Armstrong, Mitchell and Co
From Graces Guide
Armstrong, Mitchell and Co of Elswick-on-Tyne, Newcastle
1882 November 14th W. G. Armstrong and Co, maker of hydraulic devices, cranes, bridges and guns,,merged with the shipbuilders Charles Mitchell and Co to form W. G. Armstrong, Mitchell and Co. The company initially had capital of £1.575M.
1882 December 1st: issued reports on testing of a 'Hundred Ton' Breech-loading gun at Spezia. Drawings were published in the Jan 1883 issue of The Engineer p.73
The vessel 'Esmerelda', a Chilean cruiser was the first supplied by the new company
1885 The ex-Mitchell Low Walker yard concentrated on merchant shipbuilding especially tankers.
1883 A shipyard was established at Elswick under the management of Mr. William White
1885 Mr. Philip Watts succeeded to the leadership of the Elswick yard when Mr White became Chief Constructor to the Navy; for the next 37 years the Elswick yard supplied an unbroken line of Chief Constructors to the Navy.
1889 HM First-class battleship 'Victoria'
1889 Italian cruiser 'Piemonte'
The Deutsch-America Petroleum Company subsequently placed orders for many sister tankers and the yard completed over 100 tankers up to the outbreak of war in 1914.
Supplied hydraulic machinery for Tower Bridge, London
1894 Antwerp Exhibition. Details of extensive exhibits
1894 The Chilean Cruiser 'Blanco Encalada'. Full details in 'The Engineer'
1895 Charles Mitchell died in August of this year and company was reconstructed.
1897 The Armstrong Whitworth company was formed in 1897 as a merger of Armstrong, Mitchell and Co with Sir J. Whitworth's steel, armaments, tools and engineering products company, Joseph Whitworth and Co.
1898 Two Russian ice-breakers were completed with 'Sampo' (1339/98) being fitted with hydraulic elevators for raising and lowering carriages and trucks for the different levels of the river Volga.
1899 'Baikal' (4200/99) was considered to be the most spectacular ship for the Russians. It was a train ferry and was sent overland in 7200 pieces and reassembled on the banks of Lake Baikal as part of the Trans-Siberian Railway!
Over 35 dry-cargo liners were also ordered by German and British owners between 1880 and 1913
The yard was willing to tackle anything that came its way including coastal passenger steamers, cable layers, large cargo ships, suction dredgers and floating cranes.
Sources of Information
- British Shipbuilding Yards. 3 vols by Norman L. Middlemiss
- The Imperial Journal 1852 Vol I. p55-57
- The Engineer of 15th Feb 1889 p152
- The Engineer of 26th April 1889 p354
- The Engineer of 21st September 1894 p248
- The Engineer of 14th December 1894 p503
- British Steam Locomotive Builders by James W. Lowe. Published in 1975. ISBN 0-905100-816