Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 138,038 pages of information and 222,628 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
Note: This is a sub-section of 1961 Institution of Mechanical Engineers
Albion Motors Ltd
Founded in 1899, Albion Motors Ltd were among the earliest of British motor manufacturers to concentrate entirely on the design and production of commercial vehicles. As an assessment of future demand, the decision to specialize proved correct, and soon Albion commercial vehicles were earning a world-wide reputation for reliability.
Despite increasingly keen competition at home and overseas, the company in 1960 boosted the production of their range of medium-heavy diesel-engined goods and public transport vehicles by almost one-third.
In addition to vehicle production, a growing demand is being met for engines to power rail-cars, earth-moving machinery and similar equipment. The output of these units, together with the engines, gearboxes and axles supplied to other vehicle builders is becoming an increasingly important feature of the company's activities.
The Albion works cover a 15-acre site at Scotstoun entirely occupied by buildings, including two extensive three-storey wings, and a 10-acre site at Yoker - about one mile west - where the Service Department is situated. A recent reorganization programme costing over £2 million has completely transformed the works and offices. Progressive replacement of machines has ensured a continuance of accuracy with a reduction in costs.
The introduction of the most modern handling methods accounts for Albion's high production in a relatively small factory area, the works illustrating the efficient application of well-designed pallets and mechanical-handling devices.
A new factory block, currently being built on a site 71 000 sq ft, in area, adjacent to the parent factory, is scheduled to be in production by the end of the year. This factory will be devoted to machining and assembly of gearboxes. It is hoped that the additional floor space thus provided will enable the output of vehicles and units to keep pace with the ever-increasing demand for Albion products.
Pioneers in the manufacture of flameproof machinery for the cutting and loading of coal for over 60 years, Anderson, Boyes produced their first machine, a disc-type coal cutter, in 1900. Since then, the factory has grown on its 20-acre site until at present it employs about 1500 persons. Considerable expansion is now taking place to accommodate the recent call for more mining mechanization.
The factory is equipped with the latest in machine tools and is run on the most modern lines for the attainment of accuracy in design and workmanship. Practically everything, excluding raw material is made in the factory, which has its own brass foundry, heat treatment department and smithy, besides the large machine and assembly shops necessary for coal cutter and switchgear manufacture.
The recent application of hydraulics at the coal face brought many obvious problems but, resisting the temptation to rely on other manufacturers, the company, very typically, pursued their own development and now successfully design, manufacture and test their own hydraulic systems.
This is also true in the electrical section where a large degree of effort is directed toward producing higher horse-powers from restricted dimension flameproof electric motors for use in the company's mining machines.
The company also has a factory at Glenrothes in Fife.
The Art Gallery contains an important and extensive collection of Old Master paintings including Rembrandt's A Man in Armour, Giorgione's Adulteress brought before Christ, Maitre de Moulins' St Victor and a Donor, and works by Rubens, Van Orley, Bellini, etc.
A gallery of outstanding French paintings of the 19th and 20th centuries with works by Delacroix, Courbet, Monet, Picasso, Braque, Pissarro, Degas, Cezanne, Matisse, Salvador Dali's famous and controversial painting Christ of St John of the Cross.
Three galleries of British paintings from the 16th century to the present day and a gallery devoted to the Glasgow School of Painters.
Art objects, European and Oriental, including silver, porcelain, glass, bronzes and a selection of 18th to 20th century costume.
Notable pictures and art objects from the famous Burrell Collection are now on view from time to time in the picture galleries, the main hall, and the balconies.
The Museum contains the Scott Collection of Arms and Armour, containing armour for man and horse made for the first Earl of Pembroke in 1550, and other unique pieces; the Whitelaw Collection of Scottish Arms.
Neolithic, Bronze Age and Roman material — the latter including a series of models of forts along the Antonine Wall; Scottish bygones.
Engineering exhibits and a fine collection of ship models including such famous ships as the Queen Mary. Implements, clothing, weapons and religious and ceremonial objects relating to primitive and civilized societies. There is also a series of large habitat groups showing the animals of Scotland, Polar regions, Africa, India and Australia; and a Bird gallery and Geology gallery.
The British company of Babcock and Wilcox Ltd was established in 1891, and in 1896 a small general engineering works, the Porterfield Forge, situated at Renfrew, was purchased. This small works, occupying only 18 acres, was the precursor of what is now the largest works in the world given wholly to the manufacture of steam generating plant and all kinds of ancillary equipment. The works now occupy 165 acres with two million sq ft of covered workshop space on which a work force of seven thousand men are employed. To serve this work force an office staff of 1200 people is required.
The output of finished parts from the Renfrew works is of the order of 60 000 tons per year. These components, with individual weights ranging between 2 lb and 250 tons, are destined for delivery and site assembly in all parts of the world. In its manufacturing processes 33 000 000 kWh of electric current is used annually and 450 000 000 cubic feet of town's gas are burnt. An internal rail system, having a length of ten miles, serves transport within the works and on this system a variety of rolling stock, to the extent of 150 vehicles, is employed for the transport of material and finished parts between workshops.
Statistics are often bewildering but George Ballantine and Son Ltd's statistics are both vital and thirst provoking. The storage warehouses hold over twenty million gallons and the blending and bottling plants produce three million gallons of blended whisky and dispatch over twenty-five million bottles per annum.
Ten per cent of all Scotch whisky exported is from Dumbarton, and in the United States, which is the biggest market, Ballantine's is one of the largest sellers. Ballantine's has also an excellent business in Europe where it is the top seller in many countries.
There are forty-two different single whiskies in Ballantine's, many of which are distilled in the Glenlivet and Speyside districts in the North East of Scotland.
The mature whiskies are moved to Dumbarton from the various distilleries about a year before they are required for shipment in bottle. Each cask is carefully tested by an expert, and if in order, the casks are emptied into one of a battery of 10 000-gallon vats. At this point, the blend is 'unmarried' and water is added to reduce the strength to a little higher than the shipping strength. The blend is 'rummaged', then samples are submitted to a committee of experts, after which it is drawn off into good sound casks to marry for approximately a further eleven months before being run into bottling vats.
From the vats, the whisky passes through glass pipes to the bottling machines where bottles are filled to an exact measurement. Then follows inspection of each bottle through magnifying lenses to ensure that nothing mars the crystal brightness of the whisky, after which the bottles proceed along a conveyor belt to be dressed, packed in containers ready for dispatch to customers throughout the world.
In 1940 Barr and Stroud Ltd moved from small premises near the University in Glasgow to the present site at Anniesland. A progressive development programme has been continued over the years; the most recent extension, completed this year, includes a 'clean' room some 120 ft long which is used for the final assembly of precision optical and mechanical equipment.
Although many of the instruments in production have an optical purpose, the major part of the work entailed in their manufacture is usually of a mechanical or mechanical and electronic nature.
A very high degree of accuracy is required in the machine and fitting shops and much care is taken in the inspection of machined parts. In particular the cutting of gears is given special attention to ensure the greatest precision.
Electronic work, both in the laboratories and on production, is expanding, and the Research and Development Department is engaged on a wide range of projects.
High vacuum techniques are used in producing optical filters for the visible, ultra-violet and infra-red portions of the spectrum. Special glasses are produced, and an unusual manufacture, unique in Scotland, is optical glass. The silica sand used is obtained from a Scottish source and the resultant product is of the highest quality.
Wm. Beardmore and Co. originated about 1835 under Robert Napier to produce components for his shipyard on the Clyde.
Around the turn of the century, the company started producing armaments on a massive scale, including very heavy armour plate for battleships and guns of all calibres up to 16 in. Very large armament contributions were made by the company in both the 1914-18 and 1939-45 wars.
At the present time 'swords have been turned into ploughshares' and virtually no armament work is done.
Special steels are made in ingot sizes up to 120 tons, from electric arc furnaces of capacity from 8 to 80 tons, the latter being one of the largest in Britain.
Much of the steel is then forged under presses of 6000, 4000 and 2000 ton capacities, the forgings are heat-treated in large modern automatically controlled furnaces and then machined.
There is also a heavy steel foundry.
The forgings and castings thus produced are used chiefly in marine engineering for shafting, turbines and gearing, diesel engine crankshafts and engine parts, stern-frames, rudders, propeller brackets and stabilizers, electrical engineering for turbine casings, turbine shafts and discs and alternator shafts, and general engineering for all types of heavy plant and machinery.
A specialist product is fully hardened forged-steel workrolls for the continuous strip mills.
Substantial quantities of stainless steel are also made.
Blairs Ltd was founded in 1838.
In 1946, the Mirrlees Watson Company Ltd purchased the entire capital of the company and, since then, the company has operated as a member of The Mirrlees Watson Group.
Blairs works include a foundry making iron castings up to 20 tons and a non-ferrous foundry, making brass and other alloy castings; a large copper-work shop, extensive machining and fitting shops and a steel fabricating shop.
The main products are complete distilleries for the production of potable and industrial spirit, brewery plant and plant for the chemical and food-processing industries. Special evaporators working under different design principles, are built for concentrating tannin extract, glue and gelatine, malt extract and sulphate of ammonia and other trade liquors.
Plant for the production of sugar from cane and beet is also manufactured.
A large percentage of the output is exported, and the group is represented in many overseas territories.
British Olivetti Ltd
The Glasgow factory of British Olivetti Ltd was born, as Ing. Adriano Olivetti quoted, 'as an act of confidence in the future'. It was built in 1947, and in 1948 the assembly line was working in full production. The factory was completed progressively, that is, to the extent of being able to manufacture typewriters from the raw material stage to the finished article. Modern, mass-production methods are now in operation throughout the factory with many processes fully automated as, for example, the finishing plants and the electronic testing machines used in the final assembly stages. The factory employs 1000 workers.
