Calum and Archibald Lamont
Photograph of Calum and Archibald Lamont burning tangles at Cornaigmore in the 1930s.
Courtesy of Mr Archie MacKinnon
Calum and Archibald Lamont are pictured here burning kelp, known as tangle, near Clachan at Cornaigmore in the 1930s. The cooled ash cakes were collected the next morning, bagged and stored in byres until collected by puffer.
There have been three phases in the island’s kelp industry: burning the seaweed for alkalis in the late 18th and early 19th centuries; for producing iodine in the second half of the 19th century; and for alginates in the 20th century.
In the 1980s and 1990s six part-time collectors worked the beaches of the island, lifting storm-cast kelp from the high tide mark. Around 10-25 tons of the dried seaweed was taken each year from Tiree to Girvan where it was processed into alginates used in the food, pharmaceutical, textile and cosmetic industries.
Black and white photograph of Calum and Archie Mor Lamont, Cornaigmore.
Calum and Archie Mor Lamont of Cornaigmore burning tangles in 1932.