Local Industries of Glasgow and the West of Scotland

Author(s): Caird, Robert; Chisholm, Sir Samuel; Dyer, Henry; Fleming, Sir James; Henderson, George Gerald; Macintyre, Robert; Mackenzie, T R; McLean, Angus; Sandeman, David T; Sexton, Alexander Humboldt; Thompson, George R


British Association
for the
Advancement of Science
In connection with the Meeting of the British Association in
Glasgow in 1901, the following volumes have been prepared by
the Local Committee:

and the West of Scotland
Principal of the Paisley Technical School
Published by the
Local Committee for the Meeting of the
British Association
Glasgow 1901
THIS Handbook has been prepared for the use of Members attending
the Glasgow Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement
of Science, in 1901.
The papers have been written, for the most part, as a labour of
love by the gentlemen whose names appear against them, under the
general editorship of Mr. Angus McLean, and the thanks of the
Sub-Committee charged with the preparation of the Handbook are
hereby very sincerely tendered to these gentlemen.
The Handbook has not been arranged on any pre-determined
plan or system. A review of each industry has been made by a
recognised authority in the subject, and no attempt has been made
to control or direct the treatment of the subjects.
PREFACE, by Robert Caird, LL.D., F.R.S.E., Shipbuilder, Greenock,
Convener of the Sub-Committee on the Industries Handbook . . v
MINING AND QUARRYING, by George R. Thompson, B.Sc.(Lond.), Lecturer
on Mining and Geology in the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical
College . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
METALLURGY, by A. Humboldt Sexton, F.I.C., F.C.S., Professor of
Metallurgy in the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College 13
MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, by Henry Dyer, C.E., M.A., D.Sc., Glasgow . 33
TRANSPORT, by David T. Sandeman, Glasgow . . . . . . 119
TEXTILE INDUSTRIES, by Robert Macintyre, Glasgow . . . . . 133
CHEMICAL INDUSTRIES, by George Gerald Henderson, M.A., D.Sc., F.I.C.,
Professor of Chemistry in the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical
College . . . . . . . . . . . . .159
GLASS, POTTERY, BRICKMAKING, &c., by James Fleming, Glasgow . . 193
MUNICIPAL ENTERPRISES, by the Hon. Samuel Chisholm, LL.D., Lord
Provost of Glasgow . . . . . . . . . . 211
CLYDE NAVIGATION, by T. R. Mackenzie, General Manager and Secretary
to the Clyde Navigation Trustees . . . . . . . 281
Lecturer on Mining and Geology in the Glasgow and West
of Scotland Technical College.
The minerals wrought in the area draining into the Firth of Clyde are
chiefly coal, ironstone, and limestone, with fire clay, brick-clays, and marls,
various sandstones for local buildings, whinstone for local road making,
sands and gravels, along with small quantities of lead ore, barytes, and
honestone. Iron pyrites has been produced, and its indirect product in the
shape of alum shale. The methods of working these differ in no very
marked manner from those generally employed. The bedded minerals,
such as coal, fire clay, &c., where thick, are worked by the bord and pillar
system, or "stoop and room," as it is locally called; where thin, chiefly by
pure longwall. The sandstones, limestones, brick-clays, and whinstones
are usually worked in comparatively shallow quarries by ordinary opencast
methods, though the two former are often got from underground workings
on the "stoop and room" system, thin limestones, in exceptional cases,
being even taken longwall.
The Carboniferous rocks, which are chiefly developed in the area in
consideration, lie in a practically uncovered basin; their distribution is
consequently well known, and where they are productive of coals the depth
of the workings is limited by the thickness of the series, the pits being, in
most cases, comparatively shallow. A brief glance at the geology of the
district will show the distribution of the minerals and the conditions under
which they have to be worked.
In the great central valley of Scotland, lying between the Older
Palæozoic rocks of the Highlands and Southern uplands, we have practically
the whole of the Carboniferous rocks of Scotland. On the northern
side these rest invariably on the Old Red Sandstone, while their
southern margin is often determined by faults, though sometimes, by
overlapping the Old Red, they come to rest on the Silurian rocks
Throughout this district the outcrop of the Carboniferous strata is only
hidden by glacial drift or recent alluvium, except in Central Ayrshire,
where, about Stair and Ballochmyle, Permian rocks unconformably cover
them with bedded lavas and ashes and brick-red sandstones. They are not
uniformly productive of coal through the whole area, the coalfield of the
Clyde basin being more or less separated from the eastern fields by an
upridging of the lower members of the series, another similar ridge
separating it from that of Ayrshire.
In the western portion, as seen at Dumbarton and in the Campsie Hills,
the lowest members of the series consist of red sandstones and marls, resting
unconformably upon the Lower Old Red Sandstone. Succeeding these
come an upper (the cement stone) series of thin bedded impure limestone,
sometimes magnesian, and variegated marls, which bear evidence of lacustrine
origin and — though giving few traces of animal life — yield fragmentary
remains of plants, and even (at Glenarbuck, above Bowling), a
worthless seam of coal. They are most remarkable, however, for the great
thickness of igneous rocks interbedded with their upper members, so well
seen at Ballagan, where they reach a thickness of nearly 1000 feet, and
which, replacing the lower members in Northern Ayrshire, attain a
thickness of 1500 feet, but thin out again southwards disappearing
before Irvine is reached. These beds, poured out from volcanoes of
Cement Stone age, the denuded vents of which are abundantly visible
in the district, form the base of the productive coal series in the Clyde
valley, and rise in terraced hills on the north from Dumbarton to
Stirling, and on the south from Greenock to Strathaven.
Above these comes a group of whitish coloured sandstones and dark shales
with thin bands of limestone and seams of coal and ironstone, constituting
the lower coal and ironstone group of Scotland. These beds, generally
known as the Carboniferous Limestone series, were deposited in an area
of depression conformably on the underlying Calciferous Sandstone series
just described, overlapping the lower members, burying the newly formed
volcanic banks, and sending tongues up the submerging valleys, finally, as
in the Douglas basin, coming to rest directly on the Old Red Sandstone
itself; the basement beds being often composed of conglomerates and
ashy grits derived from the wear of the volcanic rocks. Formed in a
shallow and narrow sea, we have thin bands of marine limestone separated
by thick layers of sedimentary sandstones and shales, while oscillation
in the movement produced land surfaces time after time, now often shown
by fossil trees in their position of growth, or by coal seams and fire clays,
the former of which again often gradate into cannel coal and ironstone
with their fish and saurian remains.
The Carboniferous Limestone series in the Clyde valley is generally
divided into three divisions — (1) Some thicker limestones (three or
more) at the base of which the Hurlet with its associated coal,
commonly the lowest marine limestone, is often taken as the base of
the series — these limestones are subordinate to sandstones and shales,
with which coal and ironstones are associated — (2nd) a thick group of
sandstones, shales, fire clays, coal seams and ironstones, from which
the chief yield of the lower coal and ironstone series is derived; (3rd)
an upper group of sandstones and shales, with some thinner limestones
and thin coal seams.
The limestones are variable in number and thickness; the thicker
members generally reach 7 or 8 feet, but exceptionally may swell out
to 70 feet or so. The coal and ironstones are likewise variable in
different parts of the field, and often cannot be traced from one district
to another close by, or if represented are unworkable. The seams are
consequently known by local names.
The general development of the Carboniferous Limestone series in the
West of Scotland is very varied both as regards the total thickness in the
strata and the limestones and coal in them. To the north-west of the
Clyde coalfield, about Kilsyth, the thickness of the strata reaches about
1700 feet, and contains fully 34 feet of coal and ironstone, though these
are not all workable at one place, the seams of one area thinning out and
becoming unworkable when traced into adjacent districts, so that about
8 to 10 feet maybe taken as the average workable. In the upper limestone
group of this same district there are some 18 feet of limestone developed,
while we have no contemporaneous volcanic rocks, the great volcanoes
of the earlier period having ceased to discharge in this locality. But in the
Bathgate hills volcanic activity still lingered on till the middle of the
period, becoming finally extinct just before the deposition of the lowest
limestone of the upper group, which further west, coming immediately
above the main part of the lower coals, serves as a guide to their position,
and is known as the Index limestone. In North Ayrshire, too, volcanoes
still persisted in the neighbourhood of Beith and Dairy, where boreholes
and pits have shown that limestones and shales, coals and ironstones are
rapidly replaced laterally by volcanic ash. The limestone series thins out
rapidly when followed south in Ayrshire. Near Dalmellington the total
section does not exceed 350 feet, and west of this district it may be totally
absent, the coal measures coming to rest directly on the Calciferous Sandstone
rocks. To show still further the nature and development of these
rocks, we may note that at Carluke, out of a total of 1032 feet, only 46 feet
are limestone, and this in eighteen different beds, while 13 feet are coal and
ironstone in eight beds, the rest being made up of sandstones and shales.
At Douglas, out of 574 feet, limestone makes up 36 feet in four beds, and
coal and ironstone 30 feet in eleven beds; at Dairy, in North Ayrshire,
out of 909 feet, limestone makes up 178 feet in six seams, and coal and
ironstone 9 feet in five seams. This variety is still further brought out
if we consider the thickness of workable coal in the different areas occupied
by these rocks. In the estimate referred to later, we find Garscube,
north of Glasgow, appearing with 6 feet of workable coal and 2 feet. of
thin and uncertain coal, while Muirkirk has 25 feet of workable and 5 feet
of thin and uncertain coal. Dairy has 4 feet of workable coal, Kilsyth and
Carluke each 8 feet of workable coal and 2 feet of thin and uncertain coal.
Contrasting with these we find 92 feet of workable coal appearing in a small
area in Renfrewshire, at Quarrelton, while at Riggside there are 40 feet of
workable and 10 feet of uncertain coal.
Above the upper limestone in Lanarkshire and below the slaty band ironstone,
which is taken as the base of the coal measures, are a group of grey,
white, yellow, or even red coarse-grained sandstones, shales, fire clays,
and thin coal seams, and impure limestones. These beds are known under
the name of the Millstone Grit, but are difficult to separate from the
underlying limestone series. Thinning out westwards they are entirely
absent in Ayrshire, the Coal Measures coming to rest directly on the
limestone series. North-east of Glasgow these beds are noted for their
excellent fire clays, which are largely mined at Glenboig, Garnkirk, and
Gartcosh. The following shows the section of the beds worked: —
Garnkirk upper working, - - - - - 7 ft. 7 in.
Strata, - - - - - - - - 45 ft.
Garnkirk under working, - - - - - 11 ft. 1 in.
Strata, - - - - - - - - 162 ft,
Gartcosh upper working, - - - - - 3 ft. 3 in.
Strata, - - - - - - - 18 ft.
Glenboig upper working, - - - - - 8 ft. 10 in.
Strata, - - - - - - - - 39 ft.
Gartcosh middle working, - - - - - 4 ft. 8 in.
Strata. - - - - - - - - 135 ft.
Gartcosh lower working, - - - - - 4 ft. 2 in.
Strata, - - - - - - - - 12 ft. to 30 ft.
Succeeding the Millstone Grit comes a group of rocks laid down under
fresh-water conditions, and consisting of light-coloured sandstones, dark
shales, fire clays, with numerous thick coal seams and ironstones — the upper
coal series of Scotland — probably of the same age as the Lower Coal
Measures of England. These are in parts covered by a group of reddish
sandstones and sandy shales, with fire clays, etc., but contain no workable
seams of coal. Between the base of the red rocks, which belong to the
upper coal measures, to the first workable coal in the Clyde valley, is a
variable thickness of strata, suggesting the unconformability of the two
series, while in Ayrshire, the barren red measures, overlapping the Lower
Coal Measures beneath, come to rest on the Carboniferous Limestone near
Sorn, in the Kilmarnock coalfield. Tinder these red rocks to the northwest
both the Limestone and Coal Measures thin out.
The outcrop of the Coal Measures covers an area of about 195 square
miles in Ayrshire, and about 178 square miles in Lanarkshire, but in Dumbartonshire
and Renfrewshire there is none. The following section
represents their development in the Clyde valley: —
Red Sandstones, etc.
— Palacecraig ironstone, 9 in., a local black band.
Strata, 16 fms.
— Glasgow upper coal, 5 ft. thick, near Glasgow, generally
thin and unworkable.
Strata, 16 to 20 fms.
— Ell coal, 2 ft. 2 in. to 10 ft. thick, extensively worked,
Strata, 6 to 8 fms.
— Pyotshaw, :3 ft. to 6 ft. " " "
Strata, 0 to 8 fms.
— Main coal, 2 ft. to 5 ft 6 in. " " "
Strata, 8 to 10 fms.
— Humph coal, 2 ft. 4 in. to 3 ft., little worked.
Strata, 4 to 7 fms.
— Splint coal, 5 ft. 3 in. to 8 ft. thick, extensively
Strata. 1 in. to 3 fms.
Virgin coal, from 1 ft. 6 in. to 2 ft. 8 in., worked
chiefly in northern part of basin, often coalesces
with the splint to form one seam in Hamilton district,
or is wanting.
Strata, 9 to 14 fms.
— Airdrie blackband ironstone, 1 ft. to 1 ft. 6 in.
Strata, 12 to 21 fms.
— Newarthill and Cleland roughband ironstone, 2 in. to
8 in. local.
Strata, 9 in. to 2 fms.
— Virtuewell coal, 2 ft. to 2 ft. 6 in., worked generally
in the shallower parts of the basin.
Strata, 3½ to 5 fms.
— Bellside ironstone, 5 to 9 in. local.
Strata, 11 to 13 fms.
— Kiltongue musselband ironstone and oil shale, 1 ft.
4 in. to 1. ft. 8 in., worked chiefly near Airdrie.
Strata, 4 to 7 fms.

Strata, 4½ to 7 fms.
— Kiltongue coal, 2 ft. 6 in. to 6 ft., worked chiefly in
Airdrie, and Coatbridge district, at Calderbank
replaced by blackband ironstone, 9 inches, with
gas and "free" coal.
— Upper Drumgray, 1 ft. to 2 ft. 6 in. little worked.
Strata, 4 to 10 fms.
— Lower Drumgray.
Strata, 35 to 45 fms.
— Thin unworkable coals here representing the seams
worked at Shotts and Fauldhouse.
— Upper slaty ironstone, 0 to 3 ft. 6 in.
Strata, 16 to 17 fms.
— Lower slaty ironstone, 0 to 8 ft. varying rapidly even
in one pit.
In the Hamilton district, the seams below the splint are probably thin
and unworkable or nearly so, but traced to the east and north the lower
strata increase in thickness, and with this increase the thin seams below the
lower Drumgray become workable, forming valuable coalfields in. the districts
of Shotts, Fauldhouse, and Armadale, the development there being shown
by the following section of the Benhar and Fauldhouse coalfield: —
— Benhar or Virtuewell coal, 4 ft.
Strata, 9 fms.
— Ladygrange coal, 1 ft.
Strata, 12 fms.
— Kiltongue musselband.
Strata, 7 fms.
— Kiltongue coal, 4 in.
Strata, 15 fms.
— Ball coal (Shotts furnace or Upper Drumgray coal),
2 ft. 3 in.
Strata, 7 fms.
— Shotts low coal, 1 ft. 8 in.
Strata, 6 fms.
— Shotts smithy coal (Lower Drumgray), 1 ft. 8 in.
Strata, 5 fms.
— Shotts gas coal, 2 ft. 6 in.
Strata, 15 fms.
— Mill coal or Crofthead four-foot coal, 3 ft.
Strata, 8 fms.
— Coalinshields seam, 2 ft. 4 in.
Strata, 5 fms.
— Armadale main coal, 2 ft.
Strata, 10½ fms.
— Coalinburn seam, 1 ft. 10 in.
Strata, 12 fms.
— Lower slaty ironstone, 10 in.
As already stated, there is a small detached basin of Permian strata in
central Ayrshire covering the Coal Measures. Everywhere at the base of
these is found an igneous series with interbedded lavas and ashes, above
which come the massive brick-red sandstones, largely quarried about
Mauchline, and highly prized as building stone. These strata are the
highest which are exposed in the district.
Throughout the whole area the solid rocks are to a great extent hidden
by deposits of glacial and post-glacial age, long and deep banks of stiff
boulder clay, studded with stones, being distributed everywhere over the
lower ground. Between the stiff lower clay, with its well-glaciated stones,
and the looser upper clay, with its big and angular local blocks, in many
parts occur the laminated inter-glacial clays; while resting beneath the
boulder clay, and in the bottom of old valleys cut out by the pre-glacial
rivers, clays or fine sands and gravel are found — the clay and sand dykes
of the miner, and often troubling him in the shallower workings. Above
the boulder clay come those beds of sand and gravel running up the valleys
and even across the watersheds — glacial in origin, and constituting the
Kames of the geologist. Lastly, fringing the shore and stretching up the
valleys, are beds of finely laminated clay and sands, the deposits marking
a post-glacial submergence of the land, while in more elevated districts
lake hollows between the boulder clay ridges have been silted up with
similar deposits.
The Carboniferous rocks — of such moment to the West of Scotland —
have been largely faulted, as is well seen to the south-east of Glasgow, where,
by an upthrow to the south, the volcanic zone is made to abut the upper
red rocks of the coal measures, a throw of some 2400 feet, which terminates
the coalfield in that direction. To the north-east of Glasgow a similar
fault of less magnitude brings out the volcanic rocks to the north, and
terminates the carboniferous limestone coalfield. Between these two the
outcrop of the coal measures is repeated again and again by step faults,
bringing down the upper beds on the north side as by the natural rise they
The coal working is also rendered more difficult by the intrusion of
igneous rocks among the coals. These intrusions belong to at least two ages.
The later ones consist of vertical, or nearly vertical, dykes of dolerite
running across the country in an east and west direction, and cutting everything
in their course, with the exception of the glacial deposits. The
earlier eruptive rocks consist chiefly of large irregular sheets of dolerite,
often thrust in between the beds for great distances, though commonly
transgressing the bedding when followed laterally. Where these are
thrust along a coal seam the coal is totally destroyed, and for this reason
a field may be unworkable. But when a sufficient thickness of rock intervenes
between the igneous rock and the coal only, a. slight, change is produced
in the seam — often, indeed, for the better — a high-class steam coal,
or even anthracite, being produced. These earlier intrusive masses have
been referred to Permian age; the later to Tertiary. In Ayrshire, besides
the numerous dolerite sills — the whin float of the miner — a number of
volcanic necks break through the Carboniferous rocks, probably the
denuded remains of Permian volcanoes.
All the formations described give products of economic, though of very
varied, importance. From the Silurian rocks of the south-east portion of
Lanarkshire — about Leadhills — and in the adjoining district of Wanlockhead
in Dumfriesshire, gold has been profitably worked in the past from the
gravels of the streams; and it is still sought by the miners on special
occasions, such as the marriage of the members of the Hopetoun or
Buccleuch families, for the purpose of presents, but its systematic working
has been abandoned since about the year 1620. Lead ore has likewise been
extensively wrought in the same localities for nearly three hundred years,
from mineral veins in the same rocks, but at present the output is
somewhat restricted, amounting last year to 1839 tons, and this chiefly from
Dumfriesshire. A small quantity of silver is produced along with the lead.
Sandstones are worked for building purposes to a slight extent in the
Old Red Sandstone, which, however, does not generally yield useful
stone. They have been worked largely in the Permian rocks, whose
bright red sandstones, about Mauchline, form a valuable building stone.
The massive white sandstones of the Carboniferous Limestone series
and the Lower Coal Measures give many bands suitable for building

purposes, from which the light-coloured building stones of the district
are quarried, or even mined, 27,630 tons of sandstone being produced
in Lanarkshire last year from underground workings.
Limestone is got from the various beds in the Carboniferous Limestone
series in different parts of the area under consideration. Where the thick
bands come to the surface, as in Northern Ayrshire, it is worked by
quarrying — which is, indeed, the general method, though a considerable
amount of limestone is worked from the thinner seams by mining where
they are sufficiently pure. The limestone is chiefly wrought as a flux
for iron smelting, but for this purpose the local supply is insufficient,
much limestone being brought in from more favourably situated
districts. Some of the more argillaceous bands are used for the
manufacture of cements.
Bricks are largely made from the laminated clay beds of the raised
beaches and of interglacial position, as also from the boulder clay, which
is cleared of stones for that purpose. The fire clay beds of the coal
measures and millstone grit series afford good material for the manufacture
of fire bricks, gas retorts, and other furnace fittings, as well
as various kinds of enamel ware, while the red marls of the Calciferous
Sandstone period, and the more highly ferruginous of the post-glacial
clays, are used for the production of bright red bricks, tiles, pipes —
the so-called terra-cotta.
The gravels and sands of glacial and post-glacial origin, and even
those in the pre-glacial valleys, are worked for building purposes, and for
use in foundries. Good road metal is furnished in the various districts
by local igneous rocks — the red felsites and porphyrites of the Old Red
Sandstone period, the black basalts and porphyrites of the Calciferous
Sandstone, the earlier doleritic sheets and masses cutting through the Carboniferous
rocks, or the later Tertiary doleritic dykes, some of which are,
in addition, cut into sets for paving, or dressed for curbstones. In Ayrshire
the earlier sheets intruded in the Carboniferous rocks are indirectly
responsible for another important product — the well-known Water of Ayr
stone — formed from carboniferous shale by contact with the intrusive
dolerite. Of this (the honestone) last year's production amounted to
303 tons.
Lastly, though of by far the greatest importance, the Coal Measures
and Carboniferous Limestone rocks furnish us with abundant coals, with
blackband and clayband ironstones, and with oil shale in addition to
the fire clay already mentioned.
The relative importance of the different minerals is shown by the
following diagrams, figs. 1, 2, 3, and 4, which give the total output of the
chief minerals for the four counties of Ayrshire, Renfrewshire, Dumbartonshire,
Lanarkshire, during the year 1899. In addition to the minerals
shown in the diagrams, Ayrshire produced 251 tons of honestone, 2596 of
gannister, and 106 of gravel; Renfrewshire produced 800 tons of barytes;
Lanarkshire 300 tons of lead ore (the return of the same mineral from
Dumfriesshire being 1848 tons), and 35,514 tons of mineral (other than
coal, fire clay, ironstone, or oil shale) from coal mines; Argyleshire, which
partly falls within the area of the Clyde basin, yielded, in addition to a
little coal, the following:— granite, 46,460 tons; limestone, 6072; sandstone,
350; slate, 30,580; whinstone, 19,668; a total of 103,130; and
Bute, 11,792 tons of sandstone; 5579 tons whinstone; and 106 tons
The importance of coal above all the other minerals is obvious. Looking
at the diagrams we see that in Lanarkshire the production of coal is about
fifty times as great as that of fire clay, the next in the list, while it is just
over eleven times as great as the combined production of all the other
minerals — the quantity of coal and oil shale being 16,493,080 tons, and that
of all the others being 1,493,348 tons. In Ayrshire over ten times
more coal is produced than ironstone, and twenty-five times more than
sandstone, in Dumbartonshire six times more coal than whinstone,
while in Renfrewshire alone of the four counties the coal production is
insignificant. In figs. 1 and 4 but one-tenth and one-fifteenth of the coal
output could be expressed respectively. A few more details concerning the
industry are therefore given.
The nature of the coals is well shown by the following analyses of selected
samples, freshly mined, by Mr. W. Carrick Anderson: —
The quantity of water contained in these samples of freshly mined coal
is not seriously different from that in samples which have stood even for
a year exposed to the atmosphere, being generally slightly less in the
freshly mined samples. There is thus a remarkable difference between the
Hamilton coals (upper series) and the Kilsyth coals coming from the lower
coal series. The same is shown in their properties, the upper coals being
free burning and showing but slight tendency to fusion and caking, while
the Kilsyth coals cake on heating, and produce a good metallurgical coke.
Some of the seams in the upper coals, however, yield hard and strong coal,
which is largely used in the blast furnace for the production of iron, as,
for example, the Splint and Upper Drumgray.
Diagram 5 shows the progress of the coal industry in the three counties
during the past quarter of a century. In Lanarkshire a fairly steady rise
in the output has taken place, broken only by the depressions of '79 and '86.
and by the strike of '94. which caused a shrinkage in the return for that
year, only to be followed by an abnormal increase in the next. This has

been more than maintained to the present, so that in 1900 the output
exceeds 17 million tons as compared with a little more than 10 millions in
1876. In Ayrshire progress has been slow, the output being practically
stationary up to three years ago, having since then increased. Diagrams
6 and 7 show the progress of the fire clay and ironstone industries.
The effect of the gradual exhaustion of the better seams of ironstone
and of the competition of foreign ores is seen in the decline, most marked
in Ayrshire and in Lanarkshire, of the local production, which from
2,232,237 tons in 1881 has dropped to 721,793 in 1890. Against this
the continued increase in the production of coal comes out in strange
relief. How long this can continue is a question of vital interest to the
West of Scotland, and this point, to which an answer was given by the
Royal Commission on Coal, has been re-examined, on the light of further
developments, by Mr. R. W. Dron, in a paper recently read before the
Institution of Mining Engineers. Reckoning as proved coal those seams
above 2 feet think which outcrop in the Coal Measures and Carboniferous
Limestone, and as doubtful and unproved the seams under 2 feet thick,
and those of the Limestone series which are covered up by Millstone Grit
and Coal Measures, he arrives at the conclusion that in Ayrshire (giving
his figures in round numbers) 216 million tons have been wrought, leaving
1140 million tons of proved coal to be still worked, added to 1100 million
tons reserve of thin and doubtful coal. The corresponding figures for
Lanarkshire he gives as 841 million, 1060 million, and 885 million tons;
for Renfrewshire, 5 million, 79 million, and 87 million tons; and for
Dumbartonshire 21 million, 44 million, and 49 million tons. Adopting
the increase of production estimated by the Royal Commission, and
assuming it to go on till the exhaustion of all the coal, he points out,
speaking for Scotland generally, that all the proved coal would be
exhausted by the year 1994, and the reserve coal by the year 2086.
Assuming, however, the increase goes on till 1941, when the total
estimated output of Scotland will reach 40 million tons per annum,
after which it becomes stationary, the coal resources would be exhausted
by the year 2160, but cheaply-worked coal would only last to the end
of the present century. Considering Lanarkshire, Mr. Dron points out
that, could it keep its present proportion, 55 per cent. of the total
Scottish output, all its workable coal would be exhausted in forty years'
time, while Ayrshire could maintain three times its present output for
ninety-six years.
It is interesting to compare this estimate with one made near the
beginning of last century (about 1835), when for Lanarkshire alone a total
of 1700 million tons of coal were regarded as being available, and for the
estates of Rosehall, Carnbroe, Woodhall, Stevenson, Carfin, and Cleland, all
in the parish of Bothwell, and on which pits were working, it was estimated
that they could keep up an output of 400,000 tons per annum for upwards
of three thousand years!
Even at that date signs of the great future development were to be
found. In the parish of Old Monkland in 1794 but 3600 tons of pig-iron
were produced with the consumption of about 36,000 tons of coal. In 1806
from 9000 to 10,000 tons of pig-iron were produced, requiring about 130,000
tons of coal; and in 1839 176,800 tons of pig-iron were produced. with a
consumption of 530,400 tons of coal, the parish at that time being unable
to supply its own ore, but deriving its chief supply from the adjacent
parish of New Monkland, where the blackband ironstone was of such value
that a royalty of 8s. 6d. per ton of calcined ore was paid, and one owner,
Sir W. Alexander of Rocksilloch, derived an income of £12,500 per annum
from this mineral from land which, if let for tillage at that time, would
have brought in about £650.
In 1831 Dr. Cleland found that coal, coming to Glasgow from thirty-seven
pits, amounted to 561,049 tons, of which 124,000 tons were exported,
leaving 437,049 tons for use of families and public works in the city and
suburbs; and in 1834 the estimated quantity brought to Glasgow was
611,000 tons. In 1835 the best hard splint coal was laid down at the
quay for 6s. 3d. per ton. Lesmahagow cannel, regarded as the best in
Scotland, fetched 8s. per ton at the coalhill, and was laid down at Glasgow
Gas Works for 16s. per ton, while cannel from the Glasgow pits fetched
10s. 6d. per ton, and in the parish of Dalserf house coal sold at from
3s. to 3s. 6d. per ton.
Professor of Metallurgy in the Glasgow and West of Scotland
Technical College.
The metallurgical industries of Glasgow and the surrounding districts
are not very numerous, being confined almost exclusively to the manufacture
of iron and steel, but this is of such importance that it may be regarded
as being, after engineering, the most prominent industry of the district.
The production of coke is always intimately associated with the iron
and steel industries, though perhaps less so here than elsewhere, because
the blast furnaces being, without exception, fed with raw coal, there is no
demand for coke for smelting purposes. It is, however, largely required for
foundry use for smith work and other minor purposes.
Two kinds of coke are made — hard or foundry coke, suitable for use
in the cupola or blast furnace; and soft coke or smithy char; suitable
for use in the smith's forge.
The foundry coke is made almost entirely in bee-hive ovens of the
ordinary type, about 11 feet 6 inches in diameter and 8 feet 6 inches high,
the charge for each oven being about 7 tons of coal, and the yield between
4 and 5 tons of coke, the coking occupying about five days. The coke
is hard and dense, with the columnar structure and metallic lustre
characteristic of good bee-hive coke, and it is equal to that made in any
part of the kingdom.
Recovery of by-products from coke ovens has not been attempted on a
large scale up to the present. The Merryton Coal Co., Limited, Bannockburn,
have a set of Coppeé ovens in use; Messrs. W. Baird & Co. have a
circular Bauer oven at their works at Dalry, and they have recently erected
a set of Semet-Solvay ovens at one of their Kilsyth works.
Smithy char is made entirely in bee-hive ovens; the charges are
smaller, and the time of coking is about forty-eight hours. The yield of
coke is about 80 per cent., the same coal being used as for the manufacture
of foundry coke.
The largest makers of coke in the Glasgow district are Messrs. W. Baird
& Co., whose works are at Port-Dundas, Kilsyth, and Dalry.
In Glasgow there are also Messrs. James Wood & Co., Baird Street
(foundry coke and smithy char); and Messrs. John Knox & Co., Mid Wharf,
Port-Dundas (smithy char). In the district there are over a dozen other
works, usually in the neighbourhood of the pits where the coal is raised.
As far as this district is concerned, the iron and steel works may be
grouped into four classes —
1. Blast furnace works, where pig-iron is made.
2. Malleable iron works.
3. Mild-steel works.
4. Manufacturing works apart from those where the metal is produced,
tube works, etc.
The following is a list of the works at present having furnaces in blast,
with the number of furnaces in blast at 30th June, 1901: —
The Langloan Iron Co., - - - - - 3
Baird, W., & Co., Gartsherrie, - - - - 12
(s) Coltness Iron Co., - - - - - - 7
Dixon, W., & Co., Limited, Calder, - - - 5
Dixon, W., & Co., Limited, Govan, - - - 5
Dunlop, James, & Co., Limited, Clyde, - - - 4
(s) Glasgow Iron and Steel Co., Wishaw, - - - 4
Merry & Cuninghame, Limited, Carnbroe, - - 4
Shotts Iron Co., - - - - - - - 4
Summerlee and Mossend Iron and Steel Co., - 6
Baird, William, & Co., Eglinton - - - - 5
Baird, William, & Co., Lugar - - - - 5
Dalmellington Iron Co.,- - - - - 5
Eglinton Iron Co., Muirkirk, - - - - - 2
(s) Glengarnock Iron and Steel Co., Ardeer, - - 3
Glengarnock Iron and Steel Co., Glengarnock. - 5
Carron Iron Co., - - - - - - - 4
Those marked (s) have also steel works attached. In some other cases the
same firm owns both blast furnaces and steel works, but they are not at the
same place.
Historical Note. — For over a century the West of Scotland has held a
prominent position as an iron producing district. At one time it stood
first in the United Kingdom, and now, whether measured by number of
furnaces or output, it is second only to Cleveland, where the number of
furnaces in blast is 83.
The industry in the West of Scotland may be dated from 1759, when
the Carron Iron Works was established, the site being selected because
the river Carron supplied suitable water power for driving the blowing
engines. The works were successful from the very first, and soon became
"the most famous in Europe," among other things for the manufacture
of cast-iron guns, called therefore carronades, the first of which was made
in 1779. The furnaces were at first very small, and charcoal was used
as a fuel; the blowing engines were worked by a water wheel, and in times
of drought water to work it was pumped up by means of an engine. The
water wheels and blowing plant were designed by Smeaton, and are
thought by Dr. Percy to have been the first of their kind in the country.
Coke soon replaced charcoal as a fuel, and Watt designed a steam blowing
engine to take the place of the water machines.
In 1788 there were 8 blast furnaces in operation in Scotland — Carron,
4; Wilsontown, 2; and 1 in Argyleshire; the make of pig-iron being
between 6000 and 7000 tons a year. In 1796 there were 17 furnaces. In
addition to those at Wilsontown furnaces had been built at Muirkirk,
Omoa, 1787 (extinct); Clyde, 1788; Devon, 1792 (extinct); and Glenbuck
(extinct). In 1830 there were 27 furnaces in blast at Balgonie, Fifeshire
(extinct); Calder, 1801; Shotts, 1802; and Monkland, 1805, the total
make being about 37,500 tons. Between 1830 and 1840 there were no
fewer than 24 iron works established for the manufacture of pig-iron.
The furnaces were very small, not more than 35 feet high, the weekly
make was under 40 tons, and the coal consumed was about 8 tons per ton
of iron.
Local Conditions. — The details of any industry are always largely determined
by local conditions, and as the conditions in the West of Scotland
are different from those elsewhere, the practice must also be different,
and efficiency cannot be judged by comparison with other districts where
very different conditions hold.
Ores. — In the early days of the Scotch iron industry local ores were
used exclusively, and at first only the claybands. In 1801 David Mushet,
of the Clyde Iron Works. discovered that the material which the miners were
rejecting under the name of wild coal was a valuable iron ore, to which
the name blackband ironstone was given, but the ironmasters were slow
to take advantage of it, and it was not till about 1830 that it came
into general use. With the rise of the mild steel industry, commencing
about 1872, there arose a demand for suitable pig-iron, free from phosphorus,
and as there were no local ores from which such an iron could be obtained,
importation of ore from other places had to be commenced. Thus there
grew up an enormous import trade in red and brown iron ores, to a small
extent from England, but mainly from Bilbao, and as the supply from these
districts is now quite insufficient, ores are imported from the Mediterranean.
Algeria, Cuba, and many other localities. The ores are landed at either
Glasgow or Ardrossan. The supply of local ores is insufficient, even
for the manufacture of foundry pig, for which purpose, therefore, mixtures
of local and imported ores have often to be used.
Scotch Iron. — Scotch foundry pig very early attained a high reputation,
a reputation which it has held until the present time, and for many years
this was the only variety of iron made in the district. As the mild steel
industry developed more and more Bessemer pig was made, till now more
than half the output is of this class. A small quantity of iron is made
for the basic Bessemer, or Thomas-Gilchrist process. The output of iron
for 1900 was —
Forge and foundry pig, - - - 680,000 tons.
Hematite, - - - - - - 418,896 tons.
Basic. - - - - - - - 55,000 tons.
Total, - - - - - 1,153, 896 tons.
Fuel. — In the early days of the iron industry in Scotland as elsewhere
the fuel used was charcoal, but this was soon replaced by coke; indeed. this
replacement brought about the change of the centre of the industry from
the woods to the coalfields, and thus determined the position of the iron-producing
districts of the country. Raw coal was first used by Messrs.
Dixon at the Calder Iron Works in 1831, and its use soon became general,
a great saving of fuel being effected, as the coal was unsuited for coking,
and the methods of coking in use were very wasteful. The coal used is of
the variety known as splint coal. It is often hard and stony, and may be
brown or black in colour. On heating it gives off a very large quantity of
volatile matter, and therefore burns with a long, bright flame, and leaves a
residue of from 50 to 60 per cent. of coke, which is soft and friable and
shows little sign of having softened or become semi-fused. The coal therefore
does not swell up on heating — which is an essential character for
blast furnace use — the fragments of coke retain the form of the original
pieces of coal, and are friable and easily crushed. It must be remembered
that only the coke or fixed carbon is of any use in the blast furnace, the
volatile constituents being expelled at the upper part of the furnace, where
there is no air for the combustion of them, and they pass away with the
waste gases. The amount of fuel used is therefore much larger in the
case of coal than of coke. The amount of coal consumed varies from 32 to
36 cwts. per ton of iron produced, according to the nature of the coal.
This is equivalent to from 18 to 19 cwts. of coke, a practice that will
compare not unfavourably with that of most other localities.
Furnaces. — The nature of the fuel used limits the height of the furnace
which will give the best results, as, if the weight of the superincumbent
charge be too great, the coke will crush, and this will interfere with the
free passage of the gases.
The older furnaces were from 30 to 40 feet high, and were built of
masonry forming massive square or circular blocks, four arches being left
in the lower portion by which access could be obtained to the hearth, and
the tuyeres inserted. These furnaces have now been almost completely
replaced by those of more modern type — slim, nearly cylindrical, shells of
masonry cased — or in the older furnaces only banded — with iron. The stack
is carried on iron columns, so as to allow free access to the hearth all
round, and six, eight, or ten tuyeres are used, spaced equally all round,
one being over the slag-notch. The hearth is always closed.
The friability of the coke limits the height of the furnace, and from
55 to 60 feet external height has been generally adopted. Taller furnaces
have been built, and some are still in use, but many of them have been
lowered. The diameter of the bosh is about 16 feet, and of the hearth
about 8 feet, though these dimensions vary in different cases. One furnace
only in the district has been fitted with cooling blocks in the bosh, so as to
allow of rapid driving. The tendency in the design of modern Scotch
furnaces has been to increase the diameter somewhat, and also the size of
the hearth, and to keep the bosh walls thin, so as to facilitate cooling,
and the supporting columns high, so as to allow free access of air all
The material is lifted to the top of the furnace usually by vertical
direct acting hoists, generally steam, but at one works hydraulic; and
at one works inclined planes are used. The furnace tops are all closed,
and the bell and cone is the almost universal type of charging apparatus;
in one works the cone is provided with a cover, which can be lowered
before the bell is dropped. Automatic charging has not yet been
The output of the furnaces is from 300 to 350 tons per week of foundry
nig, and perhaps a little more of hematite, larger makes having occasionally
been made.
Hot Blast. — The use of heated air for the blast was proposed in
1828 by Mr. J. Beaumont Neilson, then manager of the Glasgow Gasworks.
Having no direct connection with the iron trade, he arranged with Messrs.
Dunlop of the Clyde Iron Works to try his invention. The experiments were
made, the apparatus modified as defects were found, and the process soon
proved a perfect success. In a very short time every furnace in Scotland
and most furnaces in England were using the hot blast. At first the
stoves were heated by separate fires, but about 1840 the waste gas
of the blast furnaces began to be used for heating the blast, and its
use soon became general. In 1860 Mr. Cowper, of Middlesborough,
introduced the fire-brick regenerative stove, and this in various forms
speedily replaced the old pipe stove.
Stoves of all types — Cowper, Whitwell, Massick and Crookes, and Ford
& Moncur are in use in the district, but the last-named is the most popular,
and is to a large extent replacing the others, as the stoves need rebuilding.
The blast is used at a temperature of about 1400° Fahr.
By-Product Recovery. — The amount of slag produced is very large, say,
1.5 ton for each ton of iron, and at present no use has been found for it,
except to a small extent for ballasting railway permanent way.
The amount of gas is very large, and since about 1850 this has been used
for heating the blast and for firing boilers.
As the furnaces are fed with raw coal, the products of distillation will
mix with the gas, and when it was seen that valuable products, such as
tar and ammonia, could be obtained by condensing the condensible constituents
in the manufacture of coal gas and in coking coal, it was suggested
that similar valuable constituents might be obtained from coal-fed blast
furnaces. It was, however, seen that to settle the question as to whether
such recovery would be profitable or not, small scale experiments would be
of Iittle use, and to put up plant on a large scale would be very costly, and
therefore for some time nothing was done.
In 1880 Messrs. W. Baird & Co. put up at their works at Gartsherrie
a plant for the purpose. The plant was designed by Messrs. Alexander
and M'Cosh, and was constructed to deal with eight of the sixteen furnaces
then at work. This necessitated the treatment of about 56,000,000 cubic
feet of gas per day.
The process was a success, and now every works in the district, with one
exception, has either at work, or in course of erection, a plant for recovery
of tar and ammonia, and the principles adopted by Messrs. Alexander and
M'Cosh have been followed in all essentials in every successful type of plant,
though it is hardly necessary to say that details have been modified as
experience has been gained.
The gas is cooled by passing through atmospheric condensers, consisting
of vertical tubes exposed to the air and cooled with water if necessary
in hot weather, and is then washed, either by passing up scrubbers
where it is met by a rain of descending water, or by passing through
Three types of plant are in use — (1) The Alexander and M'Cosh, in which
perfect cooling is obtained by atmospheric and water condensers and
washing in scrubbers; (2) the Dempster, in which the gas is cooled by an
atmospheric condenser, passed through washers, and then through
scrubbers filled with a chequer work of wood; and (3) the Gillespie, in
which the gas is cooled in atmospheric condensers, and is then passed
through specially and ingeniously designed washers, the unwieldy and
expensive scrubbers being dispensed with. In all cases suction is used
to draw the gas through the apparatus, and pass it on to the furnaces.
The tar and ammonia liquors are separated by gravity, the tar, having
a specific gravity of about ·90, floating on the top.
The Tar. — This is pumped into boilers and heated to expel water, and
it leaves about 50 per cent. of its volume of boiled tar. This is then
heated in retorts, when it breaks up into oils, which pass over, and pitch,
which remains in the retort. The oils are often separated into two fractions
— (1) Lucigen oil, specific gravity about ·970, which is used for burning in
lucigen and similar blast lamps; and (2) creosote oil, having a specific
gravity of about ·989, which contains considerable quantities of phenols,
and is used for preserving timber, etc., and at one works is converted into
a disinfectant known as Neosote.
The Pitch may be hard or soft, according to the point at which the distillation
is stopped. The yield is usually about 50 per cent. of the
anhydrous tar, and the pitch is used for briquette making and other
purposes. As will be seen from the nature of the products obtained, the
tar is very unlike that obtained from the gasworks, containing only very
small quantities of the aromatic bodies that make the latter so valuable as
a source of aniline and its derivatives. This is no doubt due to the low
temperature at which the coal is distilled in the blast furnace.
Ammonia. — Splint coal contains from 1·2 to 1·6 per cent. of nitrogen,
say, on an average, 1·4. When the coal is distilled in a blast furnace about
16 per cent. of the nitrogen comes off in the form of ammonia. This is
about ·222 per cent. of nitrogen as ammonia, or about 4·97 lbs. of nitrogen
as ammonia, per ton of coal, which will yield about 23·5 lbs. of ammonium
sulphate. This seems a small amount, but as each furnace may consume
500 tons of coal a week, the total quantity obtainable is very large.
The water containing the ammonia is distilled with a little lime, and the
gas passed into sulphuric acid. The sulphate crystals are separated and
dried. Automatic stills and apparatus for discharging the crystals and
centrifugal driers are used in some of the works.
The yield at the Glasgow Iron Company's works at Wishaw was stated
to be on a consumption of 2000 tons of coal per week.
Pitch, - - - 100 tons = 1 cwt. per ton of coal.
Oil, - - - - 20,000 gallons = 10 galls. "
Sulphate of ammonia, 20½ tons = 22·96 lbs. "
The Gas. — The heating power of the gas is, of course, reduced by the
removal of the tar, but not to any serious extent. The gas is much drier,
as its temperature is reduced, and being quite free from dust or tarry
matters it is much cleaner to use. It is quite suitable for fuel purposes.
At the Wishaw works a gas engine is driven direct by the washed gas
for the electric lighting of the works.
Blowing Engines. — The blowing engines used are almost all of the
beam type, and are of large size, many of them erected many years ago; but
in one or two works more modern direct acting engines have been
Most of the works have been in existence and in active work for
many years. If in some respects they seem old-fashioned, it must
be remembered that the replacement of old plant by new is not only
costly but very troublesome, and often impossible without a
complete stoppage. Most of the works have undergone, or are undergoing,
reconstruction, so as to bring them well up-to-date, and whilst much
of the plant is such that it would not be put into a newly designed works
to-day, there is no reason why it should be discarded if it is doing its work
well. Scotch ironmasters have, as a rule, been wise in the slowness with
which they have revolutionised the works. "Hasten slowly" is always a
good motto in such cases.
A brief note is given of the more important works, especially those in
the neighbourhood of the city.
Govan Iron Works (William Dixon, Limited). Electric car from
High Street. — This is the only blast furnace works in the city. It was
started about 1837. There are six blast furnaces about 63 feet high, of
which five are in blast. The ammonia plant is of the Dempster type.
The Clyde Iron Works (Messrs. J. Dunlop & Co., Tollcross).
Tollcross Station, C.R. — The works was established in 1786. It was here
David Mushet, who entered the works as accountant in 1792, did the experimental
work which made him famous, most of which is recorded in his
"Papers on Iron and Steel." It was here also that Neilson made the
experiments which led to the success of the hot blast. There are five
furnaces of modern type — three 72 feet high and two 60 feet — of
which four are in blast. The original blowing engine was erected by Watt
early in the century, and one now at work was built in 1847. The ammonia
plant is of the Gillespie type.
Langloan (The Langloan Iron Co.), Coatbridge. Langloan Station,
C.R. — This works was established by Messrs. Addie & Sons. Some years
ago it was put out of blast, and the works underwent complete reconstruction,
but was not re-started till December, 1900. There are five furnaces
about 60 feet high, of which only three are at present in blast.
Messrs. Addie erected a plant for the recovery of ammonia by an
ingenious process, which consisted in mixing sulphur dioxide with the
gas and oxidising the ammonium sulphite to sulphate. It did not prove
satisfactory, partly because the tar was not completely recovered, and
a new plant has just been erected by Messrs. Dempster, which is
therefore the latest of their plants in this district.
Gartsherrie (Messrs. W. Baird & Co.), Coatbridge. Coatbridge
(Sunnyside Station), N.B.R. — This works was started about 1830.
Messrs. Baird were the first ironmasters to take out a licence for the use of
the hot blast, which was at once put into use at this works. It was here
also the first plant for the recovery of the by-products from the gases
was erected in 1880. The first plant is still at work, and another similar
one has been erected to deal with the other half of the furnaces. The
furnaces are arranged in two rows; originally there were eight on each
side, but the works has been reconstructed, the size of the furnaces
increased, and the number reduced to twelve, all of which are in blast.
Carnbroe (Merry & Cuninghame, Limited). Calder Station, C.R. —
This works was erected in 1838. There are five furnaces, of which four
are in blast. The ammonia plant is Dempster's.
Calder (William Dixon, Limited). Calder Station, C.R. — This works
was commenced in 1899. It was here Condie, who was experimenting
with the hot blast, invented the water tuyere, without which the hot blast
could never have become a success. The tuyere is used to-day exactly as
designed by Condie. There are six furnaces all in blast, one making silicon
iron. The ammonia plant is Dempster's.
Coltness (Coltness Iron Co.). Newmains Station, C.R. — This works
was commenced in 1837 by Messrs. Houldsworth. It originally consisted
of twelve furnaces, but the number has now been reduced to
nine, which are of modern type, and larger than the old furnaces. Attached
to the furnaces is a foundry for the casting of moulds for the steel works
direct from the blast furnaces, and there are also a steel furnace,
briquette plant, and brick works.
Summerlee (The Summerlee and Mossend Iron and Steel Co., Ltd.).
Coatbridge, C.R., nearest. — This works was started in 1836 by Mr.
Neilson of Oakbank, a brother of the Neilson who invented the hot blast.
There are seven furnaces, of which six are in blast. Three are 55 feet high
and four 68 feet. The output is about 90,000 tons a year. The blowing
engine which was erected when the works were started still stands and
blows two furnaces. Iron of all kinds is made, the foundry pig being still
made entirely from blackband ore raised from the company's pits. Mr.
Gillespie is now putting up ammonia plant, which, therefore, will be the
latest in the district. This replaces an earlier form of plant designed by
Mr. Neilson, in which the gas was treated directly with sulphuric acid for
the production of sulphate, and which was abandoned because, though
the recovery of ammonia was good. the tar was not obtained.
Wishaw (Glasgow Iron and Steel Co.). Wishaw, C.R., either
station. — This works consists of four furnaces about 60 feet high — two
modern and two of older type. The iron made is all hematite for the steel
works. The metal is partly cast in the sand bed as usual, and partly run
into a ladle to be used direct in the steel works. The ammonia plant is
Shotts (Shotts Iron Co.). Shotts Station, C.R. — This works was
started in 1802. There are six furnaces 62 feet 6 inches high and 16 feet
in diameter, of which four are in blast. Both hematite and foundry pig
are made. The ammonia plant is Dempster's. There is a large foundry
attached to the works.
Glengarnoek (Glengarnoek Iron and Steel Co.). Kilbirnie,
G. & S.-W. R., or Glengarnock, C.R. — This works was started about seventy
years ago. There were nine blast furnaces, much smaller than those now
in use. There are seven furnaces, six of which are usually in blast;
at present five are in blast and one is being rebuilt. The furnaces are
61 feet 6 inches high, 16 feet in diameter, and the well is 9 feet in diameter
and 6 feet deep. Three of the furnaces are making basic iron, and two
hematite. The iron is either cast as usual, or run into a ladle for direct
use in the converters. There are eighteen stoves — sixteen Massick and
Crookes, 18 feet in diameter and 52 feet high, and two Cowper, 82 feet high
and 18 feet in diameter. The blast is supplied by three engines. The
ammonia plant is Dempster's.
The other Ayrshire works do not require description. They are —
Eglinton (Messrs. W. Baird & Co.). Dalry Station, G. & S.-W. R.
— Six furnaces, of which five are in blast.
Lugar (Messrs. W. Baird & Co.). Lugar Station, G. & S.-W. R. —
Five furnaces, all in blast; also briquette making plant.
Dalmellington (Dalmellington Iron Co.). — Six furnaces, five in
Muirkirk (Eglinton Iron Co.). Muirkirk, G. & S.-W. R. — Three
furnaces, of which two are in blast.
Ardeer (Glengarnock Iron and Steel Co.). Stevenston, G. &
S.-W. R. — Five furnaces, of which three are in blast.
Carron (The Carron Iron Co.), Stirlingshire. Grahamston, C.R., or
N.B.R. — The history of this works has already been mentioned. At
present there are four furnaces, and all are in blast, making foundry pig.
This is made from blackband ore from the company's mines, and is the
same as has been in use since the starting of the works. There is no
by-product recovery plant. There are very extensive foundries in
The malleable iron industry in the West of Scotland followed close on
the manufacture of pig-iron, the first forges for its preparation being put
down at Carron soon after the works were started. In many cases malleable
iron works were established in connection with blast furnaces, as at Govan,
etc., but these have been almost entirely abandoned, and some of the old
malleable iron works have developed into steel works. The plant required
for the preparation of malleable iron is so much less costly than that
required for pig-iron, that works are much more easily abandoned in one
locality and started elsewhere.
There is very little variation in the methods of producing malleable
iron. Puddling is universal, and the details differ but little in different
places. Twenty years ago it looked as if the malleable iron
industry was becoming extinct, but threatened industries often
live long, and as the amount of finished malleable iron made last year
was 147,904 tons, it is evident that the malleable iron industry is not
yet dead. The introduction of mild steel has, of course, largely restricted
the number of purposes for which malleable iron is used. The large
forgings, which used to be the pride of the forges, have completely
disappeared, and the mills now mainly roll small sections of various kinds.
The puddling furnaces in this district are of the usual type, a charge
of about 5½ cwts. being puddled at once, the time taken being two to three
hours, so that five or six charges can be worked in twelve hours. The
furnaces are all worked with a closed ashpit, air and steam being blown
under the fire. The hot gases are utilised for steam raising by passing
them through boilers placed above the furnaces, usually one for each two
furnaces. No slag is tapped out, but a large quantity comes over
the sill of the door, and the remainder is left in the furnace to form a
bath for the next charge of metal. Hand puddling is generally used, but
in a few works mechanical rabbles are in use, the furnaces in that case
being larger than for hand puddling.
Steam hammers are universally used for shingling.
The mills are of the usual type, each works, as a rule, confining itself
to the rolling of more or less definite sections. For reheating, gas furnaces
have been largely introduced in several works. They are of what is called
the Siemens new type, in which the air only is heated in a regenerator,
part of the products of combustion being passed into the gas producer,
and the gas being used hot.
The following is a list of the works in the district, with the number of
furnaces and the materials they produce: —
At the head of the malleable iron producing firms of the district stands
The Waverley Iron and Steel Co., with its two works, The Waverley
and Rochsalloch. The former has twenty-five puddling furnaces, and
the latter twenty-six. Both works are arranged for the production of
bars, angles, tees, hoops, and many other special sections. In 1890 the
output of the combined works was — Crude iron, 51,000 tons, and 40,000
tons of finished bars.
The North British Iron Works (Thomas Ellis, Limited). – This
is probably the largest individual works in the district, as it is one of
the oldest. It stands on a portion of the Dundyvan estate. There are
thirty-four puddling furnaces and five rolling mills, and the works is
arranged for the production of all varieties of bar iron.
Tin Plate Works (Coatbridge Tin Plate Co.). — This works was
started for the manufacture of tin plates, and this industry was carried
on for some years. It was, however, abandoned many years ago, and
the work is now confined to the manufacture of malleable iron.
Crown Iron Works (W. Tudhope & Son). — This works was established
in 1874. It has twelve puddling furnaces and is capable of
turning out 200 tons of finished iron per week.
Clifton Iron Works (Wylie & Co.). — This works has twenty-eight
puddling and scrap furnaces, and manufactures bars, hoops, and strips
in great variety of sizes and sections.
Coats Iron Works (Messrs. Paterson, Downs & Jardine). — This
is one of the oldest works in the district, and the brand Coats is well
known. It has now fourteen puddling furnaces, and produces higher-class
bar rod, tee angle rivet, horse-shoe and wheel-shoeing iron, for
home and export.
The Victoria Iron Works (The Victoria Iron and Steel Co.). —
Fourteen furnaces, producing bars and hoops.
The Phœnix Iron Works and the Drumpellier Iron Works, both
belonging to John Spencer (Coatbridge), Limited. — The former has
twenty-two, the latter has eighteen furnaces, and two mills making
bars, hoops, strips, and plates.
Dundyvan Iron Works (Mr. William Martin). — Fourteen furnaces.
making bars only.
Coatbridge Iron Works (H. F. Martin). — Ten furnaces, producing
bar iron.
Woodside Works (Woodside Steel and Iron Co.). — Eleven puddling
furnaces, making strips and plates.
In this district there are several important iron works —
Etna Iron Works (Etna Iron and Steel Co.). Flemington Station,
C.R. — This is a well arranged works, with nineteen puddling furnaces.
There is a Siemens (new form) ball furnace, for working all sorts of scrap,
two finishing mills, one 12 inches and one 9 inches, turning out about 40
tons of bar per twelve hours. Bars and hoops are made.
Dalzell Steel Works (David Colville & Sons, Limited). — This
forms a part of the great steel works (q.v.).
Motherwell Iron Works (Glasgow Iron and Steel Co., Limited). —
This is the largest works in the district. There are thirty-three furnaces,
and bars, strips, hoops, and sheets are made, steel from the steel works
(q.v.) being rolled also for small sections.
The Globe Iron Works (A. & T. Miller). — This works has twenty-one
furnaces. Bar iron is made, and steel bars are rolled from billets.
Messrs. Smith & M'Lean, Ltd., own the Milnwood Works, Mossend,
with nine furnaces, and the Gartcosh Works, at Gartcosh, with seven
furnaces. Sheets, both iron and steel, are rolled, and there is also a bar
Excelsior Iron Works (John Williams & Co.). — This works has
twenty furnaces, rolling sheets, hoops, etc. Steel sheets are also rolled.
Pather Works (The Pather Iron and Steel Co., Limited). —
Thirteen furnaces. Roll plates, strips, and sheets both from iron and
steel, large sheets being a speciality.
Stenton Iron Works (C. F. M'Laren & Co.). — Has eighteen puddling
furnaces, and make bars.
Carntyne Iron Works (Carntyne Iron Co.). Parkhead Station,
N.B.R. — This is the only remaining works of the kind in the Glasgow
district. There are ten puddling furnaces. Strips, plates, and sheets
are rolled from iron and steel.
Muirkirk Iron Works (W. Baird & Co., Limited). Muirkirk Station,
G. & S.-W. R. — A small works in connection with the blast furnace plant.
There are nine puddling furnaces, and bars only are rolled.
Scotland has now become a very prominent, steel making centre, the
make being, however, confined almost entirely to the production of acid
open hearth steel, and of this the output is almost, if not quite, equal
to that of Cleveland. In the first half of 1900 the output was 501,214
tons of acid, and 1677 tons of basic open hearth steel.
The Bessemer Process. — Experiments were made with the Bessemer
process by Mr. Jackson, of the Coats Iron Works, as soon as particulars
of the process were published, but they were not attended with success.
About 1857 Messrs. W. Dixon took out a licence to work the process, and
an experimental plant was erected at the Govan Iron Works. The process
was not a success as applied to Scotch pig-iron, so the experiments were
abandoned. The right, of using the process in Scotland was repurchased by
Bessemer. In 1861 the late Mr. Rowan obtained a licence, and put up a
plant consisting of two 3-ton converters. These works were carried on
till 1875, when they were dismantled. About 1884 a plant, consisting of
four 8-ton converters, was put up by Messrs. Merry & Cuninghame at
Glengarnock, and this is still in use, the converters having basic linings;
and in 1885 the Glasgow Iron Co. put up three 7-ton converters at
Wishaw, but these have now been removed. The Glengarnock is the
only Bessemer plant now at work in Scotland.
Siemens. — In 1871 the Steel Company of Scotland was formed to work
the Siemens or open hearth processes, the intention being apparently to
use the purple ore, the residue left from the extraction of copper by the
wet process at the Tharsis Works, and a Siemens revolving furnace for
the direct production of malleable iron was put up, but was soon abandoned,
and the ordinary open hearth process substituted. Until 1879 the Steel
Company was the only maker of open hearth steel in Scotland, and in that
year furnaces were put down by Mr. Beardmore at the Parkhead Works.
The Steel Company of Scotland. — This company, as the pioneer of
the industry, naturally calls for first mention. It owns two works —
Hallside Works. Newton Station, C.R. — This works was originally
designed for the manufacture of steel rails, but this was soon abandoned
in favour of the manufacture of steel for structural purposes and
shipbuilding. The first furnaces were of 6 tons capacity, and these were
followed by others of 10 tons. There are at present five furnaces of from
35 to 40 tons, nine of 25 tons, and two of 23 tons capacity. The producers
are of the Siemens type. The varieties of steel made are steel castings of
the heaviest character, used either for shipbuilding purposes, such as sterns,
sternposts, rudder frames, etc., or in the construction of marine engines,
such as engine seatings, bearer frames, etc. Forgings for all kinds of
engineering work — axles, sectional bars of all descriptions, and also rounds,
squares, flats, and nail strips. The work done is therefore extensive and
varied. A considerable quantity of yolla steel, which contains nickel, is
made, and has been used in the construction of torpedo boats and high-class
Blochairn Works. — This works, which is situated at St. Rollox, in
the north-eastern corner of Glasgow, was originally established for the
preparation of malleable iron, and was purchased by the Steel Company
in 1880, and eight steel furnaces were erected. There are now four 50-ton
furnaces, six 40-ton, and six 25-ton, the output of ingot steel being about
250,000 tons, which, in case of push, could be considerably increased. The
principal manufactures at Blochairn are plates of all kinds for shipbuilding,
boilermaking, and structural purposes, and sheets for building torpedo
boats, destroyers, and similar purposes, also tyres and rivet bars.
The Glasgow Iron and Steel Company. Wishaw, C.R., either
station. — This works was started in 1879, when three furnaces were erected,
and, as already mentioned, a set of Bessemer converters was put up. The
works was completely rearranged a few years ago. There are now
sixteen furnaces, two of them being supplied with molten pig-iron direct
from the blast furnaces (the others not being conveniently situated for
this, are charged in the usual way). The products are plates for
boilers, bridges, ships, etc., also angles, channels, and tees. Having
been recently rearranged, the plant is all of the most modern type.
The Lanarkshire Works (The Lanarkshire Steel Co.). Flemington
Station, C.R. — This works was established in 1890, and is the latest
addition to the Scotch steel works. Everything, therefore, is of the latest
type, and the works is so laid out as to allow ample room for expansion.
There are five 50-ton and five 25-ton furnaces. The cogging mill and its
engine are probably the largest in Scotland, and are capable of dealing
with the heaviest ingots, and are so arranged that all parts can be worked
from the bridge, no one being needed on the floor. The overhead cranes
and other appliances are worked by electricity, generated in a well-arranged
power house. Water bottom gas producers are used, one set being
provided with electrically-operated automatic charging. The output is at
present confined entirely to bars, angles, and similar articles.
The Clyde Bridge (The Clyde Bridge Steel Company, Limited).
Cambuslang Station, C.R. — This works was established in 1888. There are
nine 35-ton furnaces. The producers are about one-half Wilson (modified),
the other half water bottom. The cogging mill is capable of dealing with
5-ton ingots, and there are two plate mills. The make is mainly ship
plates, with a small percentage of boiler plates. The output is about
65,000 tons a year.
Mossend (The Summerlee and Mossend Iron and Steel Company).
Mossend Station, C.R. — This works was established in 1839, and in 1880
commenced to make steel by the Siemens process, when five furnaces were
built. There are now twelve furnaces of from 20 to 40 tons capacity. The
gas producers are of the Siemens and Wilson types. The manufactures
consist of ship plates, boiler plates, plates for structural work, and sections
for shipbuilders.
Calderbank Steel Works (J. Dunlop & Co., Limited). Calderbank
Station. — This is a comparatively recent works. There are two 550-ton,
one 40-ton, and two 25-ton furnaces, and boiler and ship plates are
Coltness (The Coltness Iron Company). — Mention has already been
made of this works, under the pig-iron works (q.v.). There is one furnace of
about 25 tons capacity, and the output is entirely of steel castings, such as
locomotive wheels, etc. At one time the steel furnace was worked
with blast furnace gas, but auxiliary gas producers are now in use.
Dalzell Steel and Iron Works (David Colville & Sons, Limited),
Motherwell. — This works was started as malleable iron works (q.v.) by the
late Mr. David Colville in 1872, and the putting down of steel plant was
commenced in 1880. The works has the largest steel producing plant in
Scotland, having an output of 4000 to 5000 tons of' ingots per week.
There are five 50-ton and fifteen smaller steel furnaces, the 50-ton furnaces
holding the record in Great Britain for output, as does also the slab cogging
mill. The plate mills are capable of producing the largest plates required
for shipbuilding and boilermaking. There are three bar mills, and all
standard sections of bars, angles, bulb angles, tees, bulb-trees, plain bulbs.
channels, zeds, etc., and many special sections, are made. Ingots for
forging up to 50 tons weight, rolled blooms or slabs up to 30 tons weight,
heavy steel castings and steel rolls, turned and finished complete, are made.
