By 1877, Kirkcaldy in West Fife, Scotland, had established itself as the world’s largest centre for the manufacture of wax floorcloth, and was in an ideal position to exploit a rapidly growing home and international market for linoleum. By the end of the 19th century, Kirkcaldy was transformed into the linoleum capital of the world.
The first linoleum producer in Kirkcaldy was Barry, Ostlere & Shepherd, formed in 1899 by the merger of John Barry, Ostlere & Co., the Kirkcaldy Linoleum Co. and Shepherd & Beveridge.
In 1914 the company was described as manufacturers of floorcloth and linoleum. Specialities included plain and printed linoleums, cork carpets, granite, plank and jaspe linoleums.
In 1963 Barry, Ostlere & Shepherd succumbed to a downturn in the linoleum market and folded, causing the loss of around 1,500 jobs.