The output of the assembly line is one typewriter every two minutes. The standard model, the 'Diaspron', is an outstanding example of modern design which, incidentally, has always played, in all its aspects, an extremely important part in the production of Olivetti machines.
The portable, the 'Lettera 22', is the well-known model which has received awards all over the world as one of the best expressions of industrial design.
Both models are well established in the British market, as are the other Olivetti products, and from Glasgow regular shipments are dispatched to Australia, South Africa, Canada, etc.
Situated 7 miles from Glasgow in the County of Dunbartonshire is the extensive shipbuilding and engineering business of John Brown and Co. (Clydebank) Ltd.
Their predecessors in 1847 established an engineering works called the Clydebank Foundry at Finnieston and, later, in 1851, the Clydebank Iron Shipyard in Govan. Owing to the expansion of the Clyde Navigation Trust Installations there, they were forced to move in 1871 to the site which they at present occupy.
The foresight of the founders of the firm in siting the shipyard has been amply justified. They chose a location opposite a tributary stream with the berths aligned on the area of open water at the junction.
This foresight has enabled their successors to build and launch the world's largest ships, such as s.s. Queen Elizabeth (83 700 tons) in an apparently restricted channel.
The shipyard is laid out in two sections: an east yard and a west yard, arranged on each side of a large fitting-out basin. In the east yard there are four building berths and in the west yard, recently modernized, there are two building berths with modern cranes suitable for the construction of heavy prefabricated units of tankers and other vessels of large size.
The engine and boiler shops are situated along the north side of the yard with direct railway connections to the fitting-out basin.
The parent company was formed in 1925 when two leading track-type tractor manufacturers merged to form the present Caterpillar Tractor Co. with headquarters at Peoria, Illinois. Caterpillar is now the world's leading manufacturer of crawler tractors, motor graders and earthmoving equipment. To consolidate and expand its position as leader of the earthmoving equipment industry, the company has manufacturing plants on three continents. There are nine factories in the United States of America which, apart from the parent organization at Peoria, have all been constructed since 1945. The combined output of these plants comprises the entire Company line of almost 150 different products.
Outside the United States there are subsidiary companies manufacturing in Australia, Brazil, France and Great Britain. Caterpillar of Australia Pty, Ltd, has a plant near Melbourne. Caterpillar of Brazil is at Sao Paulo and Caterpillar France S.A. at Grenoble. Glasgow, Leicester and Newcastle plants all comprise Caterpillar Tractor Co. Ltd. In the Glasgow factory are two assembly lines: one for engine assembly and another for tractor assembly, and at the present time production includes D8 and D4 Tractors and the No. 955 Traxcavator. The Leicester Plant is responsible for procuring, inspecting and distributing Caterpillar replacement parts to dealers all over the world. It also produces sub-assemblies for the prime products at Glasgow. The Newcastle Plant manufactures a complete line of scrapers and bulldozers for 'Cat' track-type and rubber-tyred tractors and other items of earthmoving equipment.
The company has achieved and maintained leadership in the earthmoving field because the machines manufactured are of high quality and are outstandingly durable and productive. Caterpillar products are distributed to customers in almost every country throughout the world by a network of private and independently owned dealers. Outside authorities have often termed the Caterpillar dealer organization as the finest of its kind anywhere in the world.
The Port of Glasgow is owned and administered by the Trustees of the Clyde Navigation incorporated by Act of Parliament. All local interests are represented on the Board of 42 trustees, the members being appointed by shipowners, merchants, riparian local authorities, Chamber of Commerce, Merchants House and Trades House. The undertaking is not run for profit but must pay its way. In brief, its functions are to provide and maintain facilities for shipping and commerce at the port and in its approach channel, including buoyage, lighting and dredging; the whole cost being met from dues levied on vessels and goods and from rates for the many services provided. The jurisdiction of the trustees extends a distance of 18 miles from Albert Bridge at Saltmarket to an imaginary line drawn from Cardross Burn to Newark Castle, Port Glasgow.
The factor common to all ports is a sufficient depth of water to cater for the largest vessels likely to use the port. While not forgetting the provision of the many facilities required by shipping and commerce at the port the function of dredging was, and still is, about the most important so far as the Port of Glasgow is concerned. Two hundred years ago the depth of water at the harbour was only 3 ft 8 in. while today the depth of water obtaining at high water throughout the harbour and docks is 44 ft maximum and 22 ft minimum. To maintain the depth of water necessary the trustees own and operate a large fleet of dredgers and other craft. The annual cost of dredging is approximately £0.5 million and the amount of material dredged and deposited at the estuary in a year is about 1.5 million cu yd.
The Port of Glasgow is a world port with shipping services to all parts of the globe. There are five commercial docks which, with additional riverside quays and wharves, give a total length of quayage of 12.25 miles. The quays are equipped with excellent crane, rail and shed facilities: there are 170 cranes of capacity ranging from 2 to 175 tons and also a floating crane of capacity 60 tons.
In the year to 31st December 1960, the total net tonnage of vessels using the port amounted to 16 395 704 tons. Imports handled totalled 5 596 972 tons, broadly comprising iron ore (2 million tons), oil (2 million tons), grain and flour (1 million tons) and the remainder general cargo. The principal commodities in the total export figure of 2 million tons were oil, iron and steel goods, coal, cement and spirits.
Since 1945 the trustees have spent £8 million in improvements and developments at the port to meet the ever-changing pattern of trade and to cater for the increasing size of vessels. Forty new cranes were erected (£1.5 million); at Shieldhall a new deep-water quay was constructed with crane and rail facilities for the rapid discharge of timber and mineral cargoes (£1.25 million); an extension to Meadowside granary was opened in 1960 which increased the storage capacity to 96 000 tons of grain with a further 15 000 tons in adjoining sheds — new discharging appliances and other related facilities should enable an average intake of 1000 tons per hour to be achieved (£4 million); new dredging plant (£1 million). The trustees' programme of future capital works which is estimated to cost £20 million includes the construction of a new wet basin west of King George V dock, the widening of Queen's dock entrance, the provision of new cranes and sheds, quay extensions and the replacement of dredging plant.
The Clyde's shipbuilding industry rose from humble beginnings to become the greatest shipbuilding centre in the world and little further comment is necessary. An interesting point is that during the six years of the 1939-45 war the thirty-seven shipbuilding and engineering firms on the river built 2000 new vessels: 1600 for the Admiralty and 400 for the merchant service.
J. and P. Coats Ltd
In 1896 the two firms amalgamated, taking in also the north of England firms of Jonas Brook and Bros and James Chadwick and Brother, and became the biggest of its kind in the United Kingdom and abroad.
The headquarters are in Glasgow.
Half the output is devoted to threads for industrial uses. These range from the stitching of very fine fabrics to the making up of heavy purpose articles such as tents, tarpaulins and leather goods. The main uses, however, are in the apparel field of ladies' and gents' outerwear and underwear, also swimwear, rainwear and protective clothing. Threads are also supplied for such varied uses as bedding, bookbinding, carpets, footwear, furs, gloves, hats, quilts, umbrellas and upholstery. The remainder of the output supplies domestic needs and handicrafts.
To meet the various needs abroad thread depots have been established in over 60 countries and factories to produce threads in 25 countries.
Around seventeen main processes are involved, and also a number of subsidiary processes, in the production of a reel of thread. The processing varies to meet the ultimate use of the thread involved. All threads are rigorously tested to precise standards — the tests made at Paisley alone use up to 2000 miles of thread each week. The full range of different threads runs into many hundreds.
The employees are well catered for and regular meetings of their representatives and the management are held to discuss workers' problems and future plans.
The families of some of the employees have been with the company for as long as six generations.
The Lanarkshire Steel Co. Ltd, Motherwell, was founded in the year 1889. The works has its frontage on the main road running between Motherwell and Wishaw and the local railway station at Flemington, which is within site (sic) of office, is on the main line between London and Glasgow.
The town of Motherwell, roughly midway between the east and west coasts, is well situated for both incoming and outgoing shipping on the Clyde and Forth.
In the early days of the company all the steel was produced by the Siemens-Martin acid process but basic steelmaking commenced in 1912, and by 1931 the conversion to the basic process was complete.
The present plant consists of an open-hearth melting shop of six furnaces, three of 90 tons capacity and three of 150 tons capacity. The furnaces are fired with raw producer gas and the melting shop output averages 7300 tons of ingots per week. From the melting shop the hot ingots are transferred to heating furnaces, known as soaking pits, and when the ingots have reached a uniform rolling temperature they pass through a 43-in. primary mill which reduces the ingots to blooms. The blooms are cut to length at a hydraulic guillotine 100 ft beyond the primary mill before being taken to a final heating furnace which serves the 27 and 36-in. section mills.
The 27-in. mill is a two-stand, two-high, reversing mill which rolls joists from 4 in. x 4 in. up to 9 in. x 4 in., and also other sections within this size range.
The 36-in. mill is a three-stand, two-high, reversing mill and rolls joists from 8 in. x 5 in. to 24 in. x 7.5 in., channels up to 17 in. x 4 in., rounds up to 10.5 in. diameter and various other sections.
A new universal-beam mill running parallel with the 36-in. mill is now in the final stages of completion. The material to feed the new mill will come from the primary mill, be partly formed in the 36-in. mill, then pass to the universal mill for finishing.
The new mill has three reversing stands of rolls; the first universal roughing stand in line with the 36 in. mill has vertical and horizontal rolls which is followed, only 13 ft away, by an edging stand with horizontal rolls only, and then, at a distance of 240 ft away, the second universal stand which is a duplicate of the first universal stand. All three stands are reversing and the material passes through the first universal and edging stands, 3, 5, 7 or 9 passes, before passing on to the final universal stand, where there is one pass only, and then on to the saw for cutting to customers' lengths.
All mills have electric drives and the new universal-beam mill incorporates the latest equipment in pre-selection and automatic control.
