A G & J Burns timetable, 1921.
Two merchants, the brothers James (1789-1871) and George Burns (1795-1890), laid the foundations for the firm as early as 1821 when they introduced a passenger steamer service between Glasgow and Ayr. They introduced services to Liverpool and Belfast in 1824, and in 1830 became partners with David and Charles McIver in the City of Glasgow Steam Packet Co running passenger and mail services between Glasgow, Liverpool, Belfast and Londonderry. In 1839 George Burns was co-founder with Samuel Cunard and David MacIver of the firm that became the Cunard Steam Ship Co and which won the lucrative contract to carry the transatlantic mail.
The firm, originally J & G Burns, became G & J in 1842. George's son John, 1st Baron Inverclyde (1829-1901) became chairman of Cunard and sole partner in G & J Burns. The company was acquired by Coast Lines in 1919 at the same time as Laird Lines, and the two subsidiaries were amalgamated in 1922 to form Burns & Laird.
Reference: TD 644/37
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning