Kirkland cotton mills - First flax mill at Benvie 1787 - First spinning mill for Osnaburgs at Brigton 1790 - Kirkland mill partly a flax mill in 1794 - Burned in 1800 - The new mill - Introduction of gas in 1810 - "The auld licht and the new licht" - Difficulties spinners had to contend against - Life on Levenside - Am born at Kirkland - Father goes to Balgonie - To London in 1812 - Limehouse and the works there - Captain Huddart - Other partners of firm - Visit from uncle David - Events of the time - Westminster Bridge lit with gas - Thames frozen - Visit of the Allied Powers - Opening of Waterloo Bridge - Return to Scotland - Earthquake there - Its effects on the Leven - We settle in Dundee, 1816.
Relations connected with flax-spinning - Special qualifications for his position - How his letters are to be taken - Church connection and interest - Visit to Logie Almond and the Sma' Glen - Letter from Manchester - Drive to Blackburn - Letter from Leeds - Baptism in Dr Wardlaw's - Business first, pleasure afterwards.
Favourite summer resorts - Enjoyment of the country - Talk with countrywoman - Sabbath morning scene - Advice on the choice of a path in life - Picture-seeing and picture-buying - A gale - Harwood - Dream of Moffat - Stereoscopic views - a cold new year - Improvements in hackling - Apparatus for preventing accidents - At Elie - Castle garden, Crail - A day's fishing - On the watch - "Sair Dung" - Bob's first swim - First introduction - His home - His appearance and character - Youngest sister's death.
A lazy watchman - Buildings fire-proof - Effect of alum solution - Experiments - Theory put into practice - Paper on factory chimneys - The three at the Dens - Effect of a gale - Importance of draught - Houses for workpeople - Spontaneous combustion - Danger of greasy waste and dust - Experiments on oils - Fires in 1865 - Simultaneous fires in 1866 - Charles Mackie's training of nephew James - Tour in manufacturing districts - Trouble from masons - The limited principle - Domestic troubles.
The Glamis Burn - Flax cultivation encouraged - Operations performed at the mill - Method of retting - Analysis of yield from straw - Letter to Mr William Baxter - Opposition to the Rettery - Scutching machines - Watt's patent for retting - Glamis mill sold.
Paper on the bursting of boilers - War between France and Prussia - Death of his wife - Her burial in Kettins Kirkyard - Death of Sir David Baxter - Managers and heads of departments - Prosperity of Dundee - The Dens Works in 1873 - Mr W.O. Dalgleish - Advantages of residence in the country - Extracts from letters on - an aurora, haymaking, toothache, a dream, the singing of birds, apparatus for pressing and tying bales, a sermon, a holiday - Death of his daughter.