Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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David Smith (d.1888)

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David Smith ( -1888) of Smith and Rodger

1888 Obituary [1]

Another death amongst Clyde shipbuilders and has just been recorded, that, namely, of Mr. David A. Smith, who was a partner of the firm of Messrs. Smith and Rodger, a house well known about a generation ago.

The deceased served his apprenticeship with the late Mr. Robert Napier, after which he entered the service of Mr. David Napier (Robert's cousin), ultimately becoming his foreman.

In the year 1836 the firm of Smith and Rodger was formed, and they commenced business in a shop at the Broomielaw. The first attempt of the firm at shipbuilding was made in the yard of their engine works, where they constructed a steamer called the Edinburgh Castle, which was launched over the quay at that part of the Broomielaw.

Subsequently they removed to Govan, to what is now known as the Middleton Shipyard, where for about twenty years they carried on a very successful business, building many Vessels for the leading shipowners in Scotland, England, and Ireland.

In the year 1864 their business was transferred to the London and Glasgow Shipbuilding and Engineering Company (Limited), of which both Mr. Smith and his partner were directors.

An interesting episode regarding the history of Messrs. Smith and Rodger's business is that the late Provost Ferguson, of the firm of Barclay, Curle, and Co., was their first draughtsman, and be was succeeded by Mr. Robert Duncan, now of Port-Glasgow.

As a scientific and practical engineer Mr. Smith was a man of great ability.

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