Over 2000 men are employed.
The Glengarnock Steel Works (The Glengarnock Iron and Steel
Company). Kilbirnie Station, G. & S.-W. R. — The blast furnaces have
been already mentioned. The steel works was laid down in 1884, and was
designed for the manufacture of ships' plates and angles from basic steel.
There are four basic-Bessemer converters, having a capacity of 8 tons.
Three 30-ton acid-lined open hearth steel furnaces were added about 1891.
At the same time a girder mill was erected. Later large stock banks and
cranes for handling and loading girders were added. The metal for the
converters is partly melted in cupolas and partly used direct from the blast
furnaces. Later extensions of the works comprise plant for the manufacture
of permanent way rails and a large workshop for the building of
compound girders, stanchions, etc., from rolled joists, etc. Various
sections are rolled. Phosphate manure is made by grinding the slag from
the Bessemer converters.
Clydesdale Iron and Steel Works (A. & J. Stewart & Menzies
Limited). Mossend end Holytown Stations, C.R. — This works has
nine 40-ton Siemens-Martin smelting furnaces, twenty-six puddling
furnaces, and six rolling mills. Tie products are steel boiler, ship,
and bridge plates, steel and iron strips and hoops for tube making,
and steel ingots and slabs for forgings.
The Parkhead Iron and Steel Works (W. Beardmore & Co.).
Parkhead Station, N.B.R., or Parkhead Car Terminus. — This works,
familiarly known as Parkhead Forge, dates back to the early years
of last century. From a comparatively small beginning it has gradually
advanced, ever developing with the requirements of the times, until
now it covers an area of over 45 acres of ground, and occupies a
position as a steel works, forge, and armour manufacturing establishment
second to none in this country.
The plant includes — Siemens furnaces, ranging in capacity from
20 to 50 tons; mills for rolling light plates, ship and boiler plates,
and armour plates; also mills for rolling tyres, etc., ordinary steam
hammers, hammers for forging axles, a 12,000-ton hydraulic press — the
largest and most fully equipped tool of its kind in existence; and five
hydraulic forging and bending presses; a plant for carbonising
(Harveyising) armour plates, and large machine shops.
As is well known, the manufacture of armour plates has now become the
leading branch at Parkhead; and these huge plates in all stages of
production and completion are always to be found under manipulation
by powerful machines in the various machine shops.
The manufacture of heavy ordnance and projectiles is also in course
of preparation.
Shafts, both crank and straight, for marine and land engines, for
which the works have long been famous, are still produced in large
numbers; and hollow crank and straight shafting for Government
cruisers and battleships are quite a speciality. At the present time
the shafts, both crank and straight, for the first-class cruisers H.M.S.
"Berwick" and H.M.S. "Suffolk" are in hand, as well as those for the
battleship H.M.S. "Queen."
Railway tyres and axles are made. The second tyre mill, which is
just completing and will be in operation shortly, is designed for turning
out the largest type of tyres. In axles, the Parkhead make is well and
favourably known for excellence of finish and material.
Parkhead boiler and ship plates are well known.
It may be mentioned that Messrs. Beardmore have lately acquired
the old-established business of R. Napier & Sons, shipbuilders and
engineers, at Govan and Lancefield, and thus have associated themselves
with the concern founded by the famous shipbuilder, Mr. Robert
Napier, who himself was associated with the Parkhead Works in the
beginning of their history. This is one of the remarkable coincidences
which sometimes occur in business circles in the course of years.
This shipbuilding and engineering business Messrs. Beardmore intend
to transfer to Dalmuir, where over 70 acres of ground have been purchased
for the purpose of laying down a shipyard and engine works of the most
modern type, and capable of building warships and mail steamers of the
largest size.
Of the smaller works may be mentioned —
Springfield Works (The Springfield Steel Co.), London Road,
Glasgow. — Castings of all kinds are made for electrical, marine, bridge,
mills, and other purposes of Siemens acid steel. There is one 17-ton
furnace, and the output is about 2500 tons a year. About 500 tons of
malleable iron castings are also made.
The Acme Steel Works (Shettleston), The Mount Vernon Steel
Works (Shettleston Station, N.B.R.), have each one open hearth
furnace for the preparation of steel castings, and there is one at
The copper industry of the West of Scotland is of but little importance,
there being only one works.
Garngad Works (The Tharsis Sulphur & Copper Company, Ltd.).
Car to Garngad Road. — This works is situated in the north-east of Glasgow,
not far from the Blochairn Steel Works. The Tharsis Sulphur and Copper
Company import pyrites from their mines at Huelva. The ore is burnt
for the preparation of sulphuric acid at various alkali works, and the
"burnt ore" is sent to the Garngad Works for treatment. The process used
is the ordinary wet copper process, with Claudet's process for the separation
of silver.
The burnt ore is ground with salt and roasted at a moderate temperature;
the roasted mass is washed with water, which dissolves the copper
salts, and the silver chloride, which dissolves in the solution of salt. The
silver is precipitated as iodide by means of sodium or zinc iodide, and
the silver iodide is decomposed by zinc. In the solution from which
the silver has been precipitated the copper is thrown down by scrap
iron. The copper precipitate is refined in a reverberatory furnace in the
usual way.
The firm has similar works on the Tyne, at Oldbury, near Birmingham,
and at Cardiff.
Lead ores are not worked in the immediate neighbourhood of Glasgow.
Messrs. Alexander Fergusson & Co., Ruchill Works, Maryhill (car
from Glassford Street), smelt lead residues and, occasionally, ore, and
desilverise by the Pattinson process and cupellation. At their works in
M'Alpine Street, Glasgow, they have machinery for rolling lead into sheets
and for the manufacture of lead pipe of all sizes.
The Leadhills. Abington Station, C.R., six miles; or Elvanfoot
Station, C.R., seven miles; from the latter a coach runs. — This district,
though somewhat far from Glasgow, yet belongs to the Clyde valley, as the
streams flow down into the Clyde. It is the only rich mineral district near
Glasgow, and so valuable was it deemed that it was called "God's treasure-house
in Scotland," and the mines have been worked for hundreds of years.
At one time gold was found in the gravels of the Elvan, Shortcleugh, and
Glengonnar, but these have long since been exhausted and now the district
yields only lead.
Two sets of mines are at work — those at Leadhills (The Leadhills Silver
Lead Mining and Smelting Company) and at Wanlockhead.
At Leadhills lead ore is smelted in the old Scotch ore hearth, now nearly
extinct. In some years as much as 1800 tons of lead has been smelted.
There are three hearths, each capable of turning out about 12 to 15 tons of
lead per week, but at present only two are at work. There is also a slag
hearth for the reduction of the slags. The lead contains but little
silver, which, however, is extracted by the purchasers.
The Queensberry Works, Wanlockhead, belonging to the Duke of
Buccleuch, are about two miles beyond Leadhills village, and have been at
work for over two hundred years. There are two ore hearths and a
slag hearth. The silver is extracted from the lead by the Pattinson
process and cupellation. The output of the mines is about 1550 tons
of ore per year, all of which is smelted at the works.
A light railway is in course of construction to the Leadhills.
Kirkintilloch Works (The Nickel Co.). Kirkintilloch Station,
N.B.R. — This works was founded in 1880. The company has its head
office in Paris, and owns mines in New Caledonia, from which the
European works derive their supply of nickel and cobalt ores. The
nickel ore is a double silicate of nickel and magnesia, and contains
on an average about 8 per cent. metallic nickel. Besides the works at
Kirkintilloch, the company also own refineries at Birmingham, at
Havre in France, and Iserlohn in Germany. At Kirkintilloch the nickel
ore is smelted in blast furnaces, and the refined mattes are finished at
its Birmingham works, where it is sent out into the market in the state
of pure nickel of 98-99 per cent. purity. The cobalt ores, which contain
about 3 per cent. of metal, are also smelted in blast furnaces, and
the refined metal converted into oxide, and sent out in this condition
to the market. Since the formation of the company the production of
nickel has increased enormously. In 1880 the production was 400
tons per annum, which has steadily increased, until now the production
is 4000 tons per annum.
The process of coating iron materials with zinc by dipping in molten
zinc, or galvanising, is largely carried on in the district, all kinds of articles,
from nails to the largest tanks, being galvanised. A short time ago plant
for the deposition of zinc by an electric current, or electro-galvanising, was
put up, but the process has now been abandoned.
The principal galvanisers in the district are —
Eclipse Works, Petershill Road (F. Braby & Co.). — A very extensive
works, capable of dealing with the largest size of articles. The firm are
also galvanisers of sheet iron, and makers of corrugated galvanised iron
Messrs. Smith & M'Lean, Lower Mavisbank.
Porteous & Crawford, Elliot Street.
Messrs. M'Huteheon & Co , Lancefield Street.
The Whiteinch Galvanising Co., Ltd., Whiteinch.
The making of iron tubes is an old-established industry in the West of
Scotland. The butt-welded process for making gas, water, and steam tubes
was introduced into the district about 1835 by Mr. Andrew Liddle, of the
Globe Foundry, Washington Street, and was subsequently carried on by
him and by Mr. John Crichton at 36 London Street.
About 1844 the late Mr. Joseph Baker established the Caledonian Tube
Works at Coatbridge for the manufacture of lap-welded or boiler tubes,
and in 1850 the firm of Crichton & Eadie, who up to that time had been
makers of butt-welded tubes only, started the manufacture of lap-welded
tubes at the Clydesdale Tube Works, Rutherglen. These two original
works still hold a prominent position in the tube trade. Later on in the
year the Glasgow Tube Works was erected by Messrs. Marshall &
Wylie, and a year or so later the firm of A. & J. Stewart began work
in Glasgow and at Coatbridge. This firm rapidly progressed, and a few
years ago took over the works of Messrs. James Menzies & Co., and now,
as A. & J. Stewart & Menzies, Ltd., it is the largest makers of butt and
lap-welded tubes in Great Britain. The largest, and at the same time the
oldest, of its works is the Clyde Tube Works, Coatbridge. There
every variety of tube except gas tube is made, both lap-welded and butt-welded,
up to the largest size, and the firm makes gas tubing at its other
The manufacture of butt-welded and lap-welded tubes is now an
important industry in the Glasgow district. There are eleven firms,
employing some thousands of workmen, and turning out thousands of tons
of tubes yearly.
The British Aluminium Co., Foyers. Foyers Pier, Caledonian Canal
Steamers. — This hardly belongs to the Glasgow district, though it certainly
is one of the industries of the West of Scotland. The buxite is treated
for the preparation of pure alumina at Larne, and the product is shipped
to Foyers. The carbons for the electric furnaces are made at Greenock.
The aluminium is separated by an electric current, the dynamos for the
production of the current being driven by turbines, the power for
which is obtained from the celebrated Falls of Foyers. A dam has
been constructed to retain the water, which is brought to the turbines
by means of iron pipes.
The following notes on the Mechanical Engineering industries of
Glasgow and the West of Scotland are not intended to supply a complete
directory for all the existing establishments, nor to enter into a history
or detailed description of such as have been mentioned. The space
allotted to this section of the work only allowed some representative
works in the various departments of mechanical engineering to be
mentioned, and a few particulars given of their most important
features and recent developments. The history of mechanical engineering
in Glasgow and the West of Scotland is a very interesting subject,
but it has scarcely been touched upon, and the readers are referred to
special books and papers for detailed information regarding it. The
handbook issued on the occasion of the last visit of the British Association
to Glasgow contained a considerable amount of interesting historical
matter, which, however, it has not been thought necessary to repeat.
Only such points are mentioned as are necessary to indicate the changes
which have taken place during the past quarter of a century, and only
such information is given as seems necessary to guide the members
of the British Association to some of the most representative mechanical
engineering establishments in Glasgow and the West of Scotland.
It is impossible to arrange such notes in a perfectly systematic
manner or under special headings, as many of the establishments
undertake different departments of engineering. As a rule they have
been arranged under the class which seemed to indicate the most
important part of their work, and occasional cross references have
been made from one section to another where it was desirable to direct
attention to special kinds of work undertaken by firms previously
Iron and Brass Founding naturally are mentioned first, as supplying
the materials for a large part of mechanical engineering, and mention
has been made of establishments which turn out different kinds of work.
Boilermaking next claims attention as supplying the motive power
in ordinary use. A few representative firms are mentioned
which make the ordinary form of band boilers, those for marine
engines being noticed under "Marine Engineering and Shipbuilding."
A short notice is given of some of the modern types of water-tube
boilers and of the appliances which are used for economising steam.
It has been thought sufficient to give the names of the most important
bolt and rivet makers, as these are now incorporated under one company.
The first department of Mechanical Engineering proper which is
mentioned is that of Machine Tools, and the miscellaneous appliances
which are to be found in all well-equipped engineering establishments.
No attempt has been made at strict classification, it being considered
sufficient to group together representative firms which supply engineers
with tools and appliances. As electricity is now being largely applied
to machine tools, under the heading of Electrical Engineering are
mentioned the chief firms employed in that department of industry.
The chief applications of electricity as a motive power and for lighting
are to be found in the Glasgow Corporation tramway and lighting
departments, and these are briefly described under the municipal
activities of Glasgow.
Under the heading of General Mechanical Engineering are given
notes on some of the most important mechanical engineering establishments
in Glasgow and the West of Scotland. Some of these specialise
to a considerable extent, but it has not been thought necessary to subdivide
the section. However, as the making of Sugar Machinery
was at one time a very important industry in the district, and although
it has been depressed for some time on account of the special conditions
of sugar production on the Continent, it is still of sufficient importance
to justify a separate heading. Locomotive Engineering is now one of
the most important mechanical industries in the district, and an account
is given, not only of the private firms which are engaged in it, but
also of the establishments belonging to the railway companies, which
turn out a considerable amount of work both in the way of locomotives
and railway plant generally. Following on that is a short account
of some of the establishments which construct Roofs and Bridges and
Railway Appliances generally.
The spinning and weaving industries have declined much in recent
years in the West of Scotland, and consequently the construction of
spinning and weaving machinery has fallen off, although a few establishments
still maintain some of their trade in these departments. The
sewing thread industry, however, has developed very much, chiefly in
Paisley, and several firms now devote themselves largely to the production
of the machinery required. In connection with this the making
of sewing machines has also attained large dimensions, and some notes
are given of the establishments which manufacture them, of which
by far the most important is that of the Singer Manufacturing Company.
The notes on this department are given under the heading of Textile
Machinery and Sewing Machines.
Glasgow is now an important centre for the production of large
cast-iron pipes for the water supply of cities, and some of the most
important Pipe Foundries are noted, together with some establishments
which are connected with hydraulic works. For the production
of Sanitary, Lighting and Heating Appliances there are many
important establishments in the district, and of these a few have been
noted, but reference must be made to the illustrated catalogues which
these establishments usually publish for an adequate idea of the variety
and extent of the work which they turn out.
Although the manufacture of Agricultural Implements and
Machinery has not attained, in the West of Scotland, the importance
it has in some parts of England, still there are a few firms which do
an extensive business, and which have obtained a good reputation for
the excellence of their work, and of the most important of these a few
particulars are given.
Under the heading, Instruments and Miscellaneous Appliances,
are given some particulars of the productions of some firms which
could not be strictly classed as engineering establishments, but which
still are of great interest from a scientific point of view or on account
of their practical applications in different departments of engineering.
The list, however, is by no means exhaustive; to have made it so would
have taken up more space than could have been spared, and therefore
only a few representative establishments have been mentioned.
Hyde Park Foundry Company. — These works were established
upwards of half a century ago, and make a speciality of marine engine
castings up to the heaviest class. The engine castings of sonic of the
most celebrated steamers built on the Clyde and elsewhere have been
manufactured here, including small cylinders for torpedo craft up to
those for first-class cruisers, battleships, and mail steamers, weighing
upwards of 36 tons each.
The works cover over two acres, and employ about 400 men. The
ground and buildings belong to the trustees of the late Mr. Walter
Montgomerie Neilson, who was senior partner of the firm until his
death in 1889. Mr. Alexander Wilson is now senior partner, and
associated with him are Mr. Thomas C. Campbell and Mr. Thomas
Messrs. James M'Ewan & Sons, Cyclops Works, Whiteinch.—
These works had their origin in the firm of Messrs. Sheriff & Anderson,
which was started in 1847, in the East End of Glasgow. Mr. M'Ewan,
the present senior partner, joined the firm in 1871, in Peel Street,
London Road. On account of the increase of business the works were
removed to Whiteinch in 1898, where new buildings were erected and
fitted with the most improved appliances. They occupy fully two
acres of ground, and the work which is done is very similar in its
nature to that done in Hyde Park Foundry above mentioned, namely,
marine engine castings, from the largest to the smallest sizes. The
firm supplies the engineers on the Clyde, but does also a good business
with those of Belfast, and occasionally sends some of its castings to
Germany and other continental countries.
Messrs. William Moses & Co., Plantation Foundry, off Paisley
Road. — This firm also supplies castings of the same kind as those of
the above-mentioned establishments.
Cumberland Foundry, 168 Gallowgate. — These works were established
more than a century ago, and have, during their long existence,
been the nursery of many men who have become distinguished in the
iron trade. The proprietors, Messrs. Moses M'Culloch & Co., have the
reputation of turning out first-class work. Special attention is given
to all kinds of structural castings, such as columns and beams, which
are now so extensively used in the construction of warehouses, etc.
Lamp pillars for street lighting are also made in great quantities,
many hundreds of which may be seen in use in the streets of Glasgow
and of the suburbs, the Corporation having got their supply at these
works for many years. Various other castings are also made, such as
stable fittings, cast-iron windows, etc. Mountings for bakers' ovens
are a speciality of the firm, so that their name has been long and
closely associated with the baking industry all over the country.
Although the productions of the firm are principally for the home
markets, still many export orders are executed for the colonies and
foreign countries.
William Ure, Crown Point Foundry. — This firm is specially distinguished
for the excellence of its castings for machine tools and wheel
gearing, which have a reputation second to none in the kingdom.
Messrs. Fullerton, Hodgart & Barclay, Limited, Vulcan Works,
Paisley. — These works are situated in the Renfrew Road, Paisley, close
to the Abercorn Station of the Glasgow and South-Western Railway
Company. Founded in 1838 by Messrs. Craig & Donald, the firm later
became Craig & Fullerton, and finally assumed its present designation.
The works are divided into two departments, the engineering department
and the foundry department. The engineering department is
employed in the construction and manufacture of high-class engine
work of every description, and for all powers. The class of engines
made is chiefly for driving mills, electric lighting, and traction,
winding engines for mines, engines for driving stamps, hydraulic and
other pumping machinery, etc. For upwards of thirty years a
speciality has been made of hydraulic machinery for railways, docks,
steel works, etc., and the firm has supplied this type of hydraulic
machinery to a large number of the principal docks, harbour boards,
and railways in Great Britain and on the Continent. The foundry
department is capable of turning out the largest castings, and has a
considerable trade in supplying the firms of marine engineers on the
Clyde, besides executing other general work. Both foundry and
engineering shops are equipped in the most modern manner, and
finished with the usual steam and hydraulic power and electrical appliances
as are customary in up-to-date works. The average number of
men employed in these works is between seven and eight hundred.
The British Hydraulic Foundry Co., Ltd. — The works of this
company are situated at Whiteinch, near Glasgow, and were erected
in 1891 to work certain patents in connection with hydraulic moulding.
In addition to small repeat castings suitable for machine moulding,
the company commenced in 1892 the manufacture of cast-iron tunnel
lining in segments, of which it has since made a speciality. These
segments are used for the lining of tunnels, and are specially suitable
for tunnels made by means of a shield and compressed air, as was done
in the case of the Blackwall Tunnell and the Central London Railway and
the Glasgow District Subway. The works cover an area of over eleven
acres, and are well placed, having not only direct communication with
the Caledonian and North British Railways, but also with a private
wharf, at which can be loaded or discharged steamers of from 700 to
800 tons capacity.
Messrs. J. & R. Houston, Cartsburn Foundry, and Glenburn Ironworks,
Greenock. — These works were started about thirty years ago
as a foundry and engineering shop, and in the course of years the
growing colonial trade of the firm developed to such an extent along with
their present home trade, it became necessary to acquire another site,
and a large portion of the late Messrs. R. Steel & Co.'s works in
Ingleston Street, and which are now known as the Glenburn Iron Works,
was acquired about eight years ago, when the engineering part of the
work at Cartsburn was removed and refitted up in the newly acquired
premises, and at the same time a large number of new tools, with
hydraulic plant, were introduced, and the whole shop and offices fitted
up with electric light.
The works at Cartsburn were entirely converted into a large moulding
shop, and fitted up with steam and travelling cranes, lines of rails,
with turntable running through the shop. Although the foundry can
turn out from 25 to 30 tons per day, it is already found to be much
too small. The firm turns out castings of all dimensions, made in loam,
dry sand, and green sand. It also makes structural work, iron roofing.
and fire-proof buildings. In the more strictly mechanical engineering
department it undertakes plants for sugar estates and refineries, and
for breweries, distilleries, and gasworks, as well as high-speed engines,
and all the usual mechanical fittings of manufactories. The chief
markets to which the firm exports its productions are Australia, India,
China, and Japan.
There are numerous other foundries in Glasgow and the West of
Scotland, both independent and attached to engineering establishments,
but the above-mentioned illustrate the chief varieties of work done.
For pipe foundries and foundries for sanitary and ornamental work
see pp. 80-84.
Messrs. John Broadfoot & Sons, Inchholm Works, Whiteinch. —
This firm was started about fifty years ago in M'Alpine Street, Glasgow,
by Mr. John Broadfoot, and it soon obtained a good share of the brass-founding
work required by the marine engineers of the Clyde. Mr.
Broadfoot was trusted as a sub-contractor by the firm of Robert Napier
& Sons and others, and his business increased so much that he found
his premises too restricted to meet all the requirements, and accordingly
he removed to what was then the extreme west of the Clyde wharfage,
viz., Lancefield Quay, in close proximity to the Lancefield Dock, where
the ships built by Robert Napier & Sons were engined after being
launched at Govan.
At this time some of his friends thought that he had gone too far
west, but business here increased so rapidly that in 1868 he found it
necessary to erect more commodious premises, and for this purpose
ground was bought at the top of Finnieston Street and workshops
erected thereon. The removal took place in 1869. In the years 1872
and 1873 Mr. Broadfoot was joined by his two sons, and in 1875 they
were assumed as partners.
Up till this time Mr. Broadfoot had done much work for the British
Admiralty as a sub-contractor, but in 1875 the firm had an opportunity
of tendering direct for an important Government contract comprising
a large variety of the brass fittings customarily required in warships,
and were successful in securing a five years' contract. Since that time
this contract has been repeatedly thrown open to public competition,
but Messrs. Broadfoot have up till the present been successful in
securing it, so that the firm has held it continuously for twenty-six
years. Along with this the Admiralty connection with the firm has
been very much extended, and it is now entrusted with a great variety
of very important work that calls for the highest skill and exactness.
The manufactures of the firm are so varied that it is difficult to
enumerate each particular. A glance at the illustrated catalogue
issued by the firm shows that it includes every variety of brass work
and ships' fittings, and general brass castings. The firm has several
specialities, among which may be mentioned improved patent pumps,
improved patent Admiralty Downton pump, improved patent automatic
valve, and patent combination hinged and pivot side lights.
In 1881 Mr. John Broadfoot retired from any active part in the
business, which, since then, has been carried on by his two sons, largely
extended in many directions, so much so that about four years ago
they found it necessary to build extensive new works at Whiteinch,
and at the same time to secure sufficient ground for considerable
extensions when these are required.
At present the firm carries on in an extensive way brassfounding,
brassfinishing, smith work, plumber work, tinsmith work, and much
engineering work of a varied character. In the brass foundry, which
is fully 200 feet long, the largest gun metal and bronze castings required
by modern warships can be cast, and the machinery workshop is
equipped with the most modern plant to produce with economy and
speed the many fittings that go to make up the business. While the
principal outlet of the manufactures of the firm remains with the
British Admiralty, it has a good general home trade as well as a
connection in all the ports of Europe, and in the far East.
Messrs. Steven & Struthers, Anderston Brass Foundry. — These
works, situated in Eastvale Place, Kelvinhaugh, were erected in
1898, as the accommodation at Elliot Street, where this firm was so
long located, had become quite inadequate for the extent of the work
now taken in hand. The buildings comprise large and small brass
foundries, iron foundry, machine and pattern shops, and are capable
of turning out over 80 tons of castings per month, and single castings
up to 20 tons in weight. A speciality is made of stern and sternpost,
etc., casting for battleships and cruisers for the British Admiralty
and foreign Governments, and of propellers, propeller blades, and
liners for tail-end shafts of the largest dimensions, the latter being
turned out finished complete. The small iron foundry has been recently
added for the work required in connection with the other business of
the firm. The tools in the machine shop are specially adapted to the
manufacture of all kinds of fittings required by engineers and boilermakers.
Syrens, fog-signalling machinery, lanterns, revolving apparatus
and machinery for lighthouses and specialities of the firm, which is also
the sole maker of Lyall's patent corrugated shaft liners, Bevis and
Gibson's patent equilibrium valves, Grigg's automatic ventilation valve.
etc. Direct connection by means of a private siding with the North
British Railway Company gives the firm every facility for prompt
despatch. The number of men employed is about 200.
Among other representative brassfounders who do considerable
business in the various departments of the work may be mentioned
Messrs. Thomas Jack & Co., Woodville Street, Govan; Messrs. France
& Morgan, Whitefield Brass Works; and Messrs. John & William
Young, Stobcross. Many of the larger engineering establishments
make a good many of the brass castings which they require, but, as a
rule, the special fittings are supplied by outside makers.
Messrs. Blair, Campbell & Maclean, Scotland Street Copper
Works, Glasgow. — This firm, which is the largest of its kind in Scotland,
may be taken as representative of the coppersmith trade, in which it
undertakes work of all descriptions. In addition to all the ordinary
branches, they are specialists in the manufacture of distilling, sugar
making, and refining plants, and make various patent appliances.
Vacuum pans and evaporators, in iron, copper, or aluminium, and all
the apparatus in which the use of copper is required for sugar refineries,
breweries, and distilleries, are supplied, as well as a large number of
miscellaneous appliances for heating, refrigerating, and refining, in all
their departments.
In Glasgow there is a large number of coppersmiths, but their
work does not call for special mention.
Many of the engineering establishments have boiler shops attached
to them in which the boilers are made for the engines which they
construct, and it is not necessary to mention them specially. In what
follows a few typical boilermaking establishments are briefly described,
and some details are given of others where special forms or appliances
are made.
Messrs. Lindsay Burnet & Co., Moore Park Boiler Works, Govan.
— These works were established in 1883 for the production of high-class
boiler work. The buildings comprise one large central erecting shop
190 feet long, with machine shops on each side, and other sheds extending
from the main blocks into the yard. There is a railway siding into
the works from the Glasgow and Paisley Joint Lines, and from it
branches are led into the various shops. It is interesting to note that
the works have been lighted by electricity ever since their establishment
eighteen years ago. The shops are equipped with special machine tools
of modern description, including hydraulic flanging plant capable of
dealing with the heaviest plates used in the construction of steam
boilers. This plant is used not only for the flanging of the plates
required for all the boilers made in the works, but is also employed
in turning out a large quantity of flanged work for customers.
The firm is engaged in the manufacture of boilers of all types
suitable for use on board ships. The manufacture of dry-back boilers
and other multitubular types has also been a speciality with this firm
since its foundation, and great numbers have been made for electric
and other installations on land, both in this country and abroad. Feed
heaters and all the other accessories in connection with steam plant
also form a large part of the business done by the firm.
Messrs. Mariott & Graham, Plantation Boiler Works, Govan. —
This establishment is one of the most interesting of its kind in Glasgow
and neighbourhood. While it turns out boilers of all the ordinary
types, special attention is paid to those which from their design require
to be welded instead of riveted, and some of the work done is of a
wonderfully skilful nature. Boilers for heating apparatus and for
cooking and laundry purposes are specialities of the firm, and many of
its designs are well known and highly appreciated all over the country.
A visit to the works is most instructive, and shows some of the possibilities
of working in iron and steel and their applications to boilers
and heating apparatus, which are known to many in the engineering
Messrs. Penman & Co., Caledonian Iron Works, Dalmarnock Road,
Glasgow. — Among the many great works in Glasgow, the Caledonian
Boiler Works of Messrs. Penman & Co. have an exceptional reputation
for efficiency. The firm started business thirty years ago, and in the
interval has made great developments.
At the present time the average turnout is four Lancashire steam
boilers per week, and as the whole of the work is executed on the
premises the works are necessarily of great extent, covering fully
3 acres of ground. The main buildings are of brick and substantially
constructed; the principal shed is in three bays, and measures 420
feet long by 120 feet wide. In the centre bay is a 35-ton travelling
crane, and in the side bays there is a number of small travelling cranes.
The works are fitted up with the most improved tools and appliances,
and the firm has spared no effort to bring their resources up to the
highest point of efficiency. It sends its boilers to all parts of the
Messrs. William Wilson & Co., Lilybank Boiler Works, Glasgow.
— This firm was founded by the late Mr. William Wilson in 1852, and
since his death in 1893 it has been carried on by two of his sons, who
had been partners with him for several years before that event.
The works are situated in the South Side of Glasgow, about a mile
from the Royal Exchange, have frontages to Eglinton Street, Pollokshaws
Road, and Lilybank Street, and are equipped with modern
machinery for the production of land boilers, to which class of work
Messrs. Wm. Wilson & Co. devote their whole attention. The type
of boiler chiefly built by this firm is the Lancashire or double-flued boiler,
up to the largest sizes and for the heaviest pressures. They also make
various smaller types of boilers, such as Cornish or single-flued, multi-tubular,
vertical, etc.
Messrs. Wilson's boilers not only find a market in the mills, collieries.
public works, and institutions throughout the United Kingdom, but
are also largely exported to India, China, Australia, South America,
and other foreign markets.
Water-tube Boilers. — During recent years water-tube boilers have
been very largely adopted for the generation of steam for almost all
kinds of purposes, and especially for electric light and electric tramway
stations, iron and steel works, and for all the new ships of the royal
navy. This type of boiler has not yet been largely adopted in the
mercantile marine, but there are indications that, as experience is
gained in the management of these boilers, they will gradually supersede
the ordinary marine type in most of the important vessels in the
mercantile marine.
The main reasons in favour of the adoption of water-tube boilers
are — (a) The ease with which they can be got into confined boiler rooms;
(b) the smaller floor space required for a given power; (c) the greater
rapidity with which steam can be raised, owing to the much smaller
quantity of water contained in these boilers; (d) the facility with
which repairs can be effected and the fact that when a repair has been
effected the boiler is practically as good as a new one — on this account
the safe working pressure does not require to be reduced as it does in
shell boilers after they have been in use a number of years; (e) owing
to the circulation of the water within these boilers being more rapid
and systematic than in ordinary boilers there is less deposit of scale
on the heating surfaces, and this tends to the maintenance of the
efficiency of the boilers during longer periods; (f) the greater ease
with which these boilers can be constructed for the higher steam
pressures which are now being adopted; (g) the greater safety under
all conditions of working. With these boilers disastrous and
widespread explosions are practically impossible, owing mainly to the
small quantity of water and steam which they contain. In warships
their main advantages are due to the rapidity with which they can
be got into action, and the ease with which the parts can be got into
and out of the boiler rooms. Without the water-tube type of boiler
the modern high-speed torpedo boat destroyer would have been
Water-tube boilers for warships of the Belleville and other types
are constructed in the Clyde district by the Fairfield Shipbuilding and
Engineering Co., Ltd., Govan; the London and Glasgow Shipbuilding
and Engineering Co., Ltd., Glasgow; Messrs. John Brown & Co., Ltd.,
Clydebank; and by Messrs. Babcock & Wilcox, Ltd., Renfrew.
Water-tube boilers for land purposes are constructed by Messrs.
Babcock & Wilcox, Ltd., Renfrew; the Stirling Boiler Co., Ltd.,
Flemington, near Motherwell; Messrs. Lindsay Burnet & Co., Govan;
and Messrs. Duncan Stewart & Co., London Road Works, Glasgow.
By far the largest work in Britain for the construction of water-tube
boilers are those of Messrs. Babcock & Wilcox, Ltd., Renfrew. These
works cover 32 acres of ground, and are equipped with special machinery
of great interest for the rapid and economical production of boilers
on a large scale. About 1400 workmen are employed, and the present
output of land boilers is about 1500 per annum. Besides these, the
firm makes a considerable number of marine boilers, superheaters,
mechanical stokers, and other accessories. The latest development
in these boilers is their construction entirely of wrought steel, and the
adaptation of the marine type to all kinds of marine work, both naval
and mercantile.
The "Stirling" Boiler Co. have recently erected new works, covering
10 acres, at Flemington, near Motherwell. These works are
constructed to turn out six boilers per week, and extensions in view
will enable this output to be doubled. The works are supplied with
steam by two "Stirling" boilers, one of which is arranged for hand-firing,
and the other is provided with a chain grate mechanical stoker.
The main driving gear of the works is actuated by two of Parson's
improved steam turbines and dynamos, running at 4000 revolutions
per minute. British-made boilers of this type now generate 110,000
horse power, and the output is rapidly increasing.
Messrs. G. & J. Weir, Ltd., Holm Foundry, Cathcart. — These
works have been built for the manufacture solely of the firm's specialities
in marine feed-water heaters, land and marine independent direct-acting
feed pumps, general pumps, marine evaporators and distilling plant,
direct-acting circulating pumps, independent air pumps, etc.
The works are situated at Cathcart, and are reached by the Cathcart
District Railway from the Central Station. They extend over an area
of 9½ acres, and comprise pattern shop, iron foundry, brass foundry,
machine testing and erecting shops. A portion of the works is driven
electrically from a central power station, the power being supplied by
a Weir water-tube boiler, triple expansion marine engine, and 160 h.p.
dynamo. The entire works are electrically lit throughout. The firm's
new machine shop, however, is driven by Crossley's gas engines. The
machine shop covers 57,000 square feet, and is equipped throughout
with the latest British and American and continental machine tools,
and with English and American electric cranes. The fitting and
erecting shop covers 18,600 square feet, and is provided with a very
complete equipment for the expeditious erection and carrying out of
work. The whole establishment is planned and organised in the most
up-to-date manner for the rapid and economical production of accurate
and high-grade work.
The firm's specialities are extensively used by the mercantile marine,
by the British Admiralty, and by the leading foreign navies. Their
standard feed pump for land purposes have been widely adopted for
electric light stations, mills, factories, etc., and their compound feed
pumps, tandem type, are also largely adopted. The commercial and
drawing offices of the works are well got up and lighted, and the
establishment generally is a good example of the modern up-to-date
engineering works.
Makers of Bolts and Rivets. — The rivet, bolt, and nut makers of
Glasgow and neighbourhood were recently formed into a united company,
of which the registered offices are 121 St. Vincent Street, Glasgow.
The following were the firms from which the combination was formed :—
John Bilsland & Co., Cranstonhill, Glasgow; The Clyde Iron Co.,
Port-Glasgow; The Clyde Rivet Works Co., Glasgow; Edward Crosher,
Kinning Park, Glasgow; Wm. Crosher & Co., Kinning Park, Glasgow;
Walter Donald & Co., Easterhouse; The Dundee Rivet Works Co.,
Ltd., Dundee; Hunter, Hardin & Wilson, Germiston Works, Glasgow;
James Kennedy, Dundyvan Rivet Works, Coatbridge; James Miller
& Co., Ltd., Stobcross Works, Coatbridge; Macfarlane Bros., Hydepark
Street, Glasgow; Alex. Pillans, Caledonian Works, Motherwell;
James Rose & Sons, Govan Rivet Works, Govan; James Smith & Co.,
Scotia Bolt Works, Rutherglen; The Sunnyside Rivet Co., Ltd.,
Messrs. James Bennie & Sons, Clyde Engine Works, Glasgow. — This
firm was established in 1837, and carried on business in the Caledonian
Foundry, West Street. For about twenty years the business of the firm
was solely ironfounding, and they were chiefly engaged in the production of
marine engine castings of the largest and heaviest type then made. About
1857 the firm added to their business the making of machine tools for shipyards
and bridge building, and in 1867 the business of ironfounding was
discontinued, and the firm devoted itself solely to machine tool making. In
1879 new works were erected at Polmadie, and last year the firm removed
from there to new and thoroughly modern buildings which they have
erected at Cardonald, near Govan.
The main portion of the works is the fitting and machine shop, which is a
long building, 50 feet wide and 40 feet high, and is supplied with two
travelling cranes, each of 25 tons capacity. The shop is fitted with powerful
machine tools of most modern character, and specially adapted for the work
carried on. The ground extends to 2½ acres, and includes smith shops.
pattern shops, pattern stores, counting-house, and drawing office. A railway
siding connected with the Caledonian and Glasgow and South-Western
Railways runs into the works.
Heavy machine tools for shipyards, boiler shops, and bridge building
works are the specialities to which the firm devote their attention. These
consist chiefly of punching and shearing machines, plate bending rolls,
plate edging planing machines, beam bending machines, manhole punching
machines, cold iron and steel sawing machines, etc. The machinery manufactured
by the firm is supplied to the shipyards and bridge building works
in this country, and also very largely to Germany, France, Holland, Denmark,
Norway, Sweden, Russia, Italy, Austria, India, China, Japan, and
South Africa.
Messrs. Craig & Donald, Machine Tool Makers, Johnstone. — This firm
has been in existence for sixty years, and was the first to supply the machine
tools required in the construction of ships' hulls when iron superseded wood.
Its chief productions are punching and shearing machines, angle cutting and
bending machines, plate bending and planing machines, plate flanging and
shearing machines, and bar cutting machines. These machines are chiefly
used in shipbuilding, bridge building, boiler making, tank and gas-holder
making, and in connection with plate and bar mills in iron and steel works.
Twenty-five years ago the firm introduced the multiple punch. Some of
the larger machines punch a great many holes at a stroke, and accuracy of
pitch is ensured. These machines have been introduced into fence makers'
works, and have punched at one stroke all the holes in a 9-inch bar. The
firm was the first to make the manhole punch when the system of continuous
water ballast was first introduced. A. hydraulic machine has been made to
punch a hole 36-inch diam. through ¾-inch steel plate. The machines have
been sent to all the chief shipbuilding countries in the world.
Messrs. Caldwell & Co. (late Muir & Caldwell), Engineers, 130 Elliot
Street, Glasgow. — This firm has had a long-established reputation for the
excellence of its productions, which may be described generally as ship
auxiliary machinery of all kinds. Their well-known steering gear is supplied
to many shipbuilders, and is found to be thoroughly efficient and
reliable. They also do a large business in capstans, winches, and coal-hoisting
machinery, all of which are to be found not only in the ships
of the merchant service, but also in those of the British and foreign
Messrs. David Carlaw & Sons, Finnieston Street, Glasgow. — Probably
of all the mechanical workshops in Glasgow no one is of so much
interest to the inventive genius as that of Messrs. Carlaw, where work of
all kinds requiring the greatest exactitude can be done with the intelligent
aid of the members of the firm. Mr. Carlaw, senior, has long been known
as an ingenious inventor, whose models of machinery have won the admiration
of engineers in all parts of the world. At the last Glasgow
International Exhibition Mr. Carlaw had a model of triple expansion
engines made at Fairfield, and another of quadruple expansion engines
by Messrs; Denny, of Dumbarton, which attracted much attention and
received much praise. In the present Exhibition he has a model of
a locomotive by Messrs. Neilson, Reid & Co., which is a marvel of
exactitude in construction.
In recent years the business of Messrs. Carlaw has very much
developed, and in their fine new premises in Finnieston Street they have a
splendid collection of special tools of the latest design and best
construction, which are used for turning out a great variety of work.
They, however, make a speciality of printers' and stationers' machinery, to
which for many years Mr. Carlaw has devoted much attention. Some specimens
of these machines are to be seen in the present Glasgow Exhibition, so
that members of the British Association will have an opportunity of inspecting
them. Mr. Carlaw is the patentee of special machines for printing,
numbering, and cutting tramway and other similar tickets, and which
represent an evolution which he has been carrying out for many years.
They are most ingenious in their design and perfect in their performance.
The firm, however, undertakes the construction of all kinds of machine tools
for special purposes, and of high-speed engines for electric work. Any
inventor with a good idea and sufficient money will find that the Messrs.
Carlaw are able to render him effective assistance in carrying it into practice.
Messrs. Dron & Lawson, Cranstonhill Tool Works, Glasgow. — This
firm has long held a high reputation for its machine tools, and especially for
everything connected with screwing apparatus. Long before machinery
attained its present development, the taps and dies made by Dron & Lawson
were known in almost every workshop in Scotland. Mr. Dron, one of the
founders of the firm, and the grandfather of the present partners, made the
tempering of the taps and dies his special work, and so careful was he about
it that his name became a household word among engineers. His reputation
was worthily maintained by his son, and now his grandsons are in possession,
and they seem determined that no effort shall be wanting on their part to
keep up the family name for excellence of workmanship.
Screwing apparatus still forms the speciality of the firm, and while great
attention is paid to the making of taps and dies for hand work, they now
turn out a great variety of screwing machines of all sorts and sizes, from
ordinary machines for screwing bolts and nuts to those which screw both
ends of a 15-inch steel tube at the same time, and to the special apparatus
required in connection with the making of water-tube boilers. Patent
roller tube expanders have long been specialities of the firm, and these have
been of much use in aiding in the development of modern marine boilers.
They also make excellent lathes of large size and other similar tools, and
there are few engineering establishments in Scotland where the machine
tools of Messrs. Dron & Lawson are not to be found in use.
Messrs. G. & A. Harvey, Albion Works, Woodville Street, Govan. —
Another purely Glasgow firm which has long had a very high reputation for
the excellence of its productions is that of Messrs. G. & A. Harvey, engineers,
millwrights, and machine tool makers. Their productions include
machine tools of all sizes, and for almost every purpose which is required in
mechanical engineering, and there are few establishments in Scotland which
have not some specimens of their work. Their self-acting lathes, railway
wheel lathes, axle lathes, and slotting, planing, boring, and screwing
machines are well known for the excellence of their design and workmanship.
The firm is by no means resting on its reputation, but is keeping all
its productions up to date with the latest improvements, and to meet the
changing conditions of engineering. This is specially true of the large
screwing machines, which are designed for screwing the ends of tubes of
water-tube boilers, and of the boring and shaping machines required to
machine the complicated castings of modern engines and appliances.
Messrs. John Hastie & Co., Ltd., Kilblain Engine Works, Greenock.
— This firm was started in 1850 by Mr. John Hastie, formerly managing
engineer to Messrs. Scott, Sinclair & Co. (the predecessors of Messrs. Scott
& Co., of the present Greenock Foundry), and was continued by him till his
death in 1860, when his two sons, William and John, took over the business,
which was then at East End of Greenock. In 1875 they removed to their
present premises, to which a considerable addition was made two years ago.
During the first thirty years the business of the firm was of a miscellaneous
character, including considerable repairing work to marine and
other engines, and a large trade in the construction of gunpowder machinery.
Another speciality was a patent hydraulic engine, which automatically regulated
the consumption of water according to the work it had to do. The
introduction of gas engines, however, did away, in great measure, with the
demand for hydraulic engines. For the last twenty years the firm has paid
special attention to the construction of deck machinery for both steam and
sailing vessels, having patented steam steering gear, hand steering gear,
rudder brakes, and halyard winches, which now keep them fully employed.
The chief markets to which the productions of the firm are sent are the thief
shipbuilding yards in Great Britain and the Continent, and also to shipbuilders
in China, Japan, and Australia.
Messrs. Loudon Brothers, Clyde Engineering Works, Johnstone. —
Messrs. Loudon Brothers are makers of special and general machine tools
for engineers, boiler makers, shipbuilders, and railway companies, both for
home and export. They are also contractors to the Admiralty. About
fifteen years ago they purchased the works and business of Messrs. A. Mac-arthur
& Son, Johnstone, and these have been greatly extended to meet the
increasing demand for their manufactures. Amongst their specialities are
horizontal boring, tapping, and studding machines, vertical and horizontal
planing machines, slotting machines, radial drilling and tapping machines,
special surfacing and boring lathes, and other machines suitable for the
heaviest class of engineering work.
They have recently built commodious premises in Glasgow (corner of
West Campbell Street and Cadogan Street), consisting of offices, warehouse,
and showrooms, where they exhibit a large number of machine tools and
labour-saving appliances.
Messrs. John Lang & Sons, Johnstone. — This firm was established in
1874. A few years' trial was given to the existing condition of the trade
under which toolmakers undertook to make lathes, planes, drills,
shapers, as well as specially designed tools to suit customers' requirements.
Realising, after five years' experience, the disadvantages of
the system, the firm decided to concentrate their energy and attention
on the systematic manufacture of lathes as their leading speciality.
Among the first special machines put down to perfect their lathes
was a universal automatic gem cutter. Machine cut wheels were
found to be so advantageous that they decided to cut every wheel and
rack which left their works. They claim to be the first firm of toolmakers
in this country which adopted this as a system. At present
the firm has over two dozen machines cutting spur, bevel, worm wheels,
and racks for the trade generally, as well as for their own requirements.
Owing to the steady growth of their business the Messrs. Lang have
found it necessary to secure about fifteen acres of ground adjacent to
their present- works. A railway siding is in progress for convenience
in handling raw materials. A new foundry, 250 feet by 150 feet, has
recently been erected. It is fitted with electric cranes, electric light,
gas furnace for stoves, moulding machines, and all up-to-date appliances.
About 450 men are employed in the works. The Messrs. Lang
find their chief market at home, where first-class lathes have been in
demand for many years. but they also send a good many of their
specialities to the Continent and the colonies. The members of the
firm take pleasure in showing visitors around their works at all times,
and to engineers the visit is generally an interesting one, as their
works are fitted throughout with the most modern machine tools
Messrs. John M'Dowall & Sons. Walkinshaw Foundry, Johnstone.
— Amongst the pioneers of wood working engineers this firm occupies a
prominent position. The business was established in 1823 by the late
Mr. John M'Dowall, father of the present senior partner, Colonel H. I.
M'Dowall, and since then has taken a leading part in the development
of this branch of engineering industry.
The late Mr. M'Dowall was born in Johnstone in 1796, and served
his apprenticeship as a mechanic in one of the spinning mills in his
native town. He commenced business on his own account in 1823.
and by his great abilities as an engineer and inventor soon took a
prominent position in the trade. One of Mr. M'Dowall's inventions —
the steam saw frame — earned a great reputation, and in the early fifties
it was largely adopted by the Government for the various arsenals
and dockyards. Mr. M'Dowall died in 1857, and from that time till
1875 the business was carried on by trustees and managers. In that
year the late Mr. Daniel M`Dowall became proprietor, and was joined
a few years afterwards by his brother, Colonel H. I. M'Dowall, and
later on by Mr. James Barr in 1885. Mr. Daniel M'Dowall died in
1892, and since then the business has been carried on by Colonel
M'Dowall and Mr. Barr.
To give an idea of the great variety of the work carried on by the
firm, it is sufficient to mention that it manufactures over three hundred
distinct types of machines, many of which are made in quite a number
of sizes. We must refer to the illustrated catalogue issued by the
firm for details of the different kinds of machines. It contains machines
which are capable of reducing the largest logs or trees to any size of
scantling required.
The manufactures of the firm have been, and are continually being,
sent to all parts of the world, with the exception of the United States
of America, the excessive tariff of which is quite prohibitive. Machines
of the larger type are sent to the timber producing countries of
Burmah, Siam, Borneo, Straits Settlements, Queensland, Western
Australia, New Zealand, etc., from which countries the firm continually
receives orders for large plants, including engines, boilers, gearing, etc.
The firm has generally orders on hand for the British and foreign
Governments, while in the home trade its name has a reputation second
to none amongst the leading shipbuilders, sawmillers, and wood workers
of all classes.
The works, which afford employment to over two hundred men,
cover two acres of ground, almost every portion of which is occupied
by buildings of two or three floors. The firm has twelve machines in
the present Glasgow Exhibition, and no doubt a visit to their stall will
prove of great interest to engineers, as well as to those directly connected
with the wood working industry.
Messrs. Alex. Matheson & Sons, Ltd., Saracen Tool Works, East
Campbell Street, Glasgow. — This well-known Glasgow firm has been
distinguished for three generations for the excellence of its hand tools
of all kinds which are used in the mechanical trades and for the smaller
sizes of machine tools.
Messrs. A. & P. M'Onie; Cessnock Engine Works, Govan. — This is
a new firm which has undertaken the manufacture of shipyard and
hydraulic plant of all kinds, and already its productions are favourably
known. It seems likely to sustain worthily the well-known engineering
Glasgow name which it bears.
Messrs. G. & S. M'Onie, Ladyburn Foundry, Greenock. — This firm
was started in 1870 by the present partners, and their present premises,
which are most commodious, were built in 1885. They carry on the
business of ironfounders and general engineers. For the past twenty-two
years they have made a speciality of anchor windlasses and warping
capstans, both hand and steam power, and they supply them to shipbuilders
all over this country and on the Continent. They are also
makers of watertight bulkhead doors. A noteworthy fact in the history
of this firm is that during the thirty years of its existence no employee
has ever lost life or limb, and no fire has ever occurred in the premises.
Messrs. Hugh Smith & Co., Fossil Engine Works, Glasgow, manufacture
machine tools of all kinds for boilermakers and shipbuilders.
including bending, punching, shearing, planing, riveting, and drilling
machines. Also hydraulic plant for docks, railways, etc., and heavy
plant for iron and steel works.
Messrs. Smith Brothers & Co., Kingston Engine Works, Glasgow,
are makers of shipbuilders' and boilermakers' machinery, and produce
all that is required for the heaviest work. They are on the Admiralty
list, and are contractors to the British and foreign Governments.
Messrs. Sharp, Stewart & Co., Ltd., Atlas Works, Springburn. — In
addition to locomotives, this firm manufactures all kinds of high-class
machine tools. (See page 68.)
Messrs. L. Sterne & Co., Ltd., The Crown Iron Works, North
Woodside Road, Glasgow. — This business was established in 1860 for
the manufacture of spiral and railway buffer springs, and this department
is still continued. Thereafter the business of emery wheel and
emery grinding machines was added, the firm being the sole makers
of the famed "Consolidated" emery wheel, "Crown" brand. The firm
is the sole makers in Great Britain of the well-known De La Vergne
refrigerating machines, and its productions in this department are at
work all over the globe.
The spiral springs and emery wheels made by the firm are used in
almost all the engineering and railway works in this country, and it also
manufactures largely for continental arsenals, as well as for Australian
colonies and foreign countries.
Messrs. Alex. Chaplin & Co., CranstonhiIl Engine Works, Govan, is
a firm of long standing and well known in the engineering world for its
steam cranes, excavators, launch engines, etc.
Messrs. Napier Brothers, Ltd., Hydepark Street, Glasgow, are
patentees and manufacturers of high-class windlasses, capstans, and
steering gears, which have been fitted to many of the ships of the
British and foreign navies, as well as to those of the most important
lines in the mercantile service. They also manufacture a number of
other specialities, and among them devote great attention to the
accurate cutting of teeth in spur, bevel, and worm wheels.
Messrs. George Russell & Co., Motherwell. — The works of Messrs.
George Russell & Co. were founded in 1865, and their principal manufacture
has always been cranes of all types and sizes, which have been
supplied to harbours and docks in all parts of the world. On the quays
of the river Clyde, from Glasgow to Ardrossan, there are upwards of
sixty steam travelling cranes, built by this firm, varying in size from
three tons at 25 feet to twenty-five tons at 74 feet radius of jib, the
latter being twenty-five times the size of the former, so that there is a
great range in dimensions and weight. Quite recently they have constructed
for the Mersey Dock Board two very notable and powerful
cranes. One is at the Cunarder Graving Dock, and is self-propelling,
on rails of 25 feet gauge, with a derricking jib 84 feet long. It lifts
forty tons at a radius of 78 feet, and is fitted with two pairs of their
patent hydraulic double acting engines. Its total weight is three
hundred tons. The other crane is afloat, carried on a twin screw
barge. It lifts fifty tons at 64 feet radius through a vertical height of
105 feet. The radius of jib is variable from 40 to 75 feet, and it revolves
the complete circle.
They have also made for various foreign Governments a number of
sets of their patent sheer legs, in which the main screw is inside
the back leg. Some of these have been fitted in steamers for lifting
guns and heavy material up to sixty tons from the quay or a vessel
alongside to the main hold and vice versa. Overhead travelling cranes
operated by steam, electricity, or hand power are also designed and
constructed in these works. The firm has patented an arrangement of
rope driver for overhead cranes, which obviates reverse bends in the
rope, lessens the power required, and makes the driving rope last much
Messrs. Thomas Shanks & Co., Johnstone. — This firm has long been
known for the manufacture of the heaviest class of machine tools used
chiefly by marine engineers, armour plate makers, and in steel works.
It was founded about seventy years ago by the late Mr. Thomas
Shanks. Thirty-six years ago the present head of the firm, Mr. William
Shanks, joined his father, and in 1883, when the latter retired from the
business, Mr. Joseph Barrow joined Mr. Shanks. These are the present
The principal manufactures of the firm are large lathes and planing
machines, horizontal and vertical planers for marine engines, and
armour plate planing machines for steel works. Specimens of these
are to be found in almost all the large establishments in this country,
and in the large steel works both in this country and on the Continent.
The firm has also been largely patronised by the British and continental
Governments and by those of China and Japan.
Messrs. John Wilson & Sons, Vulcan Works, Johnstone, successors
to Messrs. J. & W. Weems, make machinery for covering cables with
lead, hydraulic pipe presses, rolling machinery for sheet lead, steam
heated air-drying machinery, etc.
Messrs. Kelvin & White, 16, 18, and 20 Cambridge Street, Glasgow,
Instrument Makers and Electrical Engineers. — This business was founded
in 1849 by the late Mr. James White. The work at that time consisted
principally in the manufacture of philosophical, mathematical,
and optical instruments, and the care and ingenuity with which these
were made very soon brought Mr. White to the front rank of instrument
makers. It was not till about the year 1854 that electrical instrument
making was entered on, and then only in the form of experimental
apparatus for class demonstration. It is in this capacity that Professor
Sir William Thomson, now Lord Kelvin, came to be associated with Mr.
White, and got to know of his special aptitude for carrying out work
of this class. It was very natural, therefore, that when Lord Kelvin,
as adviser to the Atlantic Telegraph Co., found that the ordinary land
instruments were quite useless for submarine cable work, and having
designed the mirror galvanometer to overcome the difficulty, he should
go to Mr. White to have this instrument made. The first two instruments
made were a perfect success, and by their aid speaking across
the Atlantic was rendered possible. From that time may be dated Lord
Kelvin's permanent attachment to Mr. White, and from then till the
present time Mr. White and his successors have been the mechanicians
who have constructed the various instruments and apparatus devised
by Lord Kelvin.
From February, 1858, till November, 1900, Lord Kelvin has taken
out no less than fifty-one patents, and a glance at the classified list of
these, as arranged by Dr. Magnus Maclean, and published in the Proceedings
of the Philosophical Society of Glasgow, 1897-98, shows the
extent of this work carried out by James White, and the rate at which
the business has extended. In 1884 the works were removed to the
present premises in Cambridge Street, and in 1892, and again this
year, the works had to be extended. At present there are over four
hundred persons employed.
The various kinds of instruments and apparatus manufactured are
as follows:— Optical and mathematical apparatus, instruments for submarine
telegraphy, instruments for electric lighting and tramways,
standard electric balances and electrostatic voltmeters for laboratory
use, switchboards and switch gear for electric lighting and tramways,
navigational instruments.
Messrs. Mayor & Coulson, Ltd., 47 King Street, Mile-End, Glasgow.
— The works of this firm have been erected on ground purchased
from Messrs. Clark & Co., Limited, who formerly used the site for
their Mile-End Thread Works, and are easily accessible both by rail and
tramcar. The company's manufacturing business was formerly carried
on in their premises in Orr Street, Bridgeton, which premises, together
with the machine tools there, were held on lease. During the company's
tenancy of these works patterns were developed and standardised,
and methods of production systematised. On the expiry of their lease
the company was therefore in a singularly favourable position to undertake
the design and equipment of a new factory for their specialities
in electrical engineering and accessories. The directors have combined
with this an intimate knowledge of the most recent American and
continental practice, and the result has been the building and equipping
of a factory which is the most important of its kind in Scotland, and
in facilities for the rapid, economical, and accurate production of high-class
electrical machinery is not surpassed by the best and most recent
factories in the country. A special feature of interest in the establishment
is the method of administration and supervision of the factory,
and the record of the cost of production. This and the American tools
employed bring a great many visitors to see the place.
An excellent illustrated catalogue is published by the firm which
fully describes the works, the appliances, and productions, and reference
must be made to that for details. It may be noted, however, that the
machine and erecting shops are 160 feet long by 75 feet wide, covered
by a single span steel roof, glazed all over, and that the other departments
of the works are carried on in suitable buildings driven by electric
motors from the generating station in the north-east corner of the
works. A special feature of the factory is the equipment of a tool
room, where special tools, jigs, and other appliances for accurate and
rapid production are manufactured by a staff specially devoted to this
While the excellence of the company's manufactures have secured
for it a large share of English and foreign work and important contracts
for Government departments, municipalities, and public bodies,
the directors, in the design and equipment of the new factory, have
kept prominently in view the large and increasing demand for electric
machinery, especially for power purposes in this district, and they
believe that there is no more promising field in the whole world for
the introduction of the applications of electricity to industrial purposes
than that embraced by a circle of ten miles' radius round the city of
Glasgow; and they hope that the existence of their works will give
an important stimulus to the adoption of electrical plant in Scottish
industries, and bring them more in line with those of America and the
Holland House Electrical Manufacturing Co., Ltd. — The offices
and works of this firm are at 9 Holland Place, Glasgow. They are
designers and manufacturers of artistic electric light fittings and of
switchboard apparatus for municipal and other supply stations, as well
as for private plants. The company uses almost exclusively hand-hammered
ornamental metal work in the manufacture of their electroliers
and other decorative fittings, and employ a number of local artisans
who are trained to this class of work.
In the switch department main and branch switches and switchboards
of all sizes are made, one of the longest being sets of feeder panel
switchboards to the design of the Corporation engineer, Mr. W. A.
Chamen, for the electric supply stations at Port-Dundas and St.
Andrew's Cross, Glasgow. The company has extensive showrooms,
where a good selection of their manufactures is on view.
Messrs. Meehan & Sons, Scotstoun Iron Works, Glasgow. — This
firm was established in 1862 by ex-Councillor Arthur Meehan, and
until recently carried on business at Cranstonhill, Glasgow.
Though originally contractors for the fitting out of merchant ships,
their business has undergone considerable change, and, in keeping
abreast of the times, has been almost entirely transformed. With the
advance in the application of electricity to uses on board ship, Messrs.
Meehan have laid themselves out to meet the demand. They started
by making electrical apparatus, such as electric call bells, etc., for ships'
use in 1886, but in the spring of 1899 a separate department was
constituted to undertake solely the electrical work of the business.
During their fourteen years of electrical experience Messrs. Mechan
have fitted out for the British, Japanese, American, and other navies
ships with electric call bells, voice pipes, telephones, electric lighting,
telegraphs, ventilation, watertight doors, ash ejectors, searchlights, etc.
In connection with ventilation they have recently completed the
Japanese battleship "Mikasa," in which electrically driven fans of the
firm's own special design and manufacture were used in conjunction
with the usual trunk system. The firm is at present engaged on the
ventilation of H.M.S. "Russell," the first ship to use one hundred volts
in His Majesty's service. For the Admiralty alone the firm makes
some thousands of switches, distributing and section boxes for electric
lighting, firing keys, etc. They are also makers of switchboards for
public supply companies, and have recently completed the bus bar
work for the Electricity and Tramway Departments of the Glasgow
Corporation, also street service boxes for electric lighting and telephone
supply use.
For a notice of the general engineering work done by Messrs.
Meehan see page 56. There is a considerable number of electrical
engineers in Glasgow who contract for lighting and supply of motive
power, but, for the most part, they do not make the appliances and
machines, but purchase them from manufacturers in different parts of
this country or on the Continent and America. Several of the
mechanical engineering firms are directing their attention to the production
of high-speed engines of different types suitable for purposes
connected with electrical engineering.
Messrs. Alley & Maclellan, Sentinel Works, Polmadie Road,
Glasgow. — This firm, which has special claims to notice on account of
the excellence and variety of its productions, was established over
thirty-two years ago in London Road, but five years later, on account
of the development of its business, it was transferred to its present
quarters at Polmadie. By a gradual process of extension the works
now cover nearly 12 acres of ground, every part of which is utilised
to the greatest possible advantage.
The various departments are arranged in methodical order, and
are made to follow one another in natural sequence, so that time is
economised and efficiency ensured. The general and drawing offices
are commodious and well equipped, and have connections by telephone
not only with the different parts of the works, but also with the
Exchange system of Glasgow. Well equipped pattern shops and brass
and iron foundries give all the necessary facilities for casting required
by the firm. while the large machine shop is fitted with all the latest
appliances for economical production of work. The erecting shop is
a lofty building 80 feet in height and 150 feet in length, and is furnished
with all the necessary machinery and lifting apparatus. A spacious
gallery at the north end accommodates the tinsmiths and iron plate
workers. The testing shop, where under the most exacting conditions
and the highest mechanical skill, high-speed engines, steering gears,
safety valves, and the other productions of the firm are tested previous
to being passed for delivery, is a most interesting part of the establishment.

Among these productions special prominence must be given to the
"Sentinel" high-speed engine, which is made in many sizes, both of
simple and compound design. These engines are compact, easily dismantled
for repair, and remarkably free from vibration, and are much
used for central electric supply stations, as well as for other high-class
and economical installations. The "Sentinel" patent horizontal
steam steering engine, manufactured by the firm, has enjoyed a gratifying
measure of support from the leading Scottish and North of England
shipbuilders. The ash hoists of the firm are much used both in the
British and foreign navies. Messrs. Alley & MacLellan have always made
the manufacture of valves a leading feature of their business. They are
made for all purposes and for all pressures up to 200 lbs. per square inch.
A curious feature in the establishment is the shipbuilding establishment,
from which, notwithstanding all the work that has been done, no
launch has ever taken place, as the vessels built are for foreign river
navigation, and are sent out in pieces to their destinations. They
include side-paddle steamers, tugs, water boats, salvage boats, steam
lighters and hoppers, horse ferries, cargo barges, crane barges, pontoons,
and various other forms. Messrs. Alley & MacLellan have also
built several floating piers and floating docks, a class of work for
which they have received high commendation from eminent marine
authorities. Altogether the establishment is one of the most interesting,
from an engineering point of view, in the district.
Messrs. Andrew Barclay, Sons, & Co., Ltd., Caledonia Works, Kilmarnock.
