Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Robert Duncan, Junior

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Robert Duncan (1827-1889) Shipbuilder.

1827 Born son of Robert Duncan, Senior

He trained as a shipbuilder

1842 Observed John Scott Russell's experiments on hull shapes

Apprenticed with Robert Steele and Co

1851 Started work as manager for his father's old partner James MacMillan.

1853 Manager of the yard of J. G. Laurie

1855 Manager for Smith and Rodger

1862 Robert Duncan Junior decided to strike out on his own. Using his father's company name, Robert Duncan and Co, with John McGregor and John Hamilton he took over the East Yard in Port Glasgow from John Reid and Co. The company was very successful - nearly 400 ships were built in the East Yard from its start until the last was delivered in 1931. He produced many ideas which either were patented or which earned considerable sums of money for himself or associated ship-owners.

1870 His partners retired.

Became managing director of Barrow Shipbuilding Co where he laid out the new works

1875 resigned his directorship at Barrow and returned to Port Glasgow

1883 Duncan's 3 oldest sons, Robert, John, xx, were brought in as partners.

1889 Died. Read his obituary in The Engineer 1889/07/12.

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