Bell & Bain Limited

Company Number: SC002168
Date of Incorporation: 25 May 1891
Contact Details: 303 Burnfield Road, Thornliebank, Glasgow, G46 7UQ
Operating Details: Active (Private Limited Company)
Other names (if known):
Function of Company*: Printing Not elsewhere classified (2222) Bookbinding and finishing (2223), Pre-press activities (2224), ancillary activities related to printing (2225)
Headquarters/Base of Operations Location: Glasgow
Area of Operation: Glasgow based press

*Taken from Standard Industrial Classification 2003, as used by Companies House in 2010


The historic business records of this company were destroyed by fire at Thornliebank in the 1980s.

Related records: A selection of the company’s work was available in the Andrew Bain Collection at the Mitchell Library, Glasgow.

Company History

The firm of Bell and Bain was established in Glasgow in 1832 by James Bell and Andrew Bain, who took over the premises of Curll and Bell (James Bell’s former partnership). The first premises were in Bell Street, though the firm moved from there to Royal Exchange, and later St Enoch Square. When the St Enoch tube station was built the company moved to Mitchell Street, and in 1973 finally moved into its present home, a 30,000 suqre foot factory in Thornliebank. Of the original partners, Bain died in 1858 and Bell in 1891, and though no members of the family became directors the Bell name was traceable on share records until the early 1980s.

The first book printed by the company was a collection of Scottish proverbs compiled by Andrew Henderson in 1832. In its infancy the company mostly specialised in printing factual material, including numerous works of Scottish history and different versions of the Bible, including the New Polyclott Bible, under licence granted by Queen Victoria. The company’s reputation was established by the printing of educational, medical and scientific journals and books, in particular work in the field of complex mathematics and science.

By the early 1980s the company exported across Europe and the US. In 1988 it gained British standard registration required by BS5750.