Glasgow, first dividend it
paid none for six half years. After this, however, it steadily progressed,
till its dividend was over eleven per cent. At the end of 1894 there were in
operation 32 miles of double rails, 300 cars, 3,600 horses, and 1,800 men.
Forty-three million passengers a year were carried, and the revenue was a
quarter of a million sterling.
Then the Corporation stepped in. Seven years earlier the company, with the
end of the lease looming before it, had sought Parliamentary powers to
extend its business by carriage-hiring, contracting and the like, but was
induced to drop the project by the Corporation's promise to negotiate for
prolonging the lease. But in 1891 the city resolved to municipalise the
tramways, and in due course this was done. Mr. Duncan, nevertheless, found
new resources. He obtained powers to include cab and carriage hiring,
undertaking, and other work in the business, was himself appointed managing
director in 1894, and forthwith launched the enterprise upon a new career.
He extended the business to Edinburgh, Leith, Greenock, Ayr, and other
places, and developed the undertaking five-fold. In 1901 the company had
1,800 horses and nearly 1,400 men.
In 1892, when the Corporation had decided to terminate the tramways lease,
Mr. Duncan was, at the hands of the servants of the company, presented with
by Sir George Reid, P.R.S.A. He died suddenly at his residence, Thornbank,
Pollokshields, on 20th August, 1908, and was survived by a wife and a