1868: Charles Rennie Mackintosh is born in Glasgow on June 7. He is the fourth of eleven children, and the second son born to William McIntosh and Margaret Rennie.
1868: Photographer Thomas Annan begins to document the slums and other buildings around High Street for the Glasgow City Improvement Trust.
1872: The Education Acts of 1872 make school compulsory for all children between the ages of five and twelve in Great Britain. Mackintosh’s generation is the first to experience education as a right for all.
1873: The Kibble Palace, a large domed greenhouse, opens in the Glasgow Botanical Gardens. The interior is illuminated by six hundred colored gas lamps.
1878: Catherine Cranston opens her first tearoom, The Crown Luncheon Room, in Glasgow on the ground floor of 114 Argyle Street, below the Crown Temperance Hotel. Neither establishment serves or allows alcohol. She will become one of Mackintosh’s greatest patrons.
1882: The Glasgow Society of Lady Artists is founded. It holds an annual exhibition, lectures, and life drawing classes.
1882: Glasgow-educated engineer Henry Dyer returns from Tokyo, Japan, where he had been principal of the new Imperial College of Engineering since 1872. He begins to serve on the governing boards of several Glasgow institutions to improve vocational and technical education.
1883: Aged fifteen, Mackintosh starts to attend classes at The Glasgow School of Art (GSA).
1883, October 6: The foundation stone for the Glasgow City Chambers is laid in George Square. The building is completed in 1888.
1884: Mackintosh begins a five-year apprenticeship with Glasgow architect John Hutchison.
1884: Following the two-year Royal Commission on Technical Instruction, Acts of Government make art education compulsory elementary instruction for all children in Great Britain.
1885: Francis Newbery is appointed director of the GSA. In his first address he sets out his aims, one of which is to bring more women into the school.
1886: Jessie R. Allan, a student at the GSA since 1881, becomes the first woman to take on a teaching role there.
1888, May–November: Glasgow hosts its first International Exhibition in Kelvingrove Park.
1888: George Walton sets up his own decorating business: George Walton & Co., Ecclesiastical and House Decorators.
1889: Mackintosh becomes a draftsman with the newly founded architectural practice Honeyman & Keppie. Here he meets fellow young draftsman James Herbert McNair. Both attend evening classes at the GSA until 1894.
1889: Newbery founds the GSA’s Art Club—a social melting pot of past and present pupils of the School. That same year he marries Jessie Rowat, a student at the GSA since 1884 who will become an important tutor for the development of the Glasgow Style there.
1889: Building begins on William Leiper’s magnificent Templeton’s Carpet Factory in Glasgow. Its colorful brick facade, completed in 1892, promotes the “orient-dyed” wares made within.
1890: Sisters Margaret and Frances Macdonald enroll at the GSA following their family’s relocation to Glasgow.
1890: Jessie Marion King studies anatomy at Queen Margaret College in Glasgow. This is the first year women students are admitted.
1891, April–July: Mackintosh tours Italy after winning the Alexander Thomson traveling scholarship in September 1890.
1891: Glasgow University’s George Gilbert Scott building is completed. Its foundation stone had been officially laid in the year of Mackintosh’s birth.
1892: Mackintosh delivers a lecture, “A Tour in Italy,” to the Glasgow Architectural Association. It is also his first year of life drawing at the GSA and the year he paints his first known figurative Symbolist watercolor, The Harvest Moon.