Still thriving today as Allardyce Healthcare, Dundee's leading manufacturer of medical equipment was founded in 1890. Charles Allardyce was a master saddler who entered into partnership with cutlery-maker William Pettie and an entrepreneur called Whitelaw to begin production of surgical instruments. Unfortunately the three men soon fell out, and around 1901 Pettie & Whitelaw established themselves as a separate business in direct competition to Allardyce on opposite sides of the Nethergate.
Left: Syringe made by Pettie & Whitelaw (DUNUC 4078)
Right: Advert for Pettie & Co, c.1918 (Courtesy of Dundee Central Library, Local History Centre)
Whitelaw left the business soon after, but Allardyce & Son and Pettie & Co both continued successfully - particularly with the Great War creating a huge demand for artificial limbs. Pettie & Co increasingly concentrated in this field but the company wound up around 1958. Allardyce expanded into distribution in the 1970s through J & C Surgical Wholesale, supplying medical equipment to the whole of Scotland and the north of England. For a while they also ran specialised orthopaedic clinics, and opened a number of chemist's shops. Today Allardyce Healthcare is based at the West Pitkerro Industrial Estate and specialises in wheelchairs, orthopaedic furniture and hearing aids.
Hogg & Ross were instrument makers based in Dundee from the 1940s to the 1970s. Opening at 14 Whitehall St they moved to 126 Nethergate and finally to 22 Union St.