The Dalzell works were established in 1871 by David Colville, Sen., for the production of malleable iron, but when the Siemens open-hearth method of steelmaking was introduced, the plant was changed over to the making of steel.
The works cover an area of approximately 137 acres and employ 3500 men. The plant consists of:
Melting shop Six basic open-hearth furnaces of 100 tons capacity and one acid furnace of 80 tons capacity fired by heavy fuel oil or creosote pitch.
Ingots are made in sizes from 4 to 40 tons mainly in special qualities for heavy engineering, automotive and civil engineering requirements. Special facilities are available in the casting pit to produce these steels to the standards required. All furnaces are fitted with waste-heat boilers giving 12 000 to 15 000 lb/h at 250 lb/sq in and 520°F.
These units consist of a slabbing mill with rolls of 44 in. diameter x 10 ft long which deals with ingots from 10 to 40 tons, rolling them to forging blooms to a maximum of 36 in. square and slabs 62 in. x 24 in. maximum of 24 tons weight. The mill is electrically driven by a four-armature unit with a peak power of 25 000 h.p.
The heavy plate mill consists of two stands of reversing two-high rolls, the rolls being 44 in. diameter and 14 ft and 10 ft 6 in. long respectively. The plates produced are from 0.25 in. to 2 in. thick and up to 13 ft wide. A maximum plate weight of 20 tons can be handled. Heavy plates of greater thickness are also rolled. The mill produces 5200 tons of finished plate per week.
Heavy bar mill
This unit consists of a 36-in. reversing cogging stand which breaks the 4-ton ingots down to 7 in. square for rolling in the 34-in. intermediate two-high reversing stand. The material is finished in the 32-in. two-high reversing stand.
The range of products is 2 in. to 8 in. square for forging and re-rolling and rounds from 3 in. diameter to 13 in. diameter for engineering requirements and tube billets.
The cogging stand is electrically driven, the motor having a peak capacity of 12 600 h.p., while the intermediate and finishing stands are driven by a motor with a capacity of 15 000 h.p.
The products of this mill are mainly of alloy and special steels and for this reason a British Oxygen Company oxyacetylene hot scarfing machine is installed which removes the defects on the four surfaces of the hot blooms between rolling in the cogging stand and the intermediate stand.
The output is of the order of 5600 tons/week.
Light section mill
This is a modern unit built by the company's engineering organization. It consists of an 18-in. two-high reversing stand which can operate automatically and two three-high intermediate and finishing stands.
The blooms for rolling at this mill are heated in the continuous furnace fired by heavy fuel oil.
The products produced by this mill cover a very large range with rounds from 1-5/16 to 3 in. diameter, hexagons to 2.41 in. A/f., also angles, flats, tees, joists, all to maximum of 7 united in. and special sections for truck makers and the Admiralty.
The output of this mill is 1800 tons/week.
Semi-continuous bar and rod mill
This unit was put down in 1937 and still gives a satisfactory performance on its very varied programme.
It consists of seven continuous stands with twelve cross-country stands, the number used depending on the size of the finished product.
The size range rolled is from 0.25 in. to 1.25 in. in rounds, squares and hexagons. Special indented bars for reinforcing concrete work are also produced in this range. The product is supplied either in straight bars or in coils.
The usual services for the supply of steam, water and hydraulic power are operated together with maintenance facilities.
The strip mill plant consists of five sections, pickling, cold-reduction, annealing, temper-rolling and cutting-up.
First, to remove the layer of oxidized scale resulting from hot rolling, the coils are passed through a series of pickling baths. At the entry end the head of each coil is welded to the tail of the preceding one, so pickling is truly continuous. At the tail end the strip is recoiled into coils ranging in weight up to nearly 30 tons ready for cold reducing. The cold mill is a four-stand, four-high tandem mill with a top speed of 3750 ft/min, producing material in the thickness range 0.1 to 0.011 in. and width range 30 to 60 in.
The cold mill reduces the thickness up to 80 per cent and has the effect of work hardening the material, so the coils are required to be annealed in Batch annealing furnaces for a period varying up to 72 h according to the quality of sheet required.
The coils are allowed to cool to room temperature after the annealing process and then pass through a four-high, single-stand temper mill. In this mill the material is given a very slight reduction in thickness to temper the surface.
After temper-rolling the coils are either dispatched direct or sent to cut-up lines for shearing into sheets to suit customers' requirements.
In common with most British shipbuilders, William Denny and Brothers Ltd have carried out a considerable amount of modernization at Leven Shipyard since the 1939-45 war.
The old steel preparation shops have been replaced by a new five-bay shop, and a new fabrication shop has also been built. Both shops have been in operation for a year or two.
The joiners' shop and the plumbers' shop have been modernized and work has recently started under the new conditions.
In 1872 the late William Froude built the first experiment tank in the world at Torquay. The tank at Dumbarton, which was the second to be built, started work in 1883. Since then it has been extended and modified from time to time. Apart from resistance and propulsion tests for ships of normal forms, a great deal of work has been done during the last twenty years in connection with ship stabilizers, and development work on hovercraft is now in progress.
A new motor car and passenger ferry for the Stranraer / Larne service of British Railways is in process of being fitted out in the dock. This ship is not due to be completed until the autumn, but is available for inspection in its unfinished state.
There is only one ship under construction on the stocks at present, a motor car and passenger ferry for the New Zealand Government's Cook Strait Service between the North and South Islands.
Drysdale and Co Ltd
Drysdale and Co. Ltd was established in 1874 by John W. W. Drysdale, father of the present Chairman, under the name of Drysdale and Pirie, Bonaccord Works, Bridgeton, Glasgow. Mr Pirie was the son of Principal Pirie of Aberdeen University, which accounts for the name Bonaccord Works.
The growth of the company necessitated larger works and in 1907 the present site at Yoker, Glasgow, was acquired. The pioneering efforts in the field of marine auxiliaries, particularly in vertical self-priming pumps, established the company's reputation and today practically every aspect of pump design for industrial and marine pumps is investigated and developed by the Technical and Research Departments.
Over the years steady expansion has taken place and in more recent years new machining and fitting bays have been added together with new Research and Development Departments and testing facilities for large centrifugal pumps, axial flow pumps and oil pumps.
The Drysdale range of products covers pumps with outputs from 8 gal/min up to large pumps weighing about 80 tons with branch bores 7 ft in diameter and handling approximately 150 000 gal/min of cooling water for thermal and nuclear power stations.
Many specialized and multi-purpose pumps are produced for specific industries such as paper-making, dry docks, sewage works, water works, mining, in addition to marine pumps which are manufactured for all classes and sizes of cargo, passenger, tanker and naval vessels.
The company has a large export business both direct and indirect through main contractors. Thirty overseas agents handle Drysdale pumps, and in Canada, Australia and Holland Drysdale pumps are manufactured by agents and associated companies in those countries.
Drysdales are a member of the Weir Group of companies, which employs over 8000 persons and forms one of the largest organizations in the world manufacturing pumps and power plant equipment together with a vast variety of products ranging from shipbuilding to valve manufacture, from complete refuelling equipment for modern jet passenger aircraft to small plate-type filters, and from evaporating and distilling plants of 2 000 000 gal/day capacity to factory-built houses.
Euclid (Great Britain) Ltd was formed in 1950 as a wholly owned subsidiary of The Euclid Road Machinery Company of Cleveland, Ohio, United States of America, which was absorbed in 1953 by General Motors Corporation, Detroit, Michigan, United States of America. Starting with the assembly of 15-ton rear-dump trucks, the company has gradually expanded and now produces, in addition, a 22-ton and 27-ton rear-dump truck, a 13 cu yd tractor/bottom dump, a 12-cu yd tractor/scraper, four overhung tractor/scrapers of 7 cu yd, 14, 21 and 24 cu yd capacity, the 14 and 24 cu yd sizes having twin power, that is, an engine at the rear of the scraper section as well as on the tractor. A crawler tractor in the 200 h.p. class is also produced.
From simple assembly, production has been integrated to take in a machine shop operation, a structural shop which fabricates and welds frames, bodies, scraper-bowls, etc., and a plant at Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, where gear parts and splined shafting are machined and conventional manual gearboxes and torqmatic gearboxes are assembled.
The company employs some 600 persons at Newhouse and 200 at Peterhead.
The Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Co. Ltd have been established over 100 years and in that time they have been associated with every major development in the marine engineering field. Their works in Govan consist of a shipbuilding and engineering department, they occupy an area of about 90 acres and provide employment for 5000 people.
Both their departments have been spending large sums of money on modernization schemes. The shipyard has substantially reconstructed the slipways on which the ships are built and the layout of the workshops for the processing of steel materials for the main hull. Ships of the largest size can be built, such as oil tankers up to 70 000 tons dead weight. In the past 100 years the firm has been engaged largely on naval and passenger vessels and the establishment as a whole is planned for vessels of this type but, in recent years, in common with other large shipyards, other types of ship have had to be constructed, and in the last 15 years many large tankers, ore carriers and cargo vessels have been completed. At the present time the firm's programme provides for a 50 000 and a 65 000-ton oil tanker; two 20-knot cargo liners; large vessels of 730 ft length for the Canadian Lakes and a number of ferries each to carry 2100 passengers for service in the Bosphorus.
The marine engineering works not only provide propelling machinery for ships built by the company but also supply complete or part machinery installations for ships built elsewhere in the United Kingdom and abroad. In recent years their capacity has been fully occupied with turbine and diesel installations. Three types of diesel engine are produced under licence: Doxford, Sulzer and Stork, in ranges from 2000 b.h.p. upward.
Fairfield occupy a special place in marine engineering in the production of double-reduction gearing and their gearing installations are among the best known in the world. Gears have been built for use with turbine machinery installations built in the United States of America, Canada, Sweden, East and West Germany, Holland, Belgium, Spain, Portugal and Australia. In addition, they have acted as consultants to engineering works in countries requiring expert guidance on gear-cutting techniques and facilities.
