Bagpipe chanter boring bit

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used in manufacturing bagpipes, 19th century

Postcard of Bagpipe chanter boring bit.
© National Museums Scotland

Bagpipe chanter boring bit

Boring bit used to bore out Highland bagpipe chanters, used in the firm of J. and R. Glen of Edinburgh, 19th century.

John and Robert Glen were the proprietors of a bagpipe-making and musical instrument repair business in Edinburgh in the late 19th century. The business was founded in 1827 in the Cowgate, moving later to North Bank Street, Edinburgh, by their father, Thomas McBean Glen (1804-1873), who in 1833 described himself in the business directories of the city as 'pipe and flute maker'. His sons, John (1833-1904) and Robert (1835-1911), took over the business in 1866. In 1911, the premises moved to 497 Lawnmarket where it survived as 'J & R Glen, Highland Bagpipe Makers' until 1978.

The use of the Great Highland Bagpipe in the army, the development of civilian pipe bands and the growing significance of competition meant that the instrument began to take on a fixed and standard form and proportions, for example with its wide bored chanter and bass and two tenor drones. Skilled craftsmen, often wood turners by profession, began to make the instrument more or less to a fixed pattern and added their decoration of 'beading' and 'combing' which was adopted probably by the late 18th century and has remained unchanged since then.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-000-579-790-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0869: The Bagpipe Collection
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  K.2002.1279
Date: 19th century (date of manufacture)
Who: J. and R. Glen, bagpipe manufacturers (owners)
Where: Scotland, Edinburgh (place of manufacture)
Description: Bagpipe chanter boring bit for making bagpipes.
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