The works of this company are old-established, having been
started in 1840 by the late Mr. Andrew Barclay, and have been carried
on for the manufacture of locomotives, steam engines, pumping
machinery, etc., up to the present date. They give employment to
about five hundred men, and cover an area of about 4½ acres, the
latest extension being a boilermaking shop, 200 feet long by 52 feet
wide, and a boiler smithy and locomotive tank shop 140 feet long
by 40 feet wide. A general erecting shop, 210 feet long by 52½ feet
wide, is also in course of completion. The present company, in whose
hands the works have been since 1892, have modernised the works and
added new plant during the past five years, and they have especially
developed the locomotive department. The works have been fitted
throughout with the most improved modern appliances. Electricity
has been adopted throughout the works for driving and lighting purposes,
and a central station with triple-expansion engine and 200 h.p.
in dynamos has been equipped to generate and distribute power at
210 volts pressure to the various overhead cranes, shafting, &c.
Hydraulic and compressed air power on the newest lines are used in
the boiler department.
The principal output of the firm during the last few years has been
locomotives, chiefly with side and saddle tanks, with cylinders up to
18 inches diameter, and for working steam pressures up to 180 lbs. per
square inch. The engines are, for the most part, of the usual British
design, with the "Stephenson" link motion, but are occasionally fitted
with "Walchaerts" or "Joy's" valve gear. The company has a long
standing and good reputation for locomotives of both tank and tender
types. They are chiefly for home markets, but a good many are sent
to South America, the West Indies, China, Egypt, and other countries.
Locomotives with cranes supported over their centre, direct from the
frames, and free from the boiler, are a special product of this firm.
and a large number are turned out for works, shipyards, and other
The manufacture of winding engines is an important feature of the
works, and they are to be found in many of the most important
collieries in England and Scotland. Large pumping engines have always
been a speciality of the firm, and some of the recent large sizes of pumps
turned out have 30-inch rams with 13 feet strokes. Waterworks plant
of all sizes is made by the company. Another speciality is the "Capell''
fan, of which the firm is the sole manufacturers for Scotland and
Ireland, and it has established itself as an excellent mine ventilator.
Steam excavators for heavy earth cuttings are built at Caledonia
Works, and some of the larger sizes, weighing as much as eighty tons
each, did some record work in excavating and loading the heavy boulder
clay at the north end of the Forth Bridge during its construction.
Many blowing engines and air compressors have been built by this
firm. A number of the iron works in Cumberland have been fitted with
blowing engines, and some have also been erected, and are working in
India and other countries.
Messrs. Crow, Harvey & Co., Park Grove Iron Works, Glasgow
(successors to Robert Harvey Co.), manufacture steel and iron works
plant, reversing mill engines, hydraulic machine tools, as well as general
engineering work, and worthily maintain the reputation of the well-known
firm it succeeded.
Messrs. John Cochrane & Co., Grahamston Engine Works, Barrhead.
— These works were established in 1850 by the father of the
present partners, and fourteen years ago the present new works were
erected to meet the increasing demand for their manufactures. The
works adjoin the Barrhead Railway Station, and they cover about 44
acres. The shops have a floor area of 35,000 square feet, and are
equipped with all the modern tools best suited for the work produced.
The principal manufactures of the firm are land engines, simple,
compound, tandem, and quadruple, fitted with Corliss valve gears, and
every equipment for economical working; winding engines for deep levels,
steam or hydraulic reversing engines, steam or hydraulic brakes;
pumping plants of every design to meet all classes of specifications;
centrifugal pumping engines of large sizes for docks, sewage, and
surface water; condensing plants (independent) to deal with any given
quantity of steam, steam hammers with single or double standards
from 1 cwt. to 10 tons, feed pumps of different designs, direct acting,
duplex, flywheel, and geared.
The firm has recently executed work for the following: — The British
Admiralty, dockyard engines; East London Waterworks, pumping
engines, with all the necessary gear; West Ham Corporation, large
centrifugal pumps, with direct acting compound engines; London
County Council, triple expansion pumping engines for sewage works;
and large orders for mines in South Africa and West Australia.
Messrs. A. F. Craig & Co., Ltd., Caledonia Engine Works and Snowdown
Works, Paisley. — These works were founded in 1868 by Mr. A. F.
Craig, and are now one of the most important establishments in the
West of Scotland. They are splendidly equipped and organised, and
their productions are very varied. They include steam engines of all
kinds, shafting, pulleys, and gearing, sugar refining machinery, oil
refining machinery, oil plant, gas plant, hoists, paint, and chemical
machinery, hydro-extractors and centrifugal machinery, and bleaching
and dyeing machinery. The firm also makes portable and stationary
cranes, air-compressing machines, hydraulic and screw presses, starch-making
machines, and calendars.
A large business is also done in textile machinery of various kinds,
especially those connected with the thread industry, of which Paisley
is such an important centre. The firm specialises in the following: —
Cropping machines of all types for woollen cloth, clipping machines,
large Axminster shearing machines, velvet and rug shearing machines,
and cloth finishing machinery. It also makes looms for tapestry.
The firm is also developing the manufacture of gas plant into an
extensive trade. It has a branch in France and a London correspondent,
and it sends its productions to all parts of the world.
Messrs. Fleming & Ferguson, Ltd., Phoenix Works, Paisley. — This
firm is well known for its dredgers and marine engines, but it also
makes a speciality of high-class pumping engines of the most powerful
and economical type for water supply, irrigation, docks, sewage, drainage,
etc., which are made in any size up to a duty of 600,000 foot-tons
per hour. It has recently made triple expansion engines for the London
County Council for Crossness Pumping Station, each engine being
capable of pumping 2 1/8 million gallons per hour.
Messrs. Bow, M'Lachlan & Co., Limited, Thistle Works, Paisley,
chiefly manufacture marine engines, and make a speciality of
steam steering gear and electrical engineering plant. Messrs. Hannah,
Donald & Wilson, Abbey Works, Paisley, make a speciality of gas
plant. Messrs. Campbell, Calderwood & Co., Soho Engine Works,
Paisley, manufacture chiefly marine engines and sugar mill machinery.
Messrs. Walter M'Gee & Sons, Paisley, devote themselves chiefly to
textile machinery; and Messrs. Thomas Reid & Son, Paisley, to windlasses
and steering gear.
Messrs. Mechan & Sons, Scotstoun Iron Works. — In addition to the
special electrical work mentioned at page 52, Messrs. Mechan do a
considerable amount of general engineering work, their new establishment
at Scotstoun being fitted with a great variety of tools, all driven
by electricity.
A special branch of their business is that of riveted steel pipes for
water mains, etc. They have recently completed several miles for the
Johannesburg water supply, their average output in this way being
about thirty miles per annum. Tanks and other plant for gold extraction
purposes are also specialities of the firm. A considerable number,
averaging 30 to 40 feet diameter by 10 feet deep, has just been shipped
to the Rand, and others are awaiting shipment. The firm has recently
completed the steel flues for the tramway power station for the Glasgow
A complete equipment of hydraulic and pneumatic riveting, caulking,
and drilling tools is installed throughout the works, which, besides
the electrical department, consist of departments for mechanical
engineering, structural ironwork, brass foundry, copper work, etc.
The number of men employed is not less than one thousand.
Messrs. Lamberton & Co., Coatbridge. — This firm is well known by
iron and steel makers for the excellence of its productions in all that
is requisite for the largest sizes of iron and steel plant. They are
makers of the largest and most modern installations of machinery for
the manufacture of steel, including plate, bar and rail mills, bloom
and plate shears, hydraulic plant of all kinds. Their reversing bar
and rail mill engines are first-class specimens of design and construction,
and are highly efficient in their working. They also manufacture all
kinds of colliery engines and machinery.
Messrs. Murray & Paterson, Ltd., Coatbank Engine Works, Coatbridge.
— This firm was founded in 1868 for general engineering purposes.
On Mr. Murray's decease in 1897 Mr. M'Gregor joined Mr. Paterson,
and carried on the business under the firm's name. In 1899 it was
formed into a limited liability company. In 1900 new works were
built on the most modern lines, on a site close to the Whiffet Station
on the Caledonian Railway, and are so designed that they can be
gradually extended as the requirements of the business demand.
From the beginning the demands of surrounding works were such that
the requirements of iron and steel works and collieries soon became
the principal trade, and the number of guide mill engines, forge
engines, large shingling steam hammers, shearing machines, and hot
bar saws bearing their names bears ample testimony to the quality of
their work.
Tube works plant has also been turned out, engines both for main
driving and for hydraulic work, accumulators, tapping and screwing
machines being almost always on hand, as well as winding and pumping
engines for collieries. Tank Iocomotives for collieries and iron works are
also made, and are always under construction or repair.
The home market has been the principal customer of the firm, but
China, India, Burmah, Australia, Chili, and San Domingo have all
contributed their share to the firm's prosperity.
The other mechanical engineering firms in the Coatbridge and Airdrie
district doing work of the same kind for the most part as the two
last named are Messrs. W. V. V. Legerwood & Co., Speedwell Iron
Works, Coatbridge; Messrs. Gibb & Hogg, Messrs. Inglis & Hossock,
Messrs. Martyn & Co., and the Airdrie Iron Company, Airdrie, all of
which turn out large quantities of machinery of a very varied nature,
chiefly, however, for collieries and iron and steel works. Messrs.
Shearer & Pettigrew, Wishaw, are also well and favourably known
for their colliery engines and machinery.
The Mirrlees Watson Company, Ltd., Glasgow. — This business was
founded in 1840 by three brothers — Peter, William, and Andrew
M'Onie — the original title of the firm being P. & W. M'Onie, Mr.
Andrew M'Onie being engaged as works manager. Mr. William M'Onie
retired from the firm in 1848, and Mr. James Buchanan Mirrlees joined
with Mr. Peter M'Onie, the title of the firm becoming M'Onie &
Mirrlees. Two years later Mr. Peter M'Onie died, and Mr. Mirrlees
took into partnership Mr. William Tait — although the firm still continued
as M'Onie & Mirrlees until 1858, when the title was changed
to Mirrlees & Tait. Under this title the firm continued for ten years,
when, on the failing health of Mr. Tait, Mr. W. Renny Watson was
taken into partnership, and the firm became Mirrlees, Tait & Watson.
Soon after this Mr. Tait died, but the title of the firm remained the
same until 1882. In this year Mr. R. A. Robertson and Mr. J. G.
Hudson, who had been connected with the management for some time,
were admitted as partners, and a change was then made, the title of
the firm becoming Mirrlees, Watson & Co. Mr. Hudson retired in
1888, and Mr. W. J. Mirrlees, eldest son of Mr. J. B. Mirrlees, became
a member of the firm.
In 1889 the business of the firm was amalgamated with the Yaryan
Company (whose patent rights in their evaporators for the United
Kingdom and British colonies the firm had secured two years previously).
The new organisation under the Companies Act assumed the title of
Mirrlees, Watson & Yaryan Company, Limited. In 1900 it was thought
advisable to reconstruct the company, and this having been carried
through, advantage was taken to adopt the shorter and more convenient
title of the Mirrlees, Watson Company, Limited, under which name it
now carries on its extensive home and foreign business. The management
of the present company is in the hands of a board of directors,
Mr. William Littlejohn Philip being managing director.
The general works of the company are situated in Scotland Street,
South Side, and are substantially built, compact, and well lighted,
the frontage to Scotland Street being about 350 feet. The ground area
of the premises is about 17,400 square yards and the upper floors of
the buildings give an additional area of about 7200 square yards.
The general offices, board room, and drawing office are large and
commodious, the latter being exceptionally well lighted and fitted up
with every convenience, including plant for photographing drawings
by electric light, etc. The pattern shop, foundry, boiler shop, and
joiners' shop are all fitted with the most improved appliances. The
erecting shop is 200 feet by 82 feet and is divided into two bays, the
roof, etc., being supported by a row of cast-iron columns down the
centre. There are two overhead cranes with rope drive, each capable
of lifting fifteen tons. The machine shop is supplied with a great variety
of tools of all kinds, and many of the latest design, and the whole
establishment is well designed for carrying out work economically.
Up to the year 1885 the output of the works consisted almost
exclusively of machinery for the production, manufacture, and refining
of sugar, of which they were the largest manufacturers in the country,
and had a world-wide reputation. Since that date, however, this
industry has been, through various causes, on the decline, and the
company, although still largely engaged in the industry, have turned
their attention to other branches of engineering, among which may be
mentioned the following: — Evaporating machines for all purposes,
distilling plants for fresh-water supply, condensing plants, evaporative
condensers, air and circulating pumps, steam, electric, or belt driven;
high-speed engines for electric lighting. etc.; conveyers and elevators
for coal, etc. In this connection it may be mentioned that this company
is at the present time supplying the whole of the condensing
plant and coal conveyers for the Glasgow Corporation Tramway Electric
Generating Station at Pinkston.
With regard to distilling plants, a large number of these have been
erected at various points on the Red Sea, and one at Mombasa for
the Uganda Railway. Evaporators for all sorts of purposes have been
supplied to various clients in North and South Russia, also France
and Germany, for a variety of purposes too numerous to mention here,
not excepting a considerable number to paper mills in this country
in connection with soda recovery.
For some remarks on the markets to which this firm sends its sugar
machinery see under the heading "Sugar Machinery," page 63.
Messrs. R. G. Ross & Son, Greenhead Engine Works, Glasgow.
— This firm was long known under the designation of Messrs. Glen &
Ross. It was founded in 1856, when Mr. Rigby, the inventor of the
well-known steam hammer, transferred to it all his rights under his
patent. From that date till 1890 the business was carried on by the
two partners. At the latter date Mr. Glen retired from business, and
Mr. Ross assumed as partner his son, James MacEwan Ross, and the
firm took the designation of R. G. Ross & Son. It still continues
the manufacture of steam hammers, of which over fifteen hundred which
have been made by the firm are in use. They have been awarded the
highest award wherever exhibited, and are too well known to engineers
in all parts of the world to require any detailed description.
While the manufacture of steam hammers has been the staple trade
of the firm since it was founded, during recent years it has added that
of many special tools and appliances, the majority of which are the
inventions of the junior partner. Among those may be mentioned
pneumatic or steam caulking, chipping, dressing, and planishing tools,
which supersede all other processes in every essential point, and deliver
from 8000 to 10,000 strokes per minute, with a pressure of air or steam
from 40 to 60 lbs. per square inch; a machine for dressing granite,
which will do the work of fifteen to twenty men working by hand; a
patent drill and patent speed reducing and increasing gear. This
latter is specially adapted for coupling to electric motors or other type
of high-speed machinery, from which the speed can be reduced practically
without limit. With worm gear the loss from friction is
enormous, while the same ratio of reduction may be attained by this
gear with a loss of about 5 per cent. in transmission. The firm also
manufactures the pneumatic stay riveter, designed and patented by
Mr. H. D. Earle, works manager, L. and N.-W. Railway, Crewe, who.
having in use some of the patent caulking tools made by the firm,
devised an ingenious application of one of them for riveting the
copper stays of locomotive fire boxes. This tool has now been in use
for a considerable time, and has given the greatest satisfaction, both as
regards efficiency and durability. Each tool is capable of doing the
work of five or six men when closing the stays by hand, and the work
done is of the highest character. The firm purchased the patent rights
from Mr. Earle, and have supplied a number of these tools to railway
companies and locomotive firms both at home and abroad.
The productions of the firm go to all parts of the world. and "Rigby's
Patent" steam hammers have keen supplied to the British Admiralty
and to many foreign and colonial Governments, in addition to many of
the chief engineering establishments at home.
Messrs. A. & W. Smith & Co., Ltd., Eglinton Engine Works, Glasgow.
— This is an old-established Glasgow firm which does general
engineering work, including shipyard machinery. It makes a speciality
of sugar making machinery. (See page 66.)
Messrs. D. Stewart & Co., London Road Works, Glasgow. — The
present firm of D. Stewart & Co., Ltd., engineers and boilermakers,
was founded by Mr. Duncan Stewart, the present managing director,
in 1864, under the style of Duncan Stewart & Co. Like the majority
of old established works in Glasgow, its beginnings were small, the
number of men employed during the first year being about 80, and
the works covering an area of 3600 square feet. The firm now gives
employment to from 700 to 800 men, and the premises have lengthy
frontages to Summer Street, London Road, and William Street, and
cover an area of 60,000 square feet. The buildings include a suite of
offices for private, commercial, and drawing purposes, lofty and well-lit
pattern shop, heavy machine shop, smiths' shop, boiler shop, brass
foundry, and a large erecting shop. The light machine work is done
in galleries overlooking the heavy machine shop and fitting shop.
The principal classes of work produced by this firm are slow speed
steam engines, sugar mills, sugar factory and refining plant, bleaching,
dyeing, printing, and finishing plant, hydraulic machinery, steel works
plant, gold dredging plant.
The chief purposes for which the slow speed engines are made by
this firm are driving jute and cotton spinning factories in this country
and in India, electric lighting, and traction work at home and abroad.
The types most recommended for spinning factories are horizontal or
vertical triple-expansion, of which this firm has made several capable
of indicating up to 3000 horse power. Among others may be mentioned
the engines for Chandernagore Mills, of Messrs. Ogilvy, Gillanders
& Co., and those for Messrs. W. Duncan & Co., and the Anglo-Indian
Jute Mills, Ltd. The new engines of the Glasgow Cotton Spinning
Co. were also supplied by Messrs. D. Stewart & Co., and are capable
of indicating 1400 horse power.
For electric lighting and traction work the side by side compound
or cross compound type is most in favour, as these engines have the
largest range of economical working, and this firm has recently completed
two cross compound engines to indicate up to 1000 horse power
for the new electric tramway station of the Glasgow Corporation.
Four similar engines have recently been despatched to Western
Australia, and others of different sizes to Barcelona, Kingstown,
Jamaica, and Brazil. The firm is at present- executing an important
contract for the electric lighting department of the Corporation of
Rolling mill engines up to 12,000 indicated horse power have been
constructed by this firm for several of the most important steel works
in the country, including Messrs. William Beardmore & Co., Parkhead;
Messrs. David Colville & Sons, Motherwell; Glasgow Iron and Steel
Co., Wishaw; Lanarkshire Steel Co., Motherwell; and the Weardale
Steel Co., Sunderland. These engines are of the high pressure two-cylinder
type, suitable for rapid starting and reversing.
In the department devoted to hydraulic machinery Messrs. D.
Stewart & Co. have designed a large forging press of 12,500 tons
capacity for Messrs. William Beardmore & Co., of Parkhead Forge,
and have made two others of 6000 and 3000 tons respectively for the
ordnance and armour plate departments of the sane firm. Hydraulic
machinery of different kinds has been made for firms in this country
and abroad. The steel works plant made by this firm comprises rolling
mills, shearing machines, roller racks, and, in short, all the complicated
gear required for the equipment of large steel works. They have
recently completed one of the largest plants of this kind for the Lanarkshire
Steel Co. A comparatively new development has been the
manufacture of gold dredging machinery for use in the rivers of New
Zealand, several plants having been constructed within the last few
The most important contracts this firm has on hand are the Dublin
engines already mentioned, and the complete pumping plant for the
Partick Pumping Station of the Glasgow Corporation Sewage Works.
For other work done by this firm see p. 65.
Messrs. D. & J. Tullis, Ltd., Kilbowie Iron Works, near Glasgow. —
The original firm of D. & J. Tullis, consisting of two partners, started
business as engineers in 1891, the works being then situated in Park-head.
They devoted themselves to the manufacture of laundry
machinery more particularly, and by dint of much study and thoroughly
practical and up-to-date appliances, they are now known as among the
largest and best known manufacturers of that class of machinery.
In 1894 it was found that the old works at Parkhead could not
meet the ever increasing demand for machinery, and the establishment
was removed to new buildings at Kilbowie, and again to enable these
premises to be considerably increased the partners decided to reconstitute
the company and open the share list to the public. This was done
in 1898.
The present works, offices, foundry, and stores, etc., cover an area
of about 4 acres. The arrangement of the shops has been altered
periodically, and at present the equipment and arrangement of tools
are admirably adapted to the class of work done by the firm. In the
foundry, which is quite a new building, the arrangement is all that
could be desired. In addition to supplying the requirements of the
firm, high-class castings of all kinds are made for the engineers and
machine makers of Glasgow and neighbourhood. Branch offices have
been established, and permanent staffs appointed, in Manchester, London,
Bombay, Cape Town, Spain, Russia, and Australia.
Among the principal manufactures of Messrs. Tullis are their well-known
and appreciated Corliss valve engines, a large number of which
have been built for manufacturers throughout the country. These
engines, on account of their perfect cut-off, are well adapted for electric
power generation, or for use in factories where the power required
varies considerably through machines being used intermittently.
The firm still pays special attention to laundry machinery, for a
notice of which see p. 85. Among its other specialities are leather
tanning and dressing machinery, belt stretchers, water tanks, boilers,
etc., in connection with which they have recently established a large
continental and colonial connection.
Messrs. Watson, Laidlaw & Co., Dundas Street (South), Glasgow.
— This business was originated in 1883 to carry on primarily the manufacture
of the "Weston" centrifugal, previously in the hands of Messrs.
Mirrlees, Watson & Co., who possessed the sole British and colonial
rights of the "Weston" patents. Messrs. Watson, Laidlaw & Co.
arranged with Mirrlees, Watson & Co. to take over all drawings,
patterns, patent rights, etc., relating to the "Weston" centrifugal,
and, while carrying on a general engineering business, they have made
this machine a special article of manufacture.
The buildings are arranged for the convenient manufacture of
medium and light work, the main building consisting of two large
open bays surrounded by two storeys of wide galleries, light turning
and finishing being done in the galleries, heavy turning below them,
and erecting in the open bays. The boilers, pattern shop, and pattern
store are in a separate building of modern fireproof construction, and
the drawing office and counting-house are in another building conveniently
situated in relation to the works. Besides the department
mentioned above, the works include a blacksmith shop, brass foundry,
tinsmith shop, and joiner shop, as well as suitable stores for raw
material and finished work.
As already mentioned, the "Weston" centrifugal in its many forms
is the principal production of the firm. This machine consists of a
perforated cylinder and drum which is rapidly rotated so as to subject
its contents to considerable centrifugal force. It is largely used for
drying crystals, the centrifugal force throwing off the mother liquor,
which escapes through the perforated shell of the cylinder (or basket,
as it is generally called). These machines are principally used in the
drying of sugar, but also find an important place in all manufacturing
processes where crystals or other granular substances have to be washed
or dried, replacing the older process of draining in a cheap and efficient
manner. (See under heading "Sugar Machinery," p. 64.)
The same machines, but of slightly different construction, are used
for the drying of all kinds of textile or fibrous material, and are of
the greatest value in bleach houses, dye houses, laundries, etc. Another
variety is made with a solid basket or drum, and is used for depositing
solids held in liquid suspension, such as starch or yeast, or for
separating liquids of different specific gravities.
From this last Messrs. Watson, Laidlaw & Co. have developed their
"Princess" and "Victoria" cream separators, which separate cream
from milk mechanically and efficiently. These vary in size from the
10 gallon per hour hand power domestic machine to the 150 gallon
per hour steam turbine-driver machine for factory use. They are light
and small, calling for considerable skill and care in their manufacture,
owing to the very high speed at which they have to run, and are
made in large numbers on the most modern factory system, thus
ensuring great accuracy and perfect interchangeability of parts.
The chief interest in the modern "Weston" centrifugal is the method
employed in driving it, and Messrs. Watson, Laidlaw & Co. draw
special attention to their patent water-driven centrifugals, which
dispense with belting or gearing — a Felton wheel fastened direct on
the spindle, and a pressure pump with suitable piping forming a ready
and convenient means of driving which possesses many advantages.
Besides the foregoing specialities this firm makes all the accessory
machinery required in the use of centrifugals. They also manufacture
engines or any light work which demands repetition of many pieces,
all their arrangements being made for the economical reproduction
of individual pieces such as, for instance, are entailed in the manufacture
of projectiles. Those interested in centrifugals or hydro-extractors
are recommended to visit the complete exhibit which this firm has in
the Machinery Hall of the Glasgow International Exhibition, and also
any of the modern public wash-houses which the Glasgow Corporation
have fitted with their patent water-driven hydro-extractors.
The centrifugals made by this firm find their way into every
country where sugar is grown or refined, and are largely used for
chemicals, etc., in Great Britain. Their hydro-extractors are used all
over Great Britain, and considerable numbers are sent to the Continent
of Europe. Their cream separators have a comparatively small sale
in England, and a smaller in Scotland, but find a good market in
Germany and other continental countries, as well as in Australasia.
Some of the establishments mentioned in the preceding section
devote considerable attention to sugar machinery. For convenience
of reference they are again mentioned in the present section, along with
a few others which make sugar machinery the chief part of their work.
Messrs. Blake, Barclay & Co., Victoria Works, Greenock. — This
firm was established in 1858, in the premises formerly occupied
George Oughterson & Co., Hillend Works, and some years subsequently
the business was transferred to more commodious and new premises
adjacent, which have since been known by the name of Victoria Works.
The works comprise turning, fitting, pattern, and smith shops, with
all the accessories of an engineering establishment, and there has
lately been added a wrought-iron department, with the installation of
the necessary rolls and other machines for the economical handling of
structural and light girder work, and under ordinary conditions 150
men can find employment therein.
Since the founding of the firm sugar refining machinery has been
the staple product, and continues to be, but since the gradual extinction
of the sugar trade the firm has taken up the manufacture of all
kinds of elevating and conveying plant and all kinds of transport appliances
and machinery, especially for gasworks. In addition to the home
market the firm has sent its productions to Australia, New Zealand,
China, and Japan, with an occasional excursion into other countries
where sugar refining machinery was in demand.
Messrs. Blair, Campbell & Maclean, Scotland Street Copper Works,
Glasgow, are makers of all the copper work required for sugar refineries.
(See p. 41.)
The Mirrlees Watson Company, Limited, Scotland Street, Glasgow.
— For a description of the works of this firm and a sketch of their chief
productions see under heading "General Mechanical Engineering," p. 57.
With regard to the markets to which their sugar machinery is sent
it is well known that through causes into which we cannot at present
enter the West Indian market for sugar machinery, which at one time
was the principal, has now practically ceased, and only a small proportion
of the machinery manufactured by this company finds its way
to what was at one time its best market. To counterbalance this,
however, a very large quantity of sugar machinery is now sent to
Mexico and the Argentine Republic. At the present time these may
be said to be the principal markets in the West. There is also a fairly
good market in the Central American States, Columbian States, and
Peru. Cuba, also, is showing signs of revival, and may yet prove a
fairly good market if it is not turned into an American preserve in a
similar way to Honolulu. In the East, Java offers a good field; also
Natal, Mauritius, Southern India, and, to go further afield, Queens-land
and the Fiji Islands. Honolulu, once a good market, is now
practically closed to British manufactures. Coming nearer home.
some large factories are found in the south of Spain, with which
business is done, and it is to be expected that the Egyptian market
may yet prove a lucrative one for the sugar machinery industry.
Messrs. Watson, Laidlaw & Co., Dundas Street (South), Glasgow.
— The works of this firm, which may be considered an offshoot of the
preceding one, have been described at p. 61, and some of their productions
have been noted.
As explained, the most important of these is the "Weston" centrifugal
in its many forms. These are so numerous that we can only
refer to the illustrated catalogue published by the firm with special
reference to the sugar industry. It contains a great variety of designs
not only for centrifugals, but also for many other of the appliances used
in the manufacture of sugar, and all interested will find its perusal
very instructive. In addition to the very complete exhibit in the
Machinery Hall of the Glasgow Exhibition, the firm also undertakes
to introduce visitors, by arrangement, to a sugar refinery in Greenock
where their patent water-driven centrifugals can be seen curing sugar.
Messrs. M'Onie, Harvey & Co., Ltd., Scotland Street Engine
Works, Glasgow. — The history of this firm, and of those who have been
connected with it, takes us back to the early days of the making of
sugar machinery in Glasgow. About the year 1785 James Cook started
a small workshop near St. Enoch's Square (now about the centre of
Glasgow) as blacksmith, millwright, and engineer. In the face of many
disadvantages the business prospered, and in a few years James Cook
became known as a good engineer, the manufacture of sugar mills
being included amongst the other branches of his trade. The business
so increased that new and larger premises had to be provided, and
about the year 1800 he removed to what was then open country, on the
south side of the river Clyde, where he built what was in these days
considered very large works, which went by the name of "Cook's
Works," and in the trade were known as the "College," from the fact
that many of the best workmen and engineers got their training there
in these early days.
The introduction of steam engines to drive sugar mills, the motive
power having hitherto for the most part been wind or water power,
gave a great impetus to the sugar industry in the West Indies; and
as a great number of the plantations there belonged to old Scotch
families, the supply of machinery naturally centred in Glasgow, and
was practically in the hands of James Cook. About the year 1835
James Cook died, when the works were offered for sale, and bought
by the manager of the works, David Cook. The firm was then changed
to David Cook & Co., engineers and boilermakers, and was carried on
successfully, the principal work being sugar making machinery, supplied
to all parts of the world where sugar cane was cultivated. The chief
and only draughtsman in P. Cook & Co.'s works was Robert Harvey,
who had risen to that position from being a workman in the shops,
and continued draughtsman for a number of years. About the year
1852 Mr. David Cook retired from active business, and a new co-partnery
was formed, with Robert Harvey as managing partner, and was carried
on very successfully until 1870, when the other partners retired from
business and the works were sold. Mr. Robert Harvey bought all the
patterns and drawings, acquired ground in ginning Park, on which
he built new works, the firm being Robert Harvey & Co., successors
to D. Cook & Co., and carried on the business of sugar machinery and
general engineering. Mr. Harvey, senior, retired in 1880, and the
business was continued by his sons Robert and William, and under
their management the business continued to increase.
In 1888 an amalgamation was made with the firm of Messrs. W. &
W. M'Onie, successors to the well-known firm of Messrs. W. & A.
M'Onie (as to the origin of which see p. 557), by which the sugar
machinery business of Robert Harvey & Co. was transferred to the new
firm of M`Onie, Harvey & Co., now M'Onie, Harvey & Co., Ltd., so
that the firm represents two important streams of engineering in
Glasgow. Mr. Robert Harvey is the chairman and managing director
of the concern, and the work is carried on with all the vigour of youth
combined with the experience of age.
The company recently erected large new works on the south side
of Scotland Street, fitted up with all the latest improvements in heavy
steam travelling cranes and new tools designed for their special work,
and here the largest sugar mills and triple Effets are erected, the smaller
and lighter work being done in the old works.
The company devotes itself almost exclusively to the production
of sugar making and refining machinery, and makes a speciality of the
manufacture of triple and quadruple Effet evaporators for the treatment
of cane juice. These evaporators are of a special construction,
patented by Mr. Harvey, and in operation combine great economy of
fuel and increased production of sugar. They are very simple in
construction, automatic in working, moderate in price, and are now
at work in most of the sugar growing countries, where they are giving
the greatest satisfaction to planters. A glance at the catalogue of
the firm shows that it is prepared to supply every requisite for sugar
plantations and sugar refiners, including engines and cane mills of all
sizes, vacuum pans, vacuum pumping engines, juice heaters, clarifiers,
defecutors, eliminators, Aspinall, Wetzel, and Bour pans, centrifugal
machines, improved filter presses, and water wheels. They are also
licensees and makers of the patent Lillie evaporators, which are made
from drawings furnished by the Sugar Apparatus Manufacturing
Company, of Philadelphia, U.S.A. (Mr. Lillie's company in America),
so that the firm is able to supply the Lillie apparatus in its most
approved form.
Messrs. D. Stewart & Co., London Road Iron Works, Glasgow.—
In addition to the general mechanical engineering work done by this
firm (see p. 60) it has for many years made a speciality of sugar mills,
sugar factories, and refinery plant. A special feature of the sugar
mills is Stewart's patent hydraulic attachment, whereby a hydraulic
pressure of 3000 lbs. per square inch intensity is brought to bear on
the roller, and an enormous crushing effect is produced.
Messrs. D. Stewart & Co. have equipped several of the largest cane
sugar factories in the world with complete plants, including triple
crushing, evaporation and vacuum, crystallisation in motion, and extraction
of the crystals by continuous process. Among several of the
more important factories may be mentioned those of Rio Fundo and
Iguape, Brazil; Narcissa and San Jose, Cuba Rijo, Rabaso, Tatetla
and Atenerngo, Mexico; Balianu, Egypt; Mozambique, East Africa
Sanskotte and Cawnpore, India; The Colonial Sugar Co., Sydney and
Queensland; the Natal Sugar Estates, and many smaller factories in
the British West Indies, Honduras, Japan, Straits Settlements, etc.
Messrs. A. & W. Smith & Co , Eglinton Engine Works, Glasgow.
— This is one of the old established Glasgow firms, well known for its
sugar machinery, which it still continues to manufacture with all the
improvements introduced in recent years.
Messrs. Pott, Cassels & Williamson, Motherwell. — This is a comparatively
new firm, which has erected very complete works with all
the most modern appliances, and it has made a speciality of crystallisation
in motion plant. Centrifugal machinery of all kinds, including
these mentioned in the preceding notices, elevators, conveyers, etc.,
are among its chief productions.
Messrs. Neilson, Reid & Co., Hyde Park Locomotive Works.—
The history of locomotive engineering in the Glasgow district, as
a separate branch of business, dates from the time when Messrs. Neilson &
Co. commenced the construction of such engines, for although several firms
had previously attempted to include this branch of engineering among the
industries of Glasgow, none of them succeeded. The firm of Messrs. Neilson
& Co. dates from 1837, and for a good many years it undertook several
branches of general mechanical engineering work, into the details of which
we cannot now enter, as we are concerned now with its development in the
manufacture of locomotives. From small beginnings, it has gradually
developed until it has attained the proud position of being the leading house
engaged in the locomotive trade in Great Britain; indeed, the Hyde Park
Locomotive Works have probably the largest capacity of any similar establishment
in Europe. Progression is the keynote to the firm's action, and so
keenly alive are they to the necessities of the times that their works are
fitted with every contrivance that has for its object increase or economy of
In the year 1860 Messrs. Neilson & Co. laid out at Springburn entirely
new works upon a large scale, and exclusively for the manufacture of locomotive
engines, and since then they have carried on a very extensive and
constantly increasing business, and the greatest advances have been associated
with the name of the late Mr. James Reid, who joined the firm as
manager in 1853. In 1872 Mr. Walter Neilson withdrew entirely from
active management, and Mr. Reid assumed the full direction of affairs, both
commercial and practical. At the end of 1876 Mr. Neilson retired altogether
from the firm, and the business then belonged solely to Mr. Reid until
the beginning of 1893, when he assumed as partner four of his sons — Hugh,
John, Andrew, and Walter. Up till his death in 1894 Mr. James Reid
retained the active control of affairs. What strikes every visitor to Hyde
Park Works is the system on which business is conducted, and the order
observable throughout. Orderliness was one of the most striking
characteristics of the late Mr. James Reid, and it was a point he
insisted upon being observed by every one under his control. While
every square foot of space is occupied, there is no crowding, and it is
to this fact that may be ascribed that immunity from accidents which
has all along been the good fortune of the workmen.
The visitor to the works is most favourably impressed with the first view
he gets of them. The handsome range of offices gratifies the eye, and leaves
little more to be desired in the way of architecture suitable for the purposes;
a handsome gateway divides the offices into two sections, the commercial
staff occupying one half and the technical staff of draughtsmen
occupying the other. Inter-communication between these departments is
direct, and by means of electric bells, speaking tubes, and telephones, the
heads of departments can be called together at any moment. These offices,
as the inscription over the doorway shows, were rebuilt in the year of Her
Britannic Majesty's Jubilee, 1887, with which the Jubilee of the firm
coincides; and as the long period of 50 years fully demonstrated what were
the requirements of the business, both present and prospective, in respect
to office accommodation, no expense or useful contrivance has been spared
to render them in every way fitted for their purpose.
The shops are arranged so that the work may pass through in systematic
progression. From the commercial department the wheels are put in
motion, and the drawing office prepares the first of the technical work. On
the one hand the drawings are sent down to the pattern shop, where the
patterns are prepared for all castings; and on the other to the template
shop, where templates are made for the malleable iron and steel work. The
rough work from the foundries, forge, and smithy passes on in regular succession
through the machine shop, until everything is congregated in the
erecting shop, ready to be built into it complete engine. No description of
Hyde Park Works would be complete without a reference to the engine and
tender erecting shop. This is a new structure, a previously existing open
space having been covered in with a strong roof of glass and steel, constructed
on the newest system by Sir Wm. Arrol & Co., Ltd. This roof is
supported on 48 columns, weighing about 10 tons each. The length of the
structure is over 700 feet, and the breadth 40 feet. It is served by four
electric cranes, one of 70 tons, one of 40 tons, and two of 15 tons each,
and engines, complete or in parts, can be shifted with the greatest facility
over the tops of the others, and deposited at any place within the length
of the shop.
The firm now employs about 3500 hands, and that exclusively in the
manufacture of locomotives. From a maximum annual output of 200 mainline
engines, it is expected that, the recent remodelling of the works, with the
attendant installation of new tools and plant of the most modern description,
will lead to the output being increased to 300 engines per annum, and this
is now practically assured by actual fact.
Messrs. Dubs & Co., Glasgow Locomotive Works. — These
works were founded in 1864 by Mr. Henry Dubs, formerly managing partner
at the Hyde Park Locomotive Works, and are situated on the south side of
the river, and alongside the Caledonian Railway Company's main line to
Edinburgh and the South. The arrangement and equipment of the works
were planned by Mr. Dubs himself, and with the assistance of an able staff
he had the gratification of seeing the first locomotive leave his yard early in
1865. Since that date the firm has built some 4000 engines, an indication
that the energy which characterised the inception of the business has in no
way diminished. Mr. Dubs died in 1876, but the control of the business
has always been in able hands, and its reputation has never been allowed
to suffer.
To-day the works present much the same appearance externally as they
did when first completed, but their capacity for turning out work has
greatly increased. New buildings have been added, old ones extended, and
the plant increased and renewed, and to-day the works are among the largest
of their kind in the kingdom. They give employment to more than 2000
men, and can turn out seven locomotives a fortnight.
For many years after the works were opened, Messrs. Dubs built
exclusively for home railways, but this outlet was gradually closed to them
through the railway companies building shops of their own to supply their
requirements in respect of rolling stock. Messrs. Dubs had perforce, therefore,
to go further afield with their engines, and buyers were readily forthcoming
in all parts of the world. India is still, perhaps, the largest purchaser
of locomotives, and throughout the various systems of railways—
Government, guaranteed, and private lines — Dubs & Co. have hundreds of
engines at work, and with the constant additions to the mileage of existing
lines, and the construction of new ones, the connection with the East is
more than maintained. With the colonies the Messrs. Dubs have always
done a large amount of business, and have sent their share of locomotives to
assist in the development of Greater Britain, and although some of these
fields are gradually being closed through the adoption of protective measures,
the foreign connection of the firm is still extensive. They have supplied,
and still supply, engines for the Cape, Natal, Egypt, and the Transvaal; for
Ceylon, Burma, Siam, and Straits Settlements; for Mexico and the various
Republics in South America; for China and Japan; for Finland and
Within the last few years the home railways have bought largely from
contractors, and the Glasgow locomotive works have recently been busy with
orders for the Glasgow and South-Western, the Caledonian, and Highland
Railways in Scotland, and for the Midland, Great Northern, and London
and South-Western Railways in England. Not quite so recently they have
also found customers in the various Irish railways.
Messrs. Dubs are manufacturers of a patent combined locomotive and
crane, for which there has always been a large demand, and in their own
yard they have always had one of these machines at work. The firm also
manufactures the Abt Combination Locomotive for rack railways, and have
several at work in Tasmania and Queensland. Within the past twelve
months Messrs. Dubs have made several developments in their works in
order to keep up with the demands of their increasing trade, and have
equipped their establishment with the most modern tools and plant, so that
it keeps in line with the progress which is every year being made in every
department of the engineering industry.
Messrs. Sharp, Stewart & Co., Ltd., Atlas Works, Springburn
(formerly of Manchester). — The original style of this firm was Sharp, Roberts
& Co., and it was founded in 1828 for the purpose of manufacturing cotton
spinning machinery, the works being situated in Falkner Street, Manchester.
Between 1830 and 1840 the demand for machine tools led to the inclusion of
this class of machinery among their manufactures. The manufacture of
locomotives was commenced in 1834, the first engine (with vertical cylinders
driving through bell cranks) being supplied to the Liverpool and Manchester
Railway, and the second, third, and fourth, of similar type, to the Dublin
and Kingston Railway.
The various departments of the work of the firm were carried on in
Manchester. When, towards the end of 1887, arrangements were completed
for an amalgamation with the Clyde Locomotive Company, Limited, which
had been incorporated in 1884, the late Mr. W. Montgomerie Neilson
(formerly of the Hyde Park Locomotive Works) and some other Glasgow
gentlemen being the founders. Work was started at the Glasgow works
under the new condition of things in the beginning of 1888, Mr. John
Robinson remaining for one year as chairman of the new company, Mr. J.
F. Robinson being managing director, which position he still continues to
The works are situated close to the Barnhill and Springburn Stations of
the North British Railway, on the north-east side of the city. They have
been considerably extended from time to time, and the following is a
general description of them as they now stand:— The offices are situated
near the eastern angle of the ground, and extending from them round the
angle and along the north-east side come the pattern store, pattern and
joiners' shops, brass foundry, iron foundry, forge and smithy, all fitted with
the latest appliances and connected by narrow-gauge tramway, so that the
rough material can be brought into the drawing-in department, which is
close to the entrance, in the main machinery building. On the outside of the
latter, in a small separate bay, are the main brassfinishing and grinding
shops; and the adjoining main building itself consists of six bays, and
occupies the whole of the south-western portion of the works.
The first three bays form the fitting and light tool shop. The other
three bays form the heavy tool shop, the boiler mounting and frame fitting
shop, and the erecting shop. The total width of the six bays is 280 feet,
and the average length is about 400 feet. The narrow-gauge tramway
traverses the different departments, and the larger bays are served by rope-driven
overhead cranes, of which there are two in the erecting shop, and by
a travelling jib crane. Hydraulic jib cranes are also placed in other convenient
positions throughout the works, especially in the erecting shop and
the cylinder fitting shop. At the other end of the yard, opposite the end
of the erecting shop, is the paint and packing shop, occupying the southern
angle; and in the middle of the south-eastern side is the boiler and tender
shop, consisting of four bays, 220 feet long and together 160 feet wide. This
shop is fitted with the most approved modern machinery, including special
drilling machines and hydraulic riveters and suitable cranes. Parallel
with the boiler shop is the furnace and flanging shed, with the necessary
plate furnaces and a hydraulic flanging press. Parallel again with this are
the main boiler-house, case-hardening furnaces, annealing furnace, and
coppersmiths' shop.
The power throughout is transmitted electrically, being generated by
special high-speed compound engines and dynamos in a separate powerhouse
in the centre of the works, the motors being connected to the various
line shafts. The steam is supplied by two high-pressure "Stirling" water-tube
The machine tool shop lies on the north-western side of the works, close
to the stores and main machinery building. It consists of three bays. a
large one in the middle, and a small one on either side. The centre bay
is served by a 25-ton overhead travelling crane, and at one side is a 5-ton
rope travelling jib crane. The shop is fitted for dealing with all classes of
work, up to the heaviest tools required in connection with marine and
ordnance work, and during recent years considerable numbers of such
special heavy machines have been manufactured for steel works and marine
shops, principally lathes for shafting and gun work, boring machines and
planing machines of the heaviest class, reaching up to 12 feet wide and
over 100 tons weight, for dealing with armour plates.
The locomotive department is capable of turning out 150 engines a year.
In addition to the work done for home railways, which has been of an
extensive nature during the last few years, the firm continues to manufacture
engines for the Continent of Europe (particularly for Holland, Sweden,
and Spain), for India and for the colonies, and also for Brazil, the
Argentine Republic, etc. The total number of men employed is from
1800 to 1900.
The Caledonian Railway Company's Works, St. Rollox. —
These works are situated in the St. Rollox district of Glasgow, adjoining
the Caledonian Main line between Glasgow, Oban, Perth, and the North.
They employ 3130 workmen, and together with the yard and sidings occupy
an area of 24 acres, fully 13 of which are covered, and are for the manufacture
and repair of the locomotives, carriages, and waggons comprising the
company's rolling stock, and the execution of work for the canals and docks,
telegraph, signal, and other departments.
The shops have been so planned as to facilitate the passage of material
from one department to another during the course of manufacture, thus
minimising labour and consequently lessening the cost, and with this object
there is a system of narrow-gauge railway connecting the different departments.
Throughout the premises there are 3¼ miles of ordinary 4 feet
8½ inch gauge railway for the accommodation of rolling stock in course of
construction, as well as under and awaiting repair.
The yearly working capacity of the workshops embraces the building of
52 new locomotives, 104 new carriages, and 3000 new waggons, and the
repairing here and at the outside stations of 1050 locomotives, 10,720
carriages, and 103,920 waggons. In the adjoining running sheds are stabled
70 locomotives, there being 17 similar sheds located throughout the line.
The various departments of the workshops comprise forge, smithy. spring
shop, boiler shop, iron foundry, brass foundry, copper and tinsmith shop,
erecting shop, machine shop, brassfinishing shop, fitting shop, wheel shop,
paint shop, trimming shop, waggon shop, carriage shop, and sawmill, besides
smaller departments, all of which are fitted with the most improved appliances.
The drawing office accommodates 11 draughtsmen. In connection
with the workshops there is a fire brigade, an ambulance corps, a dining
establishment, and a yearly friendly society.
At 31st July, 1900, the company's rolling stock consisted of —
887 locomotives.
2,243 coaching vehicles, etc.
62,925 merchandise and mineral trucks.
The principal dimensions of the company's present standard express
passenger engine — a step in advance of the "Improved Dunalastair"
class — are as follows: —
Cylinders. 19 ins. diam. by 26 ins. stroke.
Wheels (driving), 6 ft. 6 ins. diam.
Tractive force, 17,320 lbs.
Heating surface, 1600 sq. ft.
Grate area, 23 sq. ft.
Total wheel base, 49 ft. by 3½ ins.
Working pressure, 180 lbs. per sq. in.
Tank capacity, 4125 gallons.
Fuel space, 4½ tons flush with coping.
Total weight in working order, 96 tons 14 cwt.
At the above-named date the Caledonian Railway had 935 miles of track in
working order, and the total mileage run by the company's trains during
the year 1899 was 17,588,770.
North British Railway Company's Cowlairs Works. — These
works were erected in 1841, previous to the opening of the Edinburgh and
Glasgow Railway in February, 1842. Since the amalgamation of that
railway with the North British Railway in 1865, they have been the chief
works for building and repairing engines, carriages, and waggons.
The works occupy an area of some 25 acres, and are planned to facilitate
the progress of the numerous varieties of works. They consist of iron and
brass foundry, forge, smithy, boiler and tender shop, machine shop, fitting
shop, erecting shop, wheel and carriage fitting shop, waggon shop, and sawmill,
carriage shop, and paint shop. Owing to the development of the line,
the workshops have been from time to time remodelled and enlarged, and
considerable additions are at present in progress.
The principal developments in this company's locomotives have taken
place in the passenger engine during the last year or two, they having
larger boilers, higher steam pressure, and larger cylinders. This has been
necessitated by the increased weight of the through passenger trains run
between Scotland and England.
Glasgow and South Western Railway Company's Works, Kilmarnock.
— These works were opened in 1856, and are situated a short
distance from Kilmarnock passenger station, in an angle between the main
line and the branch line to Troon and Ayr. The works have been extended
from time to time, and at present upwards of 1200 hands are employed.
Within recent years great additions have been made to the number of
engines. carriages, and waggons owned by the company, and in order to
deal with the continually growing requirements of the line, a large extension
of the carriage and waggon works is at present in process of erection on a
site between Barassie Junction and Troon Station. Near the main entrance
to the Kilmarnock works is the paint shop, and a little further on is the
erecting shop in three bays. The centre bay is occupied by a steam
traverser, on which the engines are carried into or out of the shop at either
end. The capstan was built by the company, and is a fine machine. It is
fitted with a capstan gear for hauling engines across the traverser to and
from the engine repairing pits or sidings. In each of the other two bays
there is an overhead travelling crane, capable of lifting 50 tons. Next to the
erecting shop is the machine shop, which is in three bays, where there are
some first-class tools. Beyond this is the boiler shop, where there is a
splendid hydraulic riveting plant. The other shops are the smithy and
forge, carriage and waggon building shops, carriage and waggon repair
shops, and a detached building for dealing with road vehicles, lorries, etc.
All classes of rolling stock are built and repaired at the works, although
from time to time orders for new stock are let to contractors, but the great
proportion of the passenger locomotives have been built by the company,
and within recent years 75 express engines were put on the line. These are
employed on the coast service between Glasgow and Ayr, Ardrossan, Fairlie
Pier, and Largs, as well as on the south express trains between Glasgow and
Carlisle in connection with the Midland route. The express passenger
engines have all a leading bogie, so constructed that lateral movement is
provided by a swing link arrangement, which gives the engine great flexibility
with perfect steadiness. There are some special features in connection
with the Glasgow and South-Western locomotives worthy of passing notice.
For instance, instead of the old hand reversing lever or screw gear, a very
large percentage of the stock is fitted with a steam reversing apparatus,
which renders manual labour unnecessary in handling the engine, the whole
operation being under perfect control by the movement of one small lever.
All new engines built for the Glasgow and South-Western Railway are now
fitted with metallic packing for the piston-rods, automatic vacuum brakes,
sight feed lubricators, steam sounding apparatus, etc.
Messrs. Andrew Barclay, Sons & Co., Ltd., Caledonian Works, Kilmarnock.
— This company has been long known as makers of locomotives,
chiefly for colliery and works purposes, and during the past few years
has devoted its chief attention to such engines. See under "General
Mechanical Engineering," p. 54, for a notice of the general work done
by this firm.
Sir William Arrol & Co., Ltd., Dalmarnock Ironworks, Bridgeton,
Glasgow. — This firm has won renown all over the world through the distinguished
ability of its founder, Sir William Arrol, in carrying out such
undertakings as the Tay, Forth, and Tower Bridges. Sir William Arrol
began, in a small way, making boilers, girders, and general structural work,
and with all the difficulties attending the formation of an entirely new business
with small means. Soon, however, the business began to grow, and
then grew so rapidly that in 1871 he was compelled to remove to roomier
premises. Then was founded the business which is now carried on by Sir
William Arrol & Co., Limited, at the Dalmarnock Works, in the eastern outskirts
of Glasgow. In these new and more extensive works Mr. Arrol was
enabled to undertake larger contracts than previously in all kinds of
structural work, railway bridges. etc. With the increasing size and
importance of contracts, and consequently greater masses of material
requiring to be handled, Mr. Arrol set about designing and making special
drilling and riveting plant for the manipulation of material by the most
improved and economical methods.
Some of the earlier works which brought Mr. Arrol's name before the
engineering world were a bridge over the Clyde at Bothwell for the Caledonian
Railway Company, the structural portion of the great Central
Station at Carlisle, and the Caledonian Railway bridge over the Clyde to
carry this railway to the new Central Station. It was this latter undertaking
which led to the design of some of the special tools and appliances
which were afterwards found so necessary in his larger works. Not only was
special drilling plant made to carry out this contract, but Mr. Arrol, perceiving
the great advantage that would be obtained by a system of
economical riveting (as the rivets were so large and so long that it was
practically impossible to have satisfactory work performed by hand), set
about designing plant for the purpose, and the outcome was the introduction
of the hydraulic riveting machine, known under the title of Arrol's Patent,
which has done so much to revolutionise riveting in the principal bridge
building and shipbuilding yards of Great Britain.
Important as were these operations, however, they were small compared
with the great undertakings which were destined to make his reputation and
bring him honour and fame, namely, the Forth and the Tay Bridges. It
would be out of place to enter into details of these structures, or of the
numerous special appliances which were designed for their construction and
erection. For these reference must be made to the numerous special publications
which have appeared on the subject, but every competent observer
recognised that the impress of Mr. Arrol's personality was to be seen in
practically every stage of the great undertaking. At a banquet which
followed the opening of the Forth Bridge, and which was attended by many
men of note in the railway world, the Prince of Wales announced that the
Queen had been pleased to confer the honour of knighthood upon William
Arrol for the great ability he had shown in carrying out this great undertaking.

Shortly before the completion of the Forth Bridge, the firm of Sir
William Arrol & Co. undertook the erection of all the main viaducts and a
good many of the swing bridges for the Manchester Ship Canal Company.
About the same time, also, they undertook the erection of the steelwork for
the Tower Bridge across the Thames in London. Specimens of their work
can he found in all parts of the country.
The firm of Sir William Arrol & Co. does not confine itself to the work
of bridge building, but carries on a very large general business in mechanical
engineering, and in all kinds of structural work. It manufactures to a very
large extent the riveting machines patented by Sir William, which are
adopted in most of the leading shipbuilding and iron centres throughout
Great Britain, and also in other countries. In recent years it has also
introduced and developed the Arrol-Foulis stoking plant, used in connection
with gasworks, and which causes an immense saving in the working of such
works. These machines are used very largely not only in Great Britain, but
also in many of the principal gasworks in Europe, Australia, and the United
States. Among other productions of the firm may be mentioned hydraulic
pumping engines, cranes, and stamping presses; in fact, it would be difficult
to name any department of mechanical work which the firm could not undertake.

Arrol's Bridge & Roof Coy, Ltd., Germiston Works. — These works
were started in 1882 by the late J. Cameron Arrol and T. Arthur Arrol as
Arrol Brothers, but in 1891 they were altered to their present designation.
The works cover an area of 81 acres, which to a large extent is covered
by roofs of varying heights suitable to the work to be done under them. The
materials required for manufacture are principally brought in by the Caledonian
and North British Railways and deposited at one side of the works.
and gradually wrought across same, passing through the various machine
tools on their fray to the erecting shops, from which they are sent out either
by rail or cart.. An extensive system of light railway is carried through the
The chief productions are bridge and roof work, but a large amount of
constructional work, such as the Edinburgh Exhibition, 1886; Glasgow
Exhibition, 1888; and the present Glasgow Exhibition, has also been carried
out. The gigantic wheels at Earl's Court, Blackpool, and Vienna were
made by the company, and they were also the designers and builders of the
first large overhead gauntree at Messrs. Harland & Wolff's, Belfast.
The company has a large connection in England and Ireland, as well as
Scotland, and their chief foreign markets are Africa, China, Japan, Mexico.
and South America. For the last three or four years they have been constantly
employed in manufacturing bridges for the Cape to Cairo Railway,
and the extent of this work may be judged by the fact that were the
bridges supplied placed end to end they would cover a length of fully 21
The Brandon Bridge-Building Co., Ltd., Motherwell. — The Brandon
Works, which are situated in the centre of the steel and coal industries
of Lanarkshire, extend over an area of 11 acres, and are one of the largest
and most modern bridge-building establishments in the country.
The works also comprise large iron founding and engineering departments,
capable of turning out all descriptions of castings, engine work, etc.,
for railway, colliery, and general purposes.
The company has executed numerous large contracts both at home and
abroad. Among the more important may be mentioned bridge work on
Glasgow Central Railway, Lanarkshire and Ayrshire Railway, Gateshead and
Huriford Branch Railway, and the Leith and Edinburgh lines, Blackpool
Station, etc.; also bridge work for the Imperial Railways of North China,
Buenos Ayres, and Great Southern Railway, Indian State Railways, etc.,
Messrs. Alexander Findlay & Co., Ltd., Steel Roof & Bridge
Builders, Parkneuk Works, Motherwell. — These works were established
in 1888, but have been extended several times to meet the demands of the
business. They manufacture all kinds of iron and steel structural work.
The establishment extends to about 6 acres, with extensive covered-in
workshops, fitted with excellent equipment of plant for drilling, riveting,
etc., special hydraulic plant for pressing trough flooring, largely used in
railway and road bridges, and for fireproof floors in warehouses. Troughs
36 feet long by 18 inches deep by ¾ inch thick can be pressed from one plate.
The finished products include bridges, roofs, tanks, pithead frames, and
general structural work in iron and steel. They have been sent to India,
China. South Africa, and South America, in addition to the chief home
markets. Amongst the latter may be mentioned the steelwork for the
Great Central Railway Terminal Station and Goods Yard at Marylebone
Road, London, and steel work for the grand concert hall of Glasgow
Exhibition, 1901.
Messrs. P. & W. MacLellan Ltd., Clutha Works, Glasgow. —
These works have been in existence for fifty years, and for thirty years have
occupied their present position in Plantation, Glasgow. The firm owning
them was, in 1890, formed into a limited liability company, under the
title of P. & W. MacLellan, Limited.
The works occupy a space of 14 acres, about half of which is covered by
buildings, and the remainder is used for erection and storage purposes. The
chief offices of the company are at 129 Trongate, where there is also a large
warehouse, and an extensive business is done as iron and steel merchants,
and in the sale of railway appliances, etc. The principal output of the
works consists of bridges, roofs, screw pile jetties and wharves, railway
waggons, steel permanent way sleepers, cyanide plant and tanks, bolts and
nuts, and every description of structural work in iron and steel. The
works are capable of turning out 3000 railway waggons and about 10,000
tons of bridges and roof work annually.
The chief markets to which the manufactures are sent are India, China,
Siam, Afghanistan, Siberia, Egypt, South Africa, the Crown colonies, Australia,
New Zealand, and South America. There is always a large amount
of work on hand for home railways, amongst the recent contracts being the
Waverley Station, Edinburgh. It may be interesting to note that of the
Glasgow stations the Central and Bridge Street Stations of the Caledonian
Railway, and the Queen Street passenger station of the North British
Railway were made at the Clutha Works, and erected by the firm.
One of the most recent orders executed at the works was that of a jetty
591 feet long by 75 feet wide, which was erected by the firm at Vera Cruz.
Mexico. The firm also makes a speciality of irrigation work, and is
engaged at present on a contract for lock and regulator gates and
sluices for Assiont Barrage on the Nile.
The Barrowfield Iron Works, Limited (late Laidlaw, Sons & Caine,
Limited), manufacture all kinds of iron and steel structural work, including
piers, bridges, roofs, lighthouses, markets, etc., and their productions are
to be found in all parts of the world.
The Glasgow Railway Engineering Company, Govan, Glasgow,
manufacture railway wheels and axles of every description, and do all kinds
of smith work.
Messrs. Dick, Kerr & Co., Ltd., Kilmarnock (head office, 110 Cannon
Street, London), are engineers and contractors for complete tramway and
light railway equipment, and supply all the machinery and appliances
Messrs. Hurst, Nelson & Co., Ltd., Motherwell, are builders of railway
carriages, waggons, tramway cars, and light railway rolling stock of every
description; also makers of wheels and axles, railway plant, forgings, smith
work, and iron and brass castings.
Messrs. A. & J. Main & Co., Clydesdale Iron Works, Possilpark,
Glasgow. — The business of Messrs. A. & J. Main & Co., Limited, was
founded about fifty years ago by the late Mr. James A. R. Main, and was the
first of a new industry in Glasgow and the 'West of Scotland. The firm was
originally Messrs. Hernnilewich & Main, afterwards becoming Messrs.
Main, Kemp & Co. Under the latter title larger works were opened in Scott
Street, Port-Dundas, Glasgow, and to the manufacture of iron and wire
fencing, railings, gates, etc., were added iron roofing, and bridges. On
Mr. Kemp's retiral, which took place about the year 1870, Mr. Alex. Jas.
Main, brother of the founder, was assumed as a partner, and the firm's name
was changed to Messrs. A. & J. Main & Co. About this time a branch was
opened in London, as also one in Edinburgh. With these extensions to
the firm's field of operations, the growth of the business was very marked,
and ere long it was found necessary to have increased manufacturing facilities.
In 1873 a plot of ground 2½ acres in extent was acquired at Possilpark,
Glasgow, on which new offices and workshops were erected, with
railway siding accommodation. A branch was started in Dublin in 1878,
while in 1885 one was opened in Calcutta. Bit by bit every corner of the
new ground became filled, and in 1890 further extensions were found necessary,
and an adjoining plot of 2½ acres was secured, and which was soon
fully utilised.
The business was converted into a private limited company on 1st
January, 1896, when all the branch managers, as well as several other of the
employees, became shareholders. The chairman of the company was the
late Mr. James A. R. Main. In 1897 a further extension of business was
found necessary, and other three acres adjoining the previous holding were
acquired. The company's works now occupy 8 acres of ground, and are the
largest of their kind in Scotland, with an output of 10,000 tons per annum.
They manufacture all kinds of iron roofing, buildings, and bridges, as also
every description of iron and wire fencing, hurdles, gates, etc. At home
the company's business is carried on chiefly in connection with the principal
industries throughout the country, as also with corporations, water-works,
estates, farms, etc., and many large contracts have been executed by them.
They have also carried out many extensive and important contracts for the
home and colonial Governments, as also for home and foreign railways.
In addition to these outlets, the company's manufactures are also shipped
to many parts of the world, but their principal foreign markets are
India, South Africa, East and West Indies, and Egypt.
Messrs. R. Y. Pickering & Co., Ltd., Railway Carriage and Waggon
Builders, etc. — The Wishaw waggon and wheel works are the longest established
of their kind north of the Tweed, and they have, in the course of their
history, undergone many changes. Indeed, a very small portion of the
original works now stands, the buildings having been either pulled down
and replaced by newer and larger shops, or incorporated in the modern
extensions, whilst the machinery has undergone a complete revolution in
keeping abreast of the times, and is now capable of meeting the latest
requirements in the production of all classes of railway waggons, wheels,
etc. The erecting shop for oak-frame waggons and other similar vehicles,
in which from 50 to 60 waggons can be laid down at a time, has been
entirely rebuilt within the last two years. Connected with this shop is the
timber mill, which has also been remodelled within the same period. Here
all the preparatory milling of timber for the frames and bodies of waggons
is done by machinery, no manual labour being needed except to put the
waggons together.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the works is the wheel-making shop,
where wrought-iron wheels are made by one of Messrs. Tannett Walker's
hydraulic presses of 1000 tons pressure. The type of wheel produced here
has now altogether superseded that of cast-iron for all ordinary goods, and
mineral waggons in this country. The most important department, however,
is the steel frame erecting shop, which is one of the additions made to
the works within recent years. The superior advantages of the steel-frame
waggon are now being more fully recognised both by railway companies and
private traders. The shop is fitted with overhead travelling cranes,
hydraulic riveters, and machinery for boring, punching, screwing,
planing, and cold-sawing the steel channels and angles and plates used
in the construction of the waggons. The other principal shops include
the forge, smithy, turning, fitting, and general engineering and paint
shops, all specially laid out to suit their respective purposes, and
lighted throughout by electric light generated in the works.
The annual output to all parts of the United Kingdom, a number of
foreign countries, and the colonies, varies somewhat, but may be averaged
at about 3000 railway waggons and other vehicles, and 4000 sets (a set consisting
of 4 wheels and 2 axles) of wheels and axles, besides quantities of
miscellaneous colliery and railway plant and stores, repairs, etc. Between
500 and 600 men are employed. The firm has branch works and stations
for repairing purposes in different parts of the country, the principal of
winch are at Airdrie and Thornton (Fife).
