Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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John Reid and Co

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John Reid and Co, shipbuilders, of the East, the Glen and Newark yards of Port Glasgow at various times between 1847 and 1891. Succeeded by a company of similar name.

1838 John Reid was related to John Wood (the builder of PS Comet) and was in partnership with him between 1838 and 1857.

c.1847 One of his first major contracts was for a floating church for use in Loch Sunart. This may have been built at East Yard.

1849 Built the pioneer SS Collier

William Todd Lithgow became a premium apprentice with John Reid and Co; he was trained as a ship's draughtsman.

1863 Moved out of East yard, which was taken on by Robert Duncan and Co, to Glen yard[1].

1865 See 1865 Clyde Shipbuilders for detail of the tonnage produced

1866 Launched clipper ship 'Marpesia' for Joseph Heap and Sons of Liverpool

John Reid's son, James, joined the business and tried to popularise yacht construction in iron and later in steel.

1885 Built the America's Cup challenger Galatea in steel which then sailed the Atlantic in a vain bid to win the Cup.

1880s Built largest steel full rigged ship of the 1880's the British Isles.

1889 See 1889 Shipbuilding Statistics for detail of the tonnage produced

1891 the company suspended work and payments; the yard (Glen) was sold to William Hamilton and Co.

From 1891 to 1909 James Reid continued running a limited liability business with the old name at Whiteinch, Glasgow, concentrating on pleasure steamers, sailing vessels and yachts some of which were designed by Alfred Mylne.

1902 The four-masted barque Colonial Empire of 4,000 ton dw was launched; she was one of the first such to be fitted with bilge keels.

1903 the four-masted Mneme was launched; she is still afloat as the Pommern at Mariehamn in the Aland Islands

1909 the yard was taken over and absorbed by Barclay, Curle and Co Ltd.

1912 Swan, Hunter and Wigham Richardson acquired a controlling interest in Barclay, Curle and Co, which had one shipyard at Whiteinch and another at Scotstoun West, and which afterwards acquired the Whiteinch Yard known long before as that of John Reid and Co, and for a short time after the War as that of the Lloyd Royal Beige (Great Britain) Ltd[2].

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Port Glasgow Yards And Dates Of Ownership [1]
  2. The Basic Industries of Great Britain by Aberconway: Chapter XVI