Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

Registered UK Charity (No. 115342)

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 163,165 pages of information and 245,632 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 Howden and Co

From Graces Guide


June 1898.
August 1899.
February 1901.
January 1902.
1909. Turbine to drive Siemens 6000 kw alternator.
February 1911.
1921. High-Speed Engines.
December 1929.
1937. Howden Ljungstrom Air Preheaters.

James Howden and Co Ltd. of 195, Scotland-Street, Glasgow.

1854 James Howden set up in business as a consulting engineer and designer.

1857 Howden began to design and supply boilers and steam engines for the marine industry.

1860 Howden patented a method of preheating combustion air.

1862, in partnership with James Mathie, Howden purchased land at Scotland Street on the south side of Glasgow, and established the firm of James Howden and Co to manufacture engines and boilers.

1863 Introduced a furnace mechanical draught system using a steam turbine-driven axial flow fan.

1882 Howden patented the "Howden System of Forced Draught" which combined mechanical draught with the transfer of heat from the flue gases to the combustion air.

Shipbuilding was later added to the firm's activities, although the work of hull building was contracted out.

1889 See 1889 Shipbuilding Statistics for detail of the marine engines produced

By 1900 The company was making high-speed engines of the enclosed, forced-lubrication type, which were used chiefly for generating electricity.

1900 Mr James Howden Hulme nephew of James Howden becomes a partner in the company.[1]

1904 Howden began to manufacture steam turbines for use in power generation.

These were followed by the Howden Zoelly impulse type of steam turbine, which the firm supplied to many municipalities, including an installation for the corporation of Manchester.

In 1904 James Howden became involved with another large Glasgow company, James Finlay and Co, in a process for curing tea.

1907 Private company.

1909 Developed the Wallsend-Howden oil fired burner.

1912 Water-tube boilers for marine propulsion.

1914 Supplied a 15MW turbo-generator to Manchester Corporation (the largest in the UK).

1915 Supplied a 1250 kW steam turbine to Electro Bleach and By-Products Co of Middlewich, driving a Mather and Platt dynamo. See photos.[2]

1915 Howden Boiler and Armaments Co incorporated.

1923 James Howden and Co of Scotland-street, Glasgow after having made extensive trials at their works of the new Ljungstrom air preheater, acquired a licence for its application to all types of land boilers for England, and held, in addition the exclusive world licence for applying the preheater to marine boilers.[3].

1924 The name of Howden Boiler and Armaments Co was changed to Howden-Ljungstrom Preheaters (Land) Ltd[4]

1924 Came into an arrangement with Brown, Boveri and Co of Baden, Switzerland, whereby they become the sole licensees for Great Britain for the manufacture of the Brown-Boveri scavenging blower for two stroke Diesel engines. The blower, as manufactured by James Howden and Co was to be known as the Howden-Brown-Boveri scavenging blower and was to be made entirely to the designs and specification of Brown, Boveri and Co.[5]

1924 the controlling interest in Ruths Steam Accumulator Co, was acquired by the Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Co and James Howden and Co of Glasgow.[6]

1931 The name of Howden-Ljungstrom Preheaters (Land) Ltd was changed to James Howden and Co (Land) Ltd[7]

1934 Howdens and ICI developed a flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) system for use in power stations.

1935 Supplied three 10 MW single-cylinder turbines with English Electric Co alternators for Salt River Power Station, South Africa [8]

1938 James Howden & Co Ltd licensed the screw compressor from SRM in Sweden.

1939 Company made public.

1947 Supplied the main blowers for two nuclear reactors at Windscale, UK.

1961 Marine and general engineers. Manufacturers of air preheaters, draught fans, high speed steam engines, rotary screw compressors, dust collecting equipment and flue gas washing plant. Specialists in steel office furniture. 2,649 employees. [9]

1966 World's first submerged gas circulators (for the UK AGR programme).

1968 Acquired Sir George Godfrey and Partners to expand activities in the refrigeration and precision engineering fields.

1968 James Howden and Godfrey made an agreed offer for Reavell and Co, maker of compressors[10]

1968 November: The name of James Howden and Co (Land) Ltd was changed to James Howden and Co Ltd[11]

1969 Sold Reavell and Co.

1973 Howden Group acquired Airscrew Fans from British Match which would add fans that complemented Howden's products and those of its subsidiary Carter Howden[12].

1975 Name changed to James Howden and Godfrey Holdings

1985 Name changed to Howden Compressor and Refrigeration Group, part of Howden Group

1987 Profits slump led Howden Group to rationalise[13]

1988 Acquired Davidson and Co; name changed to Howden Sirocco, part of Howden Group

1997 Howden acquired Bryan Donkin Blowers.

1997 Charter plc acquired Howden Group plc.

2020 Howden website

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Engineer 1900/01/26 p 106.
  2. [1] The Engineer, 31 Dec 1915, pp 631-2
  3. The Engineer 1923/06/08
  4. Companies House filing
  5. The Engineer 1924/10/17
  6. The Engineer 1924/12/19
  7. Companies House filing
  8. [2] ESKOM website - Salt River Power Station
  9. 1961 Dun and Bradstreet KBE
  10. The Times Dec. 7, 1968
  11. Companies House filing
  12. The Times, 13 December 1973
  13. The Times July 15, 1987
  • History of Howden [3]