self-made man who came from humble origins, he made a fortune selling tea and used his wealth to enter a succession of boats (all named 'Shamrock') in the America's Cup yacht race.

Despite his wealth and fame, he never forgot his native city and when he died in 1931, he gifted around £10,000 to the city of his birth. He also donated his extensive personal collection of newspaper cuttings, photographs and memorabilia. These are now housed in The Mitchell Library.

In 1999, the Collection required conservation work and it was then decided to digitise selected images, which would also open up the material to a wider audience. This work was funded at the time by Unilever, who owned the Lipton brand.  The images, along with Lipton's remarkable life story, can now be viewed online. (Some of the images used on the site have been reproduced with kind permission of Unilever.)

The Collection consists of over 100 volumes of press cuttings and photographs, covering the period from 1877 until his death in 1931.  It details his business and social life but concentrates mostly on his five challenges for the America's Cup.

Finding aid

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Sir Thomas Lipton at the wheel of Shamrock IV. 1920.

Read the Life Story of Sir Thomas Lipton and view many of the collection's photographs online.

There are other items in the collection that are not available online. Please contact Special Collections or 0141 287 2988 if you would like to access this collection.

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