A most significant advance has been the company's entry into the field of nuclear propulsion development. They are associated with two firms already well known in the nuclear field: Mitchell Engineering Co. Ltd, London and Combustion Engineering Inc., of New York, and some years ago, to exploit this interest, they formed a consortium known as the Fairfield-Mitchell-Combustion Group.
Fairfield have a wealth of experience behind them covering a wide range of shipbuilding and engineering activities. They are well equipped and will undertake any project offering scope for development in either of these fields.
The early work on the industrial developments of glass fibres was undertaken by a small department of Chance Brothers at Glasgow in the early 1930's.
Today the Possilpark works of Fibreglass Ltd is one of the three production units which specializes in the production of continuous-filament glass yarn for electrical insulation and for weaving into decorative and industrial fabrics. It produces the glass fibres for the non-woven mats for the reinforcement of structural plastics.
Whilst in this latter field the most popularly known end uses are in boats (pleasure and working class) road vehicles (lorries, cabs, sports cars, etc.), there is today a wide and rapidly increasing demand from industries generally for this material, particularly where problems of chemical corrosion are present and where the advantage of lightness with strength is required.
James Finlay and Co. Ltd has a history extending back to 1750. Today they have very extensive interests in India, Pakistan, Ceylon and Africa. They are responsible for the largest single group in existence growing tea, and have large cotton textile mills in Bombay and jute mills in Calcutta, as well as merchanting, banking, insurance and shipping businesses.
In the year 1801 the firm purchased the cotton works in Catrine and later erected a bleaching works. After the 1939-45 war it was decided to demolish one of the mills and erect a new and modern cotton works equipped with the latest machinery. Raw cotton is opened, cleaned and spun into yarns which are then woven by automatic looms at Catrine and Deanston into white, coloured and striped cotton sheets, flannelette sheets, window hollands, towels, table cloths, napkins and teacloths. The woven cloth is bleached and processed at the bleaching works which are being extended and modernized. The finished cloth is then cut, hemmed and packaged, and sold through the firm's own selling organization direct to the retailer. A considerable quantity is also sold in the piece form in the export trade.
The power from the waters of Loch Thom in the hills above Greenock, which has been continuously available to mill owners since 1827, was undoubtedly the reason for determining the site on which Fleming, Reid built their first mill in 1840, and today, 121 years later, with the help of a modern hydro-electric plant, they still generate their own electricity.
The business started with the making of weaving yarns, and this trade prospered, chiefly with the Glasgow cloth manufacturers, until 1880, when the original but greatly enlarged mill was burnt to the ground. A new mill was soon built and shortly afterwards the company ceased spinning only for the trade and began to produce knitting wools for sale direct to the public, opening retail branches throughout Great Britain.
It was a logical process of industrial expansion to erect a machine knitting factory to produce knitwear from Greenock wools, and this happened in 1899, so that the entire production of merchandise from spinning mill and knitting factory supplied the branches of the Scotch Wool Shop and have kept on supplying them as the branches multiplied until today when there are over 350 spread throughout Great Britain.
Recently the company has become part of the J. and P. Coats, Patons and Baldwins Ltd combine. This has resulted in a certain rationalization of production and has involved the company in a measure of reorganization and redeployment of machines which is not yet complete.
Fleming, Reid's activities combine the spinning of both hosiery and hand-knitting yarns, the manufacturing of knitted outerwear with the ultimate selling of all these products through their own retail shops.
Glasgow Cathedral stands upon a site which has been held sacred for more than 1500 years; the early buildings being of wood and wattle. The first Cathedral of stone was dedicated on 7th July 1136, King David, with his Court, being present at the ceremony. This building was destroyed by fire and a new building was completed in 1197, of which only a single wall-shaft resting on a fragment of bench-table remains.
The present Cathedral was begun by Bishop William de Bondington (1233-58) and completed by Archbishop Blacader (1483-1508). The site, perched above the city with the High Street leading up to it, is a fine one.
Like other churches in Scotland the Cathedral suffered during the stormy period of the 16th century and during the years succeeding the Reformation, was stripped of images, altars and furnishings but in spite of that the worship of God has been carried on within its walls continuously for more than seven hundred years. The spacious dignity of the Nave with the almost austere simplicity of design, characteristic of most medieval Scottish churches, is striking.
There are many monuments and memorial tablets, mostly of the 19th century. Old colours of Highland Regiments and also the Ensign of the famous 602 Fighter Squadron of the Royal Air Force, hang in the Nave.
The large Quire Screen or Pulpitum erected at the end of the 15th century practically divides the cathedral in half. Of massive design it is of interest as an example of late Scottish architecture and as being the only one of its kind left in any non-monastic church of pre-Reformation date.
The large clock, a fine example of Scottish craftsmanship in metal and wood, was erected in 1958. The iron chest used for contribution toward adornment and furnishing was made in Holland in the 16th century.
At the side of the fine old pulpit is an hour glass, used in Scottish churches in olden days to indicate to the preacher the time permitted for his sermon.
New pews were erected in 1957. On the end of these, plaques are affixed depicting coats of arms and mottoes of respective institutions and public bodies who contributed to the cost of the new pews.
Three metal Communion Tokens dated 1725, 1776 and 1819, can be seen. These tokens had to be produced as evidence that in the judgement of the Kirk Session, the holder was worthy of taking Communion before he was admitted to the Sacrament.
The Lower Church is a fine example of Gothic architecture. There are some very fine stained glass windows in the Cathedral. Those in the South Transept commemorating the men of four Scottish Divisions who fell in the two world wars (1914-18 and 1939-45).
Glenfield and Kennedy Ltd are one of the oldest and largest engineering concerns in Scotland.
The company was founded in 1852. Now, with a large factory in Kilmarnock, several branch offices and associated firms in Britain and abroad, and representation in most oversea countries, it is the biggest organization engaged principally in valve manufacture and hydraulic engineering in the British Commonwealth.
The works in Kilmarnock cover some 16 acres of a 40 acre site at the southern end of the town on either side of the River Irvine, and employ over 2000 people. They consist of administration and drawing offices, pattern shop, ferrous and non-ferrous foundries, light and heavy engineering shops, smithy, fabrication and welding shop, rubber shop, metallurgical and hydraulic laboratories, and the usual service departments.
Since 1946, in order to improve facilities and increase productivity, a vast extension and modernization scheme has been carried out. The last major stage of this programme, the establishment of a large up-to-date hydraulics laboratory, was recently completed.
The company's products, many examples of which will be on view, embrace a great variety of valves, gates and other equipment, such as that for the Glenfield filtration process known as 'microstraining', for service in water and sewage works, hydro and thermal-conventional and nuclear-electric plants, irrigation and flood prevention schemes, ships and dry docks, and industrial factories.
Goodyear Tyre and Rubber Co (Great Britain) Ltd
The Goodyear factory at Garscadden is situated about seven miles from the centre of Glasgow on levelled ground adjoining Great Western Road, the principal road westwards from Glasgow on the north side of the Clyde. The site has an area of 58 acres and the factory could be extended, if need be, to five times its present size of 250 000 sq ft.
Across Great Western Road and running parallel to it is the Forth and Clyde Canal from which the factory draws and returns water for cooling purposes. The pipes carrying this supply pass under the road through an old tramway tunnel.
The layout of the plant is such that production flows unimpeded in a long straight line. Most of the main building is single-storeyed and the total length is almost nine times its width of 125 ft. At the east end there is a section with three floors and a basement and there is also a basement at the west end. The walls and roofs are largely of asbestos sheeting and glass and the steel framework rests on concrete-pile foundations. More than 1000 of these piles, with a total length of about seven miles, had to be driven because of the nature of the ground. Part of the site is a glacine bed and part is alluvial deposit — an earlier bed of the river Clyde.
Work on the new factory began on 26th December 1955, when bulldozers, scrapers and dumper trucks started on the first phase of levelling the site. By the following March the work of steel erection was begun and by January 1957 the building was wind- and water-tight. Heat and power plant and the production equipment were rapidly installed, and on 28th May 1957 the first test tyre was produced. By the end of that year production was in excess of 1000 tyres a day.
All the equipment is of the most modern design available and much of it has been produced through the firm's own development and research. The machines for the various processes are connected by conveyor systems to reduce manual handling and to speed up production.
Raw materials are received at the east end of the factory where a Banbury automatic mill mixes rubber, carbon black, sulphur and other chemicals necessary for the process of vulcanization. Tyre fabric, rayon or nylon, is rubber-impregnated on a three-roll calender machine and is passed on to a bias cutter before being prepared for the automatic tyre-building machines.
At successive stages tread rubber is compounded and extruded and cut to correct length, beadings of steel wire are reeled and covered before being built into 'green' tyres, and completely built-up tyres are cured in vulcanizing machines which automatically discharge them as the finished product.
Alongside the production line are laboratories in which tests are carried out to ensure that standards are constantly being maintained.
At the west end there is a loading area for the finished goods. In the west basement the plant for the services: high pressure steam, compressed air, and water, are accommodated, so that the production floors are kept clear. At the other end, on the top floor, there is a dust-extracting plant which serves the mixing operation.
Initially, the plant is engaged entirely on tyre manufacture and gives employment to approximately 400 persons.
The firm has invested £2,750,000 in the factory which was built under the direction of their own construction engineers.
The Scotstoun works of Harland and Wolff are situated on the North Bank of the Clyde some five miles west of the City centre.
The works were built by Coventry Ordnance works in 1910 and the site was chosen to enable manufacture and erection of the heaviest gun mountings to be carried on with direct access to sea transport.
