John Adamson emigrated to Boston, Massachusetts from Dunfermline Scotland in 1905. He ran a bagpipe import and repair shop up until the early 1940′s.
His grandson John R. Adamson kindly left this information -
“John Adamson was born in Dumfermline, Scotland as one of 16 children. He emigrated with his parents to the United States. He had many jobs, beginning in the coal mines, which his family had done in Scotland, as a grocer, a newspaper editor/publisher in Boston, and finally as a bagpipe manufacturer. All of this with a 5th grade education! He always worked alone to produce the finest pipes.
My father learned both how to make bagpipes and piping from grandpa. Dad spent the rest of his life with pipe bands, beginning with playing the pipes when he was 4 and leading his first band when he was 11.
Grandpa made pipes in the USA for more than 50 years. His customers were across the US and Canada. When I was getting married in Billings, Montana, one of his very old customers (who had started buying his pipes from grandpa around the 1920s), William Flockart, played at our wedding.
The following pictures are courtesy of Duncan Adamson, he made a scan of an old newspaper add from 1945. Duncan says ,
“This article was from the Sunday News, “New York’s Sunday Picture Newspaper” (March 4, 1945). My father’s family lived in Brooklyn, NY from the late 1800s through the 1950s. I have a feeling my grandfather saw this in the newspaper back in 1945 and thought it was interesting that there was an Adamson making bagpipes in Boston. I’ve been digging through boxes of old photos, and when I saw this, I assumed it was my great-grandfather’s brother William Adamson (name, age, and born in Scotland… all match!). But I read the bio on the website (written by his grandson I believe), and nothing seems to match. I would be curious to get in touch with the grandson and ask some more questions to be sure.”
Photos below courtesy of Don Watts – Boise ID