Highland Museum of Childhood
This cardboard school bag was one of the philanthropic gifts handed out to children in the nineteenth century by Sir James Coats, a member of the Coats family from Paisley, who made their fortune from thread manufacture.
The family is often noted for its charitable work, sometimes attributed to the family’s deeply religious beliefs and close association with the church.
As well as having school bags like this, and boots made for children, James Coats had bales of Harris Tweed woven, giving work to the islanders, and passed them to a tailor in Paisley who was instructed to make suits for young men in the town.
Links between Paisley and the Highlands were created by migrating Highlanders who sought good jobs in the mills.
School was quite a different place during the 1930s from today! For a start, children were able to leave at the age of just fourteen and enter the word of work. They were taught at wooden desks and their teachers wrote on a blackboard with chalk.