During the two world war periods a wide range of naval gun mountings were produced and included main and secondary armament for capital ships. Between those wars the works were occupied with a wide variety of structural and general engineering.
The works cover 17.5 acres, 9 acres of which are covered in 10 bays of generous proportions, with ample lifting capacity up to a maximum of 125 tons.
A wide range of modern machine tools is installed, including one of the largest vertical boring machines in Great Britain.
A fabrication department, covering four bays, is capable of handling the largest structures. In addition to modern tools for plate-working and cutting there is a large stress-relieving furnace with an associated shot-blast chamber. This installation is one of the finest in the area.
The firm's long standing connection with the Admiralty is still maintained by a continuance of gun-mounting work. Other products include hydro-electric machinery, presses for the motor-car industry and steel works plant.
Hoover Ltd began manufacturing in Scotland during the 1939-45 war, and in 1946 production of fractional-horsepower motors was started in a modern factory at Cambuslang. Since then several extensions have made the factory a major manufacturing unit of 273,000 sq ft, employing a labour force of 1500 - one of the largest manufacturers of fractional-horsepower motors in Europe.
The fractional-horsepower motors made at Cambuslang are supplied to manufacturers for a wide range of applications including domestic appliances, machine tools, pumps, office equipment, dairy and agriculture machinery. Rotor/ stator units are manufactured for use in hermetic refrigeration systems. Capacitor-run motors are produced for fans and air-conditioning equipment. But one of the most important series of motors to be produced at the factory is that for the Hoover washing machine made at Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, and for this purpose shaded-pole, split-phase and series-wound commutator motors are produced.
Motors are also produced for the Hoover 'Constellation' cleaner made at the Hoover Factory Group at Perivale, Middlesex, while, in addition to these products, the Hoover cylinder cleaner is produced at Cambuslang complete with its motor.
Founded in 1854 by James Howden, great-uncle of the present Chairman, Mr Crawford W. Hume, and Joint Managing Director, Mr James Howden Hume, James Howden and Co. have a long record of engineering design and manufacture for land and marine installations.
The firm commenced its business in the marine field supplying designs for boilers and steam engines for marine propulsion, and latterly, these were manufactured by them.
In 1882 James Howden was granted a patent for apparatus for supplying preheated air, under pressure, to furnaces of steam boilers. The firm developed and applied this successfully to a vast number of boilers in steam ships. At the beginning of the century the application of the principle into land electricity-supply installations was developed.
In the 1920's these developments led to the manufacture, under licence, of the Ljungstrom air preheater, the manufacturing development of which has continued steadily ever since.
Associated with this in the early 1930's there were developments on fan engineering as an extension of the firm's marine fan business so that today it can be claimed that Howden fans and air preheating equipment are operating in the largest power stations both in Great Britain and overseas.
As a logical development of their interest in all problems associated with the supply of combustion air and the recovery of heat in flue gases, the company have developed, and make a large variety of mechanical dust-collecting equipments, gas-washing plants and electrostatic precipitators.
During the 1939-45 war one of the company's factories was converted to assist in the programme of aircraft construction. At the end of the war this capacity was modified for the manufacture of steel furniture.
IBM United Kingdom Ltd was formed in 1951 in close association with the IBM World Trade Corporation which co-ordinates the activities of International Business Machines in over 85 countries outside the United States of America. The company's purpose is to manufacture and market electronic data-processing equipment, punched-card accounting machines, electric typewriters and time-recording equipment. For the first three of these products a factory was opened in 1954 near Greenock, Scotland. This factory of 125,000 sq ft stands in 110 acres. Time-recording equipment is manufactured at Hammersmith, London. A depot at Harrow houses a card plant and magnetic tape testing centre, and other depots provide facilities for field transfer and the training of customer engineers. In 1956 the value of equipment exported had risen to £1 million and production had increased by nearly 200 per cent. IBM British Laboratories are located near Winchester.
The Scottish factory employs about 1000 people. It originally included 125 000 sq ft of floor space and this has been extended by another 70 000 sq ft. In the European area production in each plant is mainly concentrated on certain machine models, so that the majority of IBM data-processing equipment is made in Europe as a whole. At Greenock card punches and verifiers, high-speed accounting machines and the 1000 card-a-minute and 2000 card-a-minute sorters are produced. The value of exports in 1959 totalled over £2 million.
Today, in addition to its headquarters in London, IBM United Kingdom Ltd has branch offices in Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Nottingham, and employs some 2500 people. The Data Processing Centre in London and the Service Bureau in Birmingham carry out commercial and scientific work for outside organizations and the equipment marketed by this company is now serving nearly every branch of industry, commerce and science in Great Britain.
Established in 1928 the India Tyre and Rubber Co. Ltd now employs 1500 operatives and 500 staff. The factory area is some 600 000 sq ft and there is ample space for further expansion.
Recently many new machines have been installed, the production area has been enlarged and the plant re-sited to increase productive efficiency.
The manufacture of a quality tyre is a fascinating operation and is based on the following procedure: rubber arrives in bales of 2 cwt and, after checking and approval, is fed into the Banbury mixer in specified quantities together with various chemicals. After mixing, it is milled to ensure even dispersion of the chemicals. Following laboratory testing the rubber is ready for use in tyre construction. Rubber is forced through dies and is thereby extruded in the profile required for the tyre tread.
In addition to the compounded rubber, fabric is a principal component and usually either rayon or nylon cord is used. The fabric is dipped in a special solution and is hot-air dried before calendering when a thin layer of rubber is applied to both sides.
Fabric is then cut into strips on the bias — at an angle — and the strips are spliced into a continuous length. A further coating of rubber to secure good adhesion is then applied.
The beads, which anchor the tyre to the rim are manufactured from copper-plated steel wire and are encased in rubber to form hoops ready for building into the tyre.
The various components are fed to the tyre builder. Plies of rubber-coated fabric are laid on top of one another round a rotating drum and are pressed together by metal rollers. Each ply is located with its cords running in the opposite direction to the adjacent ply. The beads are positioned at each side of the tyre and are anchored in as the ply edges are turned over and pressed down.
The appropriate section of tread rubber, already cut to a predetermined length is applied and the building drum is collapsed.
Car tyres are placed into the 'Bag-o-matic' machines containing the upper and lower halves of the mould in which the tread pattern is engraved. As the lid of the machine closes the tyre is pressed into its conventional shape and simultaneously an airbag is forced inside the tyre. The airbag is inflated and the tyre is cured for a given period, it is then passed to the finishing and inspection departments before shipment to the markets of the world.
Similar processes are used for lorry and agricultural tyres. At every stage of manufacture, the process is subjected to stringent quality-control checks.
The test-house machinery is used continually to check all types of tyres and, coupled with results achieved under varying conditions both at home and overseas, the India Tyre and Rubber Company are able to continually improve the quality of their products.
John G. Kincaid and Co. Ltd, which employs between 1600-1700 men, builds large marine diesel engines, ranging in power from 1500 to 20 000 brake horsepower, for tankers, bulk carriers and cargo vessels of all types. The engines are of the Burmeister and Wain type and are manufactured under licence from Harland and Wolff Ltd, Belfast. During each of the past two years, the firm's output of marine engines exceeded 70 000 indicated horsepower and for both years the output was the largest in Scotland. The works, which have been in existence since 1868 and now covers 12 acres, are in close proximity to the James Watt Dock, where excellent fitting-out facilities are available with a crane capable of dealing with lifts up to 150 tons. From the early days of the firm, steam engines and boilers for marine and other purposes were constructed, but in 1924 the manufacture of diesel engines was commenced and since that time close on 350 of them have been built. Several of the ships 'engined by Kincaid' have made history, including the cargo steamer River Clyde, which landed troops of the 29th Division at the Dardanelles in the 1914-18 war and the famous San Demetrio in the 1939-45 war, to mention only two. In 1953 an extension of approximately 20 000 sq ft was opened and this included a modern smithy and large fabrication department capable of dealing with fabrications up to 50 tons.
The present Chairman is Mr Randal G. Kincaid who is the youngest son of one of the founders of the firm, the late John G. Kincaid.
Lang Gisholt Machine Co. Ltd was formed in November 1959, to manufacture the complete range of lathes and power-operated chucks for John Lang and Sons Ltd and the complete range of machine tools for Gisholt (Great Britain) Ltd.
There is a full-scale interchange of information , and manufacturing technique between the United States of America and Scotland, giving the joint company the greatest possible access to modern production methods.
John Lang and Sons Ltd was founded as a partnership in 1874 and became a private limited company in 1916. Prior to 1918 a general range of machine tools was made, but after that date, manufacture was concentrated on various types of lathe, when the company became a member firm of the Associated British Machine Tool Makers Ltd.
The site of the works at Johnstone covers an area of 15 acres with a net working floor space of 328 500 sq ft, made up of foundry, pattern shop, machine shop and assembly bays, in which 850 people are employed.
The Gisholt Machine Company, founded in 1887, has been an important manufacturer of machine tools in the United States of America. The range of manufactures include, 3 sizes of ram-type turret lathes, 5 sizes of saddle-type turret lathes, 3 sizes of automatic-chucking turret lathes and 3 different types of single-spindle automatic-chucking lathes.
Massey-Ferguson UK Ltd
The Massey—Ferguson combine and baler factory at Kilmarnock is one of the largest single buildings on one floor level in the United Kingdom. It was built in 1948-49 to supply the world markets and opened in 1949 with the production of self-propelled combine harvesters and tractors. In 1951 the 701 baler also came into production. Since then the factory has been developed with three further extensions and it now covers 800 000 sq ft and employs 1600 persons. This expansion reflects the phenomenal growth in popularity of the combine amongst farmers both in the United Kingdom and overseas.
In eleven years Kilmarnock have produced about 50 000 combines, supplying over 80 per cent of the British market, in addition to export markets in five continents.
