W.D. MacFarlane was apparently in the dyeing business in Albany, New York (MacFarlane's Old Dye Works) as a partner with his brother Robert. Their father, Robert MacFarlane (1815-1883) had emigrated from Scotland to the United States in 1836, where he carried on the family trade of dyeing, but also engaged in more intellectual pursuits, serving as editor of the SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN for 17 years. There is little information on his sons.
This scrapbook contains several handwritten directions for preparation of chemical solutions to dye textiles various colors; newspaper clippings on a variety of subjects; several marriage and obituary notices concerning the MacFarlane and Albright families of Albany; and numerous clippings of poems and several political cartoons.
W.D. MacFarlane Scrapbook, 1870-1892, Archives Center, National Museum of American History