Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Thomas Shanks

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of Thomas Shanks and Co

1890 'DEATH OF MR. THOMAS SHANKS. On Wednesday, Johnstone lost one of her oldest inhabitants by the death of Mr. Thomas Shanks, at his residence, Lilybank Cottage, at the age of eighty-three. ...... Mr. Shanks was well known and much esteemed in the town. He was of a kindly and charitable disposition. The father of Mr. Shanks, Mr. William Shanks, was, we learn, proprietor of a cotton mill in conjunction with a Mr. Campbell; this mill was afterwards the engineering shop lately occupied by his descendants. The subject of the present note was an engineer, and was the founder of the now celebrated firm of Messrs. Thomas Shanks & Co., engineers. He was, are informed, the inventor of the eccentric wheel [?]. The firm, of which he was at one time the head, have made themselves famous for the excellence of their productions in tools. Their reputation is worldwide. They have made amongst other things, numbers of large tools for making armour-plate for ships, some weighing as much as 180 tons. They have dome much to make Johnstone famous as an engineering centre. A few years ago, the premises occupied by them in Campbell-shire proving too small, they erected their present large place, Union Iron Works, which are kept busy, frequently night and day. .....' Much more biographical information follows[1]


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Sources of Information

  1. Paisley & Renfrewshire Gazette, Saturday 7 June 1890