There are four main assembly lines producing the 780 and 735 combines, the 703 baler and the 717 trailer. A number of implements and miscellaneous components are also made here. Nearly all components of the machines, apart from specialist items such as engines, hydraulics, tyres and batteries, are manufactured and assembled in the factory.
Kilmarnock is an integral part of the Massey—Ferguson manufacturing facilities in the United Kingdom, which include the tractor factory at Banner Lane, Coventry, the implement factory at Barton Dock Road, Manchester, and the diesel engine production of F. Perkins Ltd, at Peterborough.
Founded in 1883, Mayor and Coulson Ltd pioneered in the development of the use of electric light and power and, in 1897, began to build electric coal-cutting machines. They were the first to manufacture a completely enclosed electric coal-cutter and the first to incorporate an ironclad motor in one of these machines.
From these beginnings manufacture of underground conveyors and loaders developed from 1908 and, in 1926, the first large-scale troughed belt conveyor underground in Britain was installed by the firm. Today, the products of the firm cover coal-cutting, conveying and loading equipment for use underground and conveyors and loaders for handling material in bulk above ground.
The firm has four factories in Glasgow and district — at Bridgeton; Swanston Street, Dalmarnock; Farme Cross and East Kilbride, with about 1600 employees. Last year the Bridgeton headquarters, comprising works and office blocks, were extended by the addition of a four-storey office block, a four-storey stores block and three works assembly bays, on a ground area of over 60 000 sq ft.
The shops of The Motherwell Bridge and Engineering Co. Ltd are situated very close to the centre of the Scottish Steel Industry and adjoin the main Glasgow/London railway line, approximately 12 miles south of Glasgow.
The company was formed in 1898 and has steadily expanded its premises; the present shop area is over 400,000 sq ft and is situated in some 35 acres of ground owned by the company.
Over 600 workers are employed in the shops and there is a staff of 250 accommodated in a modern office block built in 1959.
The capacity of the shops is approximately 60 000 tons of fabricated steel per annum and primarily consists of heavy plate work. The main products fabricated include oil storage tanks with patented floating roofs, spheres, pressure vessels, nuclear reactors, elevated water towers and heavy structural steelwork. The company export a good proportion of their annual output mainly to refineries overseas.
In addition to their organization at Motherwell, the company have several thousand employees in an extensive erection organization both in the United Kingdom and overseas where an Associated Company, with its headquarters in Beirut, in addition to erecting the company's products, undertakes all types of construction and civil engineering work.
The Dounreay sphere which was designed, fabricated and erected by the company, has become perhaps its most publicized product, being much used to symbolize Britain's progress in nuclear power, to some extent it also symbolizes the company's willingness to enter new fields of engineering and adapt their resources to the engineering of the future.
The National Engineering Laboratory (formerly the Mechanical Engineering Research Laboratory) is one of the largest research stations of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research. It was set up in 1947 and carries out a programme of basic and applied research to serve the mechanical engineering industry. The laboratory occupies a 70-acre site at East Kilbride, 8 miles south-east of Glasgow and has a staff of 585 (March 1961), of whom about one-third have scientific or technical qualifications.
It is organized in three groups, dealing with materials, fluids, and machinery. In the first group the work covers strength of materials at normal temperatures, especially fatigue, strength of materials at high temperatures, particularly creep, machining, extrusion and other metalworking processes, abrasion and wear, and stress analysis. In the fluids group work is done on pumps, water turbines and other hydraulic machinery, heat transfer and heat exchange apparatus and the properties of fluids. The machinery group is concerned with automatic control and performance of machine tools, mechanisms, engineering metrology, bearings and lubrication, and noise and vibration.
The laboratory also carries out sponsored investigations for individual firms, particularly when suitable facilities are not available elsewhere. These investigations include long-term research, design and development work, and tests on the performance and accuracy of new designs.
Information on the progress of research is provided by reports and brief summaries which are freely available to British organizations.
Rolls-Royce Ltd celebrated 21 years in Scotland last year. They came to Hillington under the stimulus of rearmament, and put to the West of Scotland, the traditional home of heavy engineering, the challenge of precision work for the first time on a large scale.
The company did not produce its first complete 'Merlin' engine until October 1940, by which time the Battle of Britain had ended, but it had been turning out long before then engine parts which went to Derby or Crewe bound eventually for 'Spitfire' or 'Hurricane' fighters.
Mr A. F. (later Sir Arthur) Sidgreaves, the managing director, said in 1942, 'If Hillington had not been brought into existence when it was, there would not have been sufficient Rolls-Royce engines to fight the Battle of Britain'. By 1942 women represented 54 per cent over the whole production processes. A year later, at the apex of its war-time effort, Hillington employed 25 000 men and women in manufacturing and overhauling 300 'Merlin' engines a week. For 12 months the factory was absorbing and training a thousand people a month.
By the end of the 1939-45 war 50 000 engines had been manufactured or overhauled at Hillington.
With the advent of peace the number of people employed at Hillington was considerably reduced but in 1950 the Government decided to re-equip the Royal Air Force with the Rolls-Royce 'Avon' jet engine, and expansion in Scotland began again.
Small factories were taken over at Larkhall and Blantyre but it was soon evident that a large new factory was needed. The decision was taken to build at East Kilbride, at that time in the process of changing under the New Towns Act from a village of 2400 inhabitants to a town which eventually will have 75 000 people.
Site preparations began in July 1951, and the first shop was being erected by January 1952. It was working within 12 months of the cutting of the first turf and the first engine was dispatched in February 1953. There were 100 operatives by the end of August 1952. Eighteen months later there were 2000.
Nearly one-third of the people in East Kilbride are in one way or another dependent on the factory, which is the greatest employer of labour in the town. About 1600 Rolls-Royce employees live in new town houses. The company make the biggest contribution to full employment of any concern in a new town in Scotland or England.
The Scottish factories of Rolls-Royce manufacture and overhaul 'Avon' jet engines, overhaul 'Dart' turboprops and 'Derwent' jets, 'Merlin', 'Griffon' and 'Griffon Marine' piston engines.
`Avon' engines power among other aircraft 'Scimitar', 'Sea Vixen' and 'Lightning' fighters, 'Valiant' and 'Canberra' bombers, 'Comet 4' and 'Caravelle' airliners.
The 'Dart' powers the 'Viscount', 'Fokker Friendship', 'Dart Herald', 'Avro 748' and other aircraft.
More than 11 500 people are employed in the Scottish factories which export to 40 countries.
David Rowan and Co. Ltd was established in Elliot Street in 1866 and has almost continuously been enlarged and expanded in the original area. Today it has well appointed workshops equipped with modern plant and machine tools capable of producing an annual output of 85 000 s.h.p.
From the outset, the sole product of the works has been the manufacture of main propelling machinery for ships of medium and upper-size tonnage which today comprises various types of oil engine, turbine, gasifier, cylindrical and water-tube boilers with the appropriate ancillary gear and the fitting-out of this equipment aboard the vessels.
Saxone Shoe Co Ltd
There is in Scotland a long tradition of fine shoemaking which survives mainly in Saxone Shoe Company Ltd - the largest manufacturers and distributors of footwear in Scotland, and one of the largest in Great Britain.
This proud tradition which the company enjoys can be traced back to modest beginnings, indeed, to 1783, when shoes were made entirely by hand and much of the work was executed in the homes of local craftsmen.
It is, surely, a tribute to the high quality and outstanding craftsmanship of the Saxone product, irrespective of type or style, that continuous production has been maintained ever since the first half of the 19th century.
The skill of the old-time shoemakers, their pride in their work, is the heritage of a thousand or so of good craftsmen who in Kilmarnock today are making Saxone shoes for everybody. The old craftsmen were proud of their products because they knew that they were as good as they could make them; the Saxone craftsmen of today have an equal pride because they know that the shoes they produce are as good as shoes can be made. If the Kilmarnock shoemakers of even a century ago could see the present-day products of the company, they would marvel at the machine perfection of them.
There are two Saxone factories in Kilmarnock. The older is concerned mainly with the manufacture of men's shoes and the other, bright and up-to-date, is devoted to women's and children's shoes. In the men's factory are manufactured the famous 'Gleneagles Golf Masters'. Here also are designed and made a range of men's walking and casual shoes branded 'Saxone' and demonstrating the trend for lighter, slimmer and more flexible footwear, which graces the present-day masculine foot. The other factory is the home of 'Gleneagles Swaggers', the styles made to companion tweeds in town and country with the slimmer lines and high stacked heels which modern fashion demands.
For the important youngest person there are those wonderful little shoes, 'Jumping-jacks', which came from the United States of America and have now themselves produced a progeny for older children. Amongst these, of special note, are 'Jills', which echo perfectly the young idea of what a fashion shoe should be.
The Saxone company in its present form was founded in 1901 with one factory and a few shops and is now part of the Saxone, Lilley and Skinner Group with 450 shops, 7 factories and 26 repair factories.
The Scott family shipbuilding business in Greenock, founded during the reign of Queen Anne, began by building small fishing and coasting craft at Greenock in 1711. Since that date nearly every type of merchant ship and warship has been built; from the herring buses of the eighteenth century to the clipper ships, early steamers, frigates and sloops of the early nineteenth century and to the tankers, passenger ships, cargo liners, and warships (including submarines) of the present day. The shipyard has four building berths, the largest capable of taking a tanker of 40 000 tons dead weight. The building berths are served by two travelling cranes of 60 tons and six tower cranes of 20 and 12 tons capacity. There is a deep-water fitting-out basin served by a 100-ton, a 25-ton (travelling) and two 12-ton tower cranes.
They were also among the first to enter upon the building of steam ships and a close association existed between the Scotts and the family of James Watt. Since their first early side-lever steam engine of 1825, the engine works (still known as the 'foundry' although this has long since ceased to exist) has produced all types of propelling machinery and have installed these in ships for the Merchant Navy and the Royal Navy. Today, their output is concentrated on Scott-Doxford, Scott-Sulzer, high-pressure turbines and water-tube boilers, not only for their own ships but also for hulls built by other shipbuilders.
