Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

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Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 163,173 pages of information and 245,641 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

James Buchanan and Son

From Graces Guide
Cast iron loading bay cill in Liverpool

James Buchanan and Son of Caledonia Foundry/Caledonia Engine Works, Brasenose Road, Liverpool.

1860 Company founded by James Buchanan, Senior.

1877 Name changed to James Buchanan and Son when his son James Buchanan joined the company

1886 'MESSRS. BUCHANAN AND SONS' EXHIBITS AT THE LIVERPOOL EXHIBITION. The machinery in motion section of the Liverpool Exhibition was, perhaps, the most interesting collection of improvements on modern machinery and inventions that bad within recent times covered the same area of ground at any British exhibition, and the number of awards, which at all events in this section were not indiscriminately given to exhibitors, is a sufficient proof of the difficulty the jurors must have experienced in awarding medals, where everything was of so superior a character. At the southern end of this section, but outside the building, were to be seen the various lifting appliances of Messrs. James Buchanan and Sons, engineers, Brasenose-road, Liverpool. As these exhibits were of a totally different character to those inside the building, and in many respects unique, a short description of them may be interesting. Two improved hand derrick cranes, made to lift from 15 cwt upwards, of light and elegant construction combined with immense strength, of the description usually used by builders, , contractors, quarry owners, &c., commanded attention, as much from their length of jib as for the perfect finish of the minutest piece of workmanship, which the skill of the artificer had expended upon it. The various parts can be easily taken asunder for transit or shipment, and can be as readily put together without the aid of a mechanic — a feature of no little importance in machinery of this kind. The firm's improved steam derrick crane, which was in motion daily for some months at the Exhibition and attracted considerable attention, was, we understand, built especially for export. The whole of the materials used in its construction are either of iron or steel, and the various parts are so numbered that when renewals are required, or accident happens to any one of them, the damage can be easily repaired by referring to the number when ordering. The jibs, stays and sleepers are made in parts, strongly jointed together, so as to be easily taken to pieces for shipment and conveyance inland. The jib, 50 feet long, is double locked, while the mast is twenty-eight feet high, and is constructed so that either chains or wire ropes may be used. The jib is so held that it is impossible for the man at the engine to lose control of it, or let it fall ; while it can be lowered with or without the engine with the greatest ease and the most absolute safety. The shafts can be taken out for repairs, or to facilitate easy erection without removing the framework. The engine and boiler are of the newest design, and, nothing being used in their construction hut the best • material, form combined a perfect piece of I mechanism, every part of which is easy of access for removal or repairs. As we said before, this crane has been specially built for export. Its extreme length of jib, immense strength, and the great ease and perfect safety with which it can be worked make it specially adapted for rivers, whose tides recede far out ; from low lying banks. Where jetties and wharves are located, this crane would be invaluable, as placed on either side its jib would reach far away out into the stream and thus enable a cargo to be easily discharged that could not possibly, on account of the tide, approach either jetty or wharf. Hundreds of tons of merchandise and costly pieces of machinery lie embedded in the mud of the receding tides in many of the rivers and confluences of the principal watersheds of Southern and Eastern Africa that might have been, and may yet be, rescued by the use of these or similar cranes. They are a "want," in this age of wants, that we feel sure will go far towards developing the industry and natural resources that now only exist in embryo along the great , waterways on the coasts and in the interior of the "dark" continent. In close contiguity to the latter was an improved single purchase hoist, a machine of very simple and inexpensive construction — indeed its simplicity appeared to add to the efficient and easy manner in which we saw it do its work. Its frame is constructed of cast iron, with preparations for bolting it down to the floor of warehouse or stores. On the same floor the exhibitors had an improved double barrel friction hoist, which, though equally simple in its working parts, is capable of being adapted for many additional purposes. There are so very few parts about it that the wear and tear must necessary be reduced to a minimum. It can either be worked by hand, steam, gas or water power, driving the main shaft, besides, being more particularly adapted for the name it bears, it can, we are informed, be readily used as a single quick speed friction hoist, a double purchase slow speed friction hoist, a lowering out jigger, and a single or double purchase hand power hoist Through the courtesy of an attendant we were permitted to see it perform the various duties claimed for it by its constructors. The ready adaptability of the machine haa attracted the notice of warehouse owners &c. in this country and abroad, and its recognised merits have placed its speedy adoption beyond the possibility of doubt. A brick-machine, which stood on a foundation close to the hoists referred to, is a massive piece of mechanism, standing stolid apparently "within itself." This machine is, we understand, the invention of a Mr. Walton, for whom the exhibitors are the manufacturers. The patentee claims for this machine the first place in the market, because it is the cheapest and simplest, and comprises in its capacity the various processes of brickmaking and pressing. It is self-contained, and, resting as it does on one solid plate, it requires no expensive foundation, while it is so constructed that it can be easily taken asunder for removal from place to place, or for repairs. It is capable of making about 12,000 bricks per day, and the enormous pressure of about ten tons brought down on each brick enables it as it emerges from the die or mould, to be sent straight to the kiln, without having first to be dried. Yet, while pressing the brick so hard and firm, it is also capable of making them of different degrees of stiffness that may be required ; and the machine has a further property of producing any shape of brick having parallel sides. The machine occupies a space of about 6 feet square on its foundation, and has apparently all the qualifications the inventor claims for it. The whole of the exhibits of Messrs. James Buchanan and Son have received the gold medal of the Liverpool Exhibition. They are of a highly interesting and practical character, and the opportunity afforded us of inspecting them, was readily recognised and appreciated.'[1]

1894 Catalogue of Sugar Making Machinery; Brick, Tile and Pipe Making Machinery.[2]

1900 H. MacKay of Cheltenham, was appointed outside manager and representative.[3]

1905-06 Produced the Barber-Buchanan steam driven commercial vehicle.[4]

1913 Private company.

1946 Public company.

1949 Associated with the Rheolaveur General Construction Ltd[5]

1961 Engineers and ironfounders. Manufacturers of coke oven machinery and Buchanan char kilns.[6]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Liverpool Journal of Commerce - Saturday 20 November 1886
  2. The Engineer 1894/09/14 p238
  3. The Engineer 1900/06/15, p 631.
  4. Complete Encyclopedia of Commercial Vehicles. Edited by G. N. Georgano
  5. [1] Historic England
  6. 1961 Dun and Bradstreet KBE