This beautiful letterhead is for the Lundin Links business of Adam & Co. Painters, Paperhangers and Decorators.
John Adam was born in Lundin Mill on 12 August 1872 to Agnes Adam. His birth was attended by Margaret Bethune and is recorded in her register of deliveries. Around twenty years later, John established his Lundin Mill house painting business, following spells of apprenticeship in Leven, Dumbarton and London. By 1901 he was an employer and he and his mother were living at his uncle's house (George Adam) which was called 'Bridge Place' but is now 2 Largo Road. His business was based at Milburnlea (4 Largo Road) next door.
In 1909 he married Christina Smith of Balmullo at her home - Upper Wellfield in Balmullo. Christina was the daughter of a stone mason. A witness at the marriage was James Dallas (a relative of John's and a stone mason from Lundin Mill). It seems likely then that the pair met through John's work as a painter and his connections with others in the building trade. John and Christina named their house, at the junction of Mill Wynd and Largo Road, 'Wellfield' after her former home.
As well as building up a large painting business with several employees, John Adam was Chair of Largo Parish Council for six years (and a member for twelve years) plus was a member of Fife County Council. He and his wife had four children - Isabella, Agnes, John and David. Christina died in 1929. John (pictured below) died suddenly in 1932 aged 59. At the time of his death the Scotsman newspaper (27 May) noted that John "took a great interest in Largo Parish and especially in the harbour improvements there". Meanwhile the Dundee Evening Telegraph mentioned that "for over a score of years he was a member of the Golf Club Council and held for considerable periods the convenership of the Green and House Committee. He was also a keen curler".
The ornate letterhead reflects a business that was doing very well in an expanding village. Note the detail below, with the selection of fine brushes and the palette within the design suggesting a high level of skill. As a master painter of the period, work may have included the mixing of bespoke paints, adding ornate decorative features, sign-writing and gilding. Notice also the 'telegraphic address' - showing that this letterhead predates the widespread use of telephone.