To meet the growing requirements of the European trade, The Singer Manufacturing Company in the United States of America decided in 1867 to establish a factory in Europe. The first Singer factory outside the United States was established at Love Loan, off John Street, Glasgow, in that year. In 1869 a larger factory was leased in Main Street, Bridgeton, Glasgow, and sewing-machine production was transferred there, while the cabinet workshop was accommodated in Govan Street, Glasgow. At that time production was only about 600 machines per week, but it soon became necessary to expand considerably and, in 1882, ground was bought at Kilbowie, Clydebank, building operations were started and by 1884 all production was centralized at the new factory. The factory covers an area of approximately 150 acres of which the buildings alone account for 30 acres. It is the largest sewing-machine factory in the world.
As famous as its sewing machines is the Singer clock; in the world it is second only in size to the clock on the Oslo Town Hall. The 50-ft square Scots baronial-styled tower is 250 ft above sea level and houses the four dials which are 26 ft in diameter. Surmounting each face is the word 'Singer' in letters 13 ft high.
The Singer power station, generating 18 000 h.p. daily, serves the factory with all the heat, light and power necessary for the running of production machinery and processes.
The recreational building was recently re-opened after having been totally destroyed by enemy action in 1941 and, with the adjoining sports fields, caters for the social and sports interests of the 16 000 employees.
In the design of the nuclear station at Hunterston there are two graphite-moderated gas-cooled reactors each of which is associated with a group of eight steam-raising units feeding three 60 MW turbo-alternators.
Each of the reactors is founded on a heavily reinforced concrete footing 6 ft 6 in. thick. The main biological shield is of special heavy concrete and the lower shield through which pass the bottom stand pipes is 6 ft 6 in. thick. The inner shield walls are supported on eight massive columns.
The core of the reactor is cylindrical and through this there will be more than 3000 vertical channels, each containing 10 fuel elements. A remotely controlled machine, situated in a chamber beneath the reactor will be capable of charging and discharging fuel elements with the reactor on full load and at full pressure.
A comprehensive system of manual controls and appropriate instrumentation for the two reactors and their associated plant is provided in a central control room situated in the turbine building. This building will be approximately 700 ft long by 130 ft wide and will house six 60 MW turbo-alternators longitudinally.
The generator voltage is 11 800 from which step-up transformers connected to the generators raise the voltage to 132 000 volts at which voltage all main switching is carried out.
The circulating water system is designed to meet a full load demand of 324 000 gal/min. The intake and outfall head-works will be 400 ft and 1300 ft offshore respectively.
In the generating station 360 MW of generating plant was completed by 1960 and comprise three 120 MW boiler and turbine units. The installation of two 200 MW units, planned for commissioning in 1962 and 1963 respectively, will complete the station.
In the buildings erected up to 1960, about 8000 tons of steel have been used in the frameworks and the boilers are slung from the main steelwork near roof level.
Nos. 1, 2 and 3 generators are 120 MW impulse reaction, 3000 rev/min machines, designed to operate with steam conditions at the turbine stop valve of 1500 lb/sq in and 1000°F. The turbines are three-cylinder, three-exhaust units and the flow in the high-pressure cylinder is reversed. The boilers have a rated capacity of 860 000 lb of steam/h at 1600 lb/sq in, 1010°F and after passing through the high-pressure stages of the turbine the steam is reheated to 1005°F.
The first chimney, 400 ft high with an external diameter of some 45 ft at the base, is built in brickwork on a concrete base founded on rock. A second chimney has been constructed for the two 200 MW units.
When the station is complete up to 7600 tons of coal, 200 tons of furnace ash and 1300 tons of fly ash, will be handled daily.
The shipbuilding firm of Alexander Stephen and Sons was founded in 1750 at Burghead, and later moved to Aberdeen, Arbroath, and Dundee, and finally to the Clyde, settling down on its present site at Linthouse in 1869. In its early years the firm set a standard in the quality of the ships it produced, and down through the years this reputation for quality has been maintained and strengthened.
Since the 1939-45 war a programme of modification and extension has made the yard one of the best equipped on the Clyde. From its six slipways merchant tonnage, including cargo ships, passenger liners and oil tankers, have taken to the sea. A variety of naval tonnage has also been launched. The firm's engine works has manufactured a variety of marine engines, including turbines and diesels. The ship repairing section undertakes all types of ship and engine repairs and overhauls.
Back in its early years Stephen's realized the importance of training apprentices to produce the highest craftsmanship in all shipbuilding trades. Right down through the years this emphasis on comprehensive training programmes, both technical and practical, has been part of the firm's policy. Today Stephen's enjoys a high reputation for its apprentice training in both shipyard and engine works and training schools for ship and engine trades are established on the firm's premises.
L. Sterne and Co Ltd
The factories to be visited are controlled by the Hermetic Unit Division of L. Sterne and Co. and manufacture hermetically sealed motor compressors for refrigeration, and also condensing units and systems built up with these motor compressors. This division forms an important branch of L. Sterne and Co. Ltd, refrigerating engineers.
The principal factory where the hermetic motor compressors are built covers some 200 000 sq ft. This factory is specially designed for mass-producing these hermetic units and has a capacity of 2500 per shift. At peak periods the factory has been running at close to 4000 per day. The factory is laid out with material entering at several points round the periphery so that it has the shortest possible journey to the point where it joins the production stream, and the final product flows in one main artery eventually to packing and dispatch.
These motor compressors are used for domestic refrigerators, freezer chests, ice-cream conservators, refrigerated display cases, commercial refrigerators, air conditioners, beverage dispensers and many other purposes. Apart from shipments within Great Britain, approximately 50 per cent are shipped overseas to all parts of the world.
In a separate factory complete refrigerated systems are built for supplying to domestic-cabinet customers who do not wish to assemble their own systems. This factory is also fitted with fully automatic equipment and has a capacity of 1000 systems per day.
In another separate factory controlled by this division components are manufactured consisting mainly of condensers, driers and valves.
James Templeton and Co. Ltd, was founded in 1839 and is engaged in the manufacture of carpets, carpeting and rugs.
The company has six carpet factories in Glasgow and two spinning mills, one in Glasgow and one in Stirling. It has also acquired a 30-acre site at Govanhill where a large new factory will be built.
The enterprise was started in Bridgeton in 1839 by James Templeton who, prior to that time, was in business in Paisley as a manufacturer of Paisley shawls. For well over one hundred years the firm was run as a private company until 1947 when it became a public Limited Company. Something of the tradition of a private family business remains, and a great-great grandson of James Templeton is the present Chairman. As there has been no amalgamation with, or purchase of, other carpet concerns, Templeton can be regarded as the largest individual carpet manufacturing unit in the British Commonwealth.
Although the company produces carpets in all price ranges, the main production is in the medium and better qualities. Templeton carpets are supplied in large quantities for hotels, restaurants, cinemas and theatres at home and abroad; they are to be found in the lounges and state rooms of many luxury liners, and in the Houses of Parliament in Britain, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa; and the carpets for the last three coronations in Westminster Abbey were all woven on Templeton looms. But the largest portion of their production goes to carpet the homes of the people in Great Britain and overseas.
Broadly, the company's products fall into two categories : Axminster and Wilton. There are three subdivisions of Axminster : spool, gripper and chenille. Each of these types of carpet has its own characteristics and each can be made in varying qualities. Each also requires special skills and experience in its manufacture. All types of carpets can be made either in plain colours or with a pattern; in the case of Wilton and gripper Axminster the number of colours used is limited, but for spool and chenille Axminster there is no limit to the number of colours which may be used.
After the spinning of the wool, the progress of the carpet can be seen from the Dyehouse through the colouring, winding, spooling and threading to the weaving department, where all the skills and experience of this old-established craft are evident in the workers of all ages who produce the multi-coloured and varied designs.
Below is a brief summary of the work of these departments.
Dyehouse. The yarn is cleaned before dyeing to the shades required. It is then dried in a heated chamber before being bundled and stored.
Colouring. Over 1000 shades are stocked awaiting the production line. The colourist is responsible for selecting the shades for each design.
Winding. The yarn is wound from hanks to bobbins.
Spooling. The spoolers are responsible for setting the design in the carpet guided by the design papers. The yarn is wound on to spools each one representing one row of tufts across the carpet. This operation is an example of highly skilled carpet work and from this the type of carpet derives its name 'Spool Axminster'.
Threading. The spools are threaded to ensure that each end of yarn is in its correct position for use in the loom.
Weaving. The spools are placed on an endless chain and each row of tufts are woven in turn as the chain revolves.
Finishing. Careful scrutiny and deftness of fingers ensure the perfection of the carpet which is then sheared to give an even pile. The final examination ensures perfection.
The six Engineering Departments of the University (Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Mechanics and Mechanism, Electrical Engineering, Naval Architecture and Aeronautics) are housed in two adjacent buildings, the North and South Engineering Buildings. The former was built in 1900 and reconstructed in 1920 and 1959; the latter was completed in 1958. The former contains lecture rooms, drawing-offices and staff rooms as well as laboratories which are devoted chiefly to applied mechanics, structures and strength of materials, soil mechanics, reinforced concrete and hydraulics. The South Building, a construction of seven floors, has large laboratories for heat engines and electrical engineering extending through two floors, with smaller laboratories above. The upper floors of the building are occupied by drawing offices and laboratories for Naval Architecture and Aeronautics. There is also a laboratory, a large lecture theatre and a comfortably furnished students' common room.
The bas-relief panel on the solid stone wall on the south front of the South Building was designed by Mr Eric Kennington and completed, after his death, by his assistant Mr Eric Stanford.
