Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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John Wood and Co

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John Wood, shipbuilder, of Port Glasgow

1811 John Wood and his brother, Charles Wood (who had started shipbuilding in Quebec before returning to the Clyde and opening a yard in Dumbarton), took over their father's Port Glasgow shipyards when John Snr. died in 1811.

1812 Under John's management, Messrs. John Wood and Co. then built the PS Comet, Europe's first viable commercial steam vessel, for Henry Bell. The 28-ton paddle steamship was 45 feet long and 10 feet broad

1812 Built the Elizabeth, using an engine by James Cook for John Thomson. The Elizabeth went to Liverpool in 1814, being probably the first steam vessel to enter that port.

1813 Built the Margery which worked on the Clyde[1] with engines by James Cook. Also built the Clyde[2]

1814 At the end of the year, the Margery moved to London, to become the first steamer to reach London from an outside port; soon followed by another Wood-built vessel, the Argyle, later re-named Thames, early in 1815.

John Wood was noted for building sailing ships which were greatly admired for fine workmanship and symmetry. They were fondly referred to as 'Wood's Yachts'.

1830 Robert Duncan set up his own company when he bought part of the East Yard, Port Glasgow, from John Wood and Co.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. The Penny Cyclopaedia of the Society for the Difussion of Useful Knowledge, by Charles Knight, 1842, Volume 22
  2. [1]
  • [2] Clan Wood Society