Messrs. Stevens & Sons, Railway Signal Engineers, New City Road,
Glasgow. — Messrs. Stevens & Sons manufacture all kinds of railway signals,
with all the appliances connected with them. They also manufacture gas
apparatus for towns, mansions, public buildings, as well as a considerable
number of special appliances of different kinds.
Messrs. L. Sterne & Co., Ltd., the Crown Iron Works, North Woodside
Road, manufacture, in addition to many other specialities, spiral
and railway buffer springs, which are much used in the construction of
railway plant. (See p. 49.)
The Anderston Foundry Company. — When the weaving and
spinning industries were more important in Glasgow and the
West of Scotland than they are at present, the Anderston Foundry
Company did a large business in every variety of power loom for all
kinds of textile fabrics, as well as in the various subsidiary machines
used in the manufacture. At the present time the firm still turns out
a number of looms, but the changed conditions of the textile industries
have led the proprietors to direct their attention to other classes
of machinery, and notably, in recent years, to high-speed engines for
electric lighting purposes, and which are obtaining a high reputation
for design and workmanship. The looms made by the firm not only
retain all the features which have made their productions so well known,
but also incorporate all the most recent improvements, so that they
maintain their position in the highest place among the appliances used
in the textile industries.
The Carver Looms Company, Ltd., 33 Renfield Street, Glasgow. —
The most recent development in connection with looms is the electrical
Jacquard machine, which is patented and manufactured by this company.
As is well known, for the reproduction of complex designs in
fabrics, the method universally employed is that perfected by Jacquard
early in last century, in accordance with which the position of the
warp threads relatively to the weft when the shuttle is thrown is
controlled by perforated cards, determining whether hooks, to which
the warp threads are attached, engage or do not engage the knives of
a vertically reciprocating grille. As one card, measuring 16 inches by
3½ inches, is required in ordinary practice for each shot of the weft.
it can be realised that for a design of any complexity the number becomes
enormous, and in the manufacture of fabrics requiring this method
the cost and inconvenience arising from the number and bulk of cards
necessary is very great.
The machines of the Carver Looms Company, Limited, constitute
a simple attachment to the present Jacquard machines, to which they
can be clamped in a few hours to replace the card mechanism, and
they electrically interpret the design from a single metallic sheet
bearing the pattern. These pattern sheets are produced in any number
from the original design so rapidly and at such a low cost that it is
cheaper and more convenient not to preserve them, but simply to
preserve the original design, and reproduce at any time they may be
required any number of working plates from it, the pattern being
removed after use from the metal, which can thus be used indefinitely.
The electromagnetic system employed is such that the machines effect
their object with an exceedingly small expenditure of electrical energy —
a single electrical horse-power will serve a large number of machines.
The metallic pattern sheet is arranged about 5 feet above the
ground level, so that it is immediately under the eye of the attendant,
and it can be taken out of the machine and another substituted for it
in a few seconds. It is thus seen that the cost of the cards (the cost
of the metallic sheet being infinitesimal compared with that of a
corresponding set of cards), as well as the great time now expended
upon the changes from one pattern to another in the loom, and the
large amount of accommodation necessary for the card storage, are
all practically eliminated.
The system is shown in operation at Stand No. 429 in the Machinery
Hall of the Glasgow International Exhibition.
Messrs. J. & T. Boyd, Shettleston Iron Works. — This firm has
been in existence for about thirty-seven years, originally as machine
tool makers, but for more than thirty years as makers of textile
Their chief products are worsted spinning and doubling machines,
cotton doubling for sewing thread and general manufacturing purposes,
hemp and flax twine, and thread doubling and twisting, all of which
are protected by patents in this country and abroad. Their manufactures
are largely in use in Glasgow, Dundee, Paisley, and in Scotland
generally, also in Yorkshire and Lancashire, whilst a considerable
export business with the Continent and the United States and the
colonies has been carried on for many years. Messrs. Boyd also carry
on a large ironfounding business, chiefly in castings for machine tools
for the local engineers.
Messrs, A. F. Craig & Co., Ltd., Paisley. — For a note of the textile
machinery made by this firm see under heading of "General Mechanical
Engineering," page 56.
Messrs. D. Stewart & Co., Ltd., London Road Iron Works, Glasgow. —
For a description of the general work of this firm see page 60. It
makes a speciality of engines for driving cotton and jute mills. It also
turns out bleaching, dyeing, printing, and finishing machinery in large
quantities, and it has supplied all the large firms engaged in this
industry in the United Kingdom, also several in the United States,
Canada, Franco, Germany, and Russia.
Messrs. Thomas White & Sons, Laigh Park, Paisley. — The firm of
Thomas White & Sons was started in the year 1861 under the name of
White & Hodgart, makers of machine tools, etc., which business was
carried on successfully in works situated in Gordon's Lane, Paisley.
In 1875 Mr. Hodgart left the firm, and the name was then changed
to Thomas White & Sons.
At this time the thread industry was making rapid progress in
Paisley, so the firm commenced making thread-making machinery, and
also spool and bobbin-making machines, of which they were the original
makers and designers. In 1890, in order to meet the demands of the
increasing business, it was found necessary to erect new premises at
Laigh Park, Paisley, where the business is still carried on.
Messrs. Thomas White & Sons have brought their thread, spool,
bobbin, and other wood working machinery to such a perfection that
they can supply machines for making any articles in wood from penholders
to billiard table legs. Among the other productions may be
mentioned air compressors of all descriptions, with either belt or
power, and also high-class horizontal engines. The chief market for
their machines are Scotland, England, France, Germany, Sweden, and
A number of the firms noticed under the heading of "General
Mechanical Engineering" make textile machinery of different kinds,
and reference should be made to these firms.
Messrs. Kimball & Morton, Ltd., Sewing Machine Manufacturers,
11 Bothwell Circus, Glasgow. — This firm was established in 1867, and
incorporated in 1887. Their principal business has been the manufacture
of special sewing machines for sail, sack, and tarpaulin work,
and they are contractors to the British Admiralty, who use their sail
and flag machines in all their dockyards. The machines made by the
firm are used by the chief sail makers in the United Kingdom and the
colonies and in several foreign countries.
The Grummet or Ring machine is in advance of any other sewing
machine of its kind, and is giving the greatest satisfaction to the
largest tent and tarpaulin or waggon and cover makers, as well as to
the London and North-Western Railway Company and the Caledonian
and other railway companies. The needle of this machine travels round
the ring while the sail, tarpaulin, or tent is lying flat. Previous to the
invention of this machine the whole cover had to be dragged through
under the arm of the machine to sew in a Grummet.
In addition to their special machine, Messrs. Kimball & Morton
make large numbers of up-to-date domestic sewing machines, as well
as wringers. They also do a large trade in nickel-plating and enamelling,
and have made many small machines for inventors. This branch of
their business is steadily increasing, as are the other branches; so much
so that their present factory is four times larger than it was in 1867.
The Singer Manufacturing Co., Kilbowie, by Clydebank. — This
company is now the largest sewing machine manufacturing company
in the world, and its large works at Kilbowie are among the sights
of the West of Scotland. The "Singer" machine is of American origin,
and in this respect it is on common ground with a large number of
labour-saving mechanical appliances. The works at Kilbowie cover
an area of 46 acres, and possess a total floorage of nearly one million
square feet. No fewer than seven thousand persons are employed in
the establishment, and the enormous value of the work accomplished
may be gauged by the fact that the average output of 13,000 sewing
machines per week is effected.
The Singer Manufacturing Co. commenced operations in Scotland,
in Bridgeton, Glasgow, where the business increased very rapidly, and
in 1882 the works at Kilbowie were commenced, and in 1884 they were
completed and entered upon. They are of immense proportions, and
contain within themselves all the appliances required for the production
of all parts of the machines. The manufacturing or factory system
is fully carried out in all details, with the result that the finished
machines are put together with the greatest efficiency and economy
possible. As an illustration of the mechanical ingenuity displayed in
their design may be mentioned an important speciality known as the
"oscillating shuttle." The design of this mechanism is almost perfect;
there is but one simple conversion of motion — rotating to oscillating —
and no differential motion or variable speed, and, not unreasonably,
the Singer Manufacturing Company claims for this mechanism a
supremacy over all others in respect of ease, speed, capacity, and
Among the more notable examples of useful domestic and manufacturers'
machines made by the company may be mentioned the
"vibrating shuttle," the "improved family," the "improved manufacturing,"
the "automatic chain stitch machine," the "Jacquard pattern
card stitching machine," the "automatic carpet machine," the latter
being specially adapted for all varieties of work requiring a zig-zag
stitch or overedge seaming. Some idea of the vastness of the operations
of the company and the multitudinous demands of the trade may
be gathered from the fact that they have over seven hundred different
classes and varieties of machines catalogued. The Singer Manufacturing
Company, in addition to the enormous works at Kilbowie,
possess large factories at Elizabethport, New Jersey, U.S. A.; Cairo.
Illinois, U.S.A.; South Bend, Indiana, U.S.A.; Montreal, Canada;
Vienna, Austria; and Russia.
The sales in Great Britain and Ireland amount to nearly 200,000
machines per year, while the total sales of the company throughout
the world reach the enormous total of over one million machines per
year, and over sixteen millions have been manufactured up to date.
The two hundred medals awarded at all the leading exhibitions of the
world, the fifty first awards at the Chicago Exhibition of 1893, and the
Grand Prix of the Paris Exhibition of 1900, are in themselves sufficient
testimony of the pre-eminence of the company in its own special
department of industry; but, after all, they are not so significant as the
recognition by the public of the great improvement in social conditions
which has been brought about by the products of the Singer Manufacturing
Company. The organisation of this great enterprise is practically
perfect, and its past record and present prosperity constitute a splendid
tribute to the energy and industry of its founder, and to the spirit
of enterprise which prevails in the counsels of those who are now
charged with the administration of its affairs and the preservation of
its valuable interests and high commercial repute.
Messrs. Robert Maclaren & Co , Eglinton Foundry, Canal Street,
Port Eglinton. — The growth of cities and burghs in the nineteenth
century has caused sanitation to advance by leaps and bounds. Sanitary
experts are no longer content with wells which are liable to pollution,
but insist that every dwelling should be provided with a supply of
water, the purity of which is beyond suspicion. The increased wealth
of our communities has called for more light and better light, and has
led to a great development of gas and electric lighting works. These
are some of the factors which have caused the manufacture of cast-iron
pipes to become a special industry, and to be carried out on an
enormous scale.
Glasgow has for half a century been a centre of this industry, and
its present capacity is about 200,000 tons per annum. There are four
large firms engaged in making large and small pipes, and about half a
dozen firms engaged in making small pipes only. One of the large
firms is that of Messrs. Robert Maclaren & Co., Eglinton Foundry.
It began work about fifty years ago, and is now producing 30,000 tons
of pipes annually for water, gas, or electric purposes. Visiting the
foundry, the visitor is first shown the power station, which consists of
three large 180 I.H.P. gas engines, each driving a dynamo and a set
of hydraulic pumps. Two of the engines are by Messrs. Tangyes, and
one by Messrs. Crossley Brothers. The engines are supplied with gas
by a range of five gas generators, two of which supply gas for heating
purposes. The dynamos are coupled to the switchboard, and the power
is distributed through Kelvin ammeters to the various parts of the
foundry through concentric cables. These cables supply light or power
as may be desired at any point. The hydraulic pumps connect with
an accumulator, and have an automatic belt shifter. Passing from the
power station, we find the cupolas, which are two in number, capable
of 150 tons per day, and run on alternate days. The blast is supplied
by a 50 H.P. motor, driving a set of Root's blowers. Next we come
to the loam mills, which grind the core-making materials. In the
department for large pipes we first see the special core-making machinery
and collapsing bars which are used, then the large ovens into which the
cores roll continuously. Next we come to the casting platform.
Opposite us are the mould drying ovens, behind us a massive 10-ton
hydraulic crane, while beneath us is an arrangement of chains and
pulleys and an electric winch for shifting the heavy moulds. Passing
to the other side of the mould stoves, we observe the process of making
the mould. The turned iron patterns are suspended on powerful
hydraulic cranes, with auxiliary cranes to carry the lighter bend
pieces, and hydraulic rams below to carry the socket patterns. Alongside
is a Jacob's ladder for lifting the sand, driven by a small motor.
Passing out to the yard, we see the moulding boxes opened by
special cranes, and the sand fall into the pit, while the pipe is placed
by another crane on the fettlers rail, where the core sand is removed
and any fins chipped off. The pipe is next placed on a special electric
driven lathe, where 10 inches to 12 inches of bend are cut off. To ensure
absolute solidity the casting is next placed in a powerful hydraulic
testing machine filled with water at a low pressure, and then a small
quantity of high pressure water is admitted until the test pressure is
reached, when the pipe is hammered all over. It is next weighed and
stamped, and coated with Dr. Angus Smith's composition, and, if
required, turned and bored in a special lathe.
The process of manufacture of small sizes is generally similar to that
above described, although some of the details differ. The section of the
foundry set apart for the manufacture of the usual connecting tees and
bend pipes is equipped with a 20-ton electric travelling crane. The firm
have made a speciality of reducing these branch and bend pipes to standard
dimensions, and now find that engineers, who formerly specified their own
dimensions for these castings, gladly accept the founders' standards.
Vexatious delays in producing these castings are thus prevented, and the
founders are enabled to employ economical plant and manufacture in a
sensible fashion.
Before leaving the works it is quite worth the visitor's trouble to visit
the shipping department. Here many thousand tons are usually in stock,
indeed, quite an extensive waterworks can be furnished from stock. The
loading and stacking arrangements are worthy of notice, an iron shed, with
a 5-ton electric travelling crane, running 200 feet per minute, spans the
ends of all the pipe stacks, and a railway siding and a roadway, so that
castings can be stored and shipped at the minimum risk and expense.
Messrs. Macfarlane, Strang & Co., Lochburn Iron Works, Glasgow.
— This business, which was established in 1877, with all the most approved
appliances for the manufacture of cast-iron pipes of all sizes, from 1½ inches
to 48 inches diameter, for gas and waterworks, has earned for itself a
world-wide reputation for its productive capacity, and for the quality of
its manufactures.
The works cover an area of 16 acres, and are conveniently situated on
the Forth and Clyde Canal, and in close proximity to the North British
Railway, a siding from which runs into them. There is also a passenger
station on the ground for the use of the workmen, and which is also of
great advantage to all visitors to the works, trains calling every thirty
These works are capable of producing over 1000 tons of pipes weekly.
Large contracts have been executed by the company, notably the following:—
Bombay Waterworks, 50,000 tons of 48-inch pipes; Manchester
Waterworks, 27,000 tons of 40-inch pipes; Sydney Waterworks, 20,000
tons of 42-inch and 48-inch pipes. In addition to these, large contracts
have been executed for all sizes of pipes for water and gasworks in Glasgow,
Edinburgh, Liverpool, Oldham. Paris, Boulogne, Oporto, Naples, Venice,
Constantinople, Tokyo, etc. Within the last year they have delivered
about 10,000 tons of 36-inch and 48-inch pipes for Obras de Sahskidad de la
Capital, Buenos Ayres.
To maintain and extend their large connection with engineers in all
parts of the world, and to meet the various wishes of their numerous
clients, the directors have recently made an extensive addition to their
works, and they are now in a position to supply pipes in 9 or 12 feet
lengths, or, if required, in 3 or 4 metre lengths.
The other two firms which supply cast-iron pipes are Messrs. D. Y.
Stewart & Co., St. Rollox, and Messrs. R. Laidlaw & Son, East Milton
Street, and their productions are to be found in all parts of the world.
and are distinguished for their excellence. The firms which have been
mentioned also make the smaller sizes of pipes, but there are several works
which only undertake these, such as Messrs. David King & Sons, Keppoch
Iron Works; Messrs. John Shaw & Co., Maryhill Iron Works; Messrs.
Shaw & M'Innes, Firhill Iron Works, Springbank; and Messrs. Watson,
Gow, & Co., Limited, Etna Foundry, Lilybank Road, Glasgow.
Messrs. Glenfield & Kennedy, Ltd., Kilmarnock. — The extensive
works of this firm are located in the town of Kilmarnock, about 20 miles
from Glasgow. Although the firm is an old one its present title is quite
new, and was brought about by the amalgamation of Glenfield Co., Limited,
and Kennedy's Patent Water Meter Co., Limited. The latter is the older
of the two, having been founded in 1853, at the Town Holm, by the late
Mr. Thomas Kennedy, the inventor of the Kennedy water meter, from
which the business took its title. In 1869 the works were moved to new
and more commodious premises in the south end of Kilmarnock, specially
built for the manufacture of the meters. The Glenfield Co., Limited, came
into existence in 1865, and was famed for the manufacture of castings for
meters, and of water fittings, and hydraulic machinery of every description.
Four years later new premises were erected specially to meet the requirements
of the growing trade. Extensions and alterations to the works have
gone on almost unceasingly, until the full extent of ground available on
the west side of the river Irvine has been taken up. Lately about 12 acres
were acquired on the east side of the river, this additional purchase having
been effected just at the time of the amalgamation of the two concerns.
When the present extensions are completed the works will cover a total
superficial area of about 24 acres. The two portions separated by the
river Irvine are connected by two bow-string girder bridges belonging to
the company, while a third bridge, in course of erection, is provided by the
Glasgow & South-Western Railway Company, and will connect the works
with their new railway.
The workshops, which are all paved with wood, are equipped with
modern machinery adapted to every process in the complex industry
carried on, and they employ about 1400 persons, most of them being highly
skilled and experienced workmen. The offices are spacious and well lighted,
and those within the yards are supplied with electric light. There are
ten steam boilers and eight engines, the combined power exceeding 300
horsepower, but to cope with the present extension of their works a large
power station has just been built, where ultimately two sets of triple-expansion
pumping engines (one set already at work) and two sets condensing
steam engines with dynamos will be added to the existing plant, which
includes, besides the engines and boilers mentioned, three dynamos driving
four electric motors and lighting twenty-four arc lamps. There are also
three sets of three-throw and one set of double-throw hydraulic pumps,
pumping into four accumulators at 750 lbs. pressure per square inch.
Throughout the works are twenty-two hydraulic cranes, six steam cranes,
nineteen hand cranes, ten overhead cranes, and twenty-six Smith cranes.
The new foundry will be equipped with a 60-ton overhead electric travelling
crane, and to the pillars of the shop hydraulic cranes will be fixed. Testing
appliances are fitted up in the various departments adaptable to the work
This firm turns out enormous quantities of sluice valves, water meters,
hydrants, taps, and fountains of every description, sanitary appliances, fire
extinguishing apparatus, and everything in the shape of hydraulic
machinery, steam pumping engines, pumps, cranes, hoists, capstans, presses,
etc. Up to the present time 150,000 meters have been made and despatched
to all parts of the world. Every meter is carefully tested before being sent
out, and is correct within 1 per cent., and all sluice valves, hydrants, cocks,
etc., are similarly tested before despatch.
This firm controls an extensive trade both in the home and export
markets, and ship largely to India, Africa. China, Japan, South America.
Australia, New Zealand, and France, in which latter they possess a branch
works and offices in the city of Paris. It has an interesting exhibit in the
Glasgow International Exhibition, and its fittings are to be seen in all parts
of the buildings.
Many of the engineering firms mentioned under the heading "General
Mechanical Engineering" manufacture pumping engines, hydraulic
machinery and fittings of all kinds, as, for instance, Messrs. Andrew Barclay
& Sons, Kilmarnock, and Messrs. Fleming & Ferguson, Paisley; Messrs.
D. Stewart & Co., Glasgow; and reference should be made to
the notices under that heading. Among special manufacturers of
pumps and pumping machinery may be mentioned Messrs. Drysdale
& Co., Bon-Accord Engine Works, Glasgow; and Messrs. J. H.
Carruthers & Co., Polmadie Iron Works, Glasgow; Messrs.
Clarkson Brothers, City Engine Works, High John Street,
Glasgow; and Messrs. A. & P. Steven, Provanside Engine Works, in addition
to a general mechanical engineering trade, make a speciality of
hydraulic and other hoists, both for goods and passengers, and in recent
years such appliances have been very widely used.
Under this heading might be included a very large number of establishments
of all sizes and varieties, but as they are, for the most part, not
directly connected with what is usually understood as mechanical engineering,
we shall only notice a few representative firms. The names of many
others may be obtained by consulting the Glasgow Post Office Directory.
Messrs. Robert Boyle & Son, Ltd., 110 Bothwell Street, Glasgow,
and 64 Holborn Viaduct, London, E.C. — The productions of this firm
are so well known and so highly appreciated by all who understand their
qualities that it is unnecessary to do more at present than refer to them.
They are used in every part of the civilised world, the chief works of the
firm being in Glasgow and London, with branches in the principal continental
countries and British colonies, in the most of which the ventilating
and sanitary appliances of the firm are manufactured, to save the expense
of duty and carriage. The firm publishes elaborate catalogues, and keeps
the public so well informed, by means of papers and circulars, of the work
which it is doing, that any one who wishes to obtain information regarding
it has no difficulty in doing so. A representative collection of its productions
is shown at the Glasgow International Exhibition.
Messrs. David King & Sons, Keppoch Iron Works, Glasgow. — This
firm of artistic, general, and sanitary ironfounders had its origin in 1874,
when Mr. David King, sen., took his eldest son John to found the business
in Keppoch Iron Works, Keppochhill. In 1875 Messrs. David King & Son
bought the firm of Messrs. Blair & Miller, Saxon Foundry (formerly the Sun
Foundry), with all the plant, patterns, and appliances connected therewith,
which at once gave them a full equipment of plumbers' goods, as well as
ornamental railing, structural ironwork, etc., and the work of the firm
extended in several departments.
In 1885 other three sons of the founder joined the firm, and on account
of the extended business the works were removed to Possilpark, where on
an admirable site new workshops were erected and fitted with all the most
improved appliances. In 1890 the whole of the patterns, plant, etc., of
Budhill Iron Works, Shettleston, belonging to Messrs. Brown. Hendry, &
Haddow, who manufactured high-class ranges, register and tiled grates, was
also purchased by Messrs. David King & Sons, who transferred them to their
own works, and erected grinding mills, etc., for this trade, which was added
to the now numerous branches of business.
The works are now under the personal supervision of Mr. John King,
who has been at the head of the firm since 1892. Among the productions
may be mentioned electric pillars, bases and brackets, section boxes, finials,
coltars, troughs, hot-water pipes, soil and drain pipes, bandstands, verandahs,
balconies, stable fittings, school fittings, fountains, baths, lavatories,
clock towers, railings and gates, ranges, registers, etc.
For the convenience of its customers, the firm has established warehouses
and offices in Aberdeen and in Leeds, and every effort is made to meet the
demands of those parts of the country as regards the design and make of the
different classes of goods. Its export trade has largely developed in recent
years, and besides sending goods to continental ports, the firm exports to
Egypt, India, China, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, North and
South America, West Indies, etc. The firm's products have been used by
all classes, from H.M. the King to the humblest cottager, and to every
country in the world have its specialities been sent.
Messrs. Walter Macfarlane & Co., Saracen Foundry, Possilpark,
Glasgow. — The productions of this well-known firm are to be found in every
part of the civilised world, so that it is unnecessary to enter into a detailed
description of them. The firm stands facile princeps in the exposition of
foundry work pure and simple, and its productions mark the highest development
and technique in the lighter branches of iron founding. It was
founded in the year 1850 by Mr. Walter Macfarlane, in premises in Saracen
Lane. Later a move was made to Washington Street, and at length, in
1871, the site of the mansion and grounds of Sheriff Alison, the historian,
was acquired, and the present extensive works were erected thereon, subsequent
extensions being made from time to time, until an area of nearly
24 acres is now occupied.
The construction of the foundry is artistic and elegant, and a striking
demonstration not only of their own resources, but of the wonderful
possibilities of the trade it represents; and the showrooms of the works
contain numerous specimens of the productions of the firm, and they all
show a very high standard of design and workmanship. A perusal of the
general illustrated catalogue of castings indicates to a still greater extent
the wide range of the firm's productions. We must refer to that publication
for all details, which will be found to include every department of ornamental
cast-iron work. The excellence of these productions have not only
been recognised by the general public, but they have been awarded medals
at all the most important International Exhibitions which have been held
during the latter half of last century.
Messrs. D. & J. Tullis, Ltd., Kilbowie Iron Works. — For some notes
on the general mechanical engineering work done by this firm see p. 61.
The laundries of this country are indebted to Messrs. Tullis for several of
the best-known inventions in the way of machinery. Especially is this the
case with regard to asylum, hospital, union, and the laundries in connection
with kindred institutions, and in this respect they have proved their ability
to keel) abreast of the times.
In connection with their laundry machinery branch may be mentioned
their four-roller drying, ironing, and finishing machine, which has a
capacity equal to any two single-roller machines. The merit of the machine
is well-known to buyers, as is evidenced by the fact that 300 of them are
now at work in the United Kingdom. The latest machine for institution
purposes was introduced by Messrs. Tullis, and after a severe test at Guy's
Hospital in London, it has been adopted by several of the largest institutions
in the Metropolis. This machine is specially designed for cleansing
and disinfecting foul bed linen, surgical dressings, etc., and is a valuable
addition to an institution laundry. It is interesting to note that one of
these machines, connected to a small portable boiler and engine, is now
doing service with one of the field hospitals in South Africa.
Messrs. Smith & Wellstood, Ltd., Columbian Stove Works and
Bonnybridge Foundry. — The founders of this firm were Scotch by birth, but
in their early years they emigrated to the United States, where they gained
experience in American designs and methods of work. They recognised that
in many respects these were superior to those of Scotland, and, after some
years, they came back to their native country, got out their patterns, and
contracted with local foundries for their castings, and soon thereafter
opened a warehouse in Union Street, Glasgow, for the sale of American
As their business developed, they entered into partnership with Mr.
George Ure, Bonnybridge, and established the "Columbian Stove Works and
Foundry," although the sale of the stoves was entirely in the hands of the
firm of Smith & Wellstood. The stove trade developed rapidly, and. moreover,
the excellence of the castings of the firm brought a large founding
trade. For a good many years the Singer Manufacturing Company obtained
all their castings from this firm until they started a foundry of their own.
After some time the two departments were separated into different firms,
but in 1890 the two firms which had parted company under their founders
because again united under the sons of the founders, and they maintain their
reputation for the production of the most modern and improved types of
ranges, registers, and all other heating, cooking, and architectural castings.
The firm has large warehouses in Glasgow and London, and in addition to a
large home trade it supplies many foreign markets, especially Australia,
New Zealand, Tasmania, South Africa, South America, and several European
There is a large number of other foundries in Glasgow and neighbourhood,
and in the Falkirk and Kirkintilloch districts, which supply sanitary,
heating, and lighting appliances; but for our present purpose it is not necessary
to enter into details regarding them. The firm of Messrs. Shanks &
Co., Limited, Barrhead, is one of the most important which devotes attention
wholly to sanitary appliances such as are used in houses and ships. It
has warehouses in Glasgow, Manchester, London, and Dublin.
Messrs. Alex. Jack & Sons, Maybole. — This firm was founded by the
late Mr. Alexander Jack, who began business in 1835 as a wood merchant,
occupying sawmills driven by water power about four miles from Maybole.
The site is now merged in the demesne of the beautiful residence of James
Coats, Esq., of Auchendrane. He afterwards turned his attention to the
making of carts and agricultural implements, and this business developing
in his hands, he removed, in 1852, to Maybole, erecting there large works,
with suitable appliances for more extensive and systematic production.
The business prospered; and on the decease of Mr. Jack in 1877 it passed
into the hands of Mr. J. Marshall, his son-in-law, who is sole partner of the
firm, and who has been associated with it for fully thirty years.
The works at Maybole occupy about five acres of ground, and employ 150
hands. The largest shop is the engineers' shop, which is 200 feet long and
100 feet broad, and is replete with the various kinds of tools necessary for
speedy and economical production. Then there are the smithy, foundry,
and wood working shops, all fitted with the latest appliances. The large
woodyards filled with timber in all stages of preparation are indications of
the nature and extent of the work done. Besides the Maybole works, the
firm has a branch establishment at 20 Graham Square, Glasgow, which
includes a large showroom, in which are to be seen specimens of the firm's
These include almost every kind of agricultural implements and
machinery, together with carts, vans, lorries, etc., and timber for railway
and pit purposes. The founder of the firm was one of the pioneers of the
reaping machine trade in Great Britain, having started their manufacture
in Maybole in 1856, and the firm has kept in line with all the developments
which have taken place, and its machines are well known all over the
country. The potato digger is, however, the speciality of the firm, and they
claim for it that for perfection of work it is without an equal in the wide
universe. At the last great field trials held at Leicester in 1896 under the
auspices of the Royal Agricultural Society of England, it was awarded the
first prize of £20, beating all corners; and in the following year it gained
the first prize at the Norwegian Government's trials, defeating machines of
the leading foreign and English makers. A new patent seat, fixed to the
side of the machine, clear of the wheels and within easy reach of the lever,
is a valuable addition to time machine. One of the most recent developments
of the work of the firm is the making of manure distributors, and
they have proved very successful.
The products of the firm find a ready market throughout the United
Kingdom and Ireland. Their principal export trade is in potato diggers,
which are sent in large quantities to Norway, also to Sweden, Denmark,
Belgium, France, Natal, New Zealand, and other countries. Reapers and
mowers are shipped to Natal in quantities, and also to South America.
Manure distributors command a large market in South Africa, and several
have been sent to the Continent. Harrows are also exported in large
Messrs. John Wallace & Sons, Ltd., Graham Square, Glasgow. — The
business of this firm was founded about forty years ago by the late John
Wallace, father of the two present managing directors, James and William
Wallace. The firm is now a private limited company.
The principal manufactures are mowers and reapers, potato diggers,
turnip sowers, land rollers, and various kinds of agricultural implements.
They are mostly sold to British agriculturists, some of them being exported
to the British colonies and South America. Chop making and horse provender
machinery for grain merchants are also specialities of the firm,
which also extensively imports Canadian and American agricultural
implements and machines. The regular employees of the firm are fully
one hundred.
Messrs. A. & J. Main & Co., 54 Gordon Street, Glasgow; P. & R.
Fleming & Co., 29 Argyle Street, Glasgow; and Kemp & Nicholson,
Stirling, also supply a considerable variety of implements and apparatus for
Messrs. Barr & Stroud, 250 Byres Road and 44 Ashton Lane, Hillhead.
— These works are devoted to the manufacture of range finders and other
scientific instruments. The attention of Professors Barr and Stroud was
first drawn to the demand for an efficient range finder by an advertisement
which appeared in the engineering journals in 1888, stating that the Secretary
of State for War was prepared to receive proposals for a range finder
that would meet certain specified requirements, and be suitable for use in the
field by infantry forces. Their consideration of the problem thus brought
to their notice resulted in the invention of the single observer range finder
now known by their names. A design embodying many of the essential
features of the instrument now extensively in use, was submitted to the
War Office authorities and accepted by them, along with several others, for
preliminary trial. An instrument, having a base length of 3 feet, was
accordingly constructed and entered for test, with the result that it was
accepted for further trial along with two others, both of which were of the
two observer type. Meantime, the preparation of a new instrument of 30
inch base was begun, and it was only finished on the eve of the final trials.
It embodied several new and untried features, and, proving less satisfactory
than the original one, it was rejected in favour of the Watkin Mekometer.
Professors Barr and Stroud then turned their attention to the design of
range finders and telemeters of other types for military and surveying purposes,
some of which are described in a paper published in extenso in the
report of the British Association for the Leeds meeting of 1890. In 1891
they, along with a few others, received a special invitation to submit proposals
for range finders for naval use to meet more stringent conditions than
those specified by the War Office. The single observer type appeared to
be the only one that could be successfully used on board ships, and accordingly
it was re-designed on a larger scale than the one proposed for infantry
use. The design was selected for trial. A range finder of 5-feet base was
constructed, embodying many improvements in detail, and after preliminary
and final trials in 1892 and 1893 against instruments of other types it was
selected by the Admiralty as the one that should be practically tested at
sea. The first trials under service conditions were carried out by Professor
Barr on board H.M.S. "Blenheim" during the Naval Manœuvres of 1893 in
the English Channel and the Irish Sea, and those were followed up by further
tests by naval officers at gunnery practice and in cruising.
The range finder was adopted by the Admiralty, and up to the end
of 1900 some 180 instruments have been supplied to H.M. navy. They
are now fitted on all battleships and cruisers. They are also in use in
nearly every other navy in the world, notably in that of Japan, which
has 47 instruments. The total number supplied up to the end of last
year was about 300. The same type of range finder has also been
supplied for use in fortresses in this and other countries, and for use
by the field artillery, the mountings being arranged to suit the different
conditions of the various services.
At first the instruments were constructed by the inventors themselves
from details manufactured for them by various firms, but as the
demand rapidly increased it became necessary in 1895 to train a staff
of men to carry out the very delicate optical and mechanical adjustments
of the range finder, and to manufacture the more delicate and
special details. A workshop was accordingly started at 250 Byres Road,
with a staff numbering at first three or four in all, but the work
rapidly increased beyond the capacity of the original premises and
an additional workshop in Ashton Lane was acquired in 1899, and
equipped with the most modern tools. This workshop again is already
much too small. The number of men now employed by the firm is
about one hundred, being limited to that number by the size of the
premises, and a great deal of work on structural details is done by
Messrs. Kelvin & White, Limited, and other firms.
Some years ago the Admiralty requested the firm to devise instruments
for communicating information regarding ranges and orders from
the conning towers of vessels to the various gun stations, and after
many designs had been made and tested, a satisfactory system was
arrived at. The instruments proved entirely satisfactory on trial, and
already some 36 transmitting instruments and 300 receiving instruments
have been supplied for use on war vessels and in fortresses. They can
be modified for other purposes where information has to be sent from
one station to one or more stations at a distance.
The other manufactures of the firm are the Barr & Stroud high
vacuum pumps used in electric lamp works and laboratories for the
evacuation of incandescent lamps and Röntgen bulbs, electrically controlled
clocks on the Barr, Stroud & Becker patent, helm indicators
for showing automatically on the bridge of a ship the exact position
of the helm, and other like appliances. The firm undertakes no general
manufacturing, but confines its attention to the production of its own
patented specialities. The Byres Road premises, which are now used
as offices, drawing office, pattern shop, and testing laboratory, are
lighted by current from the Corporation mains, while the works in
Ashton Lane are lighted from a dynamo driven by the gas engine,
which also supplies the motive power for the workshop.
Messrs. T. S. M'Innes & Co., Ltd., Clyde Place, Glasgow. This firm,
which manufactures engineering and mathematical instruments, is best
known by the "M'Innes" patent steam-engine indicator, which has been
before the engineering world for the past thirteen years, and which,
judging from its extensive sale, especially for marine and high-speed
steam and gas engine purposes, is evidently much appreciated. It has
been adopted, and is very largely used by the British Admiralty.
The business was founded about fifteen years ago by the late Mr.
T. S. M'Innes, and was acquired by Mr. John C. Dobbie in 1893, who
formed it into the present company. Since that date the demand for
the productions of the firm has steadily increased. Recent exhaustive
improvements have resulted in an improved form of their indicator,
which has been kept up to the exacting demands of present-day
engineering practice, and the firm is now in a position to supply no less
than four different types of the instrument, and so adapt it to every
purpose, speed, and pressure for which indicators are employed.
Special mention may be made of the external pressure spring type, in
which the spring is not enclosed in the steam cylinder, and is thus
kept comparatively cool when in use, so that not only are the results
obtained more accurate, but the spring is kept in better preservation,
and can be confidently depended upon for a much longer period. This
type of indicator is recommended for high pressures, for engines using
superheated steam, and for gas and oil engines. It is made in two
sizes for maximum speeds of 250 and 800 revolutions per minute
respectively. The enclosed pressure spring type of the instrument is
free from complications of any nature, of strong construction, and
capable of giving large sized cards. It is specially made for marine
engines, and is very largely specified by superintending engineers.
Other types include an indicator made entirely of steel for use on
ammonia compression machines. To ensure comfort in manipulation
all these indicators have the handling parts sheathed with vulcanite.
They are further fitted with case-hardened steel pistons of an entirely
novel design, and have many other minor but important advantages,
which have been secured by patents.
In addition to indicators, the following articles are manufactured
in large quantities: — Steam pressure vacuum and hydraulic gauges,
revolution counters and speed indicators, calorimeters, clocks for
ship and engine room use, and general engine and boiler fittings.
Agents represent the firm in various parts of the world, and the
goods, especially indicators, are regularly shipped to Norway, Denmark,
France, Italy, Russia, South Africa, India, China, Japan, Australia,
South America, and Canada, and they are gradually being adopted by
foreign Admiralties.
Messrs. Kelvin & White, Cambridge Street, Glasgow, make a
great variety of instruments and appliances used by engineers. (See
page 51.)
Messrs. David Carlaw & Sons, Finnieston Street, Glasgow, make
high-class engineering models of all kinds, and a great variety of special
appliances. (See page 45.)
Messrs. Kelso & Company, 47 to 57 Oxford Street, Glasgow, manufacturing
opticians, electricians, and model makers. This firm makes
a speciality of ship's models, and has supplied them to the chief shipbuilders
at home and abroad. It also undertakes scientific apparatus
of every description to order, and has, for instance, supplied the
dynamo-metric apparatus for experiments with ship's models used by
Messrs. William Denny & Brothers, the Italian and the Russian Governments.
They also supply models to the designs of inventors, and thus
are useful in assisting them in perfecting their inventions.
Messrs. Mackenzie & Co., 17 Douglas Street, Glasgow, opticians,
model makers, electrical and philosophical instrument makers, and
engravers, are well known among Clyde engineers and shipbuilders
for their models and instruments.
Messrs. Schaffer & Budenberg. — This well-known firm has a
branch establishment at 5 Wellington Street, Glasgow where they have
a stock of their steam and hydraulic pressure gauges injectors,
governors, reducing valves, steam traps, engine counters, steam-engine
indicators, and other specialities.
The most important Weighing Machine makers are —
Messrs. Anderson Brothers, warehouse, 35 Stockwell Street; works,
29 South Shamrock Street, Glasgow — who supply every description of
weighing apparatus used in shops, stores, warehouses, workshops, docks,
and coal depots.
Messrs. W. & T. Avery, Ltd., who make every description of weighing
apparatus, including weigh-bridges for railway waggons, lorry, and
cart machines, hutch machines; also all the weighing requisites for
ordinary commercial purposes. Showrooms, 8 and 10 Stockwell Street;
works and office, Dumbarton Road, Partick.
Messrs. Henry Pooley & Son, Ltd., contractors to H.M. Government,
British and foreign railways, patentees, and manufacturers of
every description of weighing apparatus for railways, iron works,
collieries, mills, warehouses, farms, etc., 22 Queen Street and 25 South
Binning Place, Glasgow.
Messrs. R. & J. Dick, Greenhead Works, Glasgow, supply patent
driving belts of gutta-percha, canvas, and balata, which possess great
durability, enormous driving strength, perfect steadiness and smoothness
in working, and entire absence of stretching or slipping.
Messrs. John Tullis & Son, St. Ann's Leather Works, Glasgow,
supply all kinds of mechanical leathers for belting and other purposes.
Their patent leather link chain belting is well known to engineers,
and highly appreciated for its efficiency and durability.
The Clyde, which we have accustomed ourselves to call the premier shipbuilding
river of the world, is perhaps the least endowed by nature of any
to be the mother of great ships. It is not one of Nature's great waterways.
For the better part it is narrow, comparatively shallow, and moderately
tortuous, and it does not fill the eye as some others do. Yet its shipbuilders
and engineers have accomplished much more than others, and
Clyde men have been associated with practically every scientific advance
in naval architecture of the last century. The first passenger steamer
ever built in Britain was launched on its waters, and for a considerable
number of years the development of the type was in the hands of local
men. The earliest Cunarders were built on its banks, and through all the
transitions — wood to iron, iron to steel, paddle to single screw, single screw
to twin-screw — its shipyards have been represented by notable vessels. The
practicability of compound and triple-expansion engines was first demonstrated
in Clyde-built vessels, and lately the principle of quadruple-expansion
has also been successfully applied. In fact, the history of
the Clyde from the building of the "Comet" to the floating of the
"Good Hope" is neither snore nor less than the history of the steamship.
It would be impossible to bring within the compass of an account like
this the whole history of Clyde shipbuilding. And it is not at all necessary.
The shipbuilding of earlier times was pretty much what readers may know
it to have been elsewhere. The story of the steamer from 1812 onward is
one that has been told in detail even to tediousness.
What impresses the man who comes to the Clyde after an absence
of many years is probably the tremendous industrial development that has
taken place. Not altogether the scientific development; that is a necessary
corollary of the quarter-century's enormous commercial expansion.
Commercial necessities have been the mothers of inventions. And it is
not intended to convey the impression that we think the Clyde alone, of
all shipbuilding centres, has increased its productive powers in keeping
with the times. The development of Belfast and of the North-East coast
of England has been just as wonderful. But variety distinguishes the
industry on the Clyde above all others, and its record is one of progress
all along the line. The operations of its builders are not restricted to
the production of one or two or three types. The building of everything
that may be called a ship has been undertaken at any cost, and
when you speak of Clyde shipbuilding you speak of the whole range of
naval architecture.
On the Clyde is built every kind of sailing craft, from the tender rater
of Fairlie to the square-rigged wind-jammer of Port-Glasgow, and every
kind of steam yacht from the speedy Daimler motor to the sumptuously
fitted "Lysistrata." Renfrew sends dredging plant to every part of the
world, and year by year the fleet of barges and launches and sternwheelers
for inland waters grows greater. Of the making of many "tramps" there
is no end — at least, there seems to be no end. And greater speed and
more sumptuous fittings mark the constantly increasing fleet of passenger
steamers, from the fast cross-Channel express boat to the twin-screw
Atlantic liner. And the tale is never told of the fighting ships — the flying
destroyers, the cruisers, and the battleships.
Later on it is proposed to deal with the development of particular
types ; in these preliminary observations the desire is to show how the
output has increased, and incidentally how the greater demand for
shipping has been met. The task, however, looks much easier than it
is, for there is no possible way of measuring the increase of productive
power. The acreage covered by Clydebank and Fairfield indicates
nothing, for in both establishments there have been considerable extensions
within the original limits of the yards. Longer building berths
have been provided, and bigger subsidiary shops erected without any
perceptible inconvenience to anybody. At other places, notably
Meadowside, additional ground certainly has been acquired, but in the
majority of cases the demand for bigger ships has been met within the
limits of existing accommodation.
Similarly it is impossible to convey any idea of the vast improvement that
has been brought about by the modernising of shipyard and engine shop
machinery, for the mere number of new tools introduced expresses practically
nothing. We know that both in number and in power the steam and
hydraulic tools have been enormously increased within the past decade, but
we cannot measure the advance except by the work they do. Except in
the case of Messrs. Russell & Co., the area covered by the works of the
firms in the following table is practically the same in every year: —
* Formerly Clydebank Shipbuilding and Engineering Company, Ltd., and .James and
George Thomson & Co., Ltd.
† Formerly Napier, Shanks & Bell.
How greatly the resources of the shipyards have been increased may be
inferred from these figures. The revolution in the engine and boiler shops
has been, if anything, greater. Heavier engines and bigger boiler
plates have called for the introduction of more powerful tools, and in
the cases of many firms on the Admiralty list expensive plant has
had to be provided for the making of Belleville boilers. The increase
in the total i.h.p., which the following table shows, is, of course, partly
due to the higher speeds, but the figures. nevertheless, are a fair index
of the industry's development: —
But perhaps a better measure of the district's activity is to be found in
the number of men employed. The figures which are used are based on
official returns, and refer only to shipyards. Apprentices are included. The
figures relating to engine and boiler shops are not included, for the reason
that the association of engineering employers did not always embrace
anything like a majority of the firms, and reliable statistics are not
available: —
The production of the last decade is, of course, far and away greater
Formerly Robert Napier & Sons.
than that of any preceding ten years. Comparisons would be idle. But
the effect of bigger ships and greater powers of production may be judged
from the following table. The totals are in every case for the ten
years which ended in December last, and the figures are the builders'
own: —
The bulk of the tonnage in the foregoing table was, of course, for British
owners, but a considerable number of Clyde-built vessels have always been
for foreign firms or companies. The proportion of foreign to British since
1891 follows: —
The latter half of the Victorian era, with its amazingly brilliant record
of scientific progress, will always be memorable as that in which the modern
steamship was evolved. Other — possibly more notable — achievements are
as prominently associated with the period, but none more strikingly illustrates
what may be called general progress. Since the British Association
last met in Glasgow, the four corners of the earth have been drawn much
closer together. The United States have emerged as a great mercantile
power; the far East has come into, the councils of the civilised nations;
and Britain's colonial possessions in Australasia, North America, India, and
Africa have prospered abundantly. The trade of the world has expanded
enormously, and the coming and going of people is immense. The development
of the steamship has been concurrent with this change, and from the
first it has been in the hands of British shipbuilders almost exclusively. At
the moment Germany and the United States threaten our supremacy, and,
by economic means which do not commend themselves to our statesmen,
are nursing national industries into importance; but with all the
fostering care of foreigners the shipbuilding output of the United
Kingdom is still by far the greatest in the world.
The high place the Clyde occupies amongst shipbuilding centres is an
honour on which the average Scotchman is not slow to congratulate himself.
And even the Englishman from the North-East Coast admits that his pride
is, in a measure, just. The development of the steamship, from the
"Comet" to the "Campania," can be graphically shown in a series of
Clyde models, such, for instance, as the series which may be seen in
the Exhibition, and the records of leading Clyde firms is the whole
story of what Chief Constructor Harry Williams — obviously not a
Scotchman — calls "The Steam Navy of England." In much the same
way every other development could be traced, so that, if variety alone
be taken into account, the Clyde is indisputably the premier shipbuilding
river of the world.
The early history of the steamship is a fascinating subject, but it need
not be recounted in an article of this description. For our purpose, the
period beginning in 1870 will be sufficient; and to facilitate the review it
may be well to sub-divide passenger steamers into (1) ocean steamers, (2)
channel steamers, (3) river steamers. In all these sub-divisions the tendency
has been towards increase of size, speed, and luxury, and in every case
it has been accelerated by the expansions noted on another page.
The high-speed, luxuriously fitted Atlantic liner is a just measure of
America's growth; the slightly slower, but as palatial, P. & 0., Cape, or
Royal Mail boat reflects the accumulating prosperity of distant colonial
possessions; and the fast, beautifully appointed channel or river steamer
indicates the growth of wealth which has evolved the modern hotel and the
corridor express train.
The problem of the engineer and the shipbuilder has been to make them
economically possible, and naturally enough they have found its solution no
ordinary task. Practically nothing is impossible to their skill, but obviously
commercial success is essential to their existence.
To meet the different conditions of different services, there have necessarily
been variations, and possibly the straightest line — certainly the
highest development — is to be found on the Atlantic. One need not take
the "Great Eastern" into account, for high pressure and surface condensation
solved the problem which Brunel attempted to solve by bulk. When the
period selected opened, the problem was concerned less with the
hull than with machinery. Wood had given way to iron as material, and
the majority of the vessels were still of the paddle type. Fourteen years
previously John Elder had demonstrated the economy of the compound
engine, first in the "Brandon," and subsequently in the Pacific Steam
Navigation Company's "Valparaiso" and "Inca," but it was not until the
advent of the screw Inman and White Star liners that the principle was
applied to the propulsion of Atlantic steamers. Experience proved the
benefit of the change, and the result was a fuller application of the principle.
The completely jacketed cylinders of the engines of the "Admiral"
and the "Callao," and the improved balance of driving forces, marked
another notable advance, and with higher initial pressure and greater
rates of expansion the economy became gradually more notable.
There were, however, many obstacles to progress, and some of them at
the time seemed impassable. A great difficulty then, as now, was the boiler,
which had to be of iron, and, to satisfy the Board of Trade and Lloyds, of
exceptionally thick iron. Under the new conditions, too, the cylindrical
furnace was liable to collapse, and altogether the engineer was at his wit's
end to get the necessary power at a satisfactory weight. The table which
appears further on shows the rise in pressures, and illustrates the general
Singularly enough, the water-tube boiler suggested the next advance,
for to meet the difficulties I have stated generators of that type were tried.
To utilise steam of such high pressure as the water-tube boiler gave, Dr.
Kirk — like John Elder, a Clyde man — "invented" the triple-expansion
engine, and fitted a set on board the steamer "Propontis" in 1874. "The
engines," says the author of "Our Ocean Railways," "gave perfect satisfaction;
but," he adds, with almost brutal frankness, "the chambers over
the fires of two of the boilers were burnt, and eventually burst."
The failure of the first examples of the water-tube boiler marked
a halt in the development of the Kirk idea, but progress began again
in 1877 or 1878, when mild steel, through improvements in its manufacture,
became suitable for the construction of marine boilers. The
strength and lightness of the steel as compared with the existing
material were very marked, and with every possibility of further
improvement the way of the engineer became easier. The safe limit
of steam pressure was raised, and the cylindrical furnace in time gave
way to the corrugated furnace associated with the name of Mr. Fox.
From this stage onward the development of the marine engine has been
constant, and it is not difficult to trace the various contributory causes of
its greater economy. The gradual perfection of manufacturing processes
has made possible a great reduction of weight, and experience has
suggested many minor improvements of the working parts of the
machinery. With higher pressure still, the economy of the quadruple-expansion
engine has been proved, although the application of the
principle has not been yet on any very general scale. The introduction
of forced draught and the balancing of engines are notable contributions
to the development which, in its later stages, however, is remarkable
more for its general progress than for striking innovations.
As the tabulated statement shows, the Atlantic liner has greatly increased
in speed since 1870, and as speed involves other considerations, I
have deferred reference to it. The economical results of high speed may, as
Dr. Inglis showed a year or two ago, be doubtful, but ocean greyhounds are
nevertheless necessary. The rapidly increasing traffic between the United
States and Europe called for bigger and faster ships, and bigger and faster
ships meant more powerful engines. The increase of power and speed is
seen at a glance. But there was naturally a limit to the power which could
be used with single shafts and single screws, and twin-screws worked by
separate engines were the result. The "Campania" is perhaps the last
development in this direction to the credit of the Clyde, and the
German built and owned "Deutschland" represents the type at its highest
water-mark. The "Deutschland" holds the Atlantic record for power and
speed, and she depends almost entirely on the passenger traffic. Bigger
and more powerful ships are certainly possible, but if progress much exceeds
the dimensions of the "Celtic," in the immediate future there will have to
be a wholesale overhauling of the accommodation in harbours and docks.
That, however, is another story.
The greater power of modern machinery has been obtained with remarkable
economy, and the possibilities of further progress within existing limits
are by no means exhausted. The boiler still is the stumbling-block to
progress in marine engineering. With all the drawbacks, however, the
engineer has done nobly, as the figures in the table on the following
page tell.
The increase in the size of vessels is shown in the table on page 103.
It is barely possible, however, to set forth as clearly the development of
design, though the dimensions given in a measure show it. The supersession
of iron by steel and the advance of engineering, which we have
noted. have made, of course, a broad distinction between the steamship
of "the seventies" and the steamship of to-day, but so intricate are the
causes of the modern naval architect's progress that it is almost a hopeless
task to trace them. So many, indeed, are the shipbuilders' restrictions,
and so various the qualities he has to combine, that the high average of his
complete successes is remarkable. His ship must be long and displace so
much on a specified draught; his scantlings are prescribed in the interest
of public safety and by a due appreciation of the difficulties of the
engineer; and the arrangement of his vessel's accommodation must be
economically perfect.
Only Atlantic liners are given in the tabulated statement, and the
proportion of this work to the credit of the Clyde would be shown
better perhaps in a list of all the ocean steamers of the highest class.
The inclusion of all, however, is out of the question, and it will be
admitted that the selection here made is fairly illustrative of the whole
It may be noted, however, that within the thirty years covered by this
review the Clyde, has contributed more famous vessels of the highest class
than probably all the other shipbuilding centres put together. From
Fairfield have gone the "Arizona," "Alaska," "Umbria," "Etruria,"
"Normannia," "Campania," and "Lucania," and from Clydebank the
"Servia," "Aurania," "America," "Paris," and "New York." Nearly
the whole of the modern fleet of the Peninsular and Oriental
Steam Navigation Company has been provided by Messrs.
Caird & Co., Greenock, the best vessels of the Castle Line
have been built at Fairfield, and between them Messrs. Denny, of
Dumbarton, and Messrs. A. & J. Inglis, of Pointhouse, have produced
the ships of the British India Steam Navigation Company. All
the newer vessels of the Royal Mail Company have been built on the upper
Clyde, and with the exceptions of the "Bavarian" — which came from Dumbarton
— and the "City of Rome" and "Furnessia" — which came from
Barrow — all the later vesels of the Allan and Anchor Line were built in
the same quarter. By the addition of Elder-Dempster Liners, Orient
Liners, Furness Liners, Pacific Liners, and Japanese Liners, the list could
be swollen considerably, but probably enough has been written to show the
commanding position of the river. In the table which follows, other than
Clyde-built vesels are given to show the full development of the type: —
At each stage of this development there has naturally been a corresponding
improvement in the accommodation for passengers. The line of
progress fom the first record breaker leads straight to the express, purely
passenger boat, and we have reached that extreme, if profit be considered,
in the "Oceanic" and the "Deutschland." The cargo these vessels carry
is of no account in the economic problem. The emergence of the intermediate
boat as a result of this is referred to further on, and need be
no more than mentioned now.
Compared with the ocean steamship of thirty years ago the modern
liner is a palace. She is, at the best, nearly seven knots faster, and she
plies between port and port with the regularity of a train. Her complement
of pasengers and crew is about 3000, and the people fare as sumptuously
as they could ashore. Sleeping quarters are roomy and well ventilated,
and electrically-lit dining-rooms, drawing-rooms, libraries, and smoke
rooms have the easy comfort one associates with home. Food is prepared
and served with faultless care, and the odours of the galley no longer
permeate the ship. The evil smells of the engine rooms and the stoke-hold
are carefully excluded from the spaces devoted to passengers, and
vibration is reduced to a minimum by the balancing of the engines;
in fact, except for the very timid or the very delicate, voyaging has
lost not only its terrors, but nearly all its irksomeness. And there
is accommodation to suit every purse; luxuriously furnished suites
of rooms for the voyageur with whom "money is no object," handsomely
fitted cabins for travellers of every degree in the scale of wealth,
comfortable quarters for the passenger whose means limit him to less of
luxury, and steerage accommodation of a quality the emigrant of "the
sixties" never dreamed of. The tendency may be towards overmuch
luxury, but it is logical, and it pays. The length of the average
voyage has been cut down enormously, and ocean trips are infinitely
more tolerable than they were. Practical withdrawal from the busy
world for even a week is admittedly a serious matter, but the liner
newspaper is already an institution, and the time may come when, with
Marconi's aid, it may run to several real live editions a day.
The development of the channel steamer has been quite as remarkable
as that of the ocean steamer, and its tendencies have been practically in
similar directions. It has been shaped, too, by much the same limitations,
though the acceleration of locomotion ashore affected it to an extent it
never did the other. The increase in size is not so marked if we except
the Harwich, Fleetwood. and Holyhead boats, but the naturally limited
accommodation of terminals sufficiently accounts for that.
Greater speed and more luxurious accommodation are the distinguishing
qualities of what we call the modern cross-channel steamer, but as marked
progress can hardly be claimed for the vessels which carry passengers and
cargo between the ports of the United Kingdom, and between the East
Coast and the Continent. There has, of course, been an advance. But the
development of certain services is necessarily restricted by the opposition
of railways, and increase of size in their case has been unaccompanied by
greater speed or greater luxury. The improvement they have achieved
has been largely in economy.
With the railway services it has been almost altogether different. They
have been forced to keep pace with the accelerations ashore, and the result
is the purely passenger steamer with a higher standard of comfort than
that of the corridor train, and with as strict adherence to a time-table.
Most of the voyages accomplished in record time and under record conditions
are certainly short, but the possibilities of the type may be fairly
judged by the two boats Messrs. Caird, of Greenock, built recently for the
Brindisi-Port-Said P. & 0. service.
Nearly all the high speed cross-channel services are maintained by
Clyde-built vessels. Messrs. Denny, of Dumbarton, built the paddle
steamers for the Newhaven-Dieppe route, and several of the paddle steamers
on the London and North-Western Holyhead-Dublin route, the twin-screw
steamers for the Newhaven-Dieppe route, and several of the paddle
steamers on the Dover-Ostend and Dover-Calais routes. Their record in
this respect is, as the table shows, a notable one. Many of the Calais-Dover
and Queenboro'-Flushing paddle boats were built at Fairfield,
which has also produced splendid channel steamers in "La Marguerite"
and the "Empress Queen." The two latter represent the highest
development of the paddle steamer we have yet reached in this country.
All the fastest and most finely fitted twin-screw steamers of the
Southampton-Channel Island and Southampton-Havre fleet were built
at Clydebank, which, as we shall see presently, is also noted for river
paddle boats of a very high class.
The only important services which are not maintained by Clyde-built
vessels are the Holyhead-Kingston, Weymouth-Channel Islands, Harwich-Hook
of Holland, and Harwich-Antwerp. Messrs. Laird Brothers, of Birkenhead,
build the Irish mail boats and the Great Western boats, and the
Great Eastern steamers were built at Hull by Messrs. Earle. I have
included typical ships from both these centres in order to make clear
the full development of the type.
On shorter runs, like those between Stranraer and Larne, Dover and
Ostend, Calais, or Boulogne, and Queenboro' and Flushing, the paddle type
fairly holds its own, but, except on the very shortest, there is a tendency
to discard it in favour of the twin-screw. The economy of the finely-formed.
lightly-built high-speed twin-screw vessel may not be remarkable at first
sight, but maturer thought will bring the conviction that the penalty paid
for pace is extremely light. Nothing is wasted on her. She embodies all
the qualities that were specified, and the desired result is obtained in the
most economical manner possible.
In addition to her speed and her luxurious accommodation, however, the
cross-channel steamer, like the ocean greyhound, has another notable
quality. She is, despite her speed, safer than her predecessor. The
separation of her engine rooms by bulkheads, and the sub-division of her
hull into watertight compartments, provide an element of safety that was
never dreamed of in the earlier days of the steamship. She will float with
any two compartments filled with water, and an Atlantic liner has maintained
her buoyancy for three days with both engine rooms flooded. She
is not only faster and more comfortable than her predecessor, but a great
deal safer. And if she costs the owner more, she costs the traveller less.
The river steamer, as Scotland knows it, and as England and Ireland
are beginning to know it, is peculiarly a Clyde product. The estuary out
of which have sailed the world's most famous ships is noted for its natural
beauty, and for years the summer homes of busy citizens have been
built along its shores. The traffic of excursions to it has also been
considerable, and one can hardly remember when its fleet of steamers
was not a better one than was to be found elsewhere in the kingdom.
Of course, it was not always what it is to-day, and for the comparative
perfection which reigns, we have to thank the railway companies. But
speed was always its strong point; it was always numerous, and its accommodation
was seldom behind the tines. A comparison of the river steamer
of to-day and the river steamer of twenty-five years ago proves nothing,
except that our standard of comfort is much higher than it was. The
advance of speed in that period is not very remarkable, although the all-round
average is much higher. The table which follows shows how high the
level is that has been reached, and I leave it to tell the development
alone: —
Formerly there was no comparison between the pleasure steamers of
English and Irish rivers and the pleasure steamers of the Clyde. All that
has been changed, however, in the last decade, and the summer fleets of
Belfast Lough, Bristol Channel, the Solent, and the Thames are in a transition
stage. All the new boats in these services have been built on the
Clyde, the Bristol and Southampton craft at several places on the river,
the Belfast boats at Clydebank, and the floating palaces of the London
River at Dumbarton and Fairfield. With a wider range and heavier weather
the Thames steamers, and several of the South Coast boats as well, are
necessarily more stoutly built, but they retain all the essential qualities
of the Clyde type, and succeed by reason of them. The Palace steamers
were built by the Fairfield Company, and the Belle steamers by Messrs.
Denny Brothers. Messrs. John Brown & Co., Clydebank, have contributed
the "Slieve Donard" and the "Slieve Bernagh" to the Belfast
fleet, and similar boats to Blackpool and Brighton, but probably their
claim in this respect rests more soundly on the Clyde steamers "Glen
Sannox," "Juno," "Duchess of Rothesay," and "Jupiter."
How far the development of the type will go remains to be seen. It
is interesting to note, however, that the opening of the century sees the
application of a new principle to the propulsion of a Clyde passenger
steamer in the steam turbine, which is being applied by Mr. Parsons
to the "King Edward," built by Messrs. Denny.
I hope I have shown with sufficient clearness the main development of
the passenger steamer. It has not been possible to pick up and hold every
thread of the marvellous story, and I have simply attempted to convey
to the reader the impression that the modern passenger steamer is a
vessel of economy, size, speed, safety, and luxurious comfort.
Before proceeding to trace the development of the cargo steamer a
little consideration is due to the "wind-jammer," which threatens to
become extinct under the British flag, and only exists in America and on
the Continent under the fostering care of Governments. It pays to build
sailing ships in France, and so long as foreign ships are excluded from
the coasting trade it will pay to sail them in the United States. In Great
Britain, however, the economies brought about by the shipbuilder and the
engineer have made the sailing vessel nearly impossible, and even in the
long trades it is being displaced by the cheap, cheaply-worked, and sureif-slow
tramp. Practically no sailing ships for general cargo have been
built on the Clyde for three years, and much the same is true of other shipbuilding
centres of the Kingdom. "In 1889," says Mr. Martell, "10 per
cent. of the total output was composed of sailing tonnage. For the four
following years (1890 to 1893) the proportion rose to 19 per cent. Since
that period the construction of sailing vessels has rapidly declined, until in
1899 sailing tonnage formed less than 0·14 per cent. of the output."
The sailing tonnage produced on the Clyde in the last decade of the old
century is, as I have shown in the opening, considerable, but smaller vessels
are included in the total than are taken cognisance of by Lloyds. Analysed.
however, the table brings out some facts which are interesting. Between
1890 and 1893 there was a big sailing ship boom on the Clyde, and the
river alone is responsible probably for the increased proportion of that
class of tonnage. In 1892-93 Messrs. Russell & Co., Greenock, built sailing
ships exclusively, and in 1891-92 Messrs. Connell & Co., Scotstoun, and
Messrs. Duncan & Co., Port-Glasgow, were similarly employed. In the
four years which ended in 1894, in fact, five firms between them contributed
185 sailing vessels of 342,528 tons, and only four of 6846 tons since 1896.
Whether there will ever be another revival is difficult to say. Everything
seems to point to the conclusion that there will not. The proportion has
never been so low in the history of the industry on the river, but as the
following table shows it has been very nearly as low: —
The exigencies of trade have largely controlled the development of the
cargo steamer, and it is impossible, therefore, to point to one class as
representative of the highest. Particular types suit particular trades.
