The Oil and the Brick; Tales of a Scotsman in Persia


‘Abadan — The Fruit of British Industry that Persia Covets.’ The Illustrated London News, 8 September 1951 (cited in Damluji, 2013)

The Oil and the Brick; Tales of a Scotsman in Persia

Ahmadreza Hakiminejad

On a late-spring day in 1901, the King of Persia signed a notorious concession and gave the English millionaire William Knox D’Arcy the rights to prospect for and market oil. Seven years later, the black substance was no longer a mystery in the land of Persia. In 1909, the London-based Anglo-Persian Oil Company (APOC) was born and by 1912, the liquid began to flow in the pipeline from the oil fields of Masjed Soleyman to what was yet to become the world’s largest refinery on the desert island of Abadan; putting a poor, deprived village on the map. This was the time when, far from Abadan, a 25-year-old Scotsman, through “a remarkable stroke of good fortune” [1], was about to join the office of Edwin Lutyens – the empire’s eminent architect – who had just been commissioned to create a new capital for India.

Read the full article here on Round City

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