Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Thames Iron Works, Shipbuilding and Engineering Co

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January 1902. Thames Electrical Engineering Works.
1906. Engines - Armoured Cruiser Black Prince.
1907. Thames car. 10-12 h.p. 10-15 cwt. converted.
April 1908. 14 h.p. cab.
November 1909.
July 1910.
1910. Aeroplane engine.

of Victoria Dock Road, Canning Town, London

1899 The company was registered on 15 July, to take over the business of the Thames Iron Works and Ship Building Co, with which was amalgamated the undertaking of John Penn and Sons. [1]

Thames Ironworks became increasingly diversified, with 6 distinct departments:

  • Shipbuilding
  • Boatbuilding (produced 206 lifeboats for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution)
  • Civil engineering (projects included the Barry Dock's gates, Hammersmith Bridge, and the roof of Alexandra Palace)
  • Cranes
  • Switches, drills, and marine engines.
  • Motor vehicles, to make up for the decline in demand for engines

1898-1901: 4 first-class battleships were being built at the same time - the HMS Albion, HMS Cornwallis, and HMS Duncan for the Royal Navy and the Japanese battleship Shikishima were launched between 1898 and 1901. But the yard was increasingly uncompetitive with competitors in the North East and Scotland, and the cramped nature of the location presented problems for launching and fitting-out.

After 1901 the yard only received 3 Admiralty contracts

1904 The cruiser HMS Black Prince was launched.

1910 Advert for motorcars: full details of all models available from Thames Engineering Works Motor Dept, Greenwich. Made under the trade name Thames at the Blackheath engine works.

1911 Launched the Dreadnought battleship HMS Thunderer, the last and largest ship constructed by the firm. The ship was produced efficiently and on time but a special wharf had to be hired at Dagenham to fit her out as there was no room in the shipyard.

No further orders were forthcoming

1912 the shipyard closed.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  • Biography of Alfred Frank Hills, ODNB