But in the main the tendency has been towards bigger ships and greater
economy — greater economy not only in the matter of fuel, but in the
handling of ship and cargo. The all-round economy effected has been
remarkable, and cannot be expressed in figures. Every week sees it more
marked too, for of the contriving of labour-saving appliances there appears
to be no end, and economies in the engine room accumulate.
The engineering advance is largely the cause of all this cheapening, but
a proportion of this credit is also due to the shipbuilder. The modern cargo
boat is rarely a thing of beauty, and seldom a joy for any length of time.
Its design, however, calls for just as much skill as the shaping of a greyhound,
and the problem is oftener than not more difficult. The phase of
the economic problem which concerns the naval architect is how much
can be carried on how little, and to adapt the hackneyed phraseology of
the launch and the trial trip, a cargo vessel can only be "a credit to her
builders" when she is "a source of profit to her owners."
Since 1890 the well deck, the partial awning deck, and the raised fore
deck, have been practically discarded, and there has been a reversion to
flush-deck, beamier boats with short poop, bridge house, and forecastle.
For certain trades large single-deck steamers, with a tier of middle deck
or lower deck beams but no deck had found favour, and another recent
development to suit the cattle trade is in the direction of what is known
as the shelter-deck type. So far as the Clyde is concerned, these practically
represent the recent changes; the turret and trunk types are peculiar
products of the Wear and the Tees.
The increase in the size of cargo vessels has been proportionately as
great as in the case of passenger ships, but it is extremely difficult to show
this in a succession of vessels. The growth has been practically all within
the last decade, and a fair enough way of making it clear is perhaps to
give the average dimensions of the ships built by a particular firm. For
that purpose I have selected Messrs. Russell & Co., Port-Glasgow, and
give their figures for the five years, 1896-1900. The sailing ship revival
had spent itself by that time.
The averages of other Clyde builders of cargo vessels work out similarly,
but for the full development of the type we have to seek the Laggan,
where the average is very much higher. It is unnecessary to mention
horse power or speed. Cargo vessels are not designed to steam quickly, and
the quality most desired in their engines is economy. That the engineer
has worked to the finest possible point within the limits that compass him.
The advance in one direction to the purely passenger boat, and in
another to the purely cargo boat, has created in particular ocean trades
the necessity of a third type economically combining the qualities of the
two. The intermediate boat represents most strikingly the tendency
towards bigness, and, significantly enough, the largest vessel in the world —
for the time being, of course — is of this particular class.
The cause of the emergence of the leviathan intermediate boat is not
far to seek. She is a necessity of trades like that to America, the Cape,
and Australasia, because (1) old passenger boats cannot be made to combine
her qualities economically; (2) the accommodation of "Campanias"
and "Oceanics" is beyond the purses of all travellers; and (3) the trading
conditions of the world are constantly undergoing change. It is admittedly
the cargo vessels of most fleets that earn the dividends, and not having been
built to carry merchandise profitably, satisfactory conversion of your timeworn
"flyer" is impossible. The great volume of passenger traffic is still
to. instead of from, America, the Cape, and Australia, and it is largely
emigrant, which is indifferent as to speed. And the trade developments,
of which I speak, both in progress and possible, call for a vessel of great
capacity for cargo, extensive accommodation for passengers, and a broad
margin of space which may, at short notice, be devoted to either passengers
or cargo.
The strong point of the modern intermediate boat is her adaptability.
Record-breaking speed is not necessary, and the standard of comfort desired
is not so high, but the happy mean must be maintained in everything if the
most is to be made of the new conditions. When the ordinary man talks
of big ships it is the intermediate vessel that impresses him.
The type has reached its highest development on the North Atlantic,
but notable ships of the class are to be seen elsewhere. The Castle-Union
intermediate ships — built exclusively on the Clyde and at Belfast — are fine
specimens, and much the same praise is due to the White Star Australian
fleet. Many of the newer German ships for foreign services are quite up to
the North Atlantic standard, and the American shipbuilder, when he gets his
wind — and his subsidies — may be expected to follow that lead.
And, of course, there are intermediate vessels on services where the
distinction has no significance. The majority of the vessels which come into
the first section of this article are passenger and cargo steamers with the
accent, however, more and more on passenger and less and less on cargo.
But the newer ships for services which offer inducements to provide for
both passengers and cargo are essentially intermediate boats, and I must
leave the reader to draw the line for himself between the passenger, the
intermediate, and the cargo steamer. The cargo the high-speed liner carries
is, as I have said, neither here nor there in her economy. The following
particulars of well-known intermediate steamers may be interesting: —
The "Campania" and the "Lucania" are the longest boats that have
been built on the Clyde, but the "Saxonia" is really the biggest vessel
ever built on the river. Belfast, as the table shows, is the place for big
ships; the Queen's Island average was 11,300 tons last year, and 11,800
tons in 1899. A sister ship of the "Celtic" is on the stocks.
When we proceed to discuss the development of the warship we join
issue with the multitude, for every man, from the horny-handed son of
toil to the pugnacious Parliamentarian, is a naval expert in his own
estimation. The British Navy has for long been going to the dogs.
According to the keenly critical its ships are unstable, its engines
full of flaws, its boilers dangerous, its armaments obsolete, its crews both
insufficient and inefficient. The oldest inhabitant cannot recall when its
"needs" were not clamant, and the political outlook is black, indeed, when
there is not a naval question. There is nothing, of course, to justify this
sweeping condemnation. That the administration of the Navy might be
improved greatly is admitted, and that crews and engine-room complements
could be recognised and increased with profit is true. But
the British fleet is, beyond question, the finest in the world; its failures
are notable because of its outstanding excellence, and it could never
have been what it is without the knowledge of these failures.
In tracing the development of the warship it is unnecessary to do
more than refer to foreign ships. Within the period under review only two
foreign nations — Spain and Japan — have had war vessels built on the
Clyde, and in both cases the ships were slight variations of British types.
The destroyers for Spain, and the protected cruiser and battleship for
Japan — all built at Clydebank — were very little different from Sir William
White's ships of the same class. And, except in the case of battleships,
every stage of the development may be marked by a Clyde-built vessel.
It would be interesting to trace the growth of the steam warship from
its early days of struggle to its later, but the story is so well told in other
forms that it would be idle to do so. For the modern shipbuilder and
engineer the real history of the warship dates from the Naval Defence
Act of 1889.
It is sometimes urged, not unreasonably, that the Admiralty does not
make the most of the immense shipbuilding resources of the country.
Contractors could, it is said, accomplish more than they have accomplished
in the past, and the country would be all the better of the knowledge.
There is truth in that. Yet the decade's record of naval construction is a
splendid one. Excluding gunboats, torpedo boats, and destroyers, and
everything before the estimates of 1889, and after the estimates of 1899,
the total additions to the British Fleet have been —
The exceptions would, if included, swell these totals considerably, but
it is better to leave the small fry out in order to emphasise the
importance of naval work in the industry.
Clyde shipbuilders have built ships for nearly all these classes,
the exceptions being third-class cruisers, and one or two classes of
battleships. The only battleships constructed on the river have
been of the "Royal Sovereign" and the "Majestic" classes, but machinery
has been supplied to one of the "Canopus" class by a lower reach firm.
Very few gunboats have been put together on the Clyde, but Clydebank
and Fairfield between them have had some notable successes with destroyers
of prom 27 to over 30 knots speed.
It is extremely difficult to follow the development of the warship even
in so short a space as ten years, for the reason that changes have been
rapid, and progress not always very marked. But in the main the tendency
has been towards greater offensive and defensive power, higher speed over
a wider area, and easier manoeuvring qualities. The question concerned
with the best disposition of naval strength — whether more battleships
should be built or more cruisers — is not one for the shipbuilder: but it
should be noted in this connection that the newer cruisers are fitter for
the line of battle than were the ironclads of twenty-five years ago. They
combine the speed of the commerce protector with the offensive power
of the battleship, and they represent probably as much a concession to
public opinion as a natural development of the fighting ship in new
conditions. The question, however, is one for the strategist purely.
The growth of the battleship during the decade has been very
remarkable, and we have probably reached the extreme, in the meantime,
of the type. Instead of a ship, she is a huge, complicated machine,
with immense installations of steam, hydraulic, and electrical machinery,
which it is almost impossible to describe in detail. The engineer has
given her of his best; the artillerist and armour-plate maker have
mutually striven to make their tasks impossible. And the shipbuilder,
with such an unstable thing as the uncertain sea to lay his foundations
on, has had to accommodate them all. The improvements in guns,
armour, and auxiliary machinery have been very great, but are beyond
the scope of this article.
The increase in size and power may be shown best in tabular form,
and to bring it out more clearly some older vessels may be included. The
particulars given are taken from The Naval Annual, and the dates quoted
are, of course, the dates on which the ships mentioned were completed.
The tendency has not been directly towards size, but the causes of the
variations are obvious.
Of these only the "Ramillies," "Jupiter," and "Asahi" — the last-named
for Japan — were built on the Clyde, but the engines for the
"Inflexible," the "Centurion," and a sister ship, and the "Canopus,"
were constructed on the river. It is difficult to convey the full extent of the
advance the table indicates, but all the types are represented in the list.
The earlier vessels are iron, but all have twin-screws, and the advance in
armament is most marked in the last decade. It should be noted, however,
that British Admiralty practice differs from that of, say, the American
Navy Department in one very important respect. The United States
authorities have never gone back on a type in speed, in size, or in armament,
whereas in speed and in size, at least, as the table shows, the British
have. This, according to Sir John Hopkins, is not the fault of Sir William
White, who, if he had his way, would exceed the 15,000 tons allowed him
by 3000 or 4000 tons. But naval tacticians, like the gallant Admiral, incline
the other way, for the reason evidently that — the words are Sir John
Hopkins' own — "if all the vessels could turn round in the same circle
it would facilitate the knowledge of the commander-in-chief as to what
his fleet were doing."The man in the street, therefore, errs in thinking
that the commander-in-chief should know enough about his fleet to make
the best possible disposition of its elements.
Another important difference in the development is that while the later
British battleships are fitted with Belleville boilers, the American vessels are
not. This is counted unto the Americans for wisdom, and yet it is
merely cleverness. The Belleville boiler has perhaps failed, and may
have to come out of the British ships, but if it had succeeded would the
Americans have continued to exclude it from use? Service has disclosed
weaknesses which nobody could have foreseen, or it would never
have had the costly trial it has had.
The development of the cruiser will always be associated with the
name of Sir William White, to whom the British people owes a debt it
can hardly ever repay. Significantly enough, shipbuilders have never been
adverse critics of the chief-constructor's work. Being themselves naval
architects, they know the difficulties of his task, and they note how successfully
he has fulfilled many apparently impossible conditions.
The fast cruisers of the past decade are notable ships, and the almost
innumerable variations of the type may be taken as evidence of the interest
in them. It is scarcely necessary to go beyond the programme of
1889 in this connection, for practically all the development worth speaking
of has taken place since then. And in dealing with the cruiser I do not
propose to take notice of anything below the second class.
High speed — bunker capacity is an important element here — the
greatest possible offensive power, adequate protection of guns, magazines,
and machinery, and good sea-going qualities appear to be the essentials
of an ideal cruiser. The popular conception is of a ship that can both fight
and run — sweep the seas of rival merchantmen and protect its own — scout,
if need be, for the heavier metal represented by the battleships. Fast
liners, which in time of peace could be profitably employed, might do these
things, but for two drawbacks. Few merchantmen could show their heels
to the newer armoured warships, and none has its vital parts protected.
The whole interior of a legitimate cruiser is covered in by a steel deck
of varying thickness. A scout class, like that proposed by Admiral
Fitzgerald, is perfectly feasible, for, despite Sir William White's objection,
they could have no more than a scout's chance of survival. But they
would not be an improvement. Twenty-three knots continuous speed is
not easily purchased, and at the best they would have no more value
than the " Diadems."
If progress has not been continuous in battleship construction, it
certainly has in the building of cruisers. This may be shown best, perhaps,
in tabular form. Only protected cruisers are included in the list, and,
—except in the case of the "Astræa" and the "Arrogant" — ships of the
type built on the Clyde. As in the other table, the year stated is the
year of completion.
Between 1890 and 1900 no armoured cruisers were built in Great Britain,
and the development was, as has been noted, towards "Ariadnes" and
"Terribles." Foreign Governments, however, took latterly to the older
type, and the result was the laying down of similar ships in this country.
But the development was still in a direct line through the protected ships,
and the result was practically improved "Dianas," "Diadems," and
"Terribles" in the "County," "Cressy," and "Blake" classes. I include
the " Australia " in the following list to permit of comparisons: —
The increase in weight of armour, range of guns, and muzzle velocity
has been, of course, very great, but to try to show it would overburden
the account with detail. The increase of speed is the aspect of
the advance which will have most interest for the engineer. There is very
little in the propelling machinery or its arrangement to distinguish it from
that of a fast merchantman, except the substitution of the water-tube for
the cylindrical boiler. The majority of the newer ships in both the foregoing
tables have Belleville boilers, but in several vessels of the " County "
class other types — the Babcock & Wilcox and the Niclausse chiefly —
are being given a trial. Every aid to high speed is made use of, and
every knot added costs more in a rapidly rising scale than the one
immediately preceding it.
The only other class of warship in which Clyde shipbuilders and
engineers are interested is the lightly-built, high-powered destroyer. Clydebank
and Fairfield have between them representatives at nearly all the
speeds, and at present both are busy with specimens of the later types.
Appended are some particulars of typical Clyde-built boats: —
One or two gunboats, several dockyard tugs, and a couple of Indian
* Contract speed, 19·5 knots.
troopers exhaust the minor Admiralty work done on the river in recent
Yachting is not a pastime in which everybody may participate, and its
devotees are necessarily people of means. Even the city man who spends
his week-end cruising, the youth who has amore or less — controlling
interest in a rater, or the amateur with a head and a pair of hands, must
have money to spend on his experience or the summer seafarer's joy will be of
the slightest. Yet with all the drawbacks — and it is serious enough — the
love of yachting is innate, and he is a poor sort of Briton, indeed, who does
not make some shift to gratify it.
There may be room to doubt which is the centre of the yacht-racing
world; the Clyde is absolutely the greatest yacht-building river of the
kingdom. The fame of the Fifes at Fairlie needs no trumpeting, and
there is no yachtsman who knows not the name of Watson. Clyde
designers have produced five challengers for the America Cup —
"Thistle," "Valkyrie II.," "Valkyrie III.," "Shamrock I.," and
"Shamrock II.," and the Clyde shipbuilders have built six — "Genesta,"
"Galatea," "Thistle," "Valkyrie II.," "Valkyrie III.," and "Shamrock
II.," so that on one showing alone the record of the river is
unapproached. In every other respect it stands comparison with the
best, as a glance at any register of yachts will disclose. Into the maze,
however, suggested by the development of the racing yacht it is not
proposed to go, and readers who desire to be filled with wonder at
the progress are respectfully referred to Mr. Watson's able and
exhaustive contribution to the Badminton series.
It is sufficient for the present purpose to point out the effect of
succeeding rating rules on the sailing yacht. In older days racing craft
had longer lives, and longer periods of usefulness in their antiquity.
But initial cost and upkeep increased as years of usefulness decreased,
and by and by only millionaires could keep succeeding big racer with
big racer. The German Emperor, Lord Dunraven, Sir Thomas Lipton,
and Mr. C. D. Rose are the only sportsmen who have attempted to
do so. The others have either bewailed the tendencies of the times on
very archaic specimens of naval architecture, or taken the logical
leap into steam. Sir Thomas Lipton and Mr. Whittaker Wright
possess, of course, both sailing and steam vessels of the highest class.
Each is likelier to dispense with his racer than with his steamer.
The steamer is naturally repugnant to the breezy sailor of the ordinary
type, who loves the sea in all its moods. For a long time steamer-ownership
was no qualification for election to the Squadron. "If," wrote Sir Edward
Sullivan in 1894, "I lived to the age of the Hyperboreans, and owned several
gold mines, I should never keep a steamer for pleasure." That view is the
avowed one of most yachtsmen; and yet the tendency to substitute steam
for sail is stronger than ever. Mr. Coats' great schooner "Gleniffer" is
almost the only set-off to the new development. Of course, the reason is
obvious, if you have no prejudice. The increase of wealth has swollen the
number of people who, to quote Bret Harte, "look to the ocean for rest."
The standard of comfort has gone into pure luxury. Most of all, perhaps,
the advance in shipbuilding and engineering has greatly reduced the cost
and expense of steam yachting, and the fashion has become to provide
afloat as luxurious comfort as is to be found ashore. The very highest
development of this is the "Hohenzollern" at her moorings with a cable
laid ashore for the Emperor's use.
Given a start the development of the steam yacht was easy. Year by
year yachts grew bigger, until the "Lysistrata" was reached. Power
and speed increased, and the appointments became richer and richer.
Instead of floating cottages they became floating hotels, and their steam
launches and motor boats kept them in constant touch with the world.
In the table below some idea of the progress is given. Most of the
"palaces" in it are owned by Americans, which is strange when you
consider the American Shipping Laws. Europe, however, is the playground
of the average republican millionaire, and American legislation is not yet
operative on this side of the broad Atlantic. The majority of the yachts in
the list were designed by Mr. Watson and built on the Clyde, which renders
it unnecessary to say in whose hands the recent development of the type has
been. The "Lysistrata" is the largest yacht in the world.
Mr. Watson is the best known designer of the day. He was the
first to fit a yacht — the "Mohican" — with triple engines, and he was
also the first to introduce water-tube boilers to the class. "La Belle
Sauvage" — an auxiliary steamer built at Meadowside — was the first
yacht to use the new generators, and the aforesaid "Mohican" was
the second to have a complete electric installation for lighting. The
sea-going qualities of the type have also been greatly improved by him,
as the big underwater bodies, bilge keels, raised forecastles, and long,
enclosed deck-houses and bridges of the "Mayflower," "Nahma," and
others show.
Barges of every possible shape are built on the Clyde, chiefly for foreign
rivers, and two or three firms have made a speciality of the shallow-draught
stern-wheel steamer. A great variety of ferry steamers is also
a feature of the annual record, with the abundant evidence of the
limitless adaptability of the craft to almost any kind of harbour work.
The elevating deck-steamer "Finnieston" is a case in point. But by
far the most important of what may be described as the minor branches
of shipbuilding is the construction of dredging plant, a division of the
industry which has its seat in the ancient and royal burgh of Renfrew.
The dredgers and hoppers of Renfrew are to be found everywhere, and
orders have come for them from such distant spots as Brazil, Japan,
China, and Central America, India, Australia, New Zealand, Canada,
and South Africa, France, Russia, Denmark, and Holland. Practically
all the important dock and harbour authorities in the kingdom are also
amongst its customers, so that the development of the type lacked
nothing which could accelerate it.
Two other firms — one in Paisley — are also engaged in work of the
class, but Messrs. Simons, of Renfrew, are probably the best-known makers
of the specialities in the world. They build dredging plant almost exclusively
now. In 1861 they constructed the first steam-propelled hopper
barge, in 1872 the first hopper dredger, and in 1900 the largest stern-wheel
bucket dredger in the world. They are the inventors of the hopper dredger,
and of the traversing bucket dredger, which enables a vessel to cut its
own passage through banks and shoals. The stern-wheel dredger
also originated with them. There is no need or space to describe
these types in detail; they are familiar to most people. But
the growth has been steady and notable. The hopper capacity
of the first dredger constructed by Messrs. Simons was 200 tons;
of their latest — "La Puissante" for Port Said Roads — it is 2200 tons.
The earliest hopper barge was of 300 tons, while the latest have twin-screws,
and are of 1500 tons. And the improvement in economy is as marked.
What the further development of the steamship will be is for no man
to say rashly, but that the change, whichever way it is, will be gradual
seems fairly well assured. It is a reproach to British industry that
America out-develops it, and the extenuation truthfully stated is that
the United States commenced later. There was no immense capital
fixed in plant and machinery of an earlier development to hamper
them, and with new minds, in a new continent, under new conditions,
they have made the most of their position. Significantly enough, they
have not improved the steamship.
During the twenty-five years that have elapsed since the British
Association met last in Glasgow, an enormous advance has taken place
throughout Scotland — more especially the West of Scotland — in that
system of inter-communication which is claimed, and rightly so, as
one of the leading triumphs of the nineteenth century. This is equally
true of travel by sea and of travel by land. Many new lines of steamers
have been established, while large additions have been made to the
lines that previously existed, the result being that all the points on
our coasts have been brought into closer touch with each other, and
that the facilities for journeying to and from places far distant from
our shores have been extended. Ample illustrations of this progress
are to be found in Glasgow and its immediate neighbourhood. There
are more ferry boats than ever on the river, crossing both by night
and by day. An entirely new fleet of "Cluthas" has been placed on
the upper reaches, and carries thousands of passengers every clay between
Stockwell and Whiteinch. The steamers belonging to the "Royal
Route," the Inveraray, Belfast, Dublin, and Highland lines have
increased in size, comfort, and the frequency of their railings, and,
though some of the old favourite boats no longer come so high up as
the Broomielaw, they are still to be found on the lower reaches. Then
the railway companies have taken a new departure in this branch of
traffic. No longer content with the transference of their passengers
at Greenock or elsewhere to steamers belonging to other people, they
have built vessels of their own, and now convey travellers right away
from the city to the various resorts on the Firth of Clyde. In their
own proper domain of the iron road the Railway Companies have
made gigantic strides, some of them dating from the very year in
which the British Association last visited Glasgow. The great revolution
inaugurated by the Midland Company of abolishing second-class
carriages and of carrying third-class passengers by all trains is no doubt
associated with the 1st of January, 1875. But it was a year later
before the Scottish and other companies completely followed suit, and
before the colossal effects of the new policy were really at all apparent.
The beginning, therefore, of the marvellous growth in the railway
system of Scotland must be reckoned from 1876. Apart, however. from
the developments which have followed the recognition of the principle
that the third-class passengers are the life and soul of railways, the
Scottish companies, especially those having a connection with Glasgow,
have done wonders in the way of catering for traffic of all kinds.
Besides extending their network of lines above ground, and spanning
rivers like the Forth and the Tay, they have dived under the surface
and made ways for their engines and carriages below many of our
principal streets and thoroughfares. In this manner they have not
only relieved the congestion at some of our great city stations, but
by lessening the distances between the town and the country, have
made it possible for many of our middle and working-class population
to live some miles from their places of business, and to breathe, for a
time at all events, a purer air. Nor are the efforts in this direction
limited to the railway companies. The promoters of the Glasgow
District Subway Company have aided in the good work by their underground
cable line, which encircles the city and forms a most valuable
connection between the north and south sides of the river. To the
magnificent service of the Glasgow Corporation Tramways great credit
must also be given for bringing the suburbs into nearer touch with
each other, for affording frequent and rapid means of travelling between
all quarters of the city, and for helping to build up that system of
inter-communication to which reference has already been made.
In 1901, as in 1876, the railway service of Scotland is in the hands
of five companies — the Caledonian, North British, Glasgow and South-Western,
Highland, and Great North of Scotland. But though no rivals
have sprung up to these companies, their mileage, carrying power, and
revenues have during the last twenty-five years increased by leaps
and bounds. The number of miles of iron road open in 1876 was
only 2400; now it amounts to 3360. As regards capital, the sum has
advanced from £93,870,500 to £139,100,000. The gross receipts were
£5,830,550, as compared with £10,650,000. The number of passengers
has increased to a still greater extent. During 1876 the whole number
carried was 42,700,000, while during 1900 the aggregate comes to no
less than 104,000,000. These passenger figures, moreover, are exclusive
of season ticket holders, who number nowadays more than 110,000. If
the repeated journeys made by them were taken into account, it would
be found that the number of people carried on our railways during last
year fell very little short of 120,000,000. With reference to season
tickets a comparison has often been drawn between the railways of Scotland
and England, which seems at first sight to be unfavourable to the
former. The fact that in England thirteen times as many season
tickets are used as in Scotland, though the population is only eight
times larger, has been used to support the argument that the railway
companies on the other side of the Border are more liberal in their
terms than are the companies on this side. But there is little or no
truth in this view. The Scottish companies are in some respects even
more generous with their "seasons" than the English, but the fact
of the matter is that in Scotland the ordinary fares — especially those to
and from our seaside and golfing places — are cut clown so low that it
is often found cheaper to take ordinary tickets than to enter upon
contracts. All the same, the use of season tickets has been advancing
more rapidly in Scotland during late years, and this may to a
large extent be traced to the circumstance that so many of the
workers in great centres of population are now enabled by means of
the new lines to live in the country. Another contrast drawn between
the railways of England and Scotland is deserving of some attention.
The latter, it is contended, indulge in a great deal more fighting
among themselves than do the former. At one time, no doubt, there
was a good deal of truth in this statement; there is none now. Keen
struggles for supremacy were being engaged in between the Caledonian
and North British Companies when the British Association met in
Glasgow in 1876, and these were carried on for some years afterwards.
In 1891, however, the two companies arrived at what was styled "a
peace agreement." This provided for the cessation of war by
an agreement that neither company should for twenty-five
years make, or assist in making, new lines in the district served by
the other, or in districts connected to both; and for the dividing
and sharing of all traffic between competitive stations in equitable
proportions. The agreement has been loyally maintained. Another
agreement making for peace, so far as cutting out speed is concerned,
was arrived at a few years later in connection with what is
known as the "railway race to Aberdeen." This also has been kept.
Indeed, only a few months ago, when a proposal for the acceleration
of a through Scottish express was advanced by an English Company,
both the Caledonian and the North British opposed it, on the ground
that it might open the way to a renewal of the old struggle. The
acceleration was carried out all the same, in consequence of a decision
by Lord Balfour of Burleigh, who acted as arbiter, but so far it has
not led to any serious renewal of the "railway race."
The Caledonian Railway owns now a mileage open of close on 1000
miles, as compared with about 700 in 1876. It also works and maintains
130 miles of railway belonging to independent companies. Its
authorised capital amounts to £52,304,474, as against £27,000,000 in
1876, while its gross receipts last year amounted to upwards of £4,000,000,
an increase of nearly 50 per cent. over the previous period. Its
passengers, twenty-five years ago, very little exceeded 10,000,000 per
annum; now they are upwards of 40,000,000. By far the largest proportion
of this advance is, of course, in third-class passengers. Along with
the increased revenue from this source and also from goods traffic, there
has also been a large increase in expenditure. The working expenses in
1876 were at the rate of about £48 per cent., while last year they were
£59 per cent. Again, the cost of maintenance and renewal of the
permanent way was at the rate of £369 in 1876, and of £417 in 1900.
The Glasgow Central, the Dumbarton and Balloch, the Cathcart District,
the Gourock, the Lanarkshire and Dumbartonshire, and the
Paisley and Barrhead lines, along with the construction of the new
dock and harbour at Grangemouth, have been among the most important
additions to the Caledonian system since 1876. To take these in detail,
it was during the year in which the British Association last visited
Glasgow that the Act for the Grangemouth scheme was obtained. The
measure authorised the making of a new wet dock, timber basins, and
other works. These operations were pushed ahead with the utmost
celerity, but it was 1882 before they were completed. Four years
later, in 1886, the Cathcart District Railway was opened as far as
Mount Florida, and before long to all parts of the route. In 1889
the line to Gourock and the pier were opened, thus enabling the Caledonian
to take a still more prominent part in the immense traffic to the
watering-places on the Firth of Clyde. The first portion of the great
underground system known as the Glasgow Central was opened in
1895, and by 1897 the undertaking was completed. In 1897, also,
the Lanarkshire and Dumbartonshire Railway, which is worked by the
Caledonian Company, was opened for passenger traffic, and simultaneously
with this event the company entered upon the joint ownership
of the railway between Dumbarton and Balloch and the steamboats
on Loch Lomond. Last year further progress was made with the
Lanarkshire and Ayrshire lines, while contracts were entered into for
widening part. of the Wemyss Bay line and extending the pier at the
seaside terminus. Great preparations have also been made for extensive
additions to the Central Station at Glasgow. This station was originally
opened in 1879, but already it has proved insufficient to accommodate
the enormous traffic which flows from and to it. The operations now
in progress promise to convert the station into one of the finest in the
The Glasgow and South-Western Railway Company are also engaged
in carrying out great additions to their St. Enoch Station and its
approaches. In mileage this company has advanced from 315 in 1876 to
close on 400. During the same period its capital has increased from
£8,800,000 to £16,300,000, its gross receipts from £900,000 to
£1,682,000, its working expenditure from £579,000 to £987;000, and
the unmber of its passengers from 6,000,000 to upwards of 18,000,000.
The year 1876 was a memorable one in the history of the Glasgow
and South-Western system, seeing that it witnessed the opening not
only of the St. Enoch Station, but also of the Settle and Carlisle line,
which provided for the company a direct through route to London and
to England generally. Two years later came the extension of the
system from Ardrossan to West Kilbride, while in 1880 the latter line
was continued to Fairlie, thus opening up another access to the coast.
Fairlie Pier was completed in 1882, and the Fairlie to Largs line in
1885. The same year marked the opening of the Canal route to
Paisley. In 1892 the Ayrshire and Wigtownshire Railway line from
Girvan to Challoch Junction was acquired by the company. Two
years later witnessed the opening of the new station at
Princes Pier, Greenock. The old station at this pier had long been
unable to cope with the traffic for the coast resorts, and the new
one, besides being picturesque in appearance, proved of great benefit
to travellers. In 1896 took place the partition of the City of Glasgow
Union Railway between the North British and the Glasgow and South-Western
Companies. As already indicated, the Glasgow and
South-Western are occupied in extending the St. Enoch Station — a
work which involves the widening of the bridge across the Clyde — but
other operations are also in hand. These include a new line and the
widening of the present line from Johnstone to Dairy, a new line from
Ayr to Girvan (Maidens and Dunure light railway), a new line from
Dumfries to Moniaive (Cairn Valley light railway), and an extension
from Darvel to the boundary of the county of Lanark.
The North British Railway mileage has advanced from 782 miles in
1876 to 1145 in 1901. Its authorised capital is now £60,000.000, as
compared with £27,000,000 twenty-five years ago. Its income last
year was upwards of £4,000,000, as against £2,000,000, and its working
expenditure rather more than £2,000,000, as against £1,200,000. Its
passengers have increased in number from 14,000,000 to nearly 40,000,000
in 1900. When the British Association visited Glasgow in 1876 the
North British Company were occupied in the construction of the Tay
Bridge, which was opened two years later, only to come to an untimely
end during the terrific gale of the 28th December, 1879. Nothing
daunted, however, by the fate of the structure, the North British
directors decided within a few days of the catastrophe to take steps for
obtaining a new Act for the reconstruction of the bridge. This Act was
passed by Parliament in 1881. With Mr. W. H. Barlow as designer, and
Messrs. Wm. Arrol & Co., of Glasgow, as contractors, the new bridge
was completed and opened in June, 1887. Its total length is practically
the same as the old one — 10,780 feet — but its cost was double, amounting
to £700,000. As an almost necessary sequence the scheme of bridging
the Forth was next taken in hand by the North British Company,
in conjunction with the Midland and the East Coast Companies. Messrs.
Arrol were again the contractors, and they carried out the cantilever
design of Mr. Baker at a cost of rather more than £3,000.000. If the
effect of the Tay Bridge was to double in a very short time the passenger
traffic between the counties of Fife and Forfar, the Forth Bridge has
had far-reaching results as regards the traffic between England and the
North of Scotland. Both have proved public necessities. The North
British Company have also constructed the City and District line right
under the heart of Glasgow, and connected with the new route to the
West Highlands.
The Highland Railway had very little more than 450 miles open in
1876. It has now advanced to close on 500 miles. The capital has
increased during the same period from £3,700,000 to £7,433,805, its
gross receipts from £293,000 to £510,000. and its working expenditure
from £157,000 to £336,000. The number of its passengers has been
nearly doubled, the respective figures being 1,130,000 and 2,223,000.
Several of the extensions made by the Highland directors in the course
of last quarter of a century have opened out new routes for tourists,
as well as for sheep and other traffic. From the beginning it was, to
a large extent, a single line, but now arrangements are being made for
doubling nearly the whole of the system.
The Great North of Scotland Railway has grown from a mileage of
280 in 1876 to one of 331 in 1901, the capital having also increased
from £157,000 to £336,000. Its passengers have nearly doubled in
number, the respective figures being 1,130.000 and 2,223,000. Several of
the extensions made by the Highland directors in the course of the last
quarter of a century have opened out new routes for tourists, as well as
for sheep and other traffic. From the beginning it was, to a large
extent, a single line, but now arrangements are being made for doubling
cattle traffic of a flourishing kind.
The Glasgow District Subway, though not a railway in the sense
that its carriages are not propelled by a locomotive, may yet be classed
among the iron roads which tend to carry on the great system of
intercommunication. It serves one important function in this respect
by forming a link between the northern and southern sides of the
city. It penetrates under the Clyde at two points, near the Broomielaw
and near Partick, and traverses the various districts of Glasgow and
suburbs. During the first year of its existence — 1898 — it carried
9,628,392 passengers, but the number increased in 1900 to close on
Though tramways existed in Glasgow before 1876 — the Glasgow Tramway
and Omnibus Company having been established in 1871—their
great development dates from July, 1894, when they were taken over
by the Corporation. During the last year of the private company's
management the number of passengers carried came to 53,729.472, but
these figures, large as they may appear, were rapidly put in the shade.
They expanded in 1895-96 to 86,462,594; in 1896-97 to 98,966,658;
in 1897-98 to 106,344,437; in 1898-99 to 118,775,668; and in 1899-1900
to 127,628,484, so that even with horse traction the numbers continued
to grow after a marvellous fashion. To what heights they will attain
consequent on the application of electric traction and the influence
of the International Exhibition remains to be seen, but estimates on
the subject may be gained from the fact that in the month of May,
when the Exhibition had just been opened, and when electric traction
had been extended to only a portion of the system, the number of
passengers showed an increase of 2,000,000 over the figures for the
corresponding month of last year. The Corporation revenue from the
tramways has grown side by side with the development of the traffic,
and this notwithstanding the concessions in the form of reduced rates
granted to the travelling public. Linder the old order of things the
lowest fare was a penny, but the Corporation appealed direct to the
masses by the institution of a halfpenny ride. Before long smaller
fares were introduced for the longer distances, until they stood at the
following rates: —
Along with — probably as a result of — this wise policy the receipts grew
from £222,122 in 1894-95 to £328,827 in 1895-96, to £365,761 in 1896-97,
to £389,216 in 1897-98, to £433,128 in 1898-99, and to £464,786 in
1899-1900. There seems every prospect that in the current year they
will nearly reach, if they do not exceed, half a million sterling. Nor
need that be looked upon as the ultimate limit. The average revenue
per mile under the system of horse traction was, no doubt, as high in
1899-1900 as it could possibly be — 11·30d. But much better results
were being attained from the routes which had been opened for electric
traction — Springburn and Mitchell Street in 1898, High Street and
Castle Street in 1899, and Glasgow Cross and Govanhill in 1900. The
electrically equipped cars on these routes produced 13.89d. per mile in
1898-99, and 13.87d. per mile in 1899-1900, and so, as the electric mileage
is gradually enlarged, it may be expected that the revenue will also
increase. The track mileage, it should be explained, has increased
since 1894 from 63½ miles, measured as single track, to 75 miles in 1900.
In addition, 8 miles of track were leased from the Govan Commissioners
in 1896, and have since been operated on as a part of the Glasgow system.
Other 8 miles of extensions are just being completed. When all the
proposed extensions are completed the total length of track will be
145 miles.
As regards the development of transport by sea, so far as Glasgow
and the West of Scotland is concerned, some definite information may
be gained from the statistics compiled by the Clyde Navigation Trust
and those in the possession of private firms engaged in the shipping
industry, coasting and foreign.
The total tonnage of vessels entered and cleared at Glasgow Harbour
in 1876 did not much exceed 3.000,000. Last year this had advanced
to nearly 9,000,000, or threefold. It must be remembered also that a
large proportion of the tonnage frequenting the port twenty-five years
ago was made up of sailing ships. The vessels of to-day are nearly all
steamers, and have thus made their repeated voyages much more
expeditiously than did their predecessors. Hence it is that while the
tonnage has increased by threefold, the extent of cargoes has gone up by
fourfold. In 1876 the quantity imported and exported calve to little
over 2,000,000 tons : last year it was well nigh 8,000,000. To accommodate
such a vast expansion of traffic more clocks have been constructed
and additions made to the quayage. A quarter of a century ago one
dock, with a water area of five acres, and some 6700 lineal yards of quays
were found sufficient for all purposes. Three docks are now required,
with a water area of 74 acres and 15,000 lineal yards of quayage. These
extensions, along with the operations necessary to provide a navigable
channel deep enough to float steamers of the larger sizes now in use,
have immensely swollen the expenditure of the Trust, from £171,162 in
1876 to £399,182 in 1900. But side by side with this there has been a
gradual advance in revenue. In 1876 it was well under 1:200,000; in
1900 it was well above £400,000 — the actual figures being £441,419.
Some of this revenue is derived from the cross ferries, which have of
late years been so greatly extended that they now carry 9,000,000
passengers to and fro in the course of a twelvemonth, and from the
"Cluthas," a class of swift steamers which pass up and down all the
length of the harbour the whole day through. During the first complete
year after their introduction — 1885 — these "Cluthas" carried
more than a million of passengers; in 1900 they carried more than
three millions. Nor has the work of the "Cluthas" by any means
reached its limit. The Clyde Trustees are about to begin the construction
of a new dock at Clydebank; and when it is completed, further
calls will be made upon the fleet of steamers whose services have,
so far, proved so useful.
The Clyde Steam and Sailing Ship Associations have no records bearing
on the transport situation in 1876, for the very simple reason that they
did not come into existence until 1882. Since then, however, the tonnage
on their books has much more than doubled. The number of shipping
firms in Glasgow has also increased to an enormous extent, while at
the same time the business of those firms which were established at the
time of the formation of the Associations has been very largely extended.
Some indications of the latter fact are afforded by a glance at the
additions made to the fleets of some of the oldest firms engaged in the
coasting trade. For example, Messrs. J. & G. Burns have since 1876
built twenty new steamers for their trade between Glasgow and Ireland,
and two for their trade between Glasgow and Liverpool. These have
an aggregate tonnage of close on 20,000, and an indicated horse-power
of more than 35,000. In connection with this Irish traffic a fact not
generally known is that at the time the British Association paid their
last visit to Glasgow the Irish mails were being carried by Messrs.
Burns free of charge. The reason for this was that, when
the Admiralty mail packets proved such a failure about the
middle of the century the firm offered to take over free of all charge
the conveyance of Her Majesty's mails between Greenock and Belfast.
With this handsome and advantageous proposal the Postmaster-General
of the day — Lord Clanricarde — advised the Lords of the Treasury at
once to close. The result was the signing of a one-sided contract,
which continued from the end of 1849 till 188'2. Thereafter the mails
were paid for at a fixed rate per pound weight, and after that arrangement
had gone on for some years, the present contract for a stated sum
per annum was agreed upon. According to the records of another
great coasting firm, the Clyde Shipping Company, the number of vessels
on the lines between Glasgow and Plymouth, Southampton and London,
with calls at the Irish ports of Belfast, Dublin. Waterford, and Cork,
has increased from eight in 1876 to sixteen in 1901, the respective
advance in tonnage being from 5915 to 17,863. The steam tugs in the
possession of the company have also advanced from thirteen to twenty-one
in number, and 1492 to 4270 in tonnage. Turning now to what
is known as the Royal route to the Highlands, the steamers which fly
Mr. David MacBrayne's flag have, during the last twenty-five years,
risen in number from fifteen to thirty. Their tonnage has been considerably
more than doubled — 3377 then, as compared with 8757 now. What
is still more significant, their horse-power has been nearly trebled, the
exact figures being 8315 in 1876 and 23,340 in 1901. Before 1876,
moreover, the ports in the West Highlands had, in winter at all
events, to depend for means of inter-communication with the outer
world upon the weekly service of boats from Glasgow only. Now there
are mail steamers daily during the whole year to almost every one of
these ports. The summer tourist service has been in some cases more
than trebled since 1876, and energetic efforts made to meet its requirements
by the building of notable steamers like the "Columba,"
"Claymore," "Cavalier," "Grenadier," and "Fusilier."
Two illustrations may now be given of the progress of typical lines —
the Allan Line and the Anchor Line — which keep up connection between
Glasgow and distant parts of the world. In 1876 the Allan Line
fleet consisted of 16 sailing vessels and 21 steamers. The largest of the
former was the "Glendaruel," of 1760 tons, and of the latter the "Sardinian,"
of 4376 tons. On the whole, the fleet was made up of 37 vessels,
representing a total tonnage of 74,722. At the present time the fleet is
entirely one of steam tonnage. It numbers 36 steamers, including
three that are building, and represents an aggregate tonnage of
162,134. The largest are the twin steamers "Bavarian" and "Tunisian,"
of 10,376 and 10,576 tons respectively. While the "Sardinian," the
vessel of greatest dimensions in 1876, was 400 feet long, the "Bavarian"
and "Tunisian" are 501. As regards breadth, the "Bavarian" and
"Tunisian" are 59 feet, as compared with 42 feet in the case of the
"Sardinian." Then as to speed, the old boat could not accomplish more
than 12½ knots an hour; the new ones are 15-knot boats. During the
South African war no less than eight steamers of the Allan Line fleet
were engaged in the transport of troops and horses to and from South
Africa. One of them, the "Bavarian," which has been described by
the Government officials as "the finest troopship they ever had in the
service," has alone dealt with 15,000 troops and Boer prisoners. Besides
conducting a large passenger service — the total number conveyed to
Canada and the States during the past twenty years being about three-quarters
of a million — the Allan Line also carry on an extensive cattle
and general live stock traffic. Their first shipment from Canada was
made in 1875, and consisted of 34 head. Last year their consignments
reached the large quantity of 40,000 head of cattle, 30,000 head of
sheep, and 2000 head of horses — 72,000 in all.
The Anchor Line, which was established as far back as 1852, had
a fleet in 1876 of 29 steamers, with an aggregate tonnage of 63,668.
Such, however, has been its development since then that the tonnage
at its disposal now is 133.000, made up of 32 steamers of large dimensions.
The largest vessel a quarter of a century ago was the
"Anchoria," of 4162 tons, with a length of 400 feet, a breadth of
40 feet, and a speed of 12½ knots. Compare these with the figures
applicable to the present leviathan of the fleet. The "City of Rome" —
one of the best known vessels on the Atlantic — is 8453 tons burden,
526 feet long by 52 feet broad, and has a speed of 16 knots. Of the
vessels building for the fleet, the "Columbia" is the most notable.
She is a twin-screw of 8300 tons, being 500 feet long by 52 broad, and
is designed to steam 15 knots at sea. The "Assyrian" and "Numidia,"
recently added to the Indian service of the line, are two of the largest
carrying vessels trading regularly from the Clyde. As to the passenger
trade of the Anchor Line, records are not available for a longer period
than twenty years, but during that time the number carried was
902,532. The largest carried in any one year was 58,149. Though the
Anchor Line began to carry cattle from America as far back as 1873,
they have recently given up the trade. During the South African war
six of the steamers of the fleet, including the "City of Rome," have
been under charter to the Government. The "City of Rome" was
also employed by the American Government after the conclusion of
the war with Spain in conveying Admiral Cervera and 1700 Spanish
prisoners from Portsmouth, Mass., to Santander.
For any complete history of the development of the great system
of transport and inter-communication, reference must be made to the
records of the Post Office. If the details connected with the growth of
Railways, and Tramways, and Shipping are remarkable, no less so are
those associated with the progress of postal work — with the amount of
correspondence between the citizens of a large city and the outside
world. In 1876 the number of letters dealt with every week at the
Glasgow Post Office was on an average little more than 2,000,000. By
1890 this had increased to 3,500,000, and last year the number had
advanced to no less than 5,500,000. No such comparison can
be drawn with regard to parcels, as what is known as the
Parcels Post did not come into existence until 1883. During
the opening year of its establishment the number of parcels
dealt with weekly at the Glasgow Post Office was 24,500; in 1901 the
number is no less than 90,000. In the special matter of Christmas
parcel traffic some extraordinary statistics may be quoted. During
the twelve days of the Christmas and New Year season, 1883-84, the
number of parcels ran to close on 100,000, showing that in these, comparatively
speaking, early times the custom of the exchange of gifts
was by no means uncommon. What were the corresponding figures
for 1900-1901? They came to the gigantic total of 600,000. As regards
telegrams, the statistics are of an equally interesting nature. The
Post Office, as is well known, took over the telegraphic system of the
country in 1870. By 1876 the annual number of telegrams dealt with
at the Glasgow Post Office amounted to a little over 2,000,000. Last
year this number had gone up by leaps and bounds to more than
9,000,000. As a matter of necessity the staff employed at the Post
Office had in the interval been proportionately increased. In 1876
some six hundred employees were found quite sufficient for all the work
that had to be done, but nowadays an army of nearly two thousand
strong is required to carry out the immense operations that fall to be
undertaken in the establishment in George Square.
While it would be well nigh impossible to ascertain the whole
amount of money spent in transport. even so far as the West of
Scotland is concerned, some idea may be gained of the sums expended
week by week and month by month by the citizens of Glasgow and
the immediate suburbs in travelling about within their own districts.
This expenditure is distributed amongst the underground and other
railways that circle through and around the city and suburbs, the
Subway, the Corporation Tramways, the river "Cluthas" and cross
ferry boats, the cabs and omnibuses. The receipts of the Tramways
and Subway are well known, as they are published every week. It is
more difficult to get at the proportion of the city and suburban revenue
drawn by the railway companies, but this has to a large went been
overcome through the courtesy of the Caledonian, North British, and
Glasgow and South-Western officials. The drawings of the "Clutlias"
and ferry boats have also been kindly supplied by the Clyde Trust.
As regards cabs and omnibuses, the details are to some extent a
matter of surmise. Here, however, are the estimates of the outgoing
per week of the public of Glasgow and suburbs, and of the visitors to
the city, on personal transport:—
On Railways (including the Subway), - - - - £14,000
On Corporation Tramways, - - - - - - 12,000
On Cabs and Omnibuses, - - - - - - - 6,700
On "Cluthas" and Ferry Boats, - - - - - 300
Total, - - - - - - - - £33,000
This means an expenditure of over £130,000 every month, or more than
£1,550,000 in the course of a year, on the methods of inter-communication
provided within Glasgow and its suburban districts.
Although the West of Scotland is one of the greatest industrial centres
of the kingdom, it is not so by reason of its textile manufactures.
Certainly the products of its looms are not unknown in the markets of the
world, and fabrics of chaste design and rare colour still come from a district
whose old-time weavers were peerless; but, compared with the rapid
development of the iron industries, or with the tremendous manufacturing
growths of Lancashire and Yorkshire, their expansion has been
very slow and occasionally imperceptible.
The Treaty of Union was the beginning of the West Country's industrial
development. Until the close of the seventeenth century practically
all the home-grown, home-spun, and home-woven fabrics that were
produced were absorbed locally, and with needs that were easily met,
and with no desire for trade beyond the Borders, the people refrained
from the hazard of exporting. There was a little foreign trade, however,
before the Union, for in an account of the district about the middle of the
seventeenth century we are told that, with certain exceptions, all the
inhabitants were traders — "some to France with plaiding, coals, and
herring." One may assume that in this plaiding the French had a
foretaste of the quality which other foreign peoples enjoyed later; it is
significant, at any rate, that the earliest patrons of our looms abroad were
a race whose artistic tastes are noted for their refinement.
But the Glasgow Weavers were, long before that period, a separate trade
incorporation — enjoying privileges which were defined with medieval exactness,
and exercising powers which were absolute within the craft. In
their charter of incorporation they were protected against the rural weaver
as follows: — Whereas "the communitie of Websters walks, wards, stents,
and beares all the common charges of the said towne. . . ilk out-of-the-towne
Webster to landward that conies within the said towne and
takes the stuff thereof, shall pay ilk time they are taken ane pund of walx
to the light of the said altar, together with ane free dinner to the masters
of the said craft." They were incorporated in 1528, and the extract from
their charter sufficiently indicates their power. Indirectly it shows, too,
that even in the sixteenth century the villages and towns in the neighbourhood
of Glasgow must have been relatively as considerable centres of hand-loom
weaving as we know them to have been later.
The middle of the seventeenth century seems to have been the time of
the city's emergence as a place of manufacture. The year of the Union
saw its place in the world of trade assured, but two facts show that a
trade development was strong much earlier. In 1638 a company proposed
to establish a weaving factory in the city, and the Town Council, with commendable
enterprise, gave it the free use of a great lodging in the Drygate,
which had belonged to one of the prebendaries of the Cathedral. The
City Fathers believed that "great good, utility, and profit to the town"
would be the result. But they reckoned without the Corporation of
Weavers, who protested against the concession, and remained obdurate
until Mr. Robert Flemyng and his partners came under an obligation to
employ only freemen of the Incorporation. The existence of the factory
is proof that the manufacture of textiles was on a considerable scale more
than half a century before the Union; and contemporary records testify
much to the same effect. One — "Franck's Northern Memoirs" — speaks of
"this eminent Glasgow, whose storehouses and warehouses are stuft with
merchandise, as their shops swell big with foreign commodities," and
enumerates amongst its staples linens, friezes, and tartans.
Obviously there were here exactly the conditions in which such an act
as the Treaty of Union could best prosper. Wool was no longer allowed to
be exported, and its manufacture increased. England, the English
colonies and plantations, and hitherto inaccessible English markets were
opened to Scottish enterprise, and the country was on the highway to
commercial prosperity.
The commercial travellers of those days sold his wares in one minute
and delivered them in the next. Instead of samples he carried bulk,
and he was known far and near as a pedlar. Nowadays there is a
wide social gulf fixed between the "ambassador of commerce" and the
pedlar; but nevertheless more than one great house traces its descent
from a man who had the instinct to see in "peddling" the beginning of
great things. Pedlars from Glasgow and Paisley were the pioneers of
Scottish trade in England, and the linens and other cloths they carried
spoke eloquently of the country's resources. Attracted chiefly by the
cheapness of labour, and compelled, in a sense, by the competition, English
manufacturers came North, and, under more remunerative conditions.
commenced textile industries which had hitherto been unknown in Scotland.
The exchange of commodities naturally increased greatly. In
the thirteenth year from the date of the Union, Scotland's linen exports
represented no less than £200,000, and her imports of English woollen cloths
nearly £400,000. In addition, a prodigious quantity of linen was sent from
the Clyde to be exchanged for the produce of the West Indies and of the
great American continent, whose people now vie with us in manufacturing
skill in almost every industry. And to promote these developments came,
created under the Treaty of Union in 1707, the Board of Trustees for
Manufactures, with its subsidies, its schools, and its otherwise helpful
The merging of the two Parliaments was not, strictly speaking, the
cause of this commercial expansion, but it happened at the most favourable
moment, and even detractors of the Union did not deny its effect.
"The Union," says De Foe, writing in the year of the Board's establishment,
"has indeed answered its end to them" — the citizens of Glasgow,
that is — "more than to any other part of the Kingdom, their trade being
new formed by it. For as the Union opened the door to the Scots into
our American colonies, the Glasgow merchants presently embraced the
opportunity; and though at its first concerting the rabble of this city
made a formidable attempt to prevent it, yet afterwards they knew better
when they found the great increase of their trade by it."
Amongst the local manufactures noted by the same writer are plaiding —
"a stuff cross-striped with yellow, red, and other mixtures"; muslins —
"generally striped," and "so good and fine that great quantities of them
are sent into England and to the British plantations, where they sell at a
good price"; and linen — "common in all parts of Scotland, which improve
in it daily." So that even then the textile manufactures of the West of
Scotland were noted for their variety, though the preponderance of light
textures like lawns, muslins, and gauzes was as marked as it is probably
to-day. In our time, the dictates of fashion have multiplied the varieties,
making one texture popular at the expense of another, and declining some
to the verge of extinction. But these are the legitimate risks of all
trades; they stimulate invention, and compel studious care not only of the
needs of the moment but of the probable needs of the future.
At the dawn of the nineteenth century, therefore, the manufacture of
textiles was firmly established in the West of Scotland, and the prospects
of the industry were roseate in the extreme. Spinning and weaving provided
plentiful employment in Glasgow and the villages around it for many
miles, and in the counties of Lanark, Renfrew, and Ayr many cottars
plied the craft in lonely places, far from the madding crowds of urban
districts. The industry was common in almost every village, and to be a
weaver was to be a person of importance in the land. The flax and wool,
which until the introduction of cotton, about 1770, were the staple fibres,
were cultivated in small quantities by the cottars themselves, or purchased
from neighbouring farmers, and although natural causes created
distinctions for some districts in the growing of flax or in the rearing of
sheep. there was none of the concentration which came later with the
power loom. It was essentially a village industry, and every cottage had
its loom.
The student of Scottish life and manners in the eighteenth century will
be struck with the frequent allusions to the spindle and spinning wheel in
the literary records of the period. It is particularly enshrined in song,
and more than one Scottish poet discloses intimate acquaintance with its
technicalities. There is little reason to wonder at this when we consider
that when the nineteenth century opened the rural population of the
country kept aloof from the cities. The concentration which marked the
beginning of our great industrial development had not set in, and the
domestic circle was a community of itself.
The cultivation of small patches of lint, and the preparation of the
fibre until it was ready for spinning were a recognised part of farm work.
It was pulled, rippled, steeped, beetled, scutched and heckled by the
farmer, who turned it over to be home-spun and bleached by his women
folk. On the long winter nights the women round the ingle spun
their tint of tow. The yarn so spun was turned over to the merchants
of Glasgow and of Paisley, who distributed it to the weavers of the
towns and villages and hamlets of the country around. The Scottish
spinster, however, went down the vista of romance when Hargreaves,
Arkwright, and Crompton came with their inventions.
Scotland was slow to adopt the mechanical improvements which had
been made on English looms, and until nearly the close of the eighteenth
century the loom used was of the most primitive description. Although
it was introduced at Bury in 1733, the fly shuttle was unknown north of the
Border for many years afterwards. But this conservatism could not stand
in the face of mechanical progress, and the hand looms of the north gradually
reached the standard which competition with rival centres demanded.
The production of weaving yarns, rapidly and in large quantities, was
greatly facilitated by the inventions of, amongst others, Arkwright,
and the producing powers of the hand loom were largely increased.
Weavers came to be the best paid artisans in the West of Scotland,
and there seemed to be no limit to their prosperity. They were for the
greater part men of more than ordinary intelligence and of superior
In a review of this kind it is, of course, impossible to trace the cause
of every little deviation from the straight line of progress. Our concern
is the textile industry as a whole, and just here, on the threshold of a
century of mechanical achievement, there is danger of confusion. The
factory operative was to come when 1800 was passing, and the hand loom
weaver was a power in the land. He continued to enjoy unparalleled
prosperity until the Napoleonic wars were half through, and then the
market for muslins at his price declined. The factory operative, with all
his mechanical aids, had come, and wages fell with amazing rapidity. The
following table from the report of the Commissioner appointed by the
Government in 1838 shows the decline: —
1806 15d. per ell, - - - - - 32s. 6d. per week.
1810 12½d " - - - - - 26s. 9d. "
1815 12d. " - - - - - 25s. 9d. "
1820 5d. " - - - - - 10s. "
1825 5d. " - - - - - 10s. "
1830 3d. " - - - - - 5s. 6d. "
1835 3½d. " - - - - - 6s. 7d. "
1838 3½d. " - - - - - 6s. 7d. "
And in substance his finding was — "There appears no prospect whatever
that the weaving trade will improve. The power-loom is applicable to
many fabrics which the exceedingly low rate of wages alone enables the
hand-loom to retain."
But the essential "exceedingly low rate of wages" barely supplied the
weavers with the necessaries of life, and by and by even that cold comfort
was denied them. Unable to adapt themselves — in the towns particularly
— to the rapidly changing conditions, they were left literally to starve,
and by and by their plight was so abject that the Commission, which has
been referred to, became an absolute necessity. Their degradation was
complete. Thefts of weft and other weaving material became alarmingly
common, and the distress and its attendant evils became so marked that
the community clamoured for Government intervention.
In the face of the report, only one remedy was possible — emigration on
a wholesale scale. So the unfortunate weavers, many of them so scantily
clad that clothing had to be provided in order that they might appear to
be certified, were sent to ply other crafts in other lands. The lower cost of
living enabled cottars to exist longer, and Paisley developed along a line
which, for an all-too-brief space, became peculiarly its own.
The Paisley weavers suffered to a certain extent from the distress we
have noted, but half-way in the period covered by the official investigation
they turned their labour to account in another direction. Previously they
had looked askance at shawls, chiefly because of the expensive looms necessary,
but the decline of the muslin trade compelled other views, and they
took up the manufacture. From 1824 to 1827 shawls largely made up of
real Cashmere wool were woven in a factory under the supervision of a
Frenchman, whose introduction of the double ground increased the already
great beauty of the fabric and cheapened the cost of production. Various
other improvements which need not be enumerated here were made, and
about 1830 Thibet shawls were the staple productions of the Paisley loons.
The industry developed with amazing rapidity, and improvement followed
improvement, until the city draper pushed Paisley goods as French. and
even France, from which Paisley has learned much, imitated the work of
its persevering rival. The introduction into Paisley of the Jaquard
machine revolutionised the industry, and the rich white crape shawls,
the silk gauze shawls, the lace shawls, the barege shawls, the harness-woven
black satin shawls, the crape Indianas, the Cashmeres, and the
mosaics of Paisley became famous all over the world.
But the tide of this prosperity ebbed in time, and Paisley shawls, from
being articles of everyday wear, became practically heirlooms. And
more than once the industry had experience of the fickleness of fashion.
In 1841 and 1842 there was no demand for the shawls, and the unemployed
weavers and their dependants suffered greatly. Our late beloved Queen
saved this situation, as she did many others, by setting the fashion again;
but the revival was short-lived, and the hand-loom weaver was face to face
with his original difficulty.
The Paisley weaver of that day was a man of exquisite taste and
untiring industry, and his work displayed rare skill. "As craftsmen," said
Mr. John Ingram at the opening of the late Exhibition of Shawls in
Glasgow, "the Paisley weaver and his assistant 'drawboy' of those early
days have never been equalled in textile skill." But modern needs are
more easily and more cheaply supplied, and the interesting figures had to
follow their earlier exiled brethren into other walks and to other lands.
Fashion decreed the extinction as a manufacture of the high-class shawl,
over which the weaver toiled for months, but the cheapening of fabrics of
every kind by the development of the power loom was the real cause of the
decay. Cheapened production widened the area of distribution, and to
meet the increased demand concentration in gigantic factories became
necessary. But in rural districts the hand-loom weaver lingered on, "a
steadily declining remnant." "According to a kind of rough census," says
Mr. Paton in 1878. "made in 1872 of the counties of Lanark, Renfrew, and
Ayr, there were then about 10,000 hand-loom weavers either at work in
their own houses or in shops belonging to manufacturers. . . . In
1875, working upon Paisley shawls, they could earn from 4s. to 5s. per
day, but at shirtings and the common descriptions of work, which are,
however, mostly left to women and boys, not more than 8s. per week could
be earned, and that with the labour of twelve, fourteen, and sometimes
even more hours. Working practically beyond the range of factory
inspectors' supervision, the hand-loom weavers not only labour long and
irregular hours, but children of tender years, taken in as apprentices, have
to ply the shuttle for equally hurtful and unconscionable periods."
Obviously such a state of matters could not exist much longer. The
hand-loom weaver of the rural districts gradually died out, and other
industries provided more remunerative employment for his children. The
concentration in great factories which was beginning to be marked then is
almost complete now, and the music of the shuttle is rarely heard in the
scattered villages of the West. Some fabrics, which it would be unprofitable
to multiply, are still, of course, made on hand looms, but the number
is necessarily small.
The displacement of labour which this revolution caused was serious,
but naturally its abundance and low cost attracted other industries.
Factories provided employment for large numbers, and what was not
absorbed in that way was utilised by the new-comers. The lace curtain
industry of the Loudoun Valley, the thread trade of Paisley, and one or
two other branches of manufacture were established and developed, and
by and by enforced idleness and its attendant evils were rare. Strange to
say, however, the development of cotton spinning and weaving lasted only
up to a point, and the trading world had the first evidence of a want of
enterprise on the part of Scottish manufacturers. Twenty or thirty years
ago there were a large number of factories in and around Glasgow manufacturing
grey cloth, suitable for printing, but, unable to compete with the
great and completely equipped establishments in Lancashire and Yorkshire,
they have gradually disappeared. There are still one or two in
existence, and it may he that but for the absorption of capital by other
industries there might have been more; what has to be noted is that
the only concern set up in the district with modern spinning machinery
is a financial success. "The only hope," said a Glasgow merchant the
other day, "of a return to the prosperity of former years seems to be
the adoption of the most economical methods of production, so as to
meet the powerful competition which has arisen."
Linen, which once was the staple, is now manufactured almost
exclusively in the East of Scotland and in the North of Ireland, and the
grey cottons of Lancashire are in vogue. But the plain muslins of the
West of Scotland still represent a considerable industry, and the market
for them is maintained steadily. Their manufacture absorbs a large
quantity of the best descriptions of cotton yarn, and in that direction one
looks reasonably for the development which is claimed elsewhere.
Dress fabrics, however, which not long ago represented a large interest
in and around Glasgow, are declining in importance, chiefly through the
competition of Bradford. For a very long time Glasgow manufacturers of
coloured dress fabrics and other cloths were noted for their taste and care,
but fashion first and then the Yorkshire factories, with their economical
production and their enormous output, gradually displaced them. All
attempts to meet this competition have failed, chiefly because the mill-workers
of a city like Glasgow are not so utterly dependent on the factory
as the operatives of Yorkshire and Lancashire are.
But the decline applies only to the heavier classes of dress fabrics.
Zephyrs have been for many years manufactured largely; and the shirting
trade has not only been maintained, but has grown in extent. Of
some other branches much the same is true, though where so much
depends on fashion the fluctuations are necessarily marked.
Other textile industries which have been developed in the West of Scotland
are referred to further on, but may be noted briefly here. Chief
place among these must be assigned to carpets, the manufacture of
which has been developed with great care and rare artistic skill by
the Messrs. Templeton, of Greenhead. Madras muslins are largely manufactured
for window decoration to the ultimate exclusion, evidently, of the
tapestry curtain. Satisfactory progress may also be reported of the silk
trade — neckerchiefs, etc. — which has chiefly its markets at home and in
Rangoon, and the details which follow sufficiently indicate the state of the
many minor industries which come under the head of textiles.