Department of Natural Philosophy
The Department of Natural Philosophy is equipped to carry out, in addition to its normal teaching functions, an extensive research programme in nuclear physics. It is one of the largest university centres in the United Kingdom engaged in such work.
Modern research in nuclear physics often necessitates the use of large accelerators, and the chief machine of this type in the Glasgow laboratory is a synchrotron which accelerates electrons to very high energies. This machine and most of the research staff and equipment of the Department are accommodated in a modern wing designed by Basil Spence, Edinburgh.
Brief details of the machines and the research techniques in use in the Department are as follows:
Synchrotron. This machine produces a beam of 400 MeV gamma rays which is used for investigations into the photo-production of mesons and the photo-disintegration of nuclei.
Million volt linear accelerator. This machine is powered by a Cockcroft—Walton voltage doubler, and is used for the investigation of reactions produced by the bombardment of protons and deuterons, and for the production of 14 MeV neutrons.
Visible track techniques. The expansion chamber, diffusion chamber, bubble chamber, nuclear plates and the newly developed spark counter are all devices, which enable the passage of particles to be seen and photographed. Used in conjunction with the beams from one or other of the accelerators they provide much information on photodisintegration processes.
It may be mentioned that increasing use is being made of automatic scanning devices in connection with nuclear plate and bubble chamber measurements.
Electronic counters. In addition to the more stereotyped Geiger and proportional counters used for particle detection, the scintillation counter is now much used and is a powerful asset. This counter utilizes photomultiplier tubes to detect the feeble optical radiation emitted from certain fluorescent materials when traversed by ionizing particles, and is of particular value in the measurement of very short intervals of time. At present, as short a time interval as 10^-10 sec can readily be measured.
Solid state physics. Interest is divided between electronic and atomic movements in various materials.
Theoretical and experimental work is in progress on electrical resistance and semi-conduction. The diffusive motion of protons in adsorbed water layers is being examined by nuclear magnetic resonance. A group is studying the surface free energy and surface diffusion in various metals by interference microscopy of surface changes which take place on annealing at high temperature.
Techniques. A varied range of subsidiary equipment (R.F. induction furnace, ultrasonic drill, evaporation and sputtering plant, high vacuum systems, etc.) is operated by the departmental technical staff and is available to the research staff in their work.
The business of John Walker and Sons Ltd was started in 1820 by John Walker, an Ayrshire farmer's son. In 1852 the entire business was washed away by a cloud burst but John Walker restarted it and, with the help of his son Alexander, the business flourished mainly by dint of shrewd advertising and making contacts abroad in days when such methods were novel.
In 1886 a private Limited Company was formed with John Walker's son and grandsons on the Board who were later joined by James Stevenson, and great progress was made.
In 1908 the well-known 'Johnnie Walker' figure was designed by the famous illustrator Tom Browne, who was inspired by the silhouette of the founder John Walker.
In 1925 a public Limited Company was formed under the title John Walker and Sons Ltd.
The 1939-45 war brought difficulties in shortage of staff and restriction, and finally a ban, on distilling, and only careful handling of stocks laid down by a far-seeing Board enabled limited supplies to be maintained. Controls of both materials and labour continued after cessation of war but the making of Scotch whisky cannot be hurried, although once blending has been done, bottling and casing and dispatch must be carried out as quickly as possible. With this end in view the directors turned their attention, during the interim period, to planning and incorporating new buildings and techniques so that by 1956 when the new buildings were opened the work could go ahead with increased speed. Single Whiskies from as many as 40 different distilleries are blended in large wooden vats which can hold 16 000 gallons. The blended whisky is then drawn off into casks which are stored for some time to allow the whiskies to 'marry'. After that time, the casks are taken from storage and the contents run into bottling vats where the whisky is reduced to required strength. These vats feed the production lines which are both automatic and semi-automatic.
Up-to-date washing machines deliver sterilized bottles by conveyor to the bottling lines, where they are filled, corked, examined, capsuled, labelled, wrapped and packed. Labelling machines can fix the three and sometimes four labels that are required, simultaneously.
In a siding alongside the cased goods store the cases are loaded by a gravity roller conveyor.
A cooperage department for repair of casks is adjacent and is fitted with up-to-date machinery.
There is a modern canteen, fine hall for social gatherings and fully equipped first-aid room for the staff. There are also offices for Bond staff and Customs and Excise Officers.
The company has its own electricity substation under the jurisdiction of the South of Scotland Electricity Board.
A 13-ft neon sign of the now famous Johnnie Walker is erected on the site facing the railway line.
G. and J. Weir Ltd
The firm of G. and J. Weir was founded 75 years ago when a small machine shop was established on the present site, but for more than ten years before that date the brothers George and James Weir were in business, designing and patenting boiler-feed auxiliaries for both land and marine service. The company is now the main manufacturing unit in the Weir group of companies, which covers sales, manufacturing and service interests at home and overseas.
Many of the products and systems developed by the company became standard industrial and marine practice, and the firm's history has been one of continuous development, from the famous Weir direct-acting boiler feed pump of the earliest days (still selling in large numbers) to the giant FR 550 Weir electro-feeder now being built for the Central Electricity Generating Board's 550 kW sets at Thorpe Marsh, Doncaster. This will be the largest capacity boiler feed pump in the world, with an output of four million lb/h at 2800 lb/sq in gauge. Three of Britain's nuclear power stations are being equipped with Weir feed pumps, in addition to those being supplied for large thermal stations now being built. In the latter field, many hundreds of units have been installed over the years, both at home and abroad.
Weir equipment is widely used by marine engineers and the Weir closed feed system has been installed in naval and merchant ships of many nations during the last 30 years.
The factory at Cathcart, on the southern outskirts of Glasgow, has a covered area of 17.5 acres, housing machine shops, assembly bays, welding, forging and pattern shops and stores. The research and test facilities were modernized in 1957 and cover an area of 50 000 sq ft.
Weir products now include a wide variety of pumps of both centrifugal and positive displacement types, feed water heaters, main and auxiliary condensers, deaerators, regulators and many other items of boiler-feed equipment. Ancillary equipment such as air compressors, de-oilers, steam turbines and steam/steam transformers are also made.
Another important sphere of engineering in which the company has gained a substantial lead is that of the production of fresh water from the sea. Apart from the well-established Weir installations at Aruba and Curacao in the Caribbean, and Aden and Kuwait in the Middle East, the latest Weir 'Multiflash' system has marked a very significant step forward. With the commissioning of the two million gallons-a-day 'Multiflash' plant for the Government of Kuwait, Weir distillation plant is now producing almost 70 per cent of the world's total output of fresh water from large-scale land installations.
G. and J. Weir Ltd hold a manufacturing licence for Clark air compressors, the product of Clark Bros, London organization of Dresser Industries Inc. of the United States of America. Another recent expansion is the acquisition of the air compressor business of Alley and MacLellan (Polmadie) Ltd, which is now established at Cathcart as Alley Compressors Ltd, manufacturing a range of balanced opposed compressors as well as vertical types.
The training of apprentices has always been regarded as a matter of vital importance, and all apprentices attend the modern, well-equipped training school. There is a gymnasium at their disposal and, near the works, a well laid-out recreation ground, with bowling greens, tennis courts, and football and cricket pitches.
In 1937 Mr R. M. Glen, the present Managing Director, joined General Time Corporation and worked in all divisions prior to establishing the British Company in 1939. Mr F. Chapman, General Marketing Manager, joined the company in 1939 to set up a selling organization for clocks to be assembled in Britain from Canadian components. It was also planned to start an assembly plant in that year, but the outbreak of the 1939-45 war prevented that.
Building of a 60 000 sq ft factory commenced in 1946 on the present site at Strathleven, while, in the meantime, a Training School was started in a nearby factory which was rented for the purpose. By 1947 production of one 4-in. alarm clock in one finish was well under way and in 1948 the move to a new factory took place.
The first million clocks had been produced by October 1950, and production was still insufficient to satisfy demand. A 40 000 sq ft extension to the factory was authorized and it was decided to build up a Westclox sales force.
Between 1951 and 1955 considerable further expansion took place in the factory, the range of products and the sales force, emphasis being placed all the time on the quality of materials and workmanship and on good design.
In 1956 electric clocks were added to the company's range.
The first inexpensive Westclox wrist watches were sold in 1959 from the specially built and separate factory on the Strathleven estate.
To date, well over 17 million clocks have been sold by the British Company since its formation.
Total employees now exceed 1300 persons and Westclox Ltd makes and sells approximately one in every two of alarm clocks manufactured in Britain. Exports from Strathleven to approximately 110 different countries exceed those of all other British clock manufacturers together.
The factories at Strathleven now exceed 250 000 sq ft in area, and over 12 000 pieces a day in production.
Yarrow and Co Ltd
The firm of Yarrow was established in 1866 on the Thames and was engaged in the building of small steam launches. In 1879 the first torpedo boat, 85 ft long, was built for the British Navy.
In 1906 it was decided to remove the establishment from the Thames to the Clyde. Many naval ships, such as flotilla leaders, torpedo boat destroyers, frigates, etc., have been built, as well as a number of high-class passenger and cargo vessels, and a large number of shallow-draught vessels for inland waterways in different parts of the world, also privately owned yachts.
Large sums have recently been expended in modernizing the shipyard and engine works.
About forty years ago the firm decided to enter the market for water-tube boilers for power stations and industrial use, and a large business has been undertaken in this line, both in Great Britain and abroad, including some of the biggest units both with high pressures and steam temperatures.
An important feature of the firm's activities has been the establishment about fourteen years ago of a Research and Development Department, known as the Yarrow—Admiralty Research Department (Y.—A.R.D.), which is now engaged in many problems in connection with advanced machinery installations, and more recently in a research into the application of nuclear power for marine purposes.