Inside Glasgow’s Southern Necropolis cemetery, you might notice one grave with tea bags beside it. These tributes are in honor of Sir Thomas Lipton, one of the tea industry’s most important figures.
Lipton was born in Glasgow on May 10, 1850. At age 16, he emigrated to the United States and worked in various jobs, but soon returned to Scotland to help run his parents’ grocery store. Lipton proved a skilled businessman and built a chain of successful stores. To help supply these outlets with tea, he bought a tea farm in modern-day Sri Lanka and established his own tea company. The tea was often sold with the slogan “direct from tea garden to tea pot.” Lipton also sold some of his tea in a new style of packaging—the tea bag—a change from the typical bulk sale of loose-leaf tea.
By keeping production and packaging costs down, Lipton was able to keep the retail price of his tea low. What was once a luxury was now an affordable product for the masses. The Lipton brand exploded in popularity. Though Lipton died in 1931, his company’s signature red and yellow logo remains recognizable worldwide today.
Know Before You Go
There is adequate parking around the graveyard. There is a map of different graves that can be found at the entrance. There are several sections to this cemetery that all interconnect. Lipton's grave is to the right of the main entrance, in the north/eastern quadrant. It is easy to spot, as it is the only vase in this particular area.