The intimately related industries of bleaching, calico-printing, Turkeyred
dyeing and printing, and calendering and finishing may be briefly
referred to, for their history is pretty much that of textiles. Their record
is not one of continued progress from the first, though their ultimate
development has been little short of marvellous. They have had their
periods of deep depression, and have faced the ordeal of stern opposition
from across the Border. But, unlike the kindred interests, they have made
the best possible use of natural advantages; nothing in the way of equipment
that was essential to success has been left unprovided, and they are
now practically beyond the effect of local fluctuation. "They have," as
Mr. Paton remarks, "undergone marvellous transformations." Calico
printing was an industry in the neighbourhood of Glasgow as early as 1738
— nearly thirty years before it was known in Lancashire — and it has continued
to be one ever since, though there were almost prohibitive
duties — latterly the rate was 3½d. per yard — until 1831. Bleaching with
chlorine was first practised in 1787, at the suggestion of James Watt, who
had had the process explained to him a year earlier by Berthollet.
The dyeing of Turkey-red, which is peculiarly a West of Scotland
industry, and has been developed enormously, was first introduced at
Dalmarnock under the direction of a dyer from Normandy. At the moment
its outlook is not so favourable as it was a year or two ago, but the lull is
not likely to be a prolonged one. There is keener competition to contend
with from the Continent, and Bombay is a serious rival in India, China, and
Japan, but there is nothing in the situation to give the slightest cause for
uneasiness respecting the future.
The foregoing is simply all attempt to trace briefly the development
of the textile industries of the West of Scotland, and to point out the
causes of their variation and decline. All the information available has
been embodied, as far as possible, in the foregoing brief historical
To the East Country belongs the credit of introducing cotton
manufacture into Scotland, for, though "blunks" — handkerchiefs with
linen warps and cotton wefts — were known earlier, it was at Penicuik
in 1778 that the first cotton-mill was erected in Scotland. The second
was built at Rothesay in the following year, and a little later similar
erections appeared at Barrhead and Johnstone. The selection of Rothesay
as the centre of a new industry, and the preference of Barrhead and Johnstone
to Paisley or Glasgow may at first sight seem strange. But steam
was not the motive power of those days, and the Clyde was not the navigable
river it is now. The manufacturer depended for his power on water,
and all these places were happily situated in that respect, besides enjoying
as many transit facilities as greater centres. In the same way the choice
of Lanark in 1785 for a more ambitious effort was natural. Here David
Dale and Arkwright were associated, and their enterprise was for a time the
most important in the country, in which there were altogether at the close
of 1787 nineteen cotton-spinning mills. Of these, four were in Lanarkshire
and four in Renfrewshire.
At New Lanark, it may be noted in passing, and at Orbiston, in the
Parish of Bothwell, Robert Owen made the second of his three attempts to
carry out his economic theory of socialism. Dale was his father-in-law.
The attempt failed, and in the experiment Owen lost what has been
described as a princely fortune, the mills passing in 1827 into the hands of
a commercial company.
The development of the spinning trade, which has been rapid and
wonderful, was to a large extent the work of Englishmen. The
mechanical inventions were all English, and to the Scotland of those
early days belongs only the credit of making the most of them. Scotch-men
altered them and adapted them to various purposes, and in a
variety of ways improved their efficiency. Mr. William Kelly, who was
manager at New Lanark in 1792 for Mr. Dale, initiated the working by power
of Crompton's mule-jenny; and in 1795 Mr. Archibald Buchanan, of Catrine
— one of Arkwright's earliest pupils — experimented with the self-acting
mule which he only perfected in conjunction with his nephew, Mr. James
Smith of Deanston, in 1826. The names of both these men stand high
in the records of the industry. They were ingenious and they were
patient, and their names are associated with several mechanical improvements
in other fields. At Catrine many improved processes were
introduced in opening, cleaning, lapping, and carding cotton fibre, and
Mr. Smith was responsible alone for numerous improvements on carding
engines. In the light of the vast mechanical changes that have taken
place since those early days, these achievements may seem trivial,
but they represented the high-pressure progress of the time, and they
have a sentimental interest for most of us.
In the "New Statistical Account of Scotland" it is stated that in 1820
Mr. Smith "had contrived and constructed the mechanism of a self-acting
mule; but his attention having been required for other more extensive and
important operations, he laid it aside, it is believed, without trial. In
1833, Mr. Smith, seeing the desire that existed for a simple and efficient
self-acting mule, and more especially such as could be applied to the mules
of various constructions at present in general use in the trade, set about
contriving one, and having made some progress he came to bear of a very
simple contrivance for facilitating the process of backing off (one of the
most difficult to accomplish in a self-actor) by Mr. John Robertson. an
operative spinner and foreman to Mr. James Orr, of Crofthead mill in
Renfrewshire. Mr. Robertson, through Mr. Orr, obtained a patent for
his invention, which consisted of other movements rendering the mule
completely self-acting. Mr. Smith, struck by the simplicity and efficacy
of his backing-off movement, which consists in stripping the coils from
the spindles, entered into an arrangement with Mr. Orr and Mr. Robertson,
and having united the mechanism of his own patent with that of
Robertson and Orr, a machine was brought out which is considered to be
more simple and effective, and more generally applicable to all mules,
than any other yet brought before the trade."
The Tape Loom was introduced in Glasgow in 1732, and its introducer
was Mr. Alexander Harvie, who, at the risk of his life, brought away two
Inkle looms and a weaver from Haarlem in Holland. Strategy of this
description deserved lasting reward. But the Dutchman evidently did not
like the treatment he received at the hands of the Glasgow people, and,
proceeding to Manchester he unfolded his secret to our trade rivals there.
Dr. Cartwright's power-loom was in use in Glasgow as early as 1793, but its
introduction was a humble one, and its operations small. A citizen had seen
it in the hulks in London, and, possessing himself of two, fitted them up in
a cellar in Argyle Street. For power, he had a Newfoundland dog walking
inside a revolving drum. A year later a factory with forty looms was
established at Milton, near Bowling, for weaving printing calicoes, and in
the opening year of the nineteenth century a similar erection, to accommodate
two hundred looms, appeared at Pollokshaws. Catrine Mills, which
have already been noted as the scene of the achievements in spinning
machinery of Buchanan and Smith, also adopted the improved apparatus,
and the decline of the hand-loom was accelerated by every inevitable
increase of its efficiency.
Considering the class of work which the West Country had excelled in, it
was natural that its manufacturers should take to the more delicate fabrics
into which cotton fibre could be woven. Linen, cambric, lawn, and silk
gauzes — the latter only from 1760, and almost exclusively in Paisley — were
the fabrics they had been used to, and when the change came, muslins — plain
for the most part in Glasgow, and ornamented in Paisley — were the earliest
About 1780 Mr. James Monteith, whose son founded the great
printworks at Barrowfield and the spinning and weaving mills at Blantyre,
warped the first muslin web attempted in Scotland, and subsequently set
himself the task of imitating, with commercial success, the products of
Dacca and the other famous muslin-producing centres of India. His
great difficulty was yarn. What could be produced was not fine enough
for his purpose, and be procured some bird-nest Indian yarn. He
then "employed James Dalzell," says a historical account of Glasgow's
progress, "to weave a 6-4th 12.00 book with a hand shuttle, for which he
paid him 21d. per ell for weaving. It is worthy of note that the same kind
of web is now (1840) wrought at 2 5/8d. per ell. The second web was wove
with a fly shuttle, which was the second used in Scotland. The Indian yarn
was so difficult to wind that Christian Gray, wife of Robert Dougall, bellman,
got 6s. 9d. for winding each pound of it. When the web was finished
Mr. Monteith ordered a dress of it to be embroidered with gold, which he
presented to Her Majesty Queen Charlotte."
The development of cotton manufacture was, as already indicated,
rapid, and the reign of the "cotton lord" became almost supreme.
Muslin was the chief of the textures into which the fibre was woven, but
other remunerative uses were found for it also — in mulls and jaconets —
and ginghams and pullicates found good markets both at home and in our
West Indian Colonies. The making of checked and striped muslins also
became common, and later were added spotted muslins and lappets — the
latter in 1814. The hand loom weavers of the towns and villages found a
deal of employment in the making of the ginghams and pullicates, and,
broadly speaking, what has been called domestic weaving generally was at
its high-water mark. Grey cloth for bleaching and printing was made on a
fairly large scale, and occupied a place of importance for many years, but
in an annually increasing proportion the great manufacturing districts of
Lancashire provided the employment for the extensive bleaching and print
works of he Clyde Valley. To-day the bulk of the grey cloth comes
from the South.
Weaving was not the only branch of the industry associated with
the hearth, for the plain muslins came to be ornamented, and women everywhere
were employed hand-sewing the textures into things of beauty.
There was a large and paying market for this class of work, and not only
the women of the West of Scotland. but the women of the North of Ireland
as well, were employed in it. The introduction of the Irish labour had its
effect, Mr. Paton says, on prices, but it is hardly to be doubted that in any
case the rate would have cheapened as the industry developed. For the
work, though it required taste and had to be done indoors, was comparatively
easy. "Elaborate and artistic patterns were prepared for embroidering
by specially trained designers; these patterns were printed from
engraved cylinders of wood on the surface of suitable pieces of muslin, on
which also was printed the number of the pattern, the length of time
allowed for sewing it, and the price to be paid by the agent or manufacturer"
for the work. The fixed prices were, we are told, poor;
nevertheless the industry prospered. Manufacturers grew rich beyond
the dream of avarice in it, and work people of every class shared in
its general prosperity. But a change came — swift, sudden, and
disastrous — in 1857. In the memorable financial crash of that year many
firms of note in the commercial world went under; the next two
decades saw between them the gradual withdrawal of many more, till
now the trade is little more than a shadow of its former self. The
embroidering machine entirely superseded hand labour.
In the face of all the displacements of labour that have taken place,
the continuous growth of the West Country is wonderful. If its people
had been altogether dependent on textiles the development, though suspended,
might have been that way, for in every respect the district was
as favourably situated as any of the English centres that have succeeded.
But the making of the Clyde, the opening up of coal and iron fields, and
one or two movements of minor degree absorbed much of the available
capital and labour. Almost innumerable industries were initiated,
and now the variety in and around Glasgow is possibly greater than
it is anywhere else in the kingdom. The mechanic has a wide selection
of employment, the attractions of counting-house, shop, and warehouse
cannot be resisted by the young woman of the day, and unskilled labour
has a price which was never dreamed of in earlier times.
Still, some part of the disengaged labour has been absorbed in alternative
textile manufactures, and the success of these enterprises seems to
prove that but for the tremendous counter development of iron we might
have been rivals of Lancashire instead of Northumberland and Durham.
The making of thread, for instance, saves so famous a textile centre as
Paisley from complete capitulation to the engineer, and if Paisley could
transplant Kilbowie to the Cart side of the Clyde we should have an
example of a marvellous twin-development. The sewing machine has
been the making of the thread industry. But there was thread even in
pre-machine days, and necessarily very robust thread. Until the middle
of the eighteenth century the chief sources of supply were in the counties
of Aberdeen and Forfar, but as early as the close of the preceding hundred
years the West of Scotland was associated with its manufacture. Christian
Shaw, the daughter of John Shaw of Bargarran, was noted for her dexterity
in spinning fine linen yarn, and Lady Blantyre took some of her "thread"
to Bath, where it was sold to manufacturers of lace. That was Scotland's
debût in the thread export trade which she now practically controls.
During a visit to Holland one of the Shaws accumulated much exclusive
knowledge of thread manufacture. On his return home he naturally
communicated all he knew to his relatives, and Miss Shaw — more than
ordinarily fragile, but with the compensation of shrewd business
instincts — reorganised her establishment on a more extensive scale. The
ounce or nun's thread of Bargarran came to be widely used, and Paisley
came to be identified with the industry through a Mr. Pollock, who
set up its first thread factory.
Rather an unpleasant light is reflected on the period by an incident
in which the founder of the industry figured. Miss Shaw was, as I have
said, rather a sickly young person, and her ailment, whatever it was, was
beyond the skill of the medical practitioners of the day. Therefore,
according to the superstitious notions of the time, she was regarded as
bewitched. Three men and four women were found guilty at Paisley in
1797 of bewitching her, and were hanged on the Gallow Green on the
10th June. The bodies, it may be added, were afterwards cut down,
and burned in a fire, the principal ingredient of which was a barrel of
The manufacture of cotton and linen thread has developed with enormous
strides, and one may not lightly put a limit to its growth. Glasgow
and other considerable centres are interested in it, but Paisley is the
seat of it. Fiscal policies are not without their effect on this as on other
British industries, but when the scale of a manufacture is colossal, and
its markets in every land, fear of disaster is slight. And fashion, which
has decreed the supersession of many fabrics and the extinction of the
Paisley shawl, stops far short of thread.
Other notable branches of cotton manufacture are lace making and
Turkey-red dyeing. The last-named has long been practised, chiefly in the
Vale of Leven, and its extent and influence are now very great. But,
like the thread makers, the bleachers, and the calico printers, the Turkey-red
dyers do not desire publicity. I have asked for information, and have
received none.
As I have stated, the centre of the cotton manufacturing world has
shifted since 1857. Forty years ago there was a large number of spinning
mills in Glasgow and its vicinity, and the raw cotton was shipped direct
to the Clyde. The rapid progress of Lancashire, however, made competition
keener, and mechanical development was quicker over the Border
than it was here. Transport became less and less a factor in cost with
railways extending everywhere. The machinery in the Scotch mills
became archaic alongside that of similar establishments in England, and
few, if any, serious efforts were made to restore anything like equality in
economy or speed of production. One by one the Scotch mills decreased,
until now the total number may be counted on the fingers of one hand.
The Glasgow Cotton Spinning Company (Limited) is the only concern which
meets the Lancashire establishments on their own ground, and, significantly
enough, its experience proves that commercial success is possible with
capital, experience, and the right methods. The experience and expert
knowledge of the right methods are easily obtainable, but there are
obviously plenty of remunerative outlets elsewhere for the money.
The cotton manufacturers of to-day are varied, and the production is
nothing like what it was in former days. Grey cloth is still made,
but not to any considerable extent; the great bulk of this comes, as I
have said, from across the Border. The East End of Glasgow still produces
muslins on a fairly large scale, and Madras curtains also represent a considerable
interest. The weaving of zephyrs is likewise considerable, and
the local fabrics of this kind have an excellent name for quality and finish.
Statistics of the cotton trade are not easy to get, and the few
that are obtainable do not facilitate comparison with other industries.
Value would be the just measure. But a calculation based on value
is obviously impossible, and we have to fall back on official reports,
prepared, of course, with different objects. I have said that in 1787
there were altogether 19 cotton mills in Scotland and that of these
4 were in Lanarkshire and 4 in Renfrewshire. In 1834 Mr. Leonard
Horner, one of the Factory Commissioners, reports "that in Scotland
there are 134 cotton mills. With the exception of some large
establishments at Aberdeen, and one at Stanley, near Perth, the cotton
manufacture is almost confined to Glasgow and the country immediately
adjoining, to a distance of about 25 miles radius; and all these
cotton mills, even including the great house at Stanley, are connected with
Glasgow houses, or in the Glasgow trade. In Lanarkshire. . . there
are 74 cotton factories, in Renfrewshire 41, in Dumbartonshire 4, in Buteshire
2, in Argyleshire 1, and in Perthshire 1." Of these, 100 belonged
to Glasgow. "In Lanarkshire," proceeds Mr. Horner, "there are 74 cotton
mills, 2 woollen, and 2 silk factories; 78 steam engines and 5 water
wheels; total horse power, 2914; of which steam, 2394; water, 520.
Total persons employed in factories, 17,969." Mr. Symons, whose report
is referred to in the introduction, records that in 1838 the number of
hand looms in the West of Scotland dependent on cotton weaving was
over 37,000.
A parliamentary return made in 1850 states that there were at that
time 149 cotton factories in the district — 94 in Lanarkshire, 51 in Renfrewshire,
and 4 in Ayrshire, and that between them they had 1,410,054
spindles, and 21,575 power looms, employing 31,710 persons. Ten years
later the figures were 143 factories, 1,577,584 spindles, 28,085 power looms,
and 36,903 hands. In 1875 there were in the counties of Lanark, Renfrew,
and Ayr 64 factories, with 1,192,946 spinning spindles, 333,934 doubling
spindles, 27,479 power looms, and 33,276 employees. There has been no
official return since 1890. That return, which is given, shows an increase
of factories, but the other details sufficiently discount the higher total.
Many of the establishments included were not, strictly speaking, factories,
although for the purposes of the Act they were registered as such. The
decline, which was really marked then, has been slow but sure until now.
The manufacture of linen is now practically an extinct industry in the
West of Scotland. Time was, as I have stated, when its production was
largely undertaken, and a considerable proportion of the population
depended on it for employment. But cotton displaced it in the early part
of last century, and, so far as Scotland is concerned, the East is now the
headquarters of the trade. Belfast and its vicinity is, of course, the great
linen manufactory of the kingdom, and in variety and extent the output
of its colossal mills is immense. But the fine damasks of Dunfermline,
and the heavier fabrics of Dundee, have a fame that is world-wide. Thread
is almost the only use to which the fibre is now put on a large scale in
the West, and the traders of Glasgow, whose particular productions are
sufficiently varied, have to seek elsewhere the linen they need.
That was not always so, for in 1780, when cotton weaving was in its
infancy, there were in the Barony Parish of Glasgow alone about 3000
looms making lawns, cambrics, diapers, checks, handkerchiefs for printing,
and "blunks" — fabrics of linen warp and cotton weft used for neckties,
gowns, and bed curtains. And as an industry it had been of growing
importance locally from the beginning of the century. The times in which
it throve were times of transition for Scotland, which was slowly recovering
commercially under the fostering care of the united Parliaments from the
paralysing effects of the Darien failure. It was bolstered by bounties and
protected by duties, and the Board of Trustees for Manufactures in Scotland
— to give its full, unwieldy title — was generous in its grants for the
cultivation of flax, the improvement of appliances, the perfection of manufacturing
processes, and the extension of works. These methods of developing
industry are not greatly in favour with us now, and it is easy to
overstate the good effect of them on the trade. What cannot be overlooked
is that during their nominally beneficent operation the manufacture of
linen prospered and expanded in the face of a Stamp Act, which was in
existence for practically a century — from 1727 till 1823. During that
period no linen fabric could be exported, or in any way exposed for sale,
which had not been examined, approved, and stamped by an official of
the Government appointed for the purpose. Cotton decreed the
banishment of the industry, and the gradual displacement is conveniently
set forth in the following table: —
The falling- of, it will be observed, is contemporaneous with the rise of
cotton weaving, which had its beginning in the decade succeeding 1780.
And it never recovered. In 1875 only 11 of the 159 linen factories in
Scotland were in the three western counties, to which the figures refer.
Of carding and combing engines they had only 28, out of a total of 670;
of spindles, 39,000, out of nearly 300,000; and of power looms, only
1154, out of 18,529. And only a little over one-ninth of the 45,000
people employed in the industry in Scotland were engaged in the work.
The latest official return, of which I give an abstract, is for 1890. The
factories in the western district were engaged chiefly in the manufacture
of linen thread.
The manufacture of jute is peculiar to Dundee, and has never thrived
to any considerable extent elsewhere. When Tayside was at the height of
its first prosperity in the spinning and weaving of the fibre, and its
merchants were amassing wealth, there was naturally a desire to share in
the trade, and many centres, including Glasgow, introduced the heavier
plant necessary for the work. But Dundee has managed, in spite of the
opposition, not only to keep its place, but to vastly improve it, and rivals
one by one have found more remunerative employment in other directions.
The city of Glasgow had only 3 of the 27 jute factories in Scotland in 1862,
and they employed only 590 persons. In 1875 there were 84 factories
north of the Border, with 185,419 spindles, 8325 power looms, and 30,893
employees, Glasgow's proportion being 4 factories, 14,662 spindles, 722
power looms, and 2242 employees. The return for 1890 is as follows: —
Naturally, the manufacture of woollen fabrics bulked largely in a district
so completely given over to domestic weaving as the West of Scotland once
was, and until a comparatively recent date the people of remoter parts were
in respect of clothing of that fibre independent of the spinner, or dyer, or
weaver on a large scale. The description "home-spun" had its full significance
then, and the vagaries of fashion were unknown. Fashion there
certainly was, but its flights were few and slow. Fabrics had lasting
qualities far beyond modern desires, if they lacked the charm of colour which
came later. "The husbandmen in Scotland," says a writer of the seventeenth
century, "the servants, and almost all the country, did wear coarse
cloth, made at home, of grey or sky colour, and flat blue caps, very broad.
. . . The inferior sort of citizens' wives and the women of the country
did wear cloths made of a coarse stuff of two or three colours in checker
work, vulgarly called pladon." A century and a half saw little change in
that respect, though the weaving gradually became the work of the larger
villages and the towns.
But even as early as the years immediately preceding the Union of the
Crowns there was a considerable woollen industry in Scotland, and the
manufactures of the West were known beyond the confines of the country.
It suffered greatly, however, from the competition of England, and at
times had enough to do, evidently, to hold its own at home. But in those
days the benefits of free trade were unknown; the economic qualities of
the system were not even discussed. Scottish trade was affected adversely
by English woollen manufactures; therefore English woollen manufactures
must be kept out of the country. So at the end of the sixteenth century
their importation was forbidden by an Act of Parliament, which made no
secret of its purpose by doubting the quality of the English cloth. According
to the measure, "the same claith" had "only for the maist part an outward
show, wanting the substance and strength whilk ofttimes it appears to
have." Another Act, passed in 1701, was more drastic still, for it prohibited
"the importation of all cloths and stuffs of any kind. . . excepting
flannel allenarly."
The effect of this protective legislation was a steady development on
well-defined lines, and the woollen manufactures of the West of Scotland
became notable. The industry is still of very considerable interest, although
it has declined of late in the face of the serious competition of Bradford.
But the characteristic of its controllers is exactly that which distinguished
the pioneers. Fashion is a factor in the success of both English and Scotch
centres, and the efforts of Yorkshire to follow it have been more profitable.
The trade here, however, is peculiar to the district, and instead of following
Bradford, possibly with little profit, West of Scotland firms have made the
most of their original ground.
Kilmarnock is probably the centre of the woollen and worsted trade of
the West, although Ayr, Paisley, and, to a gradually greater extent,
Glasgow and the Loudoun Valley, are interested in the manufacture. The
modern range of woollen goods is wide, and one need not state it in detail.
But woollen cloths of varying kinds, carpets and caps were, in the
eighteenth century, made on a fairly large scale in Kilmarnock, and in
their making many people were employed. Lord Provost Lindsay, in his
"Interests of Scotland Considered," which was published in 1733, describes
Kilmarnock as a town "where are made, of our own wool, low-priced serges
known by the name of that place where they are made. These are partly
for home consumpt, and partly for the markets of Holland." There are no
figures as to the extent of this trade, but we get some idea of it nearly half
a century later in Mr. David Loch's "Essays on Scotland," which saw the
light in 1778. According to Mr. Loch, there were at that time in
Kilmarnock 66 looms working on carpets and 80 on other woollen fabrics.
Ayr and Paisley did not emerge until much later, and in Glasgow there was
only one factory engaged in the making of carpets.
Carpets were the distinguishing fabrics of earlier days, and to a great
extent they are so still. The original fabric was of the Kidderminster
description, and Kilmarnock shared its manufacture in early days with,
amongst other places, Yorkshire, Durham, and Glasgow. The texture was
thin and not at all durable, and naturally the range of colour was extremely
limited. Only two colours could be interwoven, when a Kilmarnock
engineer — Mr. Thomas Morton — became, impressed with the possibilities
of improvement. He was ingenious and patient, and his consideration
of the problem was fruitful; for he invented the three-ply Scotch
carpet, and superseded the draw-boy by an ingenious arrangement of
a revolving cylinder studded with pins for moving the heddles. The
new carpet represented a great advance on the old, for it was thicker
and more durable, and necessarily richer in colour and more artistic
in design. The other invention continued in use until the Jaquard
Then came the Brussels carpet — which was, according to Mr. Digby
Wyatt, "one of the greatest triumphs of modern ingenuity" — and its conversion
subsequently to what was known as the Jacquard woven cut-pile
carpet. In the manufacture of both of these fabrics Kilmarnock became
prominent, and the industry flourished greatly, with the approving help of
the Board of Trustees for Manufactures in Scotland. Two premiums, of
£150 and £30, were awarded a local firm — Messrs. Gregory, Thomson & Co.
— for the first four Turkey carpets manufactured in Scotland, and between
1777 and 1825 the looms employed increased tenfold. In 1839 there were
1200 persons employed in the trade, and the annual value of the carpets
produced by Kilmarnock alone was estimated at £150,000.
Glasgow was also engaged in the trade of making carpets, and the next
marked advance in the manufacture is to the credit of one of her merchants.
Patent Tapestry was the invention of Mr. Richard Whytock, of Edinburgh,
but Patent Axminster — mechanically produced specimens of the
art which the fugitive Huguenots brought to Devonshire — was the
brilliant idea of the late Mr. James Templeton, of Glasgow. Mr.
Templeton was a native of Campbeltown, who, after some travel in
foreign parts, settled down in Paisley as a manufacturer of chenille shawls.
It was while engaged in the making of these fabrics that the possibility
of superseding the Axminster proper occurred to him, and his achievement
consisted of the adaptation practically of the principle of chenille shawl
manufacture to that of carpets. The chief difference was the production of
the chenille in straight instead of twisted form, and the weaving of it on a
stout warp. The old process of tufting or knotting on to a vertically placed
warp the yarns which formed the surface and the pattern was a tedious one,
and it occurred to Mr. Templeton and one of his weavers "that if cloth" —
to quote the inventor himself — "could be so woven as when cut into shreds
and not twisted to form chenille, but left free, so that the two cut edges
of the shred might collapse and form a pile, or fur, as we term it, it would,
when rewoven on to another warp or surface, produce a velvet, a pile, or an
Axminster surface. This was accomplished by a certain mode of gauze
weaving, and a patent was taken out for it" in 1839. "The chenille or
twisted strip or shred," said Mr. Templeton in a letter to Mr. Digby Wyatt,
"becoming spiral, gave a pattern on both sides of the cloth, the cut edges
standing out, when twisted, in every direction; while our backbone, with
its vertebrae, formed a ready-made pile for throwing on one side of the
cloth only."
Great difficulties were met with in developing the invention, and many
prejudices had to be worn down, but Mr. Templeton was persevering, and
one by one the obstacles to progress were removed. Many improvements
which need not be described in detail were made, the best designers and
the most capable workmen were employed, and step by step the manufacture
attained eminence. But, wrote the inventor after success, both artistic and
commercial, had come, "I do not believe that any consideration or remuneration
would induce me to fight the first three or four years' battles over
Mr. Templeton, it may be noted, was also one of the pioneers, if not
indeed the pioneer, of artistic manufacture. He saw the scope his invention
gave to art, and he called to his aid some of the best designers of the
day. At first they were inclined to look down on the work, and it was
difficult to get the right people; but in 1851 Mr. E. T. Paris, a little
later Mr. Digby Wyatt, and later still Mr. Owen Jones, were induced
to prepare high-class patterns. A quarter of a century ago the
example of Glasgow was being widely followed. The art education
of the foreign manufacturer of figured goods was superior
then, as it is now, but it is interesting to note that Glasgow,
through another generation of Templetons, still provides an example in this
respect. Taste and experienced judgment are still shown in the manufacture
of the Templeton fabrics, which, more varied than they were, and the
result of more intricate processes, are still the standard of excellence and
The firm, of course, has had no monopoly of carpet weaving. Ayrshire,
with Kilmarnock as its centre, has always been noted for Scotch and for
Brussels; in Paisley and around it, tapestry has been, and is, largely
manufactured; and in Glasgow all three varieties have been, and are,
made by various firms.
Another woollen industry — bonnet making — is peculiar to the West of
Scotland. Kilmarnock or Stewarton was the original seat of the trade,
but when hand-knitting was in the ascendant the participating
area was much wider, and wires were busy all over Scotland and in Ireland
as well. Richard Franck says that in 1698 the people of Kilmarnock were
extensively engaged in bonnet making, and that they turned the manufacture
to very good account. An earlier record indicates its importance
with more point, for it tells of a deputation complaining to Lord Boyd and
his bailies of certain abuses which existed in the trade. We are not told
what measures of success attended the appeal, but the industry flourished,
and "Kilmarnock caps" attained a wide fame. Soldiers wore them,
travellers liked them, and ordinary people found use for them too. At
first they were coarse, and made of home-grown wool; but latterly, with
the introduction of the knitting machine, and the widening of the market,
came colonial wools and finer qualities. It was estimated in 1869 that the
gross yearly value of the manufacture was about £150,000, and of that
£48,000 was spent in wages. Twenty-five years ago about 30 firms were
engaged in the trade.
Headgear is still largely manufactured in and around Kilmarnock, and
the knitting machine has also been applied to the making of many kinds of
underwear. Hosiery, as a matter of fact, is now extensively produced in
the district, and the signs are of growth rather than of diminution. The
dress trade of Glasgow and Paisley, however, has declined greatly in the
face of the competition of Bradford and France. Freight charges are not
now, as I have said, the factors they were, and the addition of carriage from
even the towns of France makes little or no difference in the price of a
fabric. Cheviots, after a long spell of neglect, seem to be coming in again,
but the revival is not, as yet, very marked. But altogether manufacturers
in this branch have less to grumble at than their neighbours. In 1875 there
were 56 woollen factories in the counties of Lanark, Renfrew, and Ayr, with
14,197 spinning spindles, 870 doubling spindles, 6617 power looms, and 5975
employees. At the same date there were 35 worsted factories, with 40,402
spinning spindles, 11,894 doubling spindles, 5889 power looms, and 8903
employees. Abstracts of the 1890 returns follow: —
One of the earliest effects of the Spitalfields Act, fixing a minimum wage
for silk weavers, was to drive the trade into the provinces, and Paisley was
the first manufacturing centre in Scotland to benefit by the change. In 1760
Mr. Humphrey Fulton commenced in Paisley the manufacture of silk gauze,
and ultimately he provided work for very close on 600 looms. During the
succeeding quarter-century, the industry thrived and extended, and when
cotton came a large number of weavers over a wide area in the West of
Scotland were lucratively employed. Cotton, however, enabled manufacturers
to produce cheaper muslins, and in a widening market the more
expensive fabric was naturally displaced. The silk industry was not actually
extinguished, but the first rush of competition was disastrous, and questions
of economy narrowed its prospects. Ribbons were taken up in 1772, and
several other developments of minor importance occurred later; but with
all the efforts of manufacturers the trade never quite recovered the prosperity
of its earlier years. And, as has been the case with cotton and
with linen, the modern development of the silk trade is in other hands.
But at the end of the eighteenth century the West of Scotland's interest
in the manufacture of silk was considerable. In 1784 no fewer than 5000
looms were at work, chiefly in the villages, to a greater or less extent,
on gauzes and other silk fabrics, and the annual value of the output
was put as high as £350,000. The silk trade originated in Scotland in the
West, and, for reasons which are obvious, it never spread to any other
district. As was to be expected where dependence on fashion was so complete,
the fluctuations have been numerous, but in spite of them all — in
spite, even, of the overwhelming competition of France — there has always
been a silk industry in the West. Naturally, in a district prominently
identified with the making of mixed fabrics, throwing and dyeing have been
carried on more extensively than weaving. In 1875 there were 4 factories,
with 226 power looms and 740 employees in the West of Scotland, and the
principal productions were gauzes, gossamers, hat trimmings, shawls, handkerchiefs,
and mourning crapes. Since then the change in the class of
goods has been slight, and there has been a decided upward movement in
at least one of the branches. Gauzes, gossamers, chiffons, neckerchiefs,
handkerchiefs, and tie cloths are the chief manufactures of to-day, and
despite the competition of weighted silks from France, Germany, and
Switzerland, the local manufacture about holds its own. Value
necessarily varies, but the annual output of cloth is at least as much
as it was twenty or thirty years ago.
The mixed fabrics of the West have been many and various, and to try
to enumerate them within the compass of such an article as this would
be to court failure. What they were depended largely on fashion,
and what they are may be set down as the result of purely economic causes.
In Paisley, shawls succeeded muslin, and Paisley shawls, like those which
may be seen in the Exhibition, had a world-wide reputation for beauty and
lasting qualities. Writing in 1878, Mr. James Paton says it is improbable
"that the public will ever altogether forsake a fabric in which there may be
so much beauty of texture, variety, and soft harmonious design combined."
And speaking in January of this year at the Glasgow Weaving College of
these same fabrics, Mr. John Ingram said — "They are only cherished heirlooms
once worn by loved ones, full of quaint interest to the younger race,
and calling up a flood of memories of the times and faces of long ago to the
older brigade." The decline of this mixed fabric is complete; and it is
natural. For the cost of filled shawls necessarily narrowed the market
for them, and mechanical progress made it possible to attract a far larger
body of buyers with something cheaper, if less durable and artistic. Half
the modern manufacturer's success is in meeting fashion half-way and
leading it the rest.
The weavers of Paisley who reluctantly took to shawl making in the
early years of last century were rather a notable set of men, and the high
degree of excellence to which they brought the manufacture may be taken
as evidence of their culture. They were great readers and keen politicians;
some, like Robert Tannahill, were poets; and others, like Alexander Wilson,
naturalists of no mean order. All were close students of nature, and the
fierceness of modern industrial methods was to come. Centuries of civilisation
separated them from the strangely-gifted needle artists who, under
spreading trees in the valleys of Cashmere, first made the shawls; but in
artistic aim and in technical skill the difference was much less. A
writer in the Evening Citizen at the beginning of the present year gave
an interesting account of the rise and decline of the industry, part of
which may be quoted.
"Mr. James Paterson," he says, "was the first manufacturer who
embarked in the business with ingenuity and perseverance, attended by
success sufficient to establish the trade in the locality, and thereby prevent
its being transferred to some other quarter. He was followed by others;
but the operatives, from the expense of erecting a shawl loom and the length
of time required to put it in a working condition, were many of them long
deterred from entering upon this branch of business. The decay of the
muslin trade and reduction of the price of labour impelled them at length
to turn their attention to the shawl trade, and it was not long ere it proved
the more important of the two. An early writer commends the Paisley
operatives on their intelligence, perseverance, and industry. They conquered
every difficulty; and serious as the outlay of money might be considered
for them, few of them hesitated to engage in the business. In
1824, or about that year, the Messrs. Millar, of Paisley, attempted the introduction
of shawls more closely resembling the Cashmere than anything as
yet produced in the locality. They procured Cashmere wool of native
growth, together with English materials nearly similar, employed a Frenchman
to superintend the work, and built a factory where they could carry
it on in secrecy. The operations, however, of this respectable and enterprising
firm were closed in consequence of the commercial panic in 1826-27;
but it was to their French superintendent the credit belonged for having
introduced the double ground or two backs, as it was called, which, while
it added beauty to the fabric, enabled more colouring to be thrown into the
pattern, and effected a saving in the cost of production. Another
improvement, afterwards introduced by the Messrs. Walker, and a positive
advance in design, was the 'tweeling' of the spotting or colours which
formed the pattern, a protracted demand for bordered goods ensuing in
consequence of the increased beauty of the patterns. About 1830 Thibet
shawls were the staple productions of the Paisley looms. These were shawls
of plain ground, with figured border woven separately and sewed on. During
the next decade there were great diversities of style in the goods produced
in Paisley. The manufacturers and pattern drawers saw the necessity of
paying much more attention to the varied styles of India and of France.
From these sources, enriching their ideas and invigorating their fancies,
they were led to adopt better methods of colouring and contrast. Among
those particularly who infused a spirit of emulation into the ranks of the
artists by exhibiting year after year the spirited effects capable of being
accomplished by a series of patterns of increased style and dimensions, were
the Messrs. Roxburgh, who eminently contributed to elevate the art of
design in Paisley. The introduction of the French loom effected a revolution
in the Paisley shawl trade. This loom was a simpler and more effective
plan than the old looms either of Paisley or India. The Jacquard machine
was almost universally adopted, notwithstanding its cost, and in the shawls
manufactured there was an astonishing contrast to the work hitherto done
by the Paisley loom, their superiority of design and beauty of execution
being apparent to the most superficial observer. Of such superior character
and extensive variety were the products of the Paisley loom then that many
of the articles were disposed of by the draper as French goods, and some of
them were even imitated by the French themselves. The Indian fabric,
indeed, was more closely resembled than ever. Innumerable were the
various kinds of fabrics produced in Paisley half a century ago — the rich
white crape shawls, silk gauze shawls, lace shawls, barege shawls, massive
harness-wove black satin shawls, crape Indianas, Cashmere, and mosaic
shawls are a few of those excellent and celebrated fabrics that attracted the
patronage of Royalty and secured the general sanction of fashion itself.
But — alas for the fickleness of fashion! — the production of woven and
figured shawls, in which Paisley attained such excellence, did not long
remain the staple commodity of the trade of the town."
Mr. Paton says that the shawls made at first were of the kind known
as filled middles, in which the whole article, border and middle, was harness-wove
and in one piece. Later, plain middles — first made of spun silk — with
borders sewed on, became fashionable, but finished shawls of the highest
class were made either of real Cashmere goats'-wool yarn, of silk warp and
silk, or very fine wool weft. Value, of course, depended on what was
used, but the following is a fair calculation of the price of an average shawl
in 1838: —
Warp, - - - - - - - - - £0 6 6
Orange silk, 32 Nos. at 3½d., - - - 0 9 4
Black wool, 26 " 2½d., - - - 0 5 5
Ruby wool, 26 " 2½d., - - - 0 5 5
Scarlet wool, 26 " 2½d., - - - 0 5 5
Green wool, 26 " 2½d., - - - 0 5 5
White cotton, 32 " ½d., - - - 0 1 4
Lavender cotton, 6 " 1d., - - - 0 0 6
Small-shot cotton, 16 " 1d., - - - 0 1 4
Flower of each valued at - - - - - - 0 8 0
Charges to cover loss, 15 per cent., nearly - - 0 10 0
Weaving 9 yards covering at 2s., - - - - 0 18 0
Winding, about - - - - - - - - 0 2 6
£3 19 2
On the final decline of the filled shawl, the harness looms of Paisley were
put to the making of worsted goods of a superior description — coloured
checks, other than tartans and stripes and fancy borders. Tartans,
plaids, mauds, scarves, bedcovers — coarse of texture and "large
and loud" in pattern — damask window hangings, tablecloths, and furniture
cloth were all pressed into the service, and for a time the change made comparatively
little odds. But there never was another revival of the shawl
trade, and Paisley gradually settled down to what we know it now. The
rise and fall of the Paisley Weaving Industry would make an interesting
story, and the wonder is that none of its literary weavers — for culture is still
the characteristic of the Paisley weaver — has already told it.
Chenille shawls, in the making of which Mr. Templeton discovered the
way to weave Patent Axminster carpets, were also largely manufactured in
Paisley, and at one time shawls of Canton crape, with embroidered borders,
were as beautiful and peculiar products. Chenille was introduced in 1822
by Mr. Alexander Buchanan, whose achievements in another textile
industry we have already noted. It is hardly necessary to enumerate
the mixed fabrics of the day; and it would be idle, for their variety
is dependent on fashion. The following table shows the position of
the textile industries as a whole: —
In the first half of last century Paisley was a great centre of this
industry, and not without reason is it claimed that, tedious as the
processes were, the work of that period has never been surpassed. It is
questionable if it has ever really been equalled in modern times with
modern methods; in the matter of fastness, certainly, there is no comparison.
The first check in the old-time dyers' prosperity came when the
Germans commenced the export of yarns dyed in the fleece. That competition
had its effect on prices, though the Paisley men managed to meet it
for a time profitably. The real cause of the decline came with the aniline
dyes, which were introduced into this country about thirty or forty years ago.
Previously dyeing had been an art which men spent half a lifetime learning,
and which depended on an intimate practical knowledge of chemistry. The
aniline preparations altered that. Little or no knowledge was required;
only careful attention to the voluminous instructions which came with the
dyes from Germany. Brilliance was purchased at the expense of fastness,
and the cost was incomparably less. For a time large profits were made
under the new regime, but the prosperity was necessarily short-lived. The
prospect of amassing wealth rapidly induced others to embark in the business,
and the result was naturally a fall in prices that meant ruin to many
of the concerns. Prices went far below their natural level, and the position
was reflected in the poorer quality of the work. Happily, however,
the industry ultimately steadied itself a little, and in combination with
former rivals here and across the Border the general dyer is carrying on the
work more remuneratively.
Bleaching and calico printing are still considerable industries in the
West of Scotland, but their exact position as compared with former days is
difficult to fix. Their origin is noted in the introduction, and their earlier
development traced. The leading firms decline, however, to say anything
of the position to-day, and it is impossible, therefore, to speak of the later
and more important developments. Both are necessarily very large
interests, representing enormous capital; but, as I have pointed out elsewhere,
the bulk of the cloth they bleach and print comes from over the
Border. Calico printing and Turkey-red dyeing and printing and
bleaching are, however, really the only branches of the industry which have
held their own in the West of Scotland.
This article would be incomplete without a reference to the Glasgow
Weaving College, which is the only institution of its kind in Scotland.
The need of better technical education in Scotland was clamant
very early, and amongst the first to feel it were the textile
manufacturers. Mr. James Templeton early advocated the establishment
of schools. In the letter to Mr. Digby Wyatt in 1868, from
which I have already quoted, he speaks of "the superior art of education
of foreign manufacturers and their workmen or designers," and fears that
"we may be left in the background with regard to many of our textile
fabrics," if steps are not taken to improve our position. Another
supporter of the movement for better technical training was Mr. David
Sandeman, and amongst others were Mr. John Ingram and Mr. Matthew
Blair. Between them they succeeded in their project, and in 1877 the
Glasgow Weaving College was opened. One hardly needs to mention
the excellent work which the school has done, and is doing. The
success of the institution is convincing. One wonders, however, what
the development of the movement would have been without the
enthusiastic labour of men like Mr. Ingram, Mr. Blair, and other
members of the governing body.
Professor of Chemistry in the Glasgow and West of Scotland
Technical College.
The object of the following notes is to draw attention to the principal
changes which have occurred in the chemical industries of the
West of Scotland since 1876, the date of the last visit of the British
Association to Glasgow. Some of the industries which were flourishing
at that time — for example, the manufacture of ferrocyanides. the
extraction of iodine from kelp, and the refining of sugar — are much less
prosperous to-day, and some others, such as the manufacture of soda
ash by the Leblanc process and the preparation of alum from alum
shale, have become practically extinct. On the other hand, there has
been great progress in other branches of chemical manufacture, e.g.,
the recovery of by-products from blast furnace gases, and some new
and important industries, among which may be mentioned the manufacture
of cyanides and of compressed gases, have been started. On
the whole, it may be said that the chemical manufactures of the West
of Scotland are characterised now, as they were twenty-five years ago,
by their variety, for while as regards certain branches the extent of
the manufacture is far greater in other localities, yet as regards the
number of different products few other districts surpass Glasgow and
its neighbourhood, and, moreover, certain of its industries are hardly
represented elsewhere. Special sections of this volume are devoted
to metallurgical processes, to the manufacture of pottery and glass, and
to bleaching, dyeing, and printing; these chemical industries, therefore,
are not referred to in the following pages.
Any account of the chemical industries of this country naturally
commences with a description of the alkali works, which occupy a foremost
place as regards both the quantity and the importance of the
substances manufactured in them. The nominal products of an alkali
work are soda ash (sodium carbonate), which for more than a century
has been made from common salt by the Leblanc process, and caustic
soda. As regards Scotland, in 1876 about 50,000 tons of common salt
were converted into soda ash and caustic soda by the Leblanc process,
while in 1889 the quantity of salt used in the alkali works had fallen
to a little over 33,000 tons, and at the present day there is not a single
alkali work in which soda ash is produced, and only one which manufactures
caustic soda. It is not difficult to account for this state of
affairs. In 1875 almost all of the soda ash made in Britain was obtained
by the Leblanc process, but since that date the rival "ammonia soda"
process has made such headway that by 1895 more than half of the
total quantity of salt used in alkali works was converted into alkali
by the new method, which continues to gain steadily upon the old one.
In the Leblanc process the first step is to prepare "salt cake" (sodium
sulphate) by heating salt with sulphuric acid in furnaces, the hydrochloric
acid which is liberated being collected and utilised. The next
step is to convert the "salt cake" into "black ash," which is essentially
a crude mixture of sodium carbonate and calcium sulphide, by heating
a mixture of salt cake, small coal, and limestone in reverberatory or
revolving furnaces. The third step is the systematic lixiviation of the
black ash with warm water and the separation of the solution from the
residue, which is known as "alkali waste." The solution, which contains
sodium carbonate, some caustic soda, and small quantities of other
salts, is treated in various ways; it is usually boiled down to small
bulk, and the crystals of hydrated sodium carbonate, which separate
as concentration proceeds, are collected, drained, and converted into
common soda ash by exposure to heat in a reverberatory furnace.
To obtain soda crystals, or washing soda, the soda ash is dissolved
in boiling water, and the solution, after purification, is left to cool,
when largo glassy crystals separate. The liquor is drained off, and
the mass of crystals is broken up and packed for transport. Caustic
soda is made from the "red liquor," i.e., the solution obtained by
lixiviating the black ash, from which the greater part of the sodium
carbonate has been removed by crystallisation. The liquor, after dilution,
is boiled with lime, in order to causticise the carbonate of soda
still present, and after the limo mud has settled, the clear caustic
liquor is run off, boiled down in iron pans, and finally concentrated in
iron pots, until the contents of the pots are raised to a dull red heat.
The small quantities of sulphide and cyanide present are destroyed in
various ways, and when the concentration is finished the molten caustic
is ladled into iron drums, where it solidifies on cooling. In the ammonia
soda process common salt is converted into bicarbonate of soda in one
operation. A solution of salt, saturated with ammonia, is caused to
flow down towers, which are separated into a number of superposed
compartments by perforated partitions, and a current of carbon dioxide
is forced up through the towers by means of pumps. The result of
the chemical action which takes place is the formation of bicarbonate
of soda, which separates as a crystalline powder, and ammonium chloride,
which is dissolved by the water and is drawn off in solution. The
bicarbonate of soda is pressed and converted into soda ash by calcination
in a revolving furnace; the carbon dioxide, which is evolved in
the process, is again utilised in the bicarbonate tower. From the liquor
drawn from the bicarbonate tower, which contains the ammonium
chloride, the ammonia is recovered by distillation with lime or magnesia.
Soda crystals or caustic soda can, of course, be made from the soda
ash. It will be seen that the ammonia soda process is, chemically,
much simpler than the Leblanc process; however, it is only through
the use of admirably designed plant, and by careful attention to the
details of manufacture, that the former has proved so successful. Its
chief advantages are that ammonia soda ash is purer than that made
by the Leblanc process, and that the cost of manufacture is less,
especially where salt is readily obtainable, as, for example, in Cheshire,
where the brine is pumped direct from the salt beds to the alkali
work. Moreover, there is no objectionable by-product such as the
alkali waste of the Leblanc works, of which from one and a half to
two tons are produced for each ton of soda ash. The chief drawback
to the ammonia soda process is that all of the chlorine of the common
salt is lost, because hitherto no very successful process has been devised
for recovering it on the large scale from the calcium or magnesium
chloride formed in the ammonia stills, whereas in the Leblanc process
the chlorine of the salt is converted into hydrochloric acid, from which
chlorine can be obtained in several different ways.
No soda ash is made by the ammonia soda process in Scotland,
chiefly because there are no such extensive deposits of salt as are
found in different parts of England. But, while the progress of that
process is mainly responsible for the cessation of alkali making in this
country, other causes have contributed. Among these may be mentioned
the recent development of electrolytic processes, whereby common salt
is directly converted into caustic soda and chlorine, the latter being
utilised for making bleaching powder. Moreover, about ten years
ago most of the alkali makers in Britain combined to form the United
Alkali Company, and as a result of the combination the several works
were placed under a central management, and the manufacture of the
various products was distributed among different works, according as
the circumstances were most favourable. This involved the suspension
of alkali making in the company's Scottish works.
In a Leblanc work the manufacture of alkali is almost invariably
associated with that of other substances, chief among which is the
sulphuric acid necessary for converting common salt into salt cake,
while the object of other processes is to utilise the by-products. e.g.,
the hydrochloric acid, obtained. Hence, although soda ash is no
longer made in Scotland, the other products of the alkali works are
still turned out in large quantity. Sulphuric acid, or "oil of vitriol,"
is made on a very large scale by the chamber process, in which sulphur
dioxide, formed by roasting pyrites or by burning sulphur in a
current of air, is led into large leaden chambers, and is there converted
into sulphuric acid by the combined action of steam and air in presence
of oxides of nitrogen, which act as carriers of oxygen. The weak
"chamber acid" drawn from the leaden chambers is concentrated to a
certain point, partly in Glover towers and partly by boiling down in
leaden pans, and is finally rendered almost anhydrous by further concentration
in stills of glass or of platinum. This chamber process has
been in operation for a very long time, and the chief modifications of
recent years are the very general substitution of pyrites for sulphur
as a source of sulphur dioxide, and the equally general adoption of
Gay-Lussac towers, in which the nitrous fumes escaping from the
chamber are absorbed by sulphuric acid, and Glover towers,
in which the nitrous fumes are liberated from the nitrous
vitriol drawn from the Gay-Lussac towers, and the chamber
acid concentrated by the action of the hot gases from the pyrites kilns.
Also, the process devised by Kessler for concentrating sulphuric acid,
at a temperature far below that attained by any other form of
apparatus, has been widely adopted by vitriol makers in the West of
Scotland. In Kessler's apparatus the acid is contained in a series
of shallow evaporating pans made of siliceous materials covered with
lead, and is exposed to the hot gases from a large open fire of slow
draught. The weak acid is placed in the uppermost troughs and flows
downwards, finally reaching the lowermost troughs; during its downward
passage it becomes gradually more and more concentrated by
the action of the hot gases, which pass upwards over each succeeding
trough of acid. Generally the hot gases are drawn upwards through
the apparatus by an exhaust at the outlet. The temperature of the
acid need not rise above 200°, and a product containing 96 per cent. of acid
is easily obtained.
The hydrochloric acid gas which is evolved in the process of making
salt cake is led into high towers packed with coke, and is there absorbed
by water which flows down the tower. Recent improvements in the
plant have had the effect of making the absorption of the acid vapours
very complete, and only a minute quantity escapes into the air. By
far the greater proportion of the hydrochloric acid is utilised for the
production of chlorine, by means of which bleaching powder is made.
The solution of the acid is heated in stills with manganese dioxide,
and the chlorine which is thereby liberated is passed into large chambers
containing trays on which slaked lime is exposed in thin layers. The
lime absorbs a certain quantity of chlorine, and the compound known
as bleaching powder* or chloride of lime is produced. The manganese
is contained, as chloride of manganese, in the liquor from the chlorine
stills, and various methods of recovering it are in use. In the St.
Rollox Works, Glasgow, the process introduced in 1855 by C. T. Dunlop
is still followed. In this process the liquors are first mixed with chalk
in sufficient quantity to neutralise the free acid and precipitate the
iron. After settling, the clear solution is run off into closed boilers,
and is there decomposed with milk of chalk under a pressure of several
atmospheres. The precipitate of carbonate of manganese which is
formed is washed, drained, and spread upon trays, which are placed
in an oven, where the precipitate is exposed to a current of hot air
for forty-eight hours. The carbonate of manganese is thus converted
into a finely divided black powder, known as "recovered manganese,"
which contains over 70 per cent. of manganese dioxide. In the more
recent process of Weldon, which has been widely adopted, the liquor
from the chlorine stills, after removal of free acid and iron by addition
of calcium carbonate, is mixed with milk of lime in certain proportions,
and the resulting mixture, which contains manganous hydroxide,
calcium hydroxide, and calcium chloride, is heated by steam to a
temperature of 55°, and exposed to the oxidising action of a current of
air which is blown through it. The manganous hydroxide is converted into
manganese dioxide, and the dioxide forms a compound with lime, which
settles as a black deposit. After settling, the clear solution of calcium
chloride is drawn off, and the "manganese mud" is returned to the chlorine
The alkali waste of the Leblanc works contains, as calcium sulphide,
practically all of the sulphur which is used, in the form of sulphuric
acid, in the salt cake process. If allowed to accumulate it becomes
a nuisance, because, by the action of the air upon the calcium sulphide,
soluble sulphur compounds are formed which are apt to give rise to
objectionable emanations of sulphuretted hydrogen. For this reason,
and because of the value of sulphur, many processes have been tried
for recovering the sulphur from the calcium sulphide in the waste.
The most successful of these is that of Chance, which is based upon
* The process for making bleaching powder was patented by Charles Tennant of St. Rollox,
and the manufacture was started there in 1800.
two reactions — first, liberation of sulphuretted hydrogen by the action
of carbon dioxide on a mixture of the alkali waste and water, and,
second, combustion of the sulphuretted hydrogen with a limited quantity
of air, so regulated that the products of the combustion are water and
sulphur. At St. Rollox, where the alkali waste has accumulated in
enormous quantity, the liquors draining from the old waste heaps, or
"bog liquors," as they are technically termed, are utilised in the works
for the purification of sulphuric acid. The bog liquors consist essentially
of a solution of sulphide and polysulphides of calcium, and the
sulphuretted hydrogen which is generated when they are decomposed
by a weak acid is used for the purpose of removing arsenic from the
sulphuric acid.
Among the principal alkali works in the West of Scotland which
belong to the United Alkali Company are those of Charles Tennant
& Co., St. Rollox, Glasgow, which were founded about the close of
the eighteenth century, and the comparatively quite modern works
of the Eglinton Chemical Co. and the Irvine Chemical Co., at Irvine,
in Ayrshire. In these works, as already indicated, the manufacture
of soda ash by the Leblanc process is no longer carried on, owing to
the development of the ammonia soda process, but sulphuric acid,* salt
cake, hydrochloric acid, bleaching powder, and recovered manganese
(by the Dunlop process) are all produced, as well as soda crystals,
which are made from ammonia soda ash from the company's extensive
works at Fleetwood. The manufacture of dichromates, which was
pursued for some time at the Eglinton Works, has been temporarily
stopped, and owing to changes in trade the production of bleaching
powder and caustic soda has been reduced. However, tho demand for
sulphuric acid has steadily increased, and the United Alkali Company
possess a very large plant, producing acid of all strengths, and also
have in operation a very extensive installation of platinum stills making
pure oil of vitriol. Thus, while there has been a reduction in the
manufacture of some articles during the last twenty-five years, there
has been in the company's works a large increase in the production of
sulphuric acid, which is now very largely used in the West of Scotland
in the manufacture of explosives, manures, and sulphate of ammonia,
and in oil refining and other industries.
Among the works where Leblanc soda ash was formerly manufactured
are those of Messrs. R. & J. Garroway and Messrs. Alex. Hope, jun.,
& Co., both in Glasgow, and of Messrs. Wm. Henderson & Co., at
Irvine, where Weldon's manganese recovery process was adopted.
At the present day the chief products of Messrs. Alex. Hope, jun.,
& Co.'s works at Port Dundas, which were started in 1843, are
sulphuric, hydrochloric, and nitric acids, with a few articles used in
the dyeing trade. In 1875 all of the sulphuric acid was made from
brimstone, of which 525 tons were used, but the firm are now using
pyrites as a source of sulphur; in 1899 2750 tons of pyrites were
roasted. During the period under review the firm have adopted Gay-Lussac
and Glover towers, renewed their plant, extended their chamber
capacity, and fitted up pyrites kilns. All of the chamber acid is
purified from arsenic, which is removed by precipitation as sulphide
before concentration. Formerly concentration of the acid was effected
*Leaden chambers were erected at St. Rollox in 1803, and vitriol was first produced in
the following year; the manufacture of soda ash by the Leblanc process was started in 1833.
by the old system of glass retorts, which not only was a costly process,
but also caused annoyance owing to the escape of acid vapours when
a breakage occurred, which was pretty frequent. Within the last few
years Kessler's concentrating apparatus has been adopted, and has been
found to work very satisfactorily. In the manufacture of hydrochloric
acid the quantity of salt used now is much the same as formerly, viz.,
from 350 to 400 tons per annum, but much better yields have been
obtained by improvement of the plant for condensation. The output
of nitric acid has been greatly increased, for while in 1875 40 tons
of nitre were used, in 1900 the consumpt was 200 tons; in this case
also the introduction of improved plant has increased the yield.
Messrs. R. & J. Garroway also manufacture acids and many other
substances at their Netherfield Works, which were started in 1819.
Their products include hydrochloric, nitric, and sulphuric acids, oxalic
acid and sulphurous acid; sulphites and bisulphites of sodium and
calcium; salt cake, Glauber's salt, Epsom salt, and the sulphates of
iron, zinc, copper, and aluminium; several salts of tin used in dyeing
and printing, e.g., tin crystals, double muriate of tin, and stannate of
sodium; hyposulphite and sulphide of sodium; borax and boracic acid;
roll sulphur and flowers of sulphur; arsenic. They distil wood and resin,
and produce charcoal, acetic acid, and various acetates; and they also
manufacture manures, such as dissolved hones and superphosphate of lime.
At the Forth and Clyde Chemical Works, Kirkintilloch, Messrs.
Perry & Hope prepare phosphoric acid, pure and commercial, the
phosphates of sodium, ammonium, and calcium, and superphosphate of
lime. Their other products include sodium fluoride, bisulphates of
potassium and sodium, and pure sulphates of iron, magnesium, and
Acids are also manufactured by Messrs. Wm. Henderson & Co.,
Irvine, by Messrs. R. Smith's Executors, West Street, Glasgow, and,
incidentally, by a number of other firms.
No process is known by which ammonia or its compounds can be
directly formed on the commercial scale, and it is still only obtained
as a by-product of other manufactures. Until comparatively recently
its chief sources were of animal origin, and twenty-five years ago a
method of obtaining ammonia from urine was in operation in Glasgow.
The raw material collected from the public urinals was left to stand
until the nitrogenous compounds which it contained had undergone
decomposition, and the ammonia produced in this way was then distilled
off. This process has now been abandoned. When nitrogenous
organic matter, e.g., coal, is destructively distilled, part, at least, of
the nitrogen is liberated as ammonia, and thus the "ammoniacal
liquors" obtained in the gasworks, the paraffin oil works, the works
for recovery of blast furnace gases, etc., are a rich source of that
compound. The ammoniacal liquor contains carbonate, chloride.
sulphide and other compounds of ammonium. and the ammonia is
obtained from it by a very simple process. Steam is passed through
the heated liquors, first without, and afterwards with, addition of
lime, in order to decompose the ammonium salts: the free ammonia
and other vapours evolved from the ammonia stills are then passed
through sulphuric acid, and the crystals of ammonium sulphate which
are formed are removed at intervals. The process is a continuous one.
Ammonium chloride can be obtained by using hydrochloric in place
of sulphuric acid.
Of recent years there has been a great development in the manufacture
of ammonium sulphate, which is partly due to the recognition of
the value of that substance as a manure, and to the consequent great
demand for it. The progress of the industry in Scotland can be
gathered from the following figures, which show the quantities of
ammonium salts (stated as sulphate) made in 1889 and in 1899: —
1889. 1899.
From iron works, - - 5,645 tons - 17,563 tons
From paraffin oil works, - 23,953 " - 38,780 "
From gas works, - - 9,907 " - 14,742 "
From coke, etc., works, - — - 1,578 "
Total, - 39,505 tons - 72,663 tons
In 1889 fifty-one works in which ammonium salts are made were under
inspection, while last year there were sixty-three. It will be
noted that, while the quantities of ammonia recovered from gas
and shale works are much greater now than even ten years ago,
the greatest progress has been made in the case of the iron works.
In the iron works in Scotland, in which coal is used for smelting the
ore in the blast furnaces, the gases which escape from the furnaces
contain ammonia derived from the nitrogen of the coal. Formerly
the waste gases were allowed to burn at the mouth of the furnace,
but now they are collected and used as fuel for heating steam boilers,
and also for heating the air blown into the furnace. In Scotland
much capital has been invested in the erection of plant for cooling and
scrubbing the furnace gases before they are burned, in order to condense
and collect the valuable tar and ammonia, and this has been
found profitable to such an extent that in some cases more money
has been spent in fitting up the necessary plant than is devoted to
the production of the iron, and more profit is yielded by the waste
gases of the blast furnace than by the iron itself. A full account of
the different kinds of plant in use will be found in the section on
metallurgy. As regards recovery of ammonia from coke ovens, etc.,
the use of these modern forms of coke oven which permit of utilisation
of the gases has not so far extended widely in Scotland, but there is reason
to believe that the quantity of ammonia recovered from this source will
increase in the future.
The manufacture of the dichromates of potassium and sodium,
which are so largely used in the preparation of pigments such as chrome
yellow, and in industrial organic chemistry, has for nearly a century
been closely identified with Glasgow. Generally speaking,the manufacturing
process remains, except in such details as the application of
labour-saving appliances, much what it was twenty-five years ago.
On the other hand, the number of firms manufacturing dichromate;
has increased so largely of late years — within the last seven or eight
years no fewer than fifteen new makers having started in different
parts of the world — that the output of individual firms has necessarily
been reduced.
The raw material from which practically all chromium compounds
are obtained is chrome iron ore. In the manufacture of dichromates
the ore is reduced to powder and mixed with lime and potassium
carbonate; the mixture, in thin layers, is heated to bright redness
in a reverberatory furnace; after cooling, the charge is lixiviated with
hot water, which extracts potassium chromate, any calcium chromate
present being decomposed by addition of potassium sulphate. The
yellow solution of the chromate is mixed with the quantity of sulphuric
acid necessary to convert the chromate into dichromate, run into tanks,
and left to cool, when the greater part of the dichromate separates
in large orange-red crystals.
Messrs. J. & J. White were the first, and for long the only, manufacturers
in this district. Their works at Shawfield, Rutherglen, were
begun in 1808, and though at first other chemicals were made there,
for the last three-quarters of a century their only products have been
dichromates and other chromium compounds. Their present products
do not differ greatly from those of twenty-five years ago, except that
crystallised dichromate of sodium is now made as well as the potassium
salt. The firm also manufacture the sulphuric acid necessary for their
processes, and hydrochloric acid.
The dichromates of sodium and potassium are also the chief products
of Messrs. Stevenson, Carlile & Co., Ltd., at the Millburn Chemical
Works, Glasgow. The firm occasionally produce other compounds such
as ammonium dichromate, neutral chromates, chromic acid, and chronic
oxide, but, of course, the principal demand is for the first named.
Incidentally to their manufacture the firm also make sulphuric and
hydrochloric acids, and the sulphates and carbonates of potassium and
The manufacture of dichromates was also begun in 1873 by the
Eglinton Chemical Co., Irvine, but, as already stated, these works
now belong to the United Alkali Company, and the production of these
substances has been suspended.
Borax, boracic acid, and Epsom salt are the principal products of
the old-established firm of Messrs. Joseph Townsend, Ltd., PortDundas.
The raw materials used in the manufacture of the two
former substances are "boracite" and "borate of lime." The boracite,
which comes from Asia Minor, is a very pure borate of calcium, containing
on the average 45 per cent. of boric oxide. It is white in colour,
and massive, and, as it is shipped to this country in bulk, it requires
to be broken up and ground for use in the manufacture. The borate
of lime is imported from the Pacific slope of South America. This
mineral is essentially a double borate of calcium and sodium, containing
on the average 40 per cent. of boric oxide, but it varies much in
quality, some lots containing as little as 34 per cent. and others up
to 44 per cent. of boric oxide. It also contains about 5 per cent. of
sodium chloride, as well as some calcium sulphate, both of which
require to be reckoned with in the process of manufacture. It is a
soft, earthy material, varying in colour from greyish white to pink,
fibrous in structure, and unctuous to the touch.
