McCaw Allan`s linen and handkerchief factory at Taghnevan Lurgan can be traced back a far as 1820 when the McCaw family rented 21 acres of land from Lord Lurgan. This was the start of the McCaw family linen business. One McCaw succeeded another, until 1904, when Robert Johnston McCaw went into partnership with Harry Allan to form McCaw, Allan & Co.
Harry Allan was the son of one of Lord Lurgan`s estate Manager and had served his time locally to the linen business, specializing in sales. Harry Allan was the marketing expert, along with his former Lurgan College classmate, R.J. McCaw, the production expert, proved to be an ideal partnership, and the market for the company`s products was rapidly expanded. Sales for 1906 were £15,624, in to-days money this is equivalent to £960,000 of sales.
Until his retirement in 1936, Harry Allan mostly lived and worked in London where he managed the companys sales office at 149 Cheapside, London EC2.
Harry Allan returned to Ireland for the remainder of his retirement but sadly passed away in 1950 at the age of 82 in Holywood Bangor Co Down. Robert J McCaw lived beside the factory in Lurgan and managed the day-to-day production, accounting and administration functions. He also passed away in 1950 the same year as he long time business partner. He was succeeded by his son George Edwin McCaw.
George McCaw spent his early days in the factory learning the trade and in 1924 took on the roll as salesman traveling throughout England selling a wide range of products. One of the biggest selling items of the day were bedspreads, a range called "Folkweave" more than 400,000 of these bedspreads were sold in 1939.