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‘Sculpting the Garden of Eden’: patronage, community and the British Aluminium Company in the Scottish Highlands, 1895-1982’

Perchard, Andrew (2007) ‘Sculpting the Garden of Eden’: patronage, community and the British Aluminium Company in the Scottish Highlands, 1895-1982’. Scottish Labour History, 42. pp. 49-69. ISSN 0586-7762

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Abstract

The British Aluminium Company (BACO) - founded in 1894 - remained the largest British producer of primary aluminum in the UK for more than half a century. At the heart of its activities are integrated smelters located in one of the most isolated parts of the UK: the Scottish Highlands. This region has experienced a steady diaspora at the end of XIX th and early XXth centuries, and has had few opportunities to offer in terms of employment. Between 1896 and 1939, Baco undertook the construction of three smelters, hydroelectric plants and two industrial towns. The British Aluminium Company then took the form of a deeply paternalistic organization. Workers and villages were seen as models "industrial welfare" and social compliance.