In manufacturing borax from these sources the crushed minerals
are boiled with a solution of sodium carbonate, the sludge of calcium
carbonate, etc., is removed, and the clear solution left to cool, when
borax (Na2B4O7·10H20) separates in large colourless crystals. The
sludge is generally taken out of the liquor by means of filter presses.
In order to obtain boracic acid the minerals are decomposed by heating
them with sulphuric acid, and the boracic acid which is thus liberated
is crystallised from the solution after removal of the sludge of calcium
sulphate, etc. The difficulties in the manufacture of both products
vary in proportion to the impurity of the raw material, and various
modifications of the process have to be introduced accordingly.
The raw material used in the manufacture of Epsom salt at Messrs.
Townsend's works is kieserite, and the process is simply one of purification
and crystallisation of the magnesium sulphate. The kieserite is
imported from the Stassfurt district of Germany in the form of moulded
blocks, of an average weight of 28 lbs., and containing about 60 per
cent. of hydrated magnesium sulphate (MgSO4·H2O), the remainder of
the mixture being chiefly sand and salts of calcium. The kieserite
is dissolved in hot water, the sludge is left to settle, and, after clarification,
the liquid is drawn off and run into coolers, where it is agitated
so that the Epsom salt separates in small crystals.
Borax is also manufactured by Messrs. R. & J. Garroway, Glasgow.
There are several breweries in Glasgow and its neighbourhood, but
the methods pursued in them do not, except in one instance, differ
from those usually employed in this country. Barley is converted into
malt by steeping in water, germinating, and suitable kiln drying; the
malt is ground and mashed (or infused) with warm water; the wort
is boiled with hops, after which it is cooled, yeast is added, and the
fermentation is carried through. After being cleansed from the yeast
the product is, after suitable storage, ready for use. The character
of the different kinds of beers and stouts depends upon the quantity
and kind of malt used, the amount of hops, and variations in the
methods of manufacture. Success in brewing depends upon the quality
of the malt and hops used, upon the composition of the brewing water,
and upon many minor details which can only be properly adjusted by an
experienced brewer.
One of the largest works in Glasgow is the Wellpark Brewery of
Messrs. J. & R. Tennent. Founded in the year 1750 by H. & R.
Tennent, it has attained large dimensions, and within its walls there
are not only the modern maltings of large size, but also complete and
separate breweries for the production of all kinds of pale ale, beer,
and stout, and of the lager and Munich beers for which the firm is
now so well known. As, in contradistinction to British beers which
are fermented and stored at ordinary temperatures, the lager and
Munich beers require low temperatures during the process of manufacture,
the lager brewery is equipped with a magnificent refrigerating
plant. A special kiln has also been built for the production of malt
of the character necessary for the purpose of brewing the Munich beer.
The works, which are situated in Duke Street, cover about ten acres.
All the raw materials and finished products are examined and the
brewing operations controlled in the very complete laboratory of the
brewery. Another Glasgow firm is Messrs. Gillespie, Gray & Co., of
the Crown brewery, who make a speciality of stout and porter.
In the manufacture of spirits, as in that of beer, the first steps
are the preparation of a saccharine liquid by mashing malt, or a mixture
of ground barley or other grain with a small proportion of malt,
with warm water, or by diluting molasses with water, and the subsequent
conversion of the sugar into alcohol by fermentation with yeast.
The next process is the separation of the alcohol from the solution
by distilling either in ordinary pot-stills or more generally in modern
Coffey stills. When pot-stills are used the weak, impure spirit which
is distilled over in the first operation is again distilled, the first and last
portions of the distillate being set aside, and the middle portion
reserved for consumption. Malt whisky is made from malt
alone, grain whisky, which has little or no flavour, from a mixture of
barley or other grain and malt; the latter is principally used for
blending with malt whisky. Rectified spirit, or spirit of wine, is made
by filtering the raw spirit through charcoal and distilling over potash;
methylated spirit is prepared by mixing spirit of wine with a certain
proportion of wood naphtha. Methylated spirit is used for burning
in lamps, for making varnishes, etc.
Among the Glasgow distilleries may be mentioned the Loch Katrine
Distillery, Adelphi, of Messrs. C. & D. Gray, where both malt and
grain whisky are made, and the Loch Katrine Distillery; Camlachie,
belonging to Messrs. Bulloch, Lade & Co., for malt whisky. Methylated
spirit is made by Messrs. Thom & Cameron and Messrs. S. & D.
Twelve years ago potassium cyanide was chiefly used in photography
and electro-plating, and was produced in comparatively small quantities;
probably the whole world did not consume more than fifty tons per
annum. The commercial cyanide, which was made by fusing dried
ferrocyanide of potassium with carbonate of potassium, contained only
about 33 per cent. of potassium cyanide, along with a large proportion
of cyanate and carbonate. Its price was about 1s. 6d. per lb., which
was equivalent to 4s. 6d. per lb. for the actual cyanide it contained.
The advent of the cyanide process of gold extraction in 1888-89
produced a new demand for cyanide on a hitherto unthought of scale,
and the Cassel Gold Extracting Company, as owners of the gold extracting
patents, were obliged to make provision for an increased supply.
They accordingly erected a factory in Glasgow, and succeeded in
producing a commercial product which contained about 70 per cent.
of potassium cyanide. Many hundreds of tons of this salt were made
in the Glasgow factory and sent to the Transvaal and other gold-producing
countries. Meanwhile the Deutsche Gold and Silber Scheide
Anstalt of Frankfurt, who had for long been producers of cyanide for
electroplating purposes, enlarged their factory to meet the new
demand, and, having obtained a monopoly of the metallic sodium
produced by H. Y. Castner at Oldbury, they were able to make a much
purer double cyanide of potassium and sodium than any previously in
the market. It contained cyanogen equal to 98 per cent. of potassium
In 1890 G. Beilby devised a process for the production of potassium
cyanide of great purity by the decomposition of ammonia gas in the
presence of fused potassium carbonate and carbon. In 1891 he erected
a small factory in Edinburgh for working out his process on a commercial
scale, and in the following year this factory was turning out
a ton per week of a product containing from 80 to 85 per cent. of
potassium cyanide. In 1893 the Cassel Gold Extracting Company
acquired the exclusive right to manufacture by Beilby's process, and a
new factory was erected in Glasgow, from which an output of a ton
per day was being obtained before the end of that year. The process
has been improved year by year, so that as regards both quality and
cost of manufacture the product has been able to hold its own against
all competition. Hitherto ferrocyanide of potassium had been the only
source of commercial cyanide, for which the new demand exercised a
very stimulating effect on the production of ferrocyanide, both by the
old process of fusing nitrogenous organic matter with potassium carbonate
and scrap iron, and by the recovery of cyanogen from crude coal
gas. After the Beilby process was fairly established the Cassel Company
ceased to use ferrocyanide, and the effect of their withdrawal from
the market was a steady reduction in the price of that substance from
10d. to under 6d. per lb. But the rapid spread of the cyanide process
of gold extraction in all the gold-producing countries of the world
prevented any serious over-production of cyanide, and for a number of
years there was the curious spectacle of the simultaneous production of
potassium cyanide by the newest and by the most ancient processes.
In the recovery of ferrocyanides from crude coal gas great progress
has been made both in this country and in Germany. In Glasgow W.
Foulis has invented a process for absorbing the cyanogen present in
the crude gas by means of a mixture of ferrous hydrate and sodium
carbonate, while in Germany Bueb has attained the same end by the
use of a solution of ferrous sulphate. Both of these processes are
capable of completely removing the cyanogen from coal gas. The
Foulis process, in which the cyanogen is recovered in the form of
sodium ferrocyanide, is in use in the gas works of the Glasgow
It is stated that the cyanide works of the Cassel Gold Extracting
Company have a manufacturing capacity more than double that of any
other factory in the world. Statistics of actual output and costs are
not available, but it may be mentioned that the selling price of 98 per
cent. cyanide, which was 2s. per lb. in 1892, has fallen to 10d. per lb.
today. In this company, of which Mr. Beilby is a director as well
as the scientific expert, the staff includes a chief engineer and manager,
four highly-trained chemists, and a large staff of testing chemists, of
whom a number are young ladies.
It is interesting, and not a little curious, to note that this special
branch of chemical manufacture has had a fascination for chemists and
inventors out of all proportion to its magnitude as a trade. Not merely
in this, but even in an earlier, generation large sums have been expended
in the attempt to fix the nitrogen of the air either as ammonia or as
cyanogen. It has been estimated that during the past ten years
from £250,000 to £300,000 have been fruitlessly spent on new cyanide
processes, while quite an army of highly-skilled chemists, British and
foreign, have been devoting their whole energies to devising these new
processes. It is encouraging to find that, in spite of this keen and
well-endowed competition, this important chemical industry has been
retained in Glasgow by means of purely British skill and energy.
Ferrocyanide of potassium is now the principal product manufactured
at the Campsie Alum Works, Lennoxtown, belonging to the Hurlet and
Campsie Alum Company, of which firm the Messrs. King are the sole
partners, and the same company have similar works at Falkirk and at
Manchester. The Campsie Alum Works were established at Campsie
nearly one hundred years ago for the manufacture of alum from a
native alum shale, which occurs in the coal measures there and at Hurlet
and other parts of Renfrewshire. The supply of shale having become
exhausted fully twenty years ago the manufacture of alum was discontinued,
but ferrocyanide of potassium has been made at Campsie
for more than eighty years.
The term destructive distillation is applied to any process in which
organic substances are decomposed, with formation of new products,
by exposure to a high temperature in absence of air. The industries
based upon such processes are large and important, and; in addition,
the development of methods for recovering valuable substances from some
of the products of destructive distillation has led to the foundation of other
even more important manufactures, e.g., that of the coal tar colours, which,
unfortunately, has been allowed to leave this country. In Scotland
the list of substances which are destructively distilled includes coal,
bituminous shale, wood, bones, and resin; the products obtained from
these substances are very different, and therefore each process will be
considered separately.
(1) Coal Gas.
When coal is destructively distilled a residue of coke is left in the
retorts, and volatile products are given off; part of the latter condense
to the liquid state on cooling, while part remain gaseous. The mixture
of gaseous products is, after purification, used as a source of light and
heat under the name of coal gas; the liquid products consist of (1) a
watery liquid, the ammoniacal liquor of the gas works, which is one
of the chief sources of ammonia; and (2) coal tar, a complicated mixture
from which many valuable organic substances can be separated. The
manufacture of coal gas in Glasgow is described in the article on
Municipal Enterprises; here it is sufficient to note that, while there
has been an enormous increase in the quantity of gas made, the introduction
of numerous improvements in the process has greatly reduced
the price and improved the quality of the gas. The following figures
relating to the Glasgow Corporation Gas Works show the development
of this branch of industry during the last twenty-five years:—
The number of consumers has increased from 114,132 to 201,878, and
of workmen employed in the gas works from 902 to 2466; the maximum
quantity of gas sent out in twenty-four hours was, in 1875, 9,982,000
cubic feet, and in 1900 31,917,000 cubic feet.
(2) Paraffin and Paraffin Oil.
The manufacture of paraffin wax and paraffin oil by the destructive
distillation of bituminous shale is one of great importance and interest
to Scotland, where it was begun about half a century ago. The seams
of shale, the raw material from which the paraffin is produced, occur
below the coal measures of Central Scotland. The various seams yield
different qualities of shale, which give on distillation from twenty to
over thirty gallons of crude oil per ton, and, as a rule, the lower
seams give a lower percentage of crude oil and more ammonia than
those above them. It should be noted that the shales do not contain
paraffin, but are impregnated with carbonaceous materials which yield
paraffins, olefines, etc., when subjected to destructive distillation.
The history of the paraffin industry in Scotland since the date of the
last meeting of the Association in Glasgow has been that of a continuous
struggle against the results of the overwhelming foreign competition
which followed the discovery of the gigantic deposits of mineral oil in
America and Asia Minor, and had it not been that the industry was
fortunate in possessing a technical staff of the highest ability the great
battle against heavy odds would probably have ended in defeat. As it
is, no effort has been spared to improve the yield or reduce the cost of
production, and it is not too much to say that the problem of how to
distil a carbonaceous material most economically has been solved in
the paraffin oil industry within the last thirty years. During that
period the cost of handling a ton of shale from the time it leaves the
pit until its ash has gone to the waste heap has been reduced from 5s.
to less than 2s. In the manufacture of paraffin oil and paraffin wax
the first process consists essentially in destructive distillation of the
carbonaceous mineral at a comparatively law temperature. The products
formed are a green, oily liquid (the crude oil), a weak ammoniacal
liquor, and uncondensible gases.* When the crude oil is refined it
yields naphtha or shale spirit, burning or paraffin oil, lubricating oil,
and paraffin scale or wax, which is chiefly used for malting candles.
Fractional distillation is used to separate the liquids, and the solid
paraffin, which distils over with that portion of the oil having it higher
specific gravity than 0·840, is separated by cooling and crystallisation.
Sulphuric acid and caustic soda are used to remove impurities of basic
or acidic character respectively from the oils. The ammonia is recovered
from the ammoniacal liquor and converted usually into sulphate, while
the gases from the shale retorts are used as fuel. Many improvements
have been introduced into the manufacture during the period under
review, but only the most important of these can be noticed.
The method of distilling the bituminous shale was revolutionised
in 1881-82 by the introduction of the Young and Beilby retort, which
was designed for the purpose of subjecting the spent shale of the oil-making
retort to a further treatment with steam at a higher temperature
than that suitable for oil making; the primary object of this improve*
Broxburn shale gives, on the average, 12 per cent. of crude oil, 8 per cent. of ammoniacal
liquor, and 4 per cent. of permanent gases, by weight.
ment was to convert the nitrogen left in the spent shale into ammonia.
In the Young and Beilby retort the upper half is made of iron, and the
lower half of fire-brick; at the top of the retort is a hopper containing
shale, which is heated by the hot gases passing up from the retort
below. As the whole column of material in the retort is moved down
by the removal of a part of the spent ash at the bottom, the shale
passes in succession through the iron retort and the fire-brick oven.
In the former it is exposed to a low red heat, and parts with its hydrocarbon
oils and paraffin; in the latter, where it is heated to bright
redness and exposed to the action of steam, the carbon is more or less
completely burned away in steam, producing water gas and ammonia.
The retorts are placed in chambers of firebrick, and are heated by
producer gas, which is burned along with the uncondensible gas in narrow
flues around the retorts. In order to facilitate the removal of the spent
ash, and thus to minimise the danger arising from fusion of the ash at the
high temperature of the brick chamber, the retort is provided with an easily
accessible curved mouthpiece and door at the bottom. This system of
distilling the shale at two different temperatures has the effect of greatly
increasing the yield of ammonia and of the valuable paraffin scale as well,
as can be seen from the following figures: —
1882 Retort. 1897 (Young & Beilby) Retort.
Burning oil from 1 ton of shale, - 12·6 gals. - 12·9 gals.
Lubricating oil " - 5·4 " - 5·4 "
Paraffin scale " - 3·3. " - 4·3 "
Ammonium sulphate " - 12 lbs. - 36 lbs.
These retorts were very generally adopted, and the system of distilling
the shale at two different temperatures has been applied in all the
more recent retorts which have been designed as improvements upon
the original Young and Beilby type. The chief changes in the newest
forms of shale retorts, apart from structural details, are an increase
in the capacity, so that the shale remains a longer time in the retort,
and the adoption of various mechanical devices for the removal of the
spent shale ash; the main results of these improvements are a great
reduction in the cost of retorting, and an increased yield of crude oil
and ammonia.
In the chemistry of refining the crude oil there has been little or
no change. Sulphuric acid is used to remove basic tars and resinous
substances, and caustic soda solution for the removal of creosote tars
and sulphur compounds; the different oils are separated by fractional
distillation, and the paraffin by cooling, crystallisation, and filtration. The
quality of the lubricating oil has been improved by distilling the heavy
oils off caustic soda, by the plentiful use of superheated steam in the distillations,
and by the adoption of improved freezing machines and filter
processes. A great advance in the distillation process was made when
N. M. Henderson designed his apparatus for continuous distillation. In
this system the stills are arranged in series, and the oil flows from charging
tanks through each still in succession, undergoing fractionation in its
course. The most volatile fractions are distilled off from the first still,
and the least volatile from the last. The use of this process has resulted
in considerable economy in labour, fuel, maintenance, and chemicals,
and the loss in refining has been materially reduced.
The methods of cooling the heavy oils and extracting the paraffin
scale have also been improved; as a rule each work has its own process
and apparatus for carrying out these operations. In refining paraffin
wax the "sweating" process has almost completely superseded the old
naphtha process, with good results as regards economy and safety. In
this process the crude paraffin scale is melted and cast into cakes,
which are then placed on drainers in ovens heated by steam pipes to
such a temperature that the low melting portions of the scale are
sweated out of the cake, taking with them the oil and colouring matter.
One or two repetitions of the process are sufficient to render the wax as
pure as is necessary for candle making, etc. N. M. Henderson has
introduced modifications in the sweating process which reduce the
handling of the wax to a minimum. The general effect of the improvements
has been to reduce the cost of refining one gallon of crude oil
from 2·2d. to 0·7d., the latter figure including the refining of the crude
Improvements have also been made in the manufacture of ammonium
sulphate from the ammoniacal liquor, the chief being the adoption of
column stills for distilling off the ammonia, and another the returning
of waste steam from the "cracker boxes," in which the ammonia is
converted into sulphate, into the retorts in place of a corresponding
quantity of fresh steam.
The distillation of the Boghead and Torbanehill mineral was begun at
Bathgate in 1850, and of shale in 1862, by the late James Young. At the
present day the following companies are engaged in the industry: —
Young's Paraffin Light and Mineral Oil Co., Ltd., who possess
works at Addiewell (where sulphuric acid also is manufactured), at Uphall,
and near Winchburgh; the Broxburn Oil Company, Ltd., Broxburn;
the Oakbank Oil Company, Ltd., Mid-Calder; the Pumpherston Oil
Company, Ltd.; the Linlithgow Oil Company, Ltd.; the Caledonian
Oil Company, Lanark; the Dalmeny Oil Company; Messrs. James
Ross & Co., Philipstoun; and the Hermand Oil Company.
(3) Distillation of Wood.
When wood is destructively distilled a residue of charcoal is left
in the retort, and the following volatile products are obtained;
(1) Uncondensible gases; (2) an aqueous distillate containing acetic
acid, methyl alcohol, acetone, and other substances; and (3) wood tar.
The quantities and the character of the volatile products depend not
only upon the kind of wood used, but also upon the conditions under
which the distillation is conducted. From the aqueous distillate crude
acetic acid or "pyroligneous acid" can be obtained in several ways;
acetic acid of better quality is usually prepared by neutralising the crude
acid with lime or sodium carbonate, evaporating the solution, and
distilling the acetate of calcium or sodium thus produced with sulphuric
acid. When the crude acetic acid is neutralised and the solution
heated, crude wood naphtha, which contains wood spirit or methyl
alcohol, acetone, etc., distils over. The wood naphtha is partially
purified by distillation over lime, and from the crude wood spirit
methyl alcohol can be obtained by adding calcium chloride, with which
it combines, distilling off the acetone and other impurities, decomposing
* It is noteworthy that while all the other costs are reduced, that of mining and raising the
shale to the surface has considerably increased.
the compound of methyl alcohol and calcium chloride by addition of
water, and then distilling off and rectifying the methyl alcohol. Wood
naphtha is used for making varnishes, etc., and for the preparation of
methylated spirits. From acetic acid various acetates are made; the
solutions of acetate of aluminium ("red liquor") and acetates of iron
("black liquor" and "iron liquor"), which are usually prepared on
the large scale from pyroligneous acid, and the acetate of tin are used
as mordants by dyers. Acetone is made by heating calcium acetate.
or from acetic acid. Wood tar is used as such for creosoting wood,
for application to roofing felts, and as an antiseptic. It is also distilled,
yielding an oily liquid, which is usually separated into "light
oil" and "heavy oil," and a residue of wood pitch, which is used by
shoemakers. From the oily distillate "wood creosote" is separated
by agitating it with caustic soda solution and adding acid to the
alkaline liquid; the wood creosote is an oily liquid which differs considerably
in composition from the creosote obtained from coal tar or
blast furnace tar. It contains only very small quantities of carbolic
acid, but, on the other hand, a number of derivations of that substance
which render it powerfully antiseptic, though less caustic and less
poisonous than carbolic acid itself.
Of late years, partly owing to the greater scarcity of home-grown
hard woods, wood distillers have been utilising waste woods obtained
from turners, cabinetmakers, sawyers, etc. For this class of raw
material vertical retorts are required, while horizontal retorts are
used for whole timber. Since 1876, owing to foreign competition,
nearly all of the acetates have fallen in value from 40 to 60 per cent.;
moreover, the introduction of new direct colours, which do not require
mordants, has greatly affected the trade in mordant liquors.
Messrs. Turnbull & Co., Camlachie Chemical Works, Glasgow, are
the oldest established firm of wood distillers in Scotland. Their first
work was erected in the Vale of Leven towards the end of the eighteenth
century, and they have since established other works in different parts
of the country, the principal of which is the Camlachie factory, which
was opened in 1806. They manufacture charcoal, acetic acid, wood
spirit, acetone, and the acetates of sodium, calcium, aluminium, iron.
lead, and copper. In their general processes there has not been any
great change since 1876, though several economies have been introduced.
The only new product since that date is acetone, which is largely used
in the manufacture of smokeless powder, but of which, however, the
chief supply comes from the Continent. The Cartvale Chemical Co.,
Paisley, are engaged in the same branch of manufacture. Their products
are practically the same as those of twenty-five years ago, with
the exception of 40 per cent. acetic acid, which at that time was only
made on a small scale in Scotland. The output of their principal
products, per month, is — charcoal, about 300 tons; calcium acetate,
80 tons; 40 per cent. acetic acid, 100 tons; methyl alcohol, 2000
gallons; mordant liquors (acetates of aluminium, etc.), about 20,000
gallons; tar, 80 tons. Messrs. R. & J. Garroway, Glasgow, also distil
wood and work up the products, which are similar to those already
(4) Distillation of Bones.
Bones are utilised in a number of different ways. When heated
with water, after removal of the mineral matter by treatment with
acids, they yield bone fat and glue, and when destructively distilled
they give a residue of animal charcoal and a large quantity of volatile
substances, including uncondensible gases, an aqueous distillate containing
ammonia, and bone tar.
Messrs. John Poynter, Son, & Macdonald have been engaged for
more than fifty years in the manufacture of practically all the substances
obtainable from bones. Their products include bone fat, glue, animal
charcoal, ivory black (a very fine form of animal charcoal), sulphate
of ammonia, bone pitch (obtained by distilling the bone tar), manures,
and buttons. The gas produced in the distillation of the bones is used,
after purification, for lighting the works, and as a source of heat.
The manufacture of glue has only been started within recent years,
and in this case the amount of moisture in the atmosphere of Greenock,
where the work is situated, created a difficulty which has had to be
overcome by the erection of very complete drying, cooling, and evaporating
appliances. The bone tar is partially utilised for the manufacture
of pitch, which is left as a residue when the tar is distilled, but the
oil distilled from the tar, which is almost altogether composed of
nitrogenous compounds, has not yet found any extended application,
and is simply used as fuel.
(5) Distillation of Resin.
Common resin or colophony, when distilled, yields a "resin spirit,"
and, in far larger quantity, a "resin oil." The former is chiefly used
in making varnishes, the latter in making lubricants, and as an ingredient
in some printing inks. Resin oil unites with lime to form a greasy
mass which serves as a lubricant. Resin is distilled at several works
in Glasgow. but the process is usually associated with others.
(6) Distillation of Tar.
The great increase in the production of coal tar, obtained as a
by-product of the manufacture of coal gas, and of blast furnace tar,
recovered from the gases of the blast furnace, has led to a corresponding
development in the number of tar-distilling works in Scotland; in 1893
there were 35 works of that class, while in 1899 the number had risen
to 46. These works are situated, as a rule, in close proximity to the
gas works and blast furnaces, e.g., at Glengarnock, whence the raw
material is obtained. One of the oldest works is that of Messrs. George
Miller & Co., Dalmarnock.
Coal tar is a complicated mixture of many different substances. The
composition of tar varies greatly, as it not only depends upon the
character of the coal employed, but also is greatly affected by variations
in the method of distilling the coal. When coal tar is distilled the
principal volatile products are usually collected in several different
fractions — naphtha, light oil, creosote oil, and heavy oil; a black residue.
known as pitch, is left in the retort. The naphtha, after rectification,
is used for burning in lamps. From the naphtha and light oil, after
purification by agitation with sulphuric acid, benzene, xylene, and
other hydrocarbons of the aromatic series, can be separated. Benzene
is largely used in the manufacture of aniline, from which many dyestuffs
can be prepared. and it is also employed as a solvent. The
solid hydrocarbons naphthalene and anthracene are obtained on cooling
the creosote oil and the heavy oil respectively; both are used for the
preparation of many other substances, among which may be noted the
beautiful red dye-stuff alizarine, formerly obtained from madder, but
now made from anthracene. The balance of the oily distillate is sold
as tar oils of various grades. From the creosote oil carbolic acid
(phenol), cresylic acids, and other compounds of the same class are
extracted by agitation with caustic soda solution, in which they dissolve;
from this solution they are separated by the addition of acids. The
creosote oil is used very largely for preserving timber, for softening
hard pitch, as a liquid fuel, in the manufacture of lamp black, and
for making antiseptics, sheep dips, etc. The pitch is employed for
building, roofing, and road making, and a considerable quantity is
used in making briquettes.
Blast furnace tar is now produced in very large quantities in the
West of Scotland. In composition it is quite unlike coal tar, because
although both substances are formed from the same raw material, the
conditions under which coal is decomposed in a blast furnace differ
greatly from those which exist in a gas retort. On distillation blast
furnace tar yields volatile products in the shape of a "light oil" and a
"creosote oil," and a residue of pitch. The light oil is largely used
for burning in furnaces and in lamps of the "Lucigen" type, in which
it is burned in the form of a spray produced by means of compressed
air, and for other purposes. The creosote oil contains a much larger
proportion of substances soluble in caustic soda and belonging to the
same class as carbolic acid, though less of carbolic acid itself, than
creosote oil from coal tar. It has, however, great antiseptic power,
and finds extended application.
An important industry of the West of Scotland is the manufacture
of explosives, which is carried on by Nobel's Explosives Co., Ltd.,
whose principal factory is at Ardeer, near Stevenston, in Ayrshire.
The basis of most of the explosives manufactured by the company is
nitroglycerine, an oily liquid of highly explosive character, which is
formed by the action of a mixture of concentrated nitric and sulphuric
acids upon glycerine. Nitroglycerine was discovered by Sobrero in
1846, but for many years remained a laboratory curiosity, until in the
early sixties Alfred Nobel began to prepare it on a commercial scale
for use in mining. Its progress was slow at first, and many accidents,
caused chiefly by ignorance of its properties and by a faulty method
of detonation, attended its introduction. Being liquid in form it
readily penetrated fissures in rocks, and thus caused accidents in quite
unexpected places; it was very sensitive to shock and more than once
exploded when being transported in tins; it sometimes caused deadly
fumes when imperfectly detonated by a primer of black powder; it
froze in winter and was troublesome to thaw; imperfect washing and
other faults in its manufacture introduced a danger of spontaneous
combustion. These defects and the accidents they caused led to
absolute prohibition by Parliament of its manufacture in several
countries, including Great Britain, where legislation was hastened by
the introduction of guncotton as a mining explosive, which resulted
from Abel's success in discovering how to make chemically stable guncotton
on a large scale.
Nobel's energy and inventive genius were now brought to bear on
the problem of how to overcome the defects of liquid nitroglycerine.
Many absorbents were tried and at last one was found, namely,
kieselguhr, a porous, friable, siliceous material composed of the
remains of diatoms, which was capable of absorbing and retaining,
under varying climatic conditions, three times its own weight of nitroglycerine.
This mixture, to which the name "Dynamit" was given,
soon became known over the whole world. It is a plastic substance
of reddish brown colour, and though containing such a large proportion
of nitroglycerine, it is safer than gunpowder as regards both transport
and use. The difficulty of proper detonation was overcome by the
introduction of detonators charged with fulminate of mercury, a most
important improvement, and the results of these two inventions were
startling. The world's consumption of dynamite, which in the year of
its invention was only 11 tons, rose in 1868 to 78 tons, and in 1874 to
no less than 3120 tons. In 1876 practically the only nitroglycerine
explosive in use was No. 1 dynamite, and this substance, which is
prepared by thoroughly incorporating three parts of nitroglycerine
with one part of kieselguhr, was produced at Ardeer during that year
to the extent of about 500 tons, while another mixture known as
dynamite No. 2, which contained in addition potassium nitrate, charcoal,
and paraffin wax, was manufactured to the extent of 16 tons only.
At that time manufacturing operations were conducted under very
great difficulty, and as the transport of explosives by rail was then
impossible, vessels had to be loaded on the open beach.
At the present day No. 1 dynamite is still made at Ardeer, but its
importance has been minimised by the introduction of the gelatinous
explosives manufactured by the company. The absorption of nitroglycerine
by kieselguhr, itself an inert substance, was an important
step in the right direction, but an ideal explosive must resolve itself
entirely into gases, and develop the maximum temperature, before it
can evolve its utmost energy in explosion. To the solution of this
problem Nobel now bent his mind, and, after eight years of investigation,
in 1875 he took out his patent for blasting gelatine, a mixture,
or rather a solution, of eight parts of a special nitro-cotton in ninety-two
parts of nitroglycerine, which sets to a stiff jelly. This is a model
explosive, the strongest and the safest yet produced, which twenty-five
years of subsequent research have not been able to surpass or
even to approach. Blasting gelatine is practically unaffected even
by prolonged contact with water; it is even more insensitive to shock
than dynamite, and its disruptive force is enormous. Gelatine dynamite,
composed of about 80 per cent. of nitroglycerine mixed with
sufficient nitro-cotton to make it thinly gelatinous, and with potassium
nitrate and wood meal added in certain proportions, and gelignite,
another modification of blasting gelatine, are also made at Ardeer. In
addition there has arisen another class of safety explosives for use in
coal mines, which are now manufactured under various forms of Nobel
Carbonite and Nobel Ardeer Powder, while two forms of Nobel Gelignite
have also been introduced for stone blasting in collieries.
Alfred Nobel, who was for so many years closely associated with Nobel's
Explosives Company, Limited, as their technical director, did not permit
his inventive powers to remain in idleness even after the production of the
gelatinous explosives for blasting purposes, and in 1887 he invented a smokeless
powder for propulsion, made by mixing nitroglycerine and nitrocellulose
in approximately equal proportions, and known under the name of ballistite.
which, with slight modifications, became even better known as cordite.
Ballistite is largely made, but so far as quantity produced is concerned, the
Government smokeless powder, cordite, far surpasses it. Cordite has for
months been manufactured at Ardeer at the rate of 50 tons per week.
In addition to cordite and ballistite, Nobel's Explosives Co., Ltd.,
now produce picric acid for lyddite, guncotton for cordite, compressed
guncotton for torpedo charges, soluble nitro-cellulose for blasting
gelatines, etc. None of these were manufactured in 1876.
Besides the Ardeer factory the company possesses eight others, three of
which are situated in Scotland, viz., one at Redding Moor, another at Westquarter,
both near Polmont Station, Stirlingshire, and the third at Regent
Works, Linlithgow. The first of these is set apart for the manufacture of
fulminate of mercury for use in detonators, caps, etc. This compound,
which is obtained by the action of nitric acid and alcohol upon mercury,
is a heavy grey powder, violently explosive, and very sensitive to friction
or percussion when in the dry state. In the Westquarter factory there
are two departments, one in which tubes for detonators, etc., are
manufactured, and the other in which the tubes are charged with
fulminate of mercury and other chemicals. It is to Alfred Nobel
that we are indebted for the use of the detonator in its present form.
The manufactures associated with detonators, namely, electric detonator
fuses and fulminate of mercury, are all additions to the products of
the company within the past twenty-five years.*
The period under review has been marked by great advances in the
quantities of explosives made by the company. In 1876 their only
manufactures were dynamite, nitric acid, and detonators, while at the
present day they produce, besides these, all of the newer explosives
mentioned above, and in addition sulphuric acid, nitrate of lead, etc.
The operation of refining glycerine is carried out by appliances of the
latest type, capable of producing 3600 tons per annum. Extensive
additions have been made to other branches of the explosives trade
in the production of shells; solid drawn metallic and other cartridge
cases for military and sporting rifles, quick-firing guns, naval ordnance,
etc.; ammunition for small arms; armour piercing and other projectiles;
military, naval, and mining fuses; primers; percussion caps,
etc. In the industrial department the chief products added since 1876
are cartridge metal, brass, copper. cupro-nickel, and aluminium in strips,
cups, wire, etc; copper boiler and belt rivets; and various other metal
products in connection with rolling mills. Marked progress has been
made in the methods of producing nitroglycerine explosives, and very
great improvements have been devised in the production of detonators,
but as the methods adopted are due to the special discoveries of the
chemical and research departments, details are naturally not available.
The following figures give a very good idea of the company's progress
during the period under review: —
Output in 1876. Output in 1900.
Nitroglycerine explosives, - - - 468 tons 5,000 tons
Cordite, smokeless powder, fulminate of
mercury, and other chemical products, — About 2,800 tons
Nobel detonators (1877), - - - 26,000 Nearly 70,000,000
Nobel electric detonator fuses, - - — Nearly 3,000,000
*The other works of the company are at Perranporth. Cornwall: Adderley Park and
Streetly, near Birmingham; Clayton Bridge, Lancashire; and in Swansea.
In 1876 the scientific staff numbered 5, and the total number of
workers was 102, while in 1900 the scientific staff numbered 53,
of whom 12 were employed in the research department, and the total
number of workers was over 4000.
Gunpowder and other explosives are also manufactured by the
Kames Gunpowder Co., whose works are situated at Kames, in the
Kyles of Bute.
An industry which was not in existence in Glasgow at the time of
the last meeting of the Association there is the manufacture of compressed
and liquefied gases now carried on at the Rosehill Works,
Polmadie, by the Scotch and Irish Oxygen Co., Ltd., which began
operations in 1888.
First in importance among the company's products is oxygen gas.
This is extracted from the atmosphere by Brin's process, which consists
essentially in the formation of barium dioxide by combination of
barium monoxide with atmospheric oxygen, and the subsequent decomposition
of the dioxide into the monoxide (which can be used repeatedly
for the same purpose) and oxygen. Barium monoxide is prepared for
use in this process by heating the nitrate in fire-clay crucibles to a
temperature of about 880°; the oxide is obtained as a greyish, porous
mass, which is again ignited in order to complete the decomposition
of the nitrate, and the process is carefully regulated with the
object of obtaining the oxide in as hard and porous a state as possible.
The barium oxide is placed in vertical retorts, which are maintained
at a temperature of about 700°, and air is pumped in under a pressure
of about 25 lbs. per square inch; the air is previously freed from carbon
dioxide and moisture by being drawn through two chambers containing
quicklime and lumps of caustic soda respectively. The barium
monoxide unites with the oxygen of the air, and after a period
of seven and a half minutes the air supply is shut off and the pumps
reversed for a second period of equal length so as to exhaust the
retorts. The nitrogen which is first extracted from the retorts is blown
off, and as the pressure falls the decomposition of the dioxide begins,
and is practically complete when a pressure of about 3 inches of mercury
has been reached; when all the nitrogen has been removed the oxygen is
passed into a gas holder. An automatic arrangement controls the time
of each operation, and reverses pumps and cocks, and the process is a
continuous one. In each period of fifteen minutes about 0·015 cubic feet
of gas, containing from 94 to 98 per cent. of oxygen is obtained per lb. of
oxide. The main difficulty to be contended with is leakage of air into the
retorts, but if this be avoided the retorts, each of which contains about 2
cwts. of oxide, can be run for twelve or eighteen months without interruption;
at the end of that time about 20 per cent. of fresh oxide requires
to be added to each retort. To compress the oxygen gas it is passed
successively through three vertical pumps or cylinders, being subjected
in the third to a pressure of 125 atmospheres; it is then stored in steel
cylinders under a pressure of 120 atmospheres. Each new gas cylinder
is annealed and tested by hydraulic pressure, and the annealing process
is repeated every four years and the testing process every two years.
In the Rosehill Works all of the new cylinders are tested to stand a
pressure of at least 3750 lbs. per square inch, and most at 4000 lbs per
square inch; retests are carried to 3360 lbs. per square inch. Compressed
oxygen is used for the lime-light, for brazing and lead burning,
for the oxy-coal gas blowpipe,* in chemical laboratories, and as a remedial
agent of great value, e.g., for inhalation in cases of asphyxia and in
affections of the lungs and heart. It is also applied, on the Continent at
any rate, to remove aldehydes and other objectionable impurities from
spirituous liquids, and it is claimed that spirits can be "matured" in a
few seconds by bringing the compressed gas in contact with the liquid
reduced to the form of a mist or fine spray.
Another substance manufactured in large quantity by the company
is carbon dioxide, which is sent out in the liquid state. The gaseous
carbon dioxide evolved by the action of dilute sulphuric acid upon
sodium bicarbonate is passed into a scrubber charged with coke through
which water trickles, then to a drying tower charged with fragments
of calcium chloride, and then to a gas holder. The gas, which now
contains 99·5 per cent, of carbon dioxide, is liquefied in the pumps at
a pressure of about 90 atmospheres, the temperature being about 39°, and
the liquid is passed into the cylinders, which. however, are never filled
completely; in order to prevent any risk of over-pressure it is customary to
fill the cylinders by weight. Compressed carbon dioxide is now largely used
for refrigerating purposes, and its application in the preparation of aerated
waters is extending on account of the purity of the gas.
The company also prepare compressed hydrogen (generated by the
action of steel filings upon dilute sulphuric acid) and compressed coal
gas, the latter in large quantities; the demand for the former is almost
wholly for the lime-light, but coal gas is very generally substituted
on account of the lower price. Nitrous oxide, ammonia, sulphur
dioxide, chlorine, and nitrogen are also sent out in the compressed or
liquefied state, the former chiefly for use in dentistry.
One department of the Rosehill Works is devoted to the manufacture
of valves in bronze and steel for gas cylinders, reducing valves or
regulators, keys, and all fittings for use with compressed gases, and
it is claimed that the company turns out more work of this kind than
any other firm in the United Kingdom.
The extraction of incline from kelp is an industry which has been
prosecuted in the West of Scotland for a long time. Iodine was first
made in quantity in Glasgow in 1841; in 1846 there were twenty
makers, and now there are only four. The chief reasons for the closing
of so many works were the fall in the value of potash salts, as a result
of the exploitation of the great mineral deposits at Stassfurt, the
great fluctuations in the price of iodine, and, last, but not least, the
importation of iodine obtained from caliche, the crude nitrate of soda
found in Peru, which now forms the most important source of iodine.
Iodine from caliche was first sent over to this country in quantity in
1874, and since then the import has steadily increased. The present
output from this source must be five or six times the total production
of Europe.
*This blowpipe is of great use to engineers for softening broken drills, taps, etc., in finished
work preparatory to drilling them out.
In the West of Scotland iodine is extracted from kelp, a rough
slag obtained by burning seaweed in long narrow pits, or charring it
in retorts. Kelp comes from the Hebrides, from Ireland. and from
Norway. The average annual imports into the Clyde were, for the
ten years prior to 1876, 9187 tons; for 1876-1885, 6887 tons; and for
1891-1900, 6841 tons; the quantity imported has been practically
stationary since 1876. Kelp was formerly used as a source of sodium
carbonate, but now it is only used for the extraction of potassium salts —
the sulphate and chloride, which are used principally for manurial
purposes — and of iodine, which is either sold as such, in cakes or
resublimed, or made into iodides of sodium and potassium, or into
iodoform, the only additional new product of recent years. In making
kelp for iodine only those kinds of seaweed which are always submerged
are used; these are torn up by the storms of winter and cast
ashore. If the seaweed is properly burned to a loose ash at a low
temperature it ought to yield about 25 lbs. of iodine per ton of kelp.
but, as it is difficult to avoid too high a temperature in the ordinary
process of kelp burning, average kelp does not contain more than 12 lbs.
of iodine per ton.
The process employed for the extraction of the iodine remains
practically the same as it was. The kelp is broken up and lixiviated
with hot water in vats heated by steam, and the clear solution is run
off and boiled down in hemispherical iron pans. The salts which
separate are fished out, the liquid is cooled, and another crop of crystals
is removed; the process of boiling down, cooling, and removal of the
crystallised salts is continued until the mother liquor has become
sufficiently rich in iodine. The salts removed by crystallisation are
chiefly potassium sulphate, potassium chloride, and "kelp salt," a
mixture of the chloride and carbonate of sodium. The mother liquor is
mixed with about one-seventh of its volume of sulphuric acid, when
the sulphides, sulphites, and thiosulphates present are decomposed and
a considerable quantity of sulphur is deposited. The mother liquor
is strained off from the sulphur, and run into the iodine still, a deep
iron pot covered with a strong leaden lid, to which are lilted two
earthenware arms, which are connected with two series of peculiarly
shaped stoneware condensers, called udells. The still is heated, manganese
dioxide is added at intervals, and the iodine, which is carried
over with the steam, is condensed in the udells, which are not changed
until they are full. The iodine is purified by resublimation in small
covered pans of earthenware or porcelain.
At the present time the extraction of iodine from kelp is prosecuted
by Mr. H. C. Fairlie at the Camelon Chemical Works, Falkirk; by
the British Chemical Co., at the Whitecrook Works, Clydebank; by
the Scottish Acid and Alkali Co., at the Longford Chemical Works,
Kilwinning; and by the Milnquarter Chemical Co., Bonnybridge.
The manufacture of paints and colours, which in many works is
associated with the boiling and refining of oils, the distillation of resin,
and the preparation of varnishes, has developed greatly in Glasgow,
and the number of firms engaged in this industry is much larger than
it was in 1876, while there have also been considerable changes in
processes. At that date lakes and colours made with the aid of coal
tar dyes were hardly seen, while now they occupy a large and important
place. Many beautiful oxides have been produced from waste iron liquors,
and numberless interesting processes for the cheapening of colours which
were formerly too costly for everyday use have been introduced.* The
introduction of self-closing tins for paints and varnishes has been a
marked feature of the trade, and the consumer can now obtain goods
in a great variety of forms, which were comparative rarities some years
ago. Such items as liquid paints, enamels, prepared distemper colours
and stains must be credited to this period. The quality of paints has
also been improved by the growing perfection of the grinding machinery
used in their manufacture.
Messrs. Alexander, Fergusson & Co., Ltd., Glasgow Lead and
Colour Works, besides carrying on the operations of sheet lead and pipe
making, smelting and desilverising lead, and colour and paint manufacture,
are the only Scottish manufacturers of white lead by the old Dutch
process. In this process earthenware pots, partially filled with dilute
acetic acid, are imbedded in spent tan, and gratings of pure lead are placed
across the mouth of each pot. The pots are covered with planks, and on
these another layer of tan and pots is placed; this is repeated until the
brick chamber or "stack" in which the process takes place, and which
may be 20 feet high, is completely filled. The fermentation of the tan
produces heat which causes the vaporisation of the acetic acid in the
pots; the acid vapours attack the lead, forming a basic acetate, and
this compound is converted into basic carbonate of lead, or white
lead, by the action of the carbon dioxide evolved from the fermenting
tan. When all of the lead has been converted into white lead the
gratings of white lead are removed, ground with water, and levigated
in order to separate particles of unaltered lead; the water containing
the white lead in suspension is run into settling tanks, and the white
lead is collected and dried in stoves. Since 1876 the firm have added to
their products red lead, orange lead, ground litharge, and flake litharge.
They have introduced many improvements in the methods of making and
handling red lead and white lead with the object of securing greater fineness
and purity of the product, combined with safety for the workers.
Among the other paint manufacturers in Glasgow may be mentioned
Messrs. J. S. Craig & Co., Kingston; Messrs. J. MacNeill & Co.,
Bridgeton, who make a speciality of sealing and bottling waxes of all
kinds and colours; Messrs. A. Eadie & Co., Tradeston; Messrs. Craig
& Rose, Cadogan Street; Messrs. Blacklock & Macarthur, Dale
Street; Messrs. Matthews, Maclay & Manson, Hydepark Street; and
Messrs. J. & J. G. Scott, Dobbie's Loan. As already stated, several of
these makers also carry on the boiling and refining of oils, the distillation
of resin, and the manufacture of varnishes, in addition to the manufacture
of paints and colours.
When fats or fatty oils, of animal or vegetable origin, are boiled
with solutions of caustic alkalis they undergo saponification, and a
solution containing a soap and glycerine is obtained. From the solu*
The natural result is that a large number of fugitive colours have almost completely
disappeared from the market.
tion the soap is usually precipitated by the addition of common salt,
and the soap is then dissolved in such a quantity of hot water that the
solution solidifies on cooling. Ordinary hard soaps are mixtures of
the sodium salts of certain fatty acids, while soft soaps are mixtures
of the potassium salts, and the former are produced by using caustic
soda for saponification, while caustic potash is employed for the
production of soft soaps. Besides the ordinary hard and soft soaps,
many special kinds are made for toilet purposes and for use in other
industries, e.g., soaps for calico printers, dyers, bleachers, etc., soaps
for washing paint, liquid soaps, and soap powders. These consist
usually of ordinary soaps containing an admixture of colouring matters,
perfumes, glycerine, disinfectants, resin soaps, silicate of soda, or
other substances.
There have been considerable changes in the industry since 1876.
At that time tallow was almost the only fat used for making soaps,
except in the case of special kinds for manufacturers' purposes — at
least there were very few soaps made in which tallow in larger or
smaller proportions was not one of the raw materials. However, soapmakers
recognised that vegetable and nut oils were bound to play an
important part in the future development of the industry, and by
continued experiment brought the saponification of these oils into the
region of practical soapmaking. The quick lathering, or so-called self-washing
soaps, were the result, and as a class these are in many
respects superior to the old tallow soaps. Perhaps the most important
development of the soap trade during the last twenty-five years has
been the general introduction of methods for recovering glycerine from
spent lyes. Formerly soapmakers, though fully aware of the value of
glycerine, were unable, with the knowledge at their command, to recover
that by-product at a profit; indeed, it is doubtful if any soap work in
Scotland possessed a plant for the recovery of glycerine. About twenty
years ago, however, this was made possible by the adoption of a very
simple process, the liquors being evaporated in open pots; in all modern
soap works the evaporation is conducted in a vacuum. Glycerine is
now manufactured in soap works in three forms — "crude glycerine,"
containing 10 per cent. of salts; "dynamite glycerine," practically free
from impurities; and "chemically pure glycerine," largely used for
medical and pharmaceutical purposes. In order to secure a perfectly
saponified, and yet economically produced soap, the whole process of
soapmaking is under chemical supervision, and the raw materials are
tested before use.
During the period under review there has been a great increase in
the West of Scotland in the number of firms manufacturing soaps of
all kinds, as well as soap powders, regarding which it may be noted
that soda in some form or other constitutes from two-thirds to four-fifths
of the bulk of all the soap powders in common use. Considerations
of space forbid the mention of more than a few of the soap manufacturers
of the West of Scotland. In Messrs. Charles Tennant & Co.'s
works at St. Rollox the manufacture of soap was started in 1803, and
continued until recently, when the work was acquired by the United
Alkali Co.; the soap plant was then transferred to an adjoining site,
where the manufacture of hard, toilet, and soft soap is carried on by
Messrs. Ogston & Tennant. In Glasgow soap is also made at the
Sydney Street Soap Works; by Mr. D. Dreghorn, who has brought
the manufacture of soft soaps to a high pitch of perfection; by Mr. James
Young, who makes both hard and soft soaps; by Messrs. Sutherland &
Abercrombie, who produce a great variety of special soaps for manufacturers,
as well as for household use; by Messrs. R. & J. Garroway.
L. & J. M'Lellan, T. Hinshelwood & Co., The Clydesdale Soap Co..
who make soap powder and special soaps, and others. In Paisley the
principal works are those of Messrs. Isdale & M'Callum, and of
Messrs. Robin & Houston, who also have a candle-making work in
The industry of sugar refining has for long been in existence on the
Clyde. It was started in Greenock in the latter half of the eighteenth
century, but it flourished in Glasgow at a much earlier period, and
until 1866 it was also prosecuted in Port-Glasgow. In 1875 the only
refineries working on the Clyde were those in Greenock, then thirteen
in number, while in 1900 there were only five firms refining there.
During the last quarter-century the industry, on the whole, has declined,
not only on the Clyde, but throughout Britain. This was not caused
by any want of enterprise on the part of the refiners, who have been
very ready to adopt improvements, but is mainly due to the bounties
given by foreign States to rival refiners who are thus enabled to
undersell home-made sugar in the British market. But for this sugar
refining in this country would almost certainly have developed along
with the increase in the consumption of sugar, and many of the
refineries closed during the last twenty-five years would be working
profitably. The following figures speak for themselves: —
1875. 1900.
Consumption of sugar in this country, - - - 860,000 tons 1,489,000 tons
Sugar refined in this country, - - - - - 760,000 " 610,000 "
Refined sugar imported, chiefly from the Continent, 100,000 " 950,000 "
In other words, in 1875 88·5 per cent., and in 1900 only 39 per cent., of
the sugar consumed in this country was refined in Britain.
Sugar refining, as practised on the Clyde, is on the whole rather a
physical and mechanical than a purely chemical process. Generally
speaking, it consists in dissolution of the raw sugar in water, filtration
of the liquor through cloth to remove insoluble impurities and then
through charcoal to remove soluble colouring matters, and finally
concentration of the liquor to obtain sugar crystals. The process, however,
depends largely upon chemical analysis for determining the
composition and value of the raw material and for checking the various
operations in the refinery. A number of improvements have been
introduced into the manufacture in the course of the last twenty-five
Raw sugar is essentially a mixture of sugar crystals and molasses,
and an important advance has been made in the adoption of improved
methods of washing it with steam, or with hot or cold water, in centrifugals.
The raw sugar is mixed with syrup or water, and transferred
to a centrifugal machine, where, after spinning out the syrup, the
sugar is washed with water or steam until most of the molasses is
removed. The product, which, of course, still contains all the insoluble
impurity and some of the colouring matter, is thus raised in quality
though diminished in bulk. In this way the raw sugar is separated
into the partially purified crystals, which are then submitted to the
ordinary process of refining, and the washings containing the molasses,
which go to make yellow sugars and syrups.
In the filtration of sugar liquors filter presses have been introduced
for some classes of work, but in most refineries the old Taylor filters,
consisting of bags of closely woven cotton, still hold their own. Sometimes
sand, kieselguhr, or other inert matter is added to prevent
choking of the pores of the cloth, or phosphate of calcium is precipitated
in the solution in order to cause coagulation of gummy or gelatinous
Animal charcoal is still the chief decolouriser used in sugar refining,
though it is supplemented in many refineries by the addition of sulphurous
acid to the filtered liquid. Large quantities of charcoal — at
least one ton for each ton of sugar — are necessary, and hence any
improvements in the char department, which is the most expensive in
a refinery, are of value. Much progress has been made in the methods
of drying and "revivifying" the char from the filters, mainly by the
adoption of improved methods of handling. The wet charcoal is delivered
mechanically to driers, which are placed on the top of the kilns in
which the char is reburned, and are heated by waste gases from the
kiln fires. The dried char is then delivered into fixed or revolving
pipes placed in the kilns, and is there heated to low redness in order
to destroy the organic matter absorbed from the sugar solutions. Below
the kilns it enters into ample coolers, whence it is automatically discharged
into receivers ready for use, and, as required, it is carried
by endless bands from the receiver to the elevator. After a year or
two the charcoal, through repeated revivifications, loses its power as
a decolouriser, and the cost of renewing it is a serious item in the
upkeep of a refinery. The deterioration is chiefly due to reduction of
porosity, through shrinkage of the mineral matter in the charcoal during
successive reheatings, and to the deposition of vegetable carbon, which
has practically no decolourising power, by decomposition of the organic
matter absorbed from the sugar. No remedy has been found for the
former evil, but attempts have been made to remove the vegetable
carbon without destroying the animal charcoal by burning the char in
a limited supply of air. This process has not yet been sufficiently
tested, but good results are hoped for.
The process of concentrating the purified solutions of sugar with
the object of obtaining crystallised sugar — technically called "boiling" —
is always carried out in vacuum pans heated by steam, because boiling
under normal pressure injures the sugar solution, and causes discolouration.
No notable improvement has been made recently in the apparatus
itself, but there has been considerable progress in the methods of
boiling on the lines of a "seeding" process introduced just prior to the
period under review. The details are too technical for discussion here,
but the chief results are that the refiner can more easily produce large
and well-formed crystals, and that the time spent on this part of the
process of refining has been materially reduced. It should be noted
also that loaf sugar is no longer produced, and that the forms known
as "granulated" and "cubes" have been introduced.
From the molasses, which is obtained in the refining process, the last
available sugar that can be granulated can now be separated by the
method of "crystallisation in motion," which has been adopted recently.
The syrups or molasses, concentrated to the granulation point, are cooled
slowly in an apparatus surrounded by a hot water jacket, and provided
with a stirring arrangement which is kept in very slow motion. The
process lasts for fifty or sixty hours, while the molasses cool slowly to
about 50º, and under this treatment the small crystals of sugar
which are first formed grow in the viscous mother liquor until large
enough to be separated in the centrifugals. Previous to the introduction
of this process much of the small grained sugar boiled from low
syrups passed through the meshes of the centrifugals and was lost in
the molasses. The process has not been widely adopted, because most
of the low syrups are refined and sold as "golden syrup," the manufacture
of which has greatly increased during the last twenty-five years,
while the quality has been greatly improved. The syrups used for
making golden syrups must be partially "inverted" in order to prevent
crystallisation of cane sugar in the finished product, and to effect this
they are heated with a small quantity of sulphuric acid, which is afterwards
neutralised by carbonate of calcium; the sulphate of calcium is then
removed by filtration. Inversion is sometimes effected by the addition
of yeast to the syrups. Good well inverted syrups require no addition,
but poor syrups are mixed in large quantities with liquid "glucose"
made from maize, with the object of improving the colour and preventing
granulation. The molasses which is not made into golden syrup goes
to distilleries, where the sugar which it contains is converted into
The leather industry of the West of Scotland has undergone a very
marked change during the last thirty-five or forty years. The small
country yards in which tanning was carried on prior to that period,
the occupation being handed on from father to son, have almost entirely
disappeared, and tanneries of enormous dimensions, situated in the
proximity of populous centres, have taken their place. With the introduction
of these large works the processes for the conversion of hides
into leather have also been greatly altered, especially as regards the
time occupied by the process. Leather which used to remain months
in process is now tanned in almost the same number of weeks, and with
some specially rapid processes the tanning is effected in a few hours;
whether the leather so tanned has the same strength and the same
firmly knit fibre as it had when tanned in the old prolonged style has
not yet been very clearly demonstrated. The essential element in the
quick methods of leather production now in use is the improved
preparation of the hide in the initial stages of the tanning process,
whereby it is rendered much more rapidly receptive of the tanning
materials. Concentrated extracts of tanning materials now play an
important part — indeed, the great majority of tanning substances are
used in this form — and the tanner's great desire is to get them with
as large a percentage of tanning constituents as possible, because if
weak they are a very expensive article to use, as the time and cost
of handling the goods then increase out of all proportion. Several new
tanning processes have been brought into use during the last few years,
notably the "orange tan" — a combination of vegetable and mineral
tannage — and the "chrome tan," a purely mineral tannage produced
by the use of various salts of chromium. Chrome tanned leather is
chiefly in demand for boot and shoe manufacture, while orange tanned
leather, owing to the toughness of its fibre and its great tensile strength,
is in extensive use as a belt leather for the transmission of power.
The leading firms in Glasgow — who, indeed, are the largest tanners
in the world of the special kinds of leather they produce — are Messrs.
John Tullis & Son, Limited, who manufacture all kinds of leathers for
mechanical purposes, and Messrs. Martin & Millar, who tan sole and
saddlery leather.
The Atlas Chemical Works, belonging to Messrs. Fawsitt & Graham.
were started in 1884 for the rectification and purification of crude wood
naphtha, in order to supply a methyl alcohol suitable for the manufacture
of aniline colours, and at the same time an ordinary wood
naphtha used in the preparation of methylated spirit. In 1885 the
manufacture of disulphide of carbon and chloride of sulphur was added,
for the first time in Scotland, in order to meet the requirements of
indiarubber manufacturers. The consumption of these articles increased
rapidly for some years, but for some time has decreased with equal
rapidity owing to Government regulations and to the adoption of another
process for vulcanising waterproof. The manufacture of hydrogen
peroxide was started about 1890, but the demand in Scotland was too
small, and the woollen bleachers were, in the majority of cases,
unwilling to change from their ordinary process, although a much finer
result could be obtained from hydrogen peroxide. About 1891 the
firm began to manufacture barium salts, and also the borates of
manganese and of lead, and, shortly afterwards, the linoleates and
resinates used as driers for varnish, oil, and paint. This branch of
manufacture developed, and resulted in the starting of a varnish work,
which forms the largest part of the firm's business.
The development of the electric furnace has led to the preparation
on the commercial scale of carbide of calcium, which is now in great
demand as the source of acetylene gas, so largely used as an illuminant.
The carbide is produced by heating a mixture of lime and carbon to
the extremely high temperature attainable in the electric furnace, and
the commercial product is obtained in brownish masses of somewhat
metallic appearance. It is decomposed by water with formation of
slaked lime and acetylene. Calcium carbide is now manufactured by
the Carbide Company at Foyers, where there is abundant water power
for the generation of electricity.
The manufacture of waterproof articles was started in Glasgow in
1823 by Charles Macintosh, and is now prosecuted by Messrs, G.
M'Lellan & Co., Messrs. Achnach & Co., The Clyde Rubber Co., and
Messrs. S. Wotherspoon & Sons. For such purposes indiarubber is not
used in the pure state, but in the form of "vulcanised" rubber. The
old process of vulcanising indiarubber was to submit the rubber to the
action of a weak solution of chloride of sulphur in carbon disulphide,
when a certain quantity of sulphur was taken up and the properties
of the rubber considerably altered, but this has been practically abandoned
in Scotland in favour of a newer dry process. This dry process
consists in mixing the rubber with a certain proportion of sulphur and
litharge, and exposing the articles to a temperature of about 105° to 110°
in a stove (dry heat).
Chemicals for pharmaceutical purposes are manufactured by Messrs.
W. & R. Hatrick & Co., Renfield Buildings, Glasgow, as well as by
the Glasgow Apothecaries Co. and other firms. The raw materials are
partly the roots and leaves of medicinal plants grown in this country,
which are extensively used, partly crude drugs imported in their various
parts from abroad. Messrs. Hatrick's principal products are tinctures,
chemical and vegetable syrups and liquors, concentrated infusions,
decoctions, and liquid extracts, which are mainly prepared by the processes
recommended in the British Pharmacopoeia, of definite degrees
of purity and strength. As regards the principal changes in the
demand for medicines, it may be stated that while a dozen years ago
drugs in their crude state were still largely taken, these have now been
displaced by tablets, capsules, and cachets containing the active principles
of the drugs compressed into small bulk; lard, which was
formerly the basis of most ointments, is now, to a considerable extent,
replaced by soft paraffin and wool fats; quinine, once standing alone
as an antipyretic, has now its rivals in phenacetine, antipyrine, and
other synthetic remedies; iodoform, boracic acid, salicylic acid and
sodium salicylate, cocaine, and eucalyptus oil, principally of the globulus
variety, are in great demand; codliver oil, of which the chief supply
formerly came from Newfoundland, is now almost entirely obtained from
Norway. Messrs. Hatrick's new factory, which was erected in 1899, is
well equipped for their various manufactures with electric lighting, a
sprinkler installation for prevention of fire, grinding mills driven by
electric motors, and other appliances.
The manufacture of chemical manures is carried on to a considerable
extent in the West of Scotland. The principal process involved is the
treatment of bones or mineral phosphates with sulphuric acid in order
to obtain a soluble phosphate of lime, which is dried and used either by
itself or after admixture with other substances of manurial value. One
of the principal firms engaged in the industry is Messrs. Alexander
Cross & Sons. The firm was established in 1830, but their chemical
work at Port-Dundas was not erected until 1872. The works are chiefly
devoted to the production of chemical fertilisers — dissolved guano,
superphosphate of lime, and mixed fertilisers of different kinds — but
sulphuric acid is also manufactured to the extent of 20,000 tons per
annum, much of which is used in the works. The firm possesses four
sets of furnaces, nineteen sulphuric acid chambers, and an installation
of platinum stills for concentrating the acid. The mineral phosphates
used include Florida, Tennessee, Algerian, Peace River, and Belgian
phosphates. Among the other products are ground bones, ground
phosphate, ammonium sulphate, and feeding cake of different kinds,
the cake mill being capable of turning out forty tons per week. This is
the only work in Scotland where basic slag is ground, the whole output of
the only steel company in Scotland which makes that article, which has
considerable value as a manure, being consigned there; the quantity of
basic slag ground is from 20,000 to 25,000 tons per annum. Chemical
manures are also made by Messrs. Robinson & Campbell, Ruchill
Bridge, Maryhill, who were established in Greenock about half a century
ago, but removed to their present work in 1875. and by some other firms.
Starch of different kinds and qualities for use in manufacture, e.g.,
sizing paper and cotton goods, thickening colours, preparation of British
gum, etc., or for laundry purposes, or for use as a food, is prepared
in several works. The chief sources of starch now are rice and maize,
and the process of separation is partly mechanical and partly chemical.
The grain generally is soaked in water and finely ground between millstones,
and the starch is separated from the husk, gluten, etc., partly by
levigation, partly by the use of solutions of caustic soda to dissolve
the gluten; the purity of the starch depends largely upon the thoroughness
of the washing process. After settling the damp starch is cut
into square blocks, and dried slowly in a stove. Dextrine or British
gum, which is really a mixture of substances, is usually prepared by
drying starch and heating it in rotating drums, or ovens provided with
stirrers, to a temperature of 215° to 275°. The product is a powder,
varying in colour from pale yellow to brown, and is used as a substitute for
natural gums. Starches and British gum are manufactured by Messrs.
James Anderson & Co., Surrey Street, Glasgow; Messrs. Brown
& Poison, Paisley, manufacture from maize great quantities of a very pure
starch known as patent cornflour, as well as other qualities. The husk,
gluten, oil, and other residual portions of the maize are collected, compressed,
and dried, forming a highly nutritious food for cattle or poultry.
