One of BraeVal's newly released shirts is a grey, black, and maroon tartan that we call Aberdeen Granite, after the famed city of Aberdeen located on the east coast of Scotland. Today, Aberdeen is known for its amazing museums and art galleries, as stomping grounds for the British Royal Family, and for its silvery grey Gothic granite buildings... not to mention its amazing men, women, and children. Aberdeen's grit and strength are deeply entwined in the heart of Braeval... and, as you read this you will find out why...
Aberdeen is the "Granite City." All you have to do is look around! Everything from its grandest public buildings to its seven-story tenements with their towers and ornate decorations is made of granite. It is estimated by the city that more than 50% of the buildings found here are made from granite mined in the Rubislaw Quarry, located within a mile of the city center. When this quarry closed in 1971, it was 450 feet deep and had been worked for more than 200 years, by Aberdeen's men of granite.
Our new Aberdeen Granite shirt is a salute to the legacy of these hardworking men whether they were quarrymen, settmakers, stonecutters, polishers, or building masons, their work was difficult and often dangerous. Life in a granite quarry in the 19th century started early in a boy's life. Many were brought to work by their fathers as an apprentice to a settmaker. Other boys were employed as "nippers" and performed a variety of tasks from collecting tools in wheel barrels for sharpening to feeding dangerous sawing machines with scraps.
The most treacherous job that required almost unimaginable endurance and patience, plus a strong constitution fell to the quarrymen, who had to wield heavy tools made of iron tipped with steel, hour after hour. These tools hardly made a dent in granite's unyielding surface. The work of the granite quarrymen remained difficult throughout the 19th century. Power tools were not used until the first years of the 20th century and all carving was carried out by hand until the middle of the 20th century.
Not only the quarry was dangerous, but granite yards presented another set of equally treacherous hazards. Masons broke and shaped stones for practical uses, settmakers broke granite into small pieces for paving stones, and polishers worked to make the granite smooth and shiny - and they all faced danger. The noise and dust must have been overwhelming. The most common accident in the granite yards was shards of firey fragments from steel tools flying up into their faces, sometimes blinding workers. Another great concern was contracting the "dust disease" - something that we know today as silicosis, which affects the lungs and is fatal.
The single and most significant breakthrough in Aberdeen's granite industry came in 1834 when Alexander McDonald invented a steam lathe that helped with polishing using sand and water and the steam saw which reduced the time of cutting granite slabs from months to weeks. These inventions made large-scale production of polished granite slabs feasible. In 1886, a new technology, the use of pneumatic power tools from Vermont was imported and embraced and Aberdeen's granite industry thrived. The 20th century saw even more technological advances like the "Jenny Lind" polisher, named after the popular opera singer, wire saws, boring machines, and circular saws with diamond tips.
In the 19th and mid-20th centuries, the granite men of Aberdeen quarried one of the hardest materials on earth that made buildings that defined more than two centuries. Granite was used to make statues of kings, queens, and heroes, it was used to make bridges, palaces, and grand edifices, and was exported all over the world. Sadly, the great granite yards of Aberdeen no longer exist. However, their legacy remains because there are so many buildings to enjoy today in Aberdeen and around the world, thanks to the men of granite -- so... in that spirit -- wear our Aberdeen Granite shirt with the honor of pride and tradition of strength...it is why we make our shirts durable in the classic Scottish tradition... to celebrate all of you who work so hard.
About Our Aberdeen Shirt in Granite
As with all BraeVal shirts, our Aberdeen Granite shirt is made of our trademarked Tierra Fabric with many details you will find nowhere else. Our shirts come in five perfect styles that are time-tested in the field and out on the town. Whether you choose our best seller the ExVenturer with double bellow pockets, the Litchfield with a single pocket, the Paddock with double pleated pockets, the Atremis our exclusively designed shooting shirt, or the Essex which is a classic fit, you will find the ideal shirt to fit your lifestyle.