The British Dyewood and Chemical Co., at their Carntyne Dyewood
Mill, Glasgow, have a very extensive plant for grinding dyewoods
and for the preparation of liquid or solid extracts containing colouring
materials or substances used in tanning. The dyewoods or tanning
materials are ground in mills, and extracts are obtained by treatment
of the ground woods with either cold or hot water, and suitable concentration.
Among the company's products are extracts of Persian
berry, logwood, quebracho, fustic, and quercitron bark, and also cutch,
sapan, Indian yellow, hematine, and flavine for the use of dyers and
printers, and extracts of sumac, myrabolams, and divi-divi for tanners.
Other manufactures of the West of Scotland which are at least
partly chemical include the production of sheep dips and disinfectants of
different kinds, e.g., by Messrs. J. G. Swan & Co., Glasgow; the
preparation of aerated waters — an industry which has developed with
great rapidity, and is now prosecuted by many firms; the manufacture
of matches, and the manufacture of paper. Electro-plating with gold,
silver, and nickel is carried on by a number of firms, and at the works
of the Glenfield Company, Kilmarnock, and of Messrs. Braby & Co.,
Glasgow, the interesting process known as "barffing," for the protection
of iron or steel from rusting, is in operation. The process consists in
heating the articles to redness in a reducing atmosphere, and then
blowing in superheated steam, which causes the formation of a protective
coating of the magnetic oxide of iron upon the surface of the metal.
The industry of glassmaking is carried on in nearly all its varied
forms in Glasgow. Common bottles, medicine bottles, plate glass,
pressed glass, and flint glass or crystal, each requiring separate
furnaces, and, in reality being different branches of one trade, are manufactured
by various firms. While the bulk of the production of the cheaper
class of goods is for local consumption, the products of the higher class of
ware are distributed all over the kingdom, the chief firms having a large
connection in London, and a well-established reputation for the high
quality of their goods, and the artistic merit of their designs.
The bottle glass trade has passed through many vicissitudes on account
of wages on the Continent being so much less than in the United
Kingdom, and, unless there is a decided advance in the scale
of wages paid abroad, it cannot be expected that this branch of manufacture
will extend. The improved market, however, for all kinds of
bottles, was a feature last year, and Glasgow manufacturers were kept
well employed and shared in the prosperity.
The firms presently engaged in the flint glass trade have been long
established, one of them dating back over seventy years. It may be
interesting to many to learn that, although the old term "flint glass"
is still applied to crystal, it is a long time since flint formed any part
of the "batch" used in the manufacture. The finest quality of silver
sand, chiefly procured from the forests of Fontainbleau, near Rouen,
has replaced the silica formerly obtained from flint.
In the early days of the industry, pressed, or moulded, glass was
combined with hand-blown, but gradually it was found that the two
kinds could not suitably be worked from the same furnaces. The demand
for hand-blown articles made of the finest crystal necessitated special
and superior "metal" for such, whilst price was the chief factor in the
commoner articles. The requirements at that time were entirely confined
to table-ware, and comparatively little competition was experienced. The
conditions, more especially during the past five and twenty years, have
completely changed. Growing competition from France, Germany, and
Sweden, with cheaper wages and superior facilities for producing
medium class table-wares, has wrested much of the British trade from
local manufacturers. The continental workmen have been more ready
to accept the aid of mechanical applicances to save labour, while the
glass-blowers in this city as well as in other centres of glass-making
in the United Kingdom, have resented changes of method, and, where
these were introduced, failed to give the utmost return for them.
The flint glassmakers all belong to a National Trades' Union which
is powerful and useful, particularly with regard to sick and aged
members. There is, however, an impression largely prevailing amongst
the masters that the restrictions brought to bear upon the trade by
its means hamper production and limit the individual ability of the
men. The fact that there are fewer glassmakers employed throughout
the kingdom at the present time than thirty years ago, while the
consumption of glass has enormously increased, favours this contention.
Manufacturers have turned their attention for many years to the
growing requirements of the market for all kinds of globes and shades
for gas lights — both ordinary and incandescent — for duplex lamps, and
for electric light. It may be said that it is in this connection the local
manufacturers have excelled, and have established a reputation for
variety of patterns and beauty of designs not excelled elsewhere. Much
attention has also been given to making high-class colours and fancy
shapes for special electric fittings, and it is worthy of note that one
of the Glasgow manufacturers has made a distinct artistic success by
the introduction of an art glass, manufactured from the designs of Dr.
Dresser, of London, and known as the "Clutha" glass.
The decoration by cutting still stands par excellence as the highest
mode of embellishing flint glass. The slower method of melting the
"metal," adopted by British manufacturers in their coal furnaces, as
compared with the gas furnaces almost universally in use on the
Continent, has the advantage of producing a more brilliant glass. This
has enabled home manufacturers to give a sparkle and finish to their
cut glass which is denied to their foreign rivals, and has been the
chief means of retaining the bulk of the highest class of cutting in
their hands. The manufacturers of this city have not been slow to
turn their attention to this branch of the trade, more particularly in
connection with electrical fittings, for which many handsome and chaste
designs are produced.
The etching process is also largely in vogue, and, by means of hydrofluoric
acid, many tasteful and moderately priced patterns are introduced.
Many improvements in machines for tracing the designs with
needles on bees'-wax — which is used to "resist" the action of the
acid — have been brought into use. The constant watchfulness of the
manufacturers to utilise the latest improvements and adaptations has
enabled them to keep in the forefront in the markets with new patterns;
as, if price were the only consideration, the trade would inevitably pass
into the hands of the cheaper German and Swedish markets.
The familiar badges and crests for hotels and ships are etched on
the glass by a "white acid" process. Decoration by the engraver's
copper wheels with oil and emery is still carried on, but not to the
same extent as formerly, etching having largely superseded it. Sandblasting
is also used for the cheaper forms of decoration. The branch
of bevelling and silvering plate-glass is carried on successfully in the
city, the great extension of bevelling for all kinds of mirrors for the
furnishing trade, and of glass for photograph frames, having developed
a large demand. What is termed the "Brilliant" cutting on plate-glass
is also produced in considerable quantities.
This description of ware differs from all the commoner forms of
clay manufactures, in respect that the latter are made from clays practically
as they are dug out of the earth, which in only a few cases go
through a very simple preparatory process, whereas white earthenware
is composed of carefully balanced ingredients, all of which have to pass
through preparatory processes requiring some attention and care. The
materials used are clays got from Dorset and Devonshire, and are known to
the trade as blue and black clays. These terms are supposed to indicate
their natural appearance as they are dug out of the earth — not very
accurately, however, as there is only a bare suggestion of blue or
black in their colour. When burnt these clays are fairly white, and
may be called of the colour of cream. There is further a clay got in
Cornwall, and termed china clay. It is, both in its natural state and
after it is burnt, much whiter than the Dorset and Devon clays. It
goes through a process of washing in Cornwall which removes from it
all grit, and makes it to the touch as firm as flour, and if the clay
is good in quality it has a greasy feeling. The chief ingredients of all
these clays are alumina and silica. The Dorset and Devon clays are to
the potter stronger clays, because they have more alumina. There
is also got in Cornwall a kind of granite, known to the potter as Cornish
stone. It may be noted that the china clay, above referred to, has
its origin in the decomposition of this stone. This stone, as well as
the clays, are brought to Glasgow in cargoes by small sailing vessels.
It is brought usually in lumps exactly as it is quarried from the
hillside, and is ground at the potteries in pans with water by large
revolving stones. Another method of grinding is in revolving drums
by means of pebbles. Sometimes the grinding is done in Cornwall, but,
as a rule, potters prefer to grind it themselves. Another, and the final
ingredient in the making of earthenware is flint, in the form of small
boulders. These, known as chalk flints, were got out of the chalk,
chiefly at Gravesend, and were brought here by sea. Latterly, however,
potters have preferred what are known as boulder flints. These also
came originally from the chalk cliffs, but they have been rolled about
in the English Channel until all the chalk has been removed and the
boulders have got a rounded smooth surface. They are thrown up on the
French shore for many miles on either side of Dieppe, and largo numbers
of women are constantly employed gathering them. Thousands of tons
are shipped to this country every month. These flints are first
burnt in a kiln, to render them more brittle, and therefore easier to
grind — the heat also drives off the colouring matter, leaving the flints a
pure white. They are afterwards ground in the same manner as the
Cornwall stone. Flints were first used because of the purity of their
colour, they being whiter than any of the other ingredients. From its
hardness flint may be called the bones, while the clay forms the flesh, of
white earthenware. After being ground it is run into a tub, and the
properly ground material is run off by a process of washing, the rougher
particles, which settle at the bottom of the tub, being put back into the
pans for further grinding. All these ingredients go to the making of
earthenware; they are mixed in the varying proportions which each manufacturer
considers best suited to the description of ware he produces. In
the commoner qualities the blue and black clay predominate, the finer
qualities having more of the china clays, stone, and flint. In order to
ensure their being thoroughly mixed, they are put in their fixed
proportions into a mixing tub, into which water is introduced,
and after being agitated for several hours the mixture becomes in
appearance like thick cream. and is called slip. At this stage a small
and varying quantity of oxide of cobalt is added, the object being to
counteract the yellowish brown tint of the clays. It has to be well mixed
through the clay. Some makers use this very sparingly. This mixture on
being run from the mixing tub is passed through fine sieves, called lawns,
because the finer ones are made of silk; this is done to catch any sand or
grit that may still be in the clay. The mixture is then forced by pumps
into presses lined with cloth, which retains the clay and allows the water
to escape. The clay comes out of these presses in sheets about one inch
thick. Afterwards it is passed through a pug mill, which is an iron
cylinder about five feet long, having in its centre a shaft with knives
attached corkscrew fashion, which force the clay in one direction.
and finally out through an aperture at the other end. The object of
this is to have the clay thoroughly solid and of the same consistency,
otherwise articles made from it would warp in the drying.
In this connection it may be interesting to refer to the introduction
of machinery as applied to the making of pottery. About the time when
machinery was first successfully applied to the manufacture of textiles,
one of the great inventors of the times — Arkwright, it is believed —
turned his attention to clay, and produced a most ingeniously constructed
machine, which received the clay at one end, and aimed at turning out
the finished plate, or other article at the other. The writer saw the
machine, many years ago, and is of opinion that if the inventor had
possessed a better knowledge of the material he had to deal with a
certain amount of success might have been achieved. It was, however,
pronounced a failure. This machine was seen in a garret at a Yorkshire
The plasticity of clay is the main difficulty, and potters long
held firmly to the opinion that this and some other obstacles would.
for ever prevent the making of pots by machinery. Within the last
fifty years, however, there has been quite a revolution in this respect,
and it is only fair to Glasgow to say that one of its potters, of the
last generation, to a considerable extent led the way in this direction.
One of the earliest improvements was the introduction of the pug
mill above referred to. Previously the potter took a lump of clay —
which, by the way, at that time, had the moisture driven out of it
by heat, in long shallow pans and flues underneath, a process which
was superseded by the clay press, referred to already — and with a brass
wire cut it in half; then lifting the upper half, he dashed it on the
under portion, and repeated the process until he made the clay quite
solid and of equal consistency throughout. The pug mill does this
at once, and much more efficiently, and relieves the working potter
of what was not only a slow, but also a most laborious, process. The
potter's wheel, with which every one is familiar, was then driven by
hand, as were also the round disks on which plates, bowls, and other
round articles were made. These are now all driven by steam power.
So much progress is being still made in the application of machinery
that the potter's wheel itself — which has so long stood before the world
as almost part of the potter himself, which was pictured fifty centuries
ago on the tombs of the Pharaohs, and which has been in use nearly
as long by the potter of the East — is rapidly disappearing. Many of
the largest factories have entirely dispensed with it, and are making
all the articles, previously produced on the wheel, by machinery. Of
the potter's wheel it has been said — "The bending figure of the careful
workman over his wheel, the wheel turner's outstretched arm, and
the attentive 'taker off' made a picture that the world has looked
upon with interest, not unmixed with reverence. It is still with us
here and there, but the desecrating hand of the engineer has been on
it, and the whir of the wheels has replaced the comparative quietness
of the old potter's thrower, as the worker at the wheel was called. We
are somewhat brutal with our clay." Old Omar says —
"For I remember stopping by the way
To watch a potter thumping his wet clay,
And with its all obliterated tongue,
It murmured — 'gently, brother, gently, pray.'"
There was a great deal of this feeling about the old craftsmen in
clay — a sort of sympathy existing between the hand and the clay.
The old potter spoke of the temper of the clay, talked of humouring
it, and not forcing it against its will. And this feeling exists still
with the potter who is interested in his work and is a real craftsman.
While machinery has superseded a great deal of hand work,
there are still many articles that can only be made "by hand." Whatever
is not round (and even then if the form is not comparatively
simple), is still formed by the individual craftsman, in which, however,
he is aided by moulds made of plaster of Paris, which absorb part of
the moisture in the clay, and thus part easily with the clay-formed
article. In this department considerable skill is required, and the
intelligent workman leaves on his work the impress of his individuality.
The ordinary workman by the aid of the moulds is able to produce
his work in quantity without much carefulness in the finish; but
even in the quantity produced, the interested workman, from his closer
application, can usually excel those who in their work make their
standard simply what will pass. These tradesmen are called hollowware
pressers. In making, for example, a soup tureen the working
potter beats out on a plaster block with a plaster mallet, called a batter,
a piece of clay to the thickness required for one of the sides (this
cake of clay is called a bat); he fits this into the mould; then the same
process is gone through for the other side of the tureen, and also for
the foot or bottom. These three moulds, with the clay in them. are
then joined together. At the joinings the potter puts small rolls of
clay. and with his hand works these in to join the pieces and make the
body of the tureen. He uses a sponge to smooth the joining and to
make it solid. The cover, handles, etc., he deals with in similar
fashion. The moulds are then passed into a hot chamber, and as
the moisture leaves the clay it contracts, loosening its hold on the mould,
and is taken out ready for the process of burning. In the making of
simple articles, such as plates, cups, bowls, etc., the mould is in one
piece, and forms the face of the plate. A tool of clay or iron has the
form of the back of the plate, and as the mould revolves on a disk the
tool, which is attached to a lever, is brought down on the clay placed
in the mould, and the plate is made. The cake of clay to be put in
the mould is formed on a revolving disk; the potter puts on it a piece
of clay, and while he is making a plate a lever comes down automatically
and presses this clay to the desired thickness.
The making of these moulds is a trade apart from that of the potter.
Besides the mould-maker there is also the modeller, and in most
potteries of any extent he is much more than an ordinary tradesman.
He has had some artistic training, especially in the beauty
of form, and he must possess some creative or designing power in
bringing out new shapes. His models are always made in clay. When
an article, such as a tureen, has handles, or knobs, or covers, these
are all made separately. After the modeller has completed his work he
passes it on to the mould maker. The first act is to take plaster casts
from the model, not of the whole, but of the separate parts that the
potter can make in one mould. A soup tureen requires a mould for
each side, a mould for the foot or bottom, another for the cover, also
separate moulds for the handles and the knobs. After he has done this
he makes plaster blocks of these separated pieces, and from these the
working moulds are cast. This is done by making a clay well round
the block, leaving a space sufficient for the thickness of the mould.
Into this space liquid plaster is poured which sets almost immediately.
After the potter has completed the forming of his wares, the important
process of burning or firing takes place. Before this the moisture
is thoroughly abstracted in apartments treated by steam — until quite
recently this was done by flues and stoves with ordinary coal fires. The
kilns or ovens in which the ware is burnt are not radically different from
those in use during the greater part of last century, but various
improvements in details have latterly been adopted. The kilns have
gradually increased in dimensions, both in width and height; the fireplaces,
of which there are about ten in each kiln, have been much
altered and improved, with the result that much less fuel is now
required, the heat being more thoroughly utilised before leaving
the kiln. The ware is twice under fire — first, it goes into what are
termed biscuit kilns, and after it passes through these kilns it is called
biscuit ware. It undergoes the greatest heat here, and is thoroughly
baked or hardened. It may be remarked that at no previous time was
ware so thoroughly baked as it is by the principal potters of the present
day. These biscuit kilns are continuously under fire for about fifty
hours, and the fireman is a skilled man, as it is of the utmost importance
that the ware should be solidly baked, not having only a hard
skin, but being equally hard to the very centre, though not overdone.
It is also essential that every part of the kiln should, as nearly as
possible, be equally heated throughout.
It may be explained that the ware before being put into the
kilns, both biscuit and glost (the latter, the second firing, will be
referred to later), is placed in Beggars. These are made of fire clay
and are usually oval in form, about 20 inches long by 15 inches
broad, and of height varying from about 6 to 16 inches. They
are built up on each other inside the kiln until it is absolutely
filled from floor to crown. The heat plays round them, but they protect
the ware from the direct action of the heat. Indeed, in the glost
kilns, each seggar has placed on its upper rim a thin roll of soft clay,
so that the one placed above presses on this clay and hermetically
seals up the ware from any direct action of the fires. The inside of
the seggar used in the glost kiln is washed with glaze to prevent it
drawing away any of the glaze from the articles placed in it. In the
biscuit kilns sand is also used inside the Beggars: the ware rests
upon it, and, being a yielding body, it permits of the ware contracting
regularly all over as the heat is operating on it. In the glost kiln
each piece has to be kept separate, otherwise, as the glaze fused, the
ware in a seggar would become a solid mass. Various ingenious
methods are used to prevent this, and, at the same time, to have the
Beggars well filled. A number of sharp pointed articles enables
this to be fairly well accomplished. The public, however, are becoming
very fastidious about even the smallest marks, and amongst other
expedients to reduce these marks is one whereby plates can be built
up in the seggar and yet leave no mark whatever on the face.
In ordinary wares most of the decorations are put on the ware in
the biscuit state. While it is hard it yet possesses a certain porosity
which enables it to receive and to hold colours. Copper plates, having
the patterns engraved on them, are the principal mediums of decoration.
The pattern is printed from the copper plate to a special kind
of tissue paper, this paper is placed on the ware, and by means of
flannel rubbers the colour is rubbed into the ware, the paper being
afterwards floated off in water. This ware has to pass through a small
kiln called a muffle, in order to burn the oil used with the colour in
printing, otherwise it would not receive the glaze. Simple patterns
are also painted on with the brush. The term "Persian" is much used
in connection with these painted patterns, but they are not at all after
any designs seen on Persian ware, beyond that the principal colours
used are red, blue, and green, Ware has simple bands or lines
also placed on it at this stage. An easy and interesting process
of decoration is also done on biscuit ware by means of patterns cut
out on the roots of sponge. The sponge is dipped in colour and then
brought in contact with the ware, leaving a stamp of the pattern, and
this is repeated probably a dozen times with one supply of colour
in the sponge. Hence it is by far the cheapest style, and yet it is
often very effective in its colouring. This style is not confined to
Scotland, although it probably had its origin here and certainly is
more widely practised in this country than elsewhere.
The ware on being decorated is ready for glazing, that is, receiving
the glossy surface, which is really a thin film of a special kind of
glass adapted to the purpose, varying to some extent according to
the composition of the clay. Borax is the principal ingredient. It is
fused in a special furnace, called a fritt kiln, and when it comes out of
this kiln the material is called fritt. The fritt is ground in large circular
pans, similar to those used for grinding stone and flint, and it takes
several days to reduce it to sufficient fineness for use. There are added to
this fritt in the pan quantities of flint and china stone, and sometimes
small quantities of china clay, etc. When it is run off the pan it
passes through very fine silk lawns or sieves, and is then run into tubs.
The biscuit ware is dipped into these tubs, and takes on and holds
a sufficient coating which, when fused in the glost kiln, gives it a fine
glossy surface. After the moisture is driven out the ware is ready to be
put into the glost kiln. The object to be gained there is the thorough
fusion of the glaze. The process of burning in these kilns differs from
that of the biscuit kiln; the latter gathers heat slowly to get the
thorough baking, whereas in the glost kilns the heat, being required
solely to fuse the glaze, may be as rapid as possible, provided always
the fireman so regulates the heat that it pervades the kiln evenly
throughout. The progress must be continuous, as serious results
may follow on a kiln being allowed to fall in temperature. Damage
results from either too great heat or the reverse. The fireman
must therefore have a thorough knowledge of heat as it operates
in his kilns. At various times efforts have been made to use continuous
kilns, also to utilise the spent heat in various ways, but no
real success has hitherto attended these efforts. Many years ago a
Glasgow potter made experiments with gas as the heating medium, and
obtained a certain measure of success, although not sufficient to
encourage him to persevere.
The ware on being got out of the glost kiln is ready for the market.
Most of the finer decorations, however, are placed above the glaze,
including all the good hand painting and artistic decorations as well
as all the gilding. The gold used on really good ware is pure gold,
and costs about £4 per ounce. In some cases a certain amount of
alloy is used, and in recent years a cheaper gold has been extensively
used for the cheaper wares. It is called liquid or glanz gold, and is produced
chiefly in Germany, but the use of it in this country is growing
rapidly. The colours used are called enamels, and these as well as
the gold are burnt on in a muffle.
This white earthenware has been made in Glasgow and neighbourhood
for over a century. A tradition exists, believed to be true by those most
likely to know, that more than one small pottery existed in Glasgow during
the greater part of the eighteenth century, but nothing very definite is
known about it. Towards the end of that century a pottery was erected
in Lancefield Street. The business there created was transferred early
in the nineteenth century to the Verreville Pottery, still existing in
Finnieston Street. This factory, as the name indicates, was built
originally as a glasswork. These works at some period of their
history, not only produced the ordinary white and decorated wares
for table use, which they still continue to do, but also manufactured
considerable quantities of fine china and ornamental ware of
a distinctive character. This had real artistic merit, and for a time
commanded highs prices. Later on in the century the Glasgow Pottery
was established. It is still being carried on, and besides producing
in quantity the ordinary household ware, it has made a speciality of
what is known as sanitary ware. This trade, which began by making
closet basins and plug basins, has in recent years spread out into
multifarious articles, some of which are ornamented with quite expensive
decorations. This pottery at one period of its history also made
excellent china, which had a very good name in the market. It was
found, however, in both instances that it is difficult to have china and
earthenware in the same factory. About the middle of the century the
Britannia Pottery was established at St. Rollox. To a considerable
extent the same class of wares is made here as in the potteries already
mentioned. Besides this, it has from its commencement done a large
business in North and South America, having always given special
attention to the requirements of these markets. Until recent years the
class of goods chiefly in demand there was a pure white ware called granite,
made in imitation of the heavy white porcelain so long produced in France.
But this has had its day, and it is now superseded by decorated
ware. The patterns or designs called for by the Americans are of a slight
nature, and may be said to be more dainty than what are regularly in
demand in the home market. At these works attention is also given to
other foreign markets besides those of America and our Colonies. There
are one or two other potteries in Glasgow and neighbourhood, all of which
including those above named, do a good business in the home market.
Some of them have an excellent connection in Ireland, and also in
those parts of England which have direct water communication with
Earthenware has always been a feature in the shipments to foreign
countries from the Clyde. It is a bulky article, and as the staple products
of Glasgow are heavy, the lighter pottery ware forms a very
useful part of a ship's cargo. The Glasgow potter puts his wares
alongside the ship free of charge, which is a great advantage to the
merchant. He finds when he buys in England that he has almost invariably
inland carriage to pay. As ships go to every part of the world
from Glasgow, its earthenware finds its way into almost every market,
and is known all over the globe. So varied an experience has naturally
led the Glasgow potter to introduce a great variety both in the form
and method of the decoration of wares.
It may be of interest to know that the potter does his part in
connection with the great industry of shipbuilding by supplying many
of the ships built here with crockery which is so necessary a part of
the equipment of every passenger steamer. Large quantities of goods
are made for steamship companies (having special badges and patterns
indicating the companies for which this ware is produced), and also for
Amongst the numerous changes which have come about during
the last twenty years, not the least notable is the increased variety
in shapes, in designs, and styles of decoration which the potter is
compelled to produce. In former times he was content to work
away year after year at the same things, and with the old patterns and
shapes. The dealer resented any attempt at novelty, because it was
so much easier for him to manage his business by simply keeping
up stocks of his old things; favourite styles have in this way been
known to run continuously for over half a century. Indeed he was
to some extent forced to do this by his customers always matching
their sets. Now all this is changed. The public demand novelty;
above all, they demand more artistic articles. The old custom of
getting expensive dinner or tea sets, which were to last a lifetime or
longer, has practically passed away. These expensive sets were then
only used on special occasions, but now people use their best, and
often their only, sets for daily family use. Consequently, they buy
less expensive sets, and instead of matching these as formerly, a new
set is by and by called for. which, if not an improvement, must be at least
something different from what they had previously. This has created
a new department — that of pattern designing — in all potteries of any
extent, and potters at least believe that the styles of the present day
are an immense improvement on the old, and that in this trade there
is a steady progress in the production of more artistic wares. Especially
is this the case with moderately priced goods, which in the old days
were much more commonplace in style. Of course, it goes without
saying that much of the old costly ware is artistically really excellent,
but it was very dear in comparison with present prices.
The stoneware branch of the pottery trade is in a flourishing condition.
There are five manufactories in Glasgow and neighbourhood, and two in
Portobello. They employ about eighty throwers, besides machines for
making jam jars, etc. The clay used all comes from Devonshire, and the
annual import of it to Glasgow is nearly 20,000 tons. Home consumpt
of bottles, etc., alone is large, but there is also an extensive export business,
which continues to increase yearly. The stoneware branch of pottery in
Scotland is an old-established one, one at least of the manufactories having
been established early last century. The firms are all amalgamated under
the Potters' Federation, Ltd., to regulate prices, wages, and other important
points which turn up from time to time, but at the same time every firm
conducts its own business as previously.
Extensive deposits of fire clay exist in Lanarkshire. These were worked
to a small extent in making very moderate quantities of fire brick until
well on in the early part of last century, when the extensive fields in the
neighbourhood of Garnkirk and Glenboig were discovered. The fire clay is
got here at no great depth, and the seams are specially thick. It is in these
districts that the trade has had its greatest development. From very
small beginnings the making of fire bricks grew alongside the iron and
steel trades, and latterly has become the great industry which makes it
so prominent a feature in the West of Scotland.
The fire clays in the neighbourhood of Glasgow are situated geologically
in the upper coal series and limestone series. They are found
at all depths, from the surface open-cast workings to pits 40 or 50
fathoms. The workable seams vary in thickness from about 3 feet
to 30 or 40 feet. The process of fire brick making is pretty much the
same all over the West of Scotland. For precision, we will briefly follow the
process as applied at the Glenboig works. The clay is there found 113 feet
deep, and varies in thickness from 6 to 9 feet. In descending the shaft, we
pass through from 12 to 20 feet of floating whinstone, which covers a considerable
part of the Glenboig district; under this are numerous beds of
fire clay and siliceous rocks, some of them almost pure silica. The system of
mining is what is called stoop-and-room. The workings are 12 feet wide,
and the stoops left in are 30 feet square, excepting at the pit bottom, where
they are much larger. The stoops may be cut through, and when the proper
time comes removed altogether. The clay in its natural state is very hard,
and requires to be blown down with gunpowder. The average daily output
of each man is from 4 to 5 tons, according to the thickness or the hardness of
the clay. The clay is sent out in pieces about the size of ordinary coal.
It is raised to a high pithead platform, whence it is run either to the
crushing mill direct or to the bing, where it is exposed to the action of the
In bricks for general furnace purposes a close texture is not required.
The brick must have sufficient flour in it to give it toughness and strength
so that it may bear the rough shunting of our railways, and the careless
treatment which fire bricks too often receive in shipping and
trans-shipping. But when that is accomplished, they are made as
rough and open in the grain as possible, that they may be the better
able to resist high and variable temperatures.
The crushing and milling are effected by means of revolving pans, in
which heavy iron-edge rollers run. The clay is first broken with hammers
and shovelled into the crushing mill, the bottom of which has perforations
through which the clay is crushed. Scrapers attached to the pan beneath
throw it into an iron box, whence it is lifted by means of an endless
chain fitted with elevator buckets, and delivered into a cylindrical riddle
8 feet long and 2½ feet in diameter. This is so placed that the riddled clay
drops to a second set of elevators, while the pieces too large to pass through
drop back into the crushing mill. The second set of elevators has two duties
to perform — it either sends the fine-ground fire clay, which is used as mortar
in furnace building, to an endless belt, which carries it to the waggons on the
railway outside, or the rougher brick clay to the tempering pans by means
of a box 60 feet long placed overhead. In this box there is a travelling
chain fitted with clots, by means of which the clay is dragged along. In the
bottom of the box are holes to which conductors are attached, one to each
mill. These, from their position, are always kept full, and when the mill-man
requires clay he has only to draw a sluice at the lower end of the
conductor and the clay drops into the pan. He then turns on the water,
and the mill is charged in a second or two. For mortar clay, a fine riddle
is used, and for brick clay one of larger mesh. In preparing clay for
glass house blocks, gas retorts, Bessemer tuyeres, and all large articles, a
proportion of previously burnt bricks or clay is added, to prevent cracking
in the drying and burning. Dry mills are generally employed for tempering
when the clay is of a soft aluminous nature, but they are not suitable for
hard, gritty, siliceous clays. When ready for moulding, the clay is discharged
into small tipping bogeys, which are raised by means of a
steam hoist to the upper floor of the drying store. It is
there run along a little railway, whence it is dropped down through
suitable openings to the moulders' benches. By this method one man
delivers the clay to nine or ten moulders. It has also the advantage
of taking the traffic off the drying floor. Once in the moulders' hands,
the clay is rapidly turned into bricks. A good workman, with his
carrier, will make 2500 bricks a day. Solid brass moulds are used
for regular sizes, but for the larger sizes wooden moulds are employed.
Iron, zinc, and glass have been tried, but hard brass has many advantages.
The moulds are made one-twelfth larger than the size of the burnt brick, to
allow for shrinkage. The face board on which the brick is made is covered
with thick "plaiding," and the trade mark is fixed upon it, so that making
and stamping are performed in one operation. No machine has yet been
made capable of taking well-milled fire clay as it leaves the pans, turning it
rapidly into bricks, and delivering them, square and sharp-edged, on the
pallet boards. When the brick is moulded by hand, the moulder discharges
it on to a pallet board; the carrier then places another board on the top of
it, and between the two the soft brick is carried with safety and deposited
on edge on the stove floor, where it remains till it is hard and ready for
the kiln. The defects most common in fire brick (with the exception of soft
burning) are produced in the stove, and it is here alone that soundness and
finish can be given to them. If the stove floor is uneven, the shape of the
brick is spoiled, and if too much heat is applied the bricks are warped and
cracked. Some clays are very liable to crack when too quickly dried, and
where stoves are badly constructed this occasions loss and injures the
quality of the brick to a serious extent. Bricks of this description give
also increased breakage in the kiln and, indeed, in every stage of their
existence. To meet all this, a patented construction of stove is employed at
Glenboig. The stoves are 120 feet in length by 36 feet wide, and are fired
from one end. The drying floors are entirely formed with cast-iron plates,
each 4 feet by 2 feet by of an inch. These are smooth and easily heated.
Underneath the iron floor there is another, formed of fire-clay slabs, about
3 inches thick, which run from the furnace end to the middle of the stove, a
distance of 60 feet. The fires and hot flues are underneath the fire-clay
slabs, and between the fire-clay slabs and the iron plates forming the upper
floor there is an air space 8 inches deep. This communicates with the
outer air at the gable over the fires. Each flue has its own air space. By
this means the stove may be fired up so as to heat effectually the back end,
while too much heat in the furnace end is prevented by the current of cold
air passing between the two floors. The air so admitted joins the lower flue
at the middle of the stove, carrying with it the superfluous heat at the
furnace end, and utilising it where it is required. Each stove of the
dimensions named turns out 24,000 bricks a day. Every brick is ready for
the kiln the day after it is moulded. By this system of drying the cost is
lessened, while the production for a given space is nearly doubled and the
quality much improved. Various methods have been tried, such as exhaust
steam in pipes or flues, and hot air in a variety of ways. The method just
described gives steady night and day drying, as it is not dependent on
the boiler being off or on, and is in every respect to be preferred,
particularly where large production and perfect regularity are required.
When dry, the bricks are wheeled to the kilns. The firing is done very
gently at first. This is continued for two days, till the damp is completely
steamed out of them. The kiln is then put on full fire, which
is kept up for about two days, during which a bright white heat is
steadily arrived at, this being maintained till the sink in the bricks
has taken place, when the firing ceases and the kiln gradually cools
The making of a fire brick is like the making of a pin — the article looks
a simple one, yet the process is complex and somewhat elaborate. In no
process is close and continued attention more essential if the best results
ere to be obtained. As in scientific investigation. the smallest gleam of
truth has its value and its place, so in the workshop every ascertained
fact has its value also, and if it gets its place it will bring its reward
in the general result.
A brick rich in silica, yet containing a fair proportion of alumina, and
comparatively free from alkalis and other impurities, is the one which
combines in the highest degree infusibility and freedom front splitting, and
is consequently found to be best suited for the greatest number of the most
important furnace purposes, such as puddling, rolling mill and forge
furnaces, gas retorts, etc., where the great desideratum is the combination of
these qualities. The following is the analysis of a Glenboig brick by Sir
Frederick Abel, F.R.S., taken from the stock as used at the Royal Arsenal,
Woolwich: —
Silica, - - - - - - - - - - 62·50
Aluminium, - - - - - - - - - 34·00
Iron per oxide, - - - - - - - - 2·70
Alkalis loss, etc., - - - - - - - - 0·80
Two clays might be found giving a similar analysis which would yet
produce very different fire bricks. In this very analysis we have a case in
point. The silica and alumina are largely combined as a silicate of alumina,
and this is much to be preferred to a clay possessing the same proportions
of these substances but not chemically combined.
It is not surprising, therefore, that these bricks are extensively used
at home, and that their use has spread to England, gradually over
Europe, and latterly, it may be said, to almost every part of the globe.
Wherever they have gone they have made for themselves a reputation and a
market which grows from year to year.
Many other articles are made from this fire clay, notably gas
retorts made in one piece, and also blocks for built gas retorts.
Sewage pipes are also made in great quantities and of all dimensions,
and as sewage works are now being constructed in many lands these
pipes are being regularly shipped to many foreign countries. Attention
is also given to the requirements for special furnaces, such as glassworks,
where large blocks of varying size and shape are required. The
manufacture of bricks with a white glazed surface is another branch
of the trade which is rapidly developing here. These are being
increasingly used for facing walls in back courts, underground railway
stations, etc. Several makers are giving special attention to the
development of this branch.
It is interesting to know that in this connection several of the fire
clay makers in the West of Scotland are working at sanitary ware, not only
at articles of a coarse description, such as sinks, troughs, urinals for
railway stations, etc., but also at what may be considered as the better
articles, such as water-closet pans, wash-hand basins, etc. This branch
is already of considerable dimensions, and, like the other branches, it is
expanding with rapid strides. Chimney cans in greatly varying shapes and
sizes, roof ridges, copings of walls, bottoms for sewers, vases, and other
ornamental articles for use in gardens, the forms of some of which are
admittedly fine, and claim to have artistic merit, are likewise made. There
are other things which all show how this manufacture — starting with
fire bricks, which still are its backbone is spreading out to most varied
One or two of the makers show vases and other ornamental articles
for garden use, and the forms of seine of them are undoubtedly good and
This brief reference — which is far from being exhaustive — to the
varied nature of the fire-clay trade gives some idea of its great development.
The manufacture stands out as one of the most growing
industries of the district, and is carried on with great enterprise.
Skill is displayed in the methods and processes of manufacture, and
the business is pushed with energy in every part of the world.
Before concluding, reference must be made to a patent kiln invented
by Mr. Dunnachie, the well-known managing director of the largest
fire-clay works in the district. It is known as the regenerative gas
kiln or oven. Whilst its main feature is the use of gas as the heating
agent, it is also to some extent of the nature of a continuous kiln or
oven — the heat from the kiln directly fired being carried into the
next, while the air for combustion is passed through the one that had
previously been fired, thus coming into contact with the gas at a
high temperature. It has been in use for a good many years, and its
success has long been established in this country and elsewhere,
notably in America. It not only does the work well by producing
thoroughly burnt bricks, but is far more economical than the ordinary
method of burning fire bricks.
At least one firm gives special attention to what are known as
adamantine bricks, etc. These are exceptionally hard. They are used
for the paving of railway stations, stables, etc., and are of special
value for the foundation of tall chimneys and other erections, as
they are able to bear almost any pressure from the superincumbent
material. The trade employs quite an army of workmen, and its
production is enormous, the quantities sent out from Glasgow being a
feature in the shipping trade of the city. Moreover, it is a trade which
seems to have no bounds to its rapid growth, which has now continued for so
many years.
While the manufacture of tobacco clay pipes is carried on in various
parts of the three kingdoms, the city of Glasgow, although not so
long engaged at the manufacture as Derbyshire or Shropshire, has,
since the beginning of last century, been the chief seat of the industry.
Pipe clay, from which tobacco clay pipes are made, is got from open
mines in South Devonshire, around Kingsteighton. It is aluminous, as
opposed to siliceous, clay. The latter is used in the manufacture of
stoneware. The pipe clay, being aluminous, is very plastic. It is
brought round to Glasgow by sea. Something approaching 2000 tons
is used annually, and about 600 people are employed. The most
interesting place in connection with this peculiar industry is the
factory of Messrs. M'Dougall & Co., in Charles Street, by far the
largest in the city. In this one place are made more than four hundred
different patterns of pipes. The pipe chiefly made in Glasgow is the
short or "cutty" pipe, averaging about 7 inches long. Only a small
portion of these pipes is taken up in the home market. Glasgow pipes
are known to, and used by, white people, as well as our dusky
brothers, all over the world, our colonies and the United States being
the largest and steadiest markets. The firm above named have a very
ingenious little kiln which they use for glazing the mouthpieces of pipes.
All clay tobacco pipes are made by hand. Machinery has been
tried over and over again, and thousands of pounds have been spent to
make it a commercial success, but all to no purpose. It is the old
question of the clay in the hands of the potter, and nothing has yet been
invented to supersede this method in the making of tobacco pipes. Pipe
making is one of the most interesting of the side trades of Glasgow, and
contributes its quota towards maintaining the name Glasgow has acquired
for the variety and number of its industries.
Around Glasgow there exist extensive beds of good clay for brick
making. In many instances these are not exhausted by the brick
maker before the builder comes on the scene and drives him off. But
the brick maker only moves further afield, and on fresh ground
resumes his operations, so that now, in almost every direction around
the city, the familiar brickfield is to be seen. Owing to the abundance
of stone in the West of Scotland, bricks have been little used in
the erection of dwellings, except in the building of partitions and, to a
greater extent, of gables and back walls. They are, however, extensively
used in the erection of workshops and factories of every kind. The
clay, being well adapted for the purpose, makes excellent bricks, and
factories are constructed in which practically no stone whatever is used,
the bricks, when well burned, being exceptionally strong and solid.
There are somewhere approaching forty millions of these bricks made
in the neighbourhood of Glasgow annually, and the great bulk of these
is used in the city and neighbourhood. There are fully one
thousand men employed. These bricks are largely used in the
erection of factory chimneys; indeed all such chimneys are built
with this material in this quarter, and carefully burnt bricks
are excellently adapted for the purpose, being well able to carry any
weight that may be placed upon them. Formerly these common bricks
were all made by hand, and as they were dried outside, brick making only
continued during the summer months, the clay being prepared during the
winter. But years ago some makers turned their attention to the possibility
of making bricks by the aid of machinery, and ultimately with entire
success. The machinery then adopted is still in use in this district, And is
said to have been the forerunner of all such machines. These machines,
combined with the adoption of drying sheds heated by steam and the use
of the pug mill for preparing the clay, enables brick making to go steadily
on throughout the whole year. As the city extends, there is also a natural
increase in the number of bricks used.
Some ten years ago the interesting discovery was made that the great
heaps of "blaise" which accumulate around ironstone pit banks, and which
so frequently formed part of the landscape around Glasgow, could be turned
into building bricks at very moderate expense, as a certain portion of
this material was partly combustible, and aided in the burning of the bricks.
This material not being plastic, the process of making differs from that used
for bricks made of clay. It is crushed into a powder, then it is placed in
moulds, and the brick is formed under very considerable pressure. These
bricks are burned in kilns constructed after the Hoffman plan. In exposed
situations bricks of clay are preferable, as it is thought they better resist
the action of the weather; but these "blaise" bricks are used chiefly for
inside partitions, gable walls, etc., and other places where there is no
excessive pressure or exposure, and as they are cheap they are used somewhat
extensively. Both of these branches of brick making have fully
participated in the prosperity which has been enjoyed for several years in the
building trade of the district.
Lord Provost of the City of Glasgow, and Lord-Lieutenant of the County
of the City of Glasgow.
The years that have elapsed since the last visit of the British
Association to Glasgow have not been more distinguished for their
commercial prosperity and for the advances they have witnessed in
scientific discoveries than they have been for the striking growth in
municipal government and the extension of municipal enterprises. The
cities of the land have grown, actually and relatively. They are larger
in themselves, and they bear an immensely larger proportion to the
entire population of the country. Police burghs have sprung up in
multitudes of "populous places," while even remote villages and hamlets
have been brought under the control of the popularly elected County
Council. There has been developed over all the land an increased spirit
of municipal interest and activity.
In all these respects Glasgow fully shares the characteristics of the
time. When the British Association visited Glasgow in 1876 the population
of the city was 510,000. To-day it stands at 760,000. If we
include the population which clusters around its municipal boundaries,
and which is but the surge of its advancing tide, the number is 910,000.
But mere growth in size is a petty boast, and if that were all
Glasgow had to show for herself during the last twenty-five years, it
would be pitiful indeed. But the extension of her area; the growth of
her population; the deepening and the broadening of the Clyde (her
great highway to the sea); the marvellous extension of inter-city railway
communication; all these things have been accompanied by a growth
in civic spirit and an enlarged activity in what may be called municipal
welldoing, which have produced great and beneficent results.
Twenty-five years ago the acreage of the public parks in the city was
370. To-day it is no less than 1055, while open spaces and children's
playgrounds, provided by the Health Department, number 19, and are
scattered over every part of the city.
Twenty-five years ago there clustered around the Cross a multitude of
narrow streets, dismal lanes, and filthy closes, where disease and death
held high carnival, and vice and crime lifted their heads unabashed. In
the exercise of powers obtained by special Acts of Parliament the larger
portion of this entire district has been reconstructed, while the remainder
is in the course of being dealt with, so that now, instead of narrow and
stifling lanes, we have the light and air of heaven playing freely along
broad and cheerful streets. The result of these varied operations has
been not only a great improvement in the external appearance of the
city, and an equally great improvement in the general comfort and wellbeing
of the community, but the death-rate over the city, which in 1876
was 27·4, is now 21·1, and in this central district the rate has been
reduced from 40 to 30 per thousand.
The multiplication of the channels of municipal enterprise during
the period referred to has been not a little noteworthy. At its commencement
water and gas had already been brought under municipal
control, but these added to the management of the Common Good and
of the few parks which Glasgow then possessed, and the ordinary police
administration of the city, might be said to sum up its municipal duties..
Since then, however, such additions as the following have been made.
The provision of houses for the poor has been definitely added to the.
work of the Improvement Trust, and is now, indeed, perhaps its most
important function. The tramways have been municipalised, as has also
the supply of electric light, together with water for hydraulic power.
The Telephone Committee addresses itself to the task of supplying the
citizens with cheap and efficient telephonic communication. In 1876
there was no municipal library, Mr. Stephen Mitchell's generous bequest
of a library having been too recent to enable the citizens to take advantage
of it till 1877, but to-day the committee has not only under its
charge the Mitchell Library, with its thousands of readers, but is
engaged in drawing up a scheme for district libraries to embrace all.
parts of the city, Mr. Carnegie's munificent gift of £100,000 enabling it
to provide buildings, leaving a rating power up to a penny per £ to
secure equipment and maintenance.
The Bazaar Committee provides concerts on Saturday afternoons for
six months of the year in various parts of the city, and the citizens in
their thousands crowd their own halls to spend an hour or two in
rational and healthful enjoyment. The Parks and Galleries Committee
has now a gallery which uniform testimony asserts to be second to
none in the United Kingdom, and which has cost a quarter of a million
sterling, and now forms perhaps the most attractive feature in the great
International Exhibition. It will be the duty and privilege of this
committee, when the Exhibition is over, so to occupy the gallery with
permanent and loan collections as shall enable it to minister to the
enjoyment and improvement of the entire body of the people.
Such is a rapid summary of the leading enterprises of the city of
Glasgow, further details of which are appended hereto. I hope the
members and friends of the British Association and all visitors to our
city during its session will find some feature of interest in one or other.
of our civic schemes, and if in any way I can guide or assist any student
of municipal institutions who wishes to inquire more fully into the
details of our work it will be to me a pleasure to be able to do so.
In 1855, the Lord Provost, Magistrates, and Council of Glasgow
obtained power, as Water Commissioners, to acquire the works of the
Glasgow Water Company and the Gorbals Gravitation Water Company,
and to construct new works for bringing a plentiful supply of pure
water to the city and surrounding districts, from Loch Katrine, in the
Perthshire Highlands, a distance of 34½ miles.
Loch Katrine Works. — There are now two lines of aqueduct for conveying
the water from Loch Katrine to Glasgow. One was constructed under
the Act of 1855, and was designed and carried out by the late Mr. J. F. La
Trobe Bateman, M.Inst.C.E.; the other was constructed under an Act of
1885, and was designed and carried out by Mr. James M. Gale, M.Inst.C.E.,
the engineer to the Corporation Water Department.
By the Act of 1855, power was taken (1) to raise Loch Katrine 4 feet
above its previous summer level, and to draw it down 3 feet below its
previous summer level, making 7 feet in depth to which the loch could
be drawn upon; (2) to take 50,000,000 gallons of water per day for the
supply of the city and suburbs; (3) to construct a line of aqueduct and a
service reservoir; and (4) to utilise the waters of Lochs Vennachar and
Drunkie as compensation water to the river Teith.
By the Act of 1885, power was taken (1) to raise Loch Katrine other 5
feet, making 12 feet in all that may be drawn upon for the supply to the
city; (2) to take a further 60,000,000 gallons of water per day for the supply
of the city and suburbs; (3) to construct a duplicate line of aqueduct and
service reservoir, with lines of pipes to the city; and (4) to raise Loch Arklet
25 feet above its present level, and lead the water from this loch into
Loch Katrine by a tunnel.
The Aqueducts. — The first aqueduct from Loch Katrine to the service
reservoir at Milngavie is 25¾ miles in length. It is 8 feet wide by 8 feet
high, with arched roof, and is capable of discharging 40,000,000 gallons per
day. The second aqueduct, which runs almost parallel to the first all
the way from the loch to the service reservoirs, is 23½ miles in length. It
is 12 feet wide by 9 feet high, with arched roof, where not lined with
concrete, and 10 feet wide by 9 feet high, with arched roof, where lined with
concrete, and is capable of discharging 70,000,000 gallons per day. The
two aqueducts, taken together, are capable of discharging 110,000,000
gallons per day into the two service reservoirs, which are distant about
7 miles from the city. This quantity of water would fill a canal 30 feet
wide and 6 feet deep for 19 miles.
The Service Reservoirs. — The Mugdock Reservoir has a water surface of
62 acres and a capacity of 500,000,000 gallons. The Craigmaddie Reservoir
has a water surface of 88 acres and a capacity of 700,000,000 gallons.
Combined, these two reservoirs contain 24 days' supply at the rate of
50,000,000 gallons per day. Six lines of 36-inch main pipes convey the
water from the reservoirs to Glasgow, viz., four from Mugdock Reservoir
and two from Craigmaddie Reservoir.
The water from Loch Katrine undergoes no filtration, being merely
strained through fine wire gauze netting to prevent sticks, leaves, etc.,
from passing into the pipes. In order that the water might be kept free
from pollution, the feuing rights over the whole drainage area of Loch
Katrine and Loch Arklet, extending to 26,295 acres, were, in 1892, purchased
by the Corporation at a cost of £17,000, and the owners of the lands
within that area are prohibited from erecting any houses or buildings on
any part of those lands.
Gorbals Works. — The Gorbals Works are situated about eight miles
to the south-west of Glasgow. They were constructed in 1847 and
1848, and were acquired by the Water Commissioners, as formerly
stated, under the Act of 1855.
The supply is drawn from a stream called the Brockburn, a tributary
of the White Cart. The water is collected into four artificial reservoirs,
covering 226 acres, and the amount of water drawn (excluding compensation
water) is about 41 million gallons per day.
The water in the Gorbals Reservoirs is not so pure as Loch Katrine
water, and is therefore filtered by passing through 4½ feet of filtering
material, consisting mainly of Arran sand and gravel.
The water is supplied to some of the outskirts of Glasgow on the
south side of the river, and is conveyed from the works by a 24-inch
main pipe.
Hydraulic Power Supply. — The Hydraulic Power Works are situated
at the top of High Street. They were erected a few years ago for the
purpose of supplying high-pressure water for power purposes. This branch
of the work is in its infancy, but it supplies a felt want, and has already
been taken advantage of to a considerable extent in working hoists,
hydraulic presses, and other machinery. The plant consists of four large
Lancashire boilers with economisers, throe sets of pumping engines of 200
horse power each, and two accumulators. Each of the pumping engines
will pump 250 gallons of water per minute against an accumulator pressure
of 1120 lbs., and this with a steam pressure of 150 lbs. The engines work
independently, and deliver the water into either of the four 7-inch main
pipes. About 17 miles of special pipes for this high-pressure water have
been laid in the streets of the city, and the cost of the works has been
upwards of £113,000. The quantity of water supplied during the year
1900-1901 was 125,788 gallons per day, and the revenue received was
River Supply Works. — The River Supply Works were erected in 1876
and 1877 on the lands of Westthorn, situated about two and a half
miles above Glasgow Bridge, to supply the millowners and others
along the banks of the river Clyde with water pumped from the river, and
were rendered necessary in consequence of the removal of the weir. The
machinery consists of two pairs of compound tandem horizontal engines of
about 100 horse power each, with double acting pumps, and four Lancashire
boilers with economiser and feed pumps. Each engine is capable of pumping
200,000 gallons of water per hour into reservoirs, which are about 60
feet above the level of the river. The average quantity of water pumped
during the year 1900-1901 was 2,543,871 gallons per day. The cost of the
works has been £102,281, and the revenue drawn is £3500 per annum.
Finance. — In 1857 the capital account of the Water Department (including
£525,380, being the share capital of the old companies) was £752,693,
and in 1901 it amounted to £3,907,577.
Revenue, exclusive of Hydraulic Power Works and River Supply Works —
In 1859-60, when the Loch Katrine water
was introduced, the revenue was - - £71,449 per annum.
In 1869-70, with reduced rates - - - 11,486 "
In 1879-80, with rates further reduced - - £138,993 per annum.
In 1889-90 " " - 171,256 "
In 1900-01 " " - 204,716 "
Within the municipality of Glasgow, on the north side of the river Clyde,
where the power of rating is unlimited, the domestic rate
In 1856-57 was - - - - - 1s. 2d. per £ on rental.
In 1862-63 and 1863-64 - - - - 1s. 4d. "
In 1864-65 - - - - - - 1s. 2d. "
In 1865-66 to 1869-70 - - - - 1s. "
In 1870-71 - - - - - - 9d. "
In 1871-72 to 1886-87 - - - - 8d. "
In 1887-88 to 1889-90 - - - - 7d. "
In 1890-91 to 1898-99 - - - - 6d. "
In 1899-1900 to 1901-02 - - - 5d. "
Within the municipality on the south side of the river Clyde, where the
domestic rate is restricted to 1s. per £, the rates levied have been —
In 1856-57 to 1869-70, 1s. per £ on rental; in 1870-71, 9d. per £ on
rental; and since 1871 the same rate as on the north side of the river.
In addition, a public water rate of 1d. per £, payable by the owner,
is levied on all property within the municipality.
Beyond the municipality the domestic rates have been reduced from
1s. 2d. and 1s. to 10d. per £ on rental.
Water rates have been reduced from a sliding scale, beginning
at 1s. per 1000 gallons in 1861-62, to a present uniform charge of 4d.
per 1000 gallons, minimum charge £2 per annum; charges for shops,
warehouses, etc., private taps, from 5s. to 10s., according to rental;
tap common to more than one tenant, from 3s. to 5s., according to
rental; closets, 3s. to 5s.
All charitable institutions are supplied free of charge. The Water
Department also supply water free of charge to twelve public baths and
wash-houses in the city belonging to the Corporation. The Water Department
do not charge the Corporation for water used for cleansing purposes,
watering streets, flushing sewers, etc.; and, in exchange, the Corporation,
as the Police Department, do not levy any assessment on the value of
water pipes, etc., for Police and Statute Labour purposes. The Water
Department has, since 1870, when the sinking fund came into operation,
set aside from revenue in connection with their works £1,075,628 as a
sinking fund, and that fund has been, and is being, used in paying off
borrowed money, and in the purchase of the annuities granted to the
shareholders of the old companies.
Population Supplied, etc. — The population at present being supplied is
about 1,032,000, and the quantity of water sent in during the year 1900-1901
averaged 56,344,681 gallons per day, viz. — From Loch Katrine
Works, 51,777,999 gallons; from Gorbals Works, 4,566,682 gallons. The
consumpt is equal to 54½ gallons per head per day, viz. — For domestic
consumpt, 34 gallons; for trade purposes, 20½ gallons.
The limits of supply under the Glasgow Corporation Waterworks Act of
1855 at present cover an area measuring about 12 miles from east to
west, and 16 miles from north to south, and include the royal burghs
of Rutherglen and Renfrew, the burghs of Govan, Partick, Pollokshaws,
Barrhead, Milngavie, Kinning Park, and the towns or villages of
Nitshill, Thornliebank, Cathcart, Cardonald, Mount Vernon, Carmyle,
Tollcross, Shettleston, Millerston, Bishopbriggs Auchinairn, Strathblane,
Bearsden, Yoker, and Scotstoun.
as at 31st May, 1901.
I. — Value of the works taken over from the Glasgow Water
Co. and the Gorbals Gravitation Water Co. - - - £597,374 6 6
II. — Cost of first aqueduct from Loch Katrine, Mugdock
Reservoir, and distributing main pipes, including land,
etc., and Parliamentary expenses - - - - - 1,515,690 2 11
III. — Cost of new filters at Gorbals works, pumping stations at
Springburn and Hogganfield, buildings used as offices,
stores, and cottages for inspectors, and new roads - 88,125 12 1
IV. — Cost of second aqueduct from Loch Katrine, Craigmaddie
Reservoir, including land, and distributing main pipes 1,491,097 18 0
V. — Cost of Hydraulic Power Works in High Street, including
land - - - - - - -113,008 0 9
VI. — Cost of River Supply Works at Westthorn, including land 102,281 15 9
£3,907,577 16 0
Gas was first supplied to Glasgow in 1818 by the Glasgow Gas Light
Company. No record of the quantity manufactured was kept until 1827,
when meters were first introduced. In that year the total quantity made
was about 80,000,000 cubic feet. In 1843 this had increased to 217,000,000,
and in that year a rival company, called "The City and Suburban Gas
Company," was inaugurated. Both companies continued to supply gas in
competition within the same area until the year 1869, when the Corporation
acquired by Act of Parliament the works of both companies.
The following table shows the development in gas manufacture during
the last forty years:—
The Corporation now supply an area of 15 miles in extreme length and
9 miles in extreme breadth. The number of consumers is 201,878. The
price is the same over the whole area. No meter rent is charged. There
are five works within the area of supply — two small suburban works and
three large works. The Dalmarnock Works (formerly the City and
Suburban Gas Company's works) are situated at the East End of the city,
and are capable of manufacturing about 7,000,000 cubic feet per day. The
Tradeston works (formerly the Glasgow Gas Light Company's works) are on
the south side of the river, and were built in 1838. In 1869 their manufacturing
capacity was one and a half million cubic feet per day, and in 1888
it had been increased to four and a half million cubic feet per day. The
extension of the district supplied by these works was, however, so rapid that
in that year it was determined to reconstruct the works, so as to enable the
producing power to be largely increased. In order to carry out the reconstruction,
it was necessary to acquire additional ground, to shut up and
utilise a street which separated the two portions of the works, and connect
the latter by bridges across the Caledonian Railway Company's main line.
By this reconstruction the manufacturing capacity of the Tradeston works
has been increased to 10,000,000 cubic feet per day.
The Dawsholm works were erected in 1871. The portion first erected
had a manufacturing capacity of 3.000,000 cubic feet per day. In 1883
this was increased to 8,000,000. In 1891 the adjoining works of the Partick,
Hillhead, and Maryhill Gas Company were acquired by the Corporation.
These works are separated from the Dawsholm works by the Forth and
Clyde Canal, and to enable the works to be combined a tunnel has been
constructed under the canal, through which the gas mains are laid, and
railway and foot traffic carried on. In 1892 an additional retort house,
containing 512 retorts, was erected. Four years later another retort house
of similar dimensions was constructed, and the Dawsholm works have now
a manufacturing capacity of about 19,000,000 cubic feet per day. Both
Tradeston and Dawsholm works are fully equipped with machinery for
manipulating the coal and coke.
There being no room for further extensions at the existing works, and
as the demand for gas continued to increase, the necessity for the erection
of new gasworks became evident, and the selection of a suitable site had to
be carefully considered. In 1898 a site was selected at Provan, on the
eastern boundary of the municipal area, as being, on the whole, the most
suitable, and in 1899 an Act of Parliament was obtained to empower the
Corporation to purchase the lands included in this site, and to erect new
gasworks thereon. The area of the site is 131 acres. It is conveniently
situated for both railway and canal communication. The levels are somewhat
irregular, but advantage is being taken of the difference in levels to
facilitate the transference of material. The coals, lime, etc., will be
brought in at a high level, and the coke and other materials sent away at a
low level. The works, when completed, will be in four sections, each
section forming an independent work, which will be capable of manufacturing
12,000,000 cubic feet per day, or a total of 48,000,000 cubic feet.
The works have all been designed, and mechanical appliances will be introduced
wherever possible, so as to reduce the cost of manufacture in every
department. Railway siding accommodation will be provided sufficient to
deal with 4000 tons of material daily. The total length of railway lines
inside the works will be about 8 miles, and, in addition, there will be about
5 miles of 2 feet 6 inches gauge lines for conveying coke, waste lime, etc.
The following statistics for the last financial year will give some idea of
the business carried on by the Gas Department: — Coals used, 666,769 tons;
coke sold, 259,679 tons; revenue from sale of tar and ammoniacal liquor,
£121,347; maximum number of men employed in mid-winter — in gasworks,
2466; in workshops, 655 — total, 3121.
The companies held two kinds of stock, one entitled to a maximum
dividend of 10 per cent. and the other 7½ per cent. Tinder the Corporation's
Act, holders of the former received perpetual annuities of 9 per cent., and
of the latter 6¾ per cent., these annuities being secured by a lien on the
gasworks, on the revenue derived from the manufacture of gas, and by a
guarantee rate of 6d. per £, leviable from the inhabitants of Glasgow in
respect of rental.
The amount at the credit of the sinking fund at 31st May last is
£388,664 16s. 8d.
as at 31st May, 1900.
NOTE. — In addition to the above, there has already been expended upon the new Gasworks
at Provan, now in course of erection, the sum of £71,526 9s. 8d. The above £2,496,128 14s. 9d.
includes the value of the works taken over from the Glasgow Gas Light Co. and the City and
Suburban Gas Co.
Comparatively little had been done in the way of general electricity
supply in Glasgow before 1890. By the Corporation Gas Bill of 1882 it
was proposed to take statutory powers to supply electricity, but the clauses
were struck out before the bill came before any Parliamentary Committee
for consideration. The nearest practical attempt towards a general supply
was made by the British Electric Company, Limited, who laid down Gramme
dynamos to light the G. and S.-W. Railway Company's St. Enoch Station
in 1879, and by the firm of R. E. Crompton & Company, Chelmsford, who
laid down plant in 1879-80 to supply the North British Railway Company's
Queen Street Station with electricity at a stated charge; but these
attempts did not develop into a general supply, the railway companies
ultimately purchasing the plant and lighting the stations themselves. The
next attempt towards a general supply was made by Messrs. Muir & Mavor,
who, in 1879-80, laid down temporary plant on the area now covered by
the Municipal Buildings, afterwards removing it to the basement of the
General Post Office. Later, in 1884, they placed in Miller Street permanent
plant to supply the General Post Office in George Square, the cables from
Miller Street being carried over the tops of the intervening buildings.
In regard to the last-mentioned supply, it is interesting to note that the
Glasgow Post Office was the first Post Office in the kingdom to be lighted by
electricity; and it has been stated that it was owing to the attention of
the Post Office authorities being called to the improved health of the
Glasgow officials by the use of this new system of lighting that electricity
was introduced into London and other Post Offices.
On 6th June, 1888, the company of Muir, Mavor & Coulson, Ltd., was
incorporated, and purchased from the firm of Muir, Mavor & Coulson the
plant in the Miller Street station belonging to them. The new company
also purchased ground in Little Hamilton Street, off John Street, City, and
laid down plant for a general supply. The supply from the Miller Street
station was on the low-tension continuous current system (100 volts), while
the Little Hamilton Street supply, which was also conveyed by overhead
wires, was on the high-tension alternating current system (2400 volts), transformed
on the consumers' premises to 100 volts. The company, in 1890,
applied for a Provisional Order to supply Glasgow generally, as also did the
Corporation, but the company withdrew their application in favour of the
application by the Corporation, and the latter was duly sanctioned by the
Board of Trade under the title of "The Glasgow Corporation Electric
Lighting Order, 1890," and the Act of Parliament confirming this Order
received the royal assent on 14th August, 1890. Subsequently the
Corporation agreed to purchase the company's undertaking for £15,000.
On 1st March, 1892, the Corporation entered upon possession of Messrs.
Muir, Mavor & Coulson's undertaking. The supply on the high-tension
overhead system haying only been sanctioned by the Board of Trade to
continue until August, 1893, the Corporation proceeded forthwith to lay
down a central generating station for low-tension supply. The Corporation,
acting under the Gas Acts, haying been constituted the undertakers of
the new department, the Gas Committee were entrusted with carrying out
the scheme, and in 1891 active steps were taken for putting the powers
obtained by the Corporation into execution.
The Corporation purchased ground in Waterloo Street for £8000, and
commenced to erect thereon a generating station in the spring of 1892.
They also, on the advice of Lord Kelvin, adopted the low-tension continuous
current three-wire system, at 200 volts pressure, to save the cost of altering
existing consumers' installations, which could be connected to the new
system without exchanging the lamps. It should be noted that the cost of
incandescent lamps was then four or five times what it now is. But for
this consideration, the pressure of supply might have been at least 115
volts in consumers' premises, thus facilitating the use of a three-wire system
at 230 volts pressure, as was done in Edinburgh a few years afterwards.
The pressure allowed by the Board of Trade regulations then in force was
considerably lower than is allowed by the existing regulations.
On 25th February, 1893, the lighting of some of the public streets by
arc lamps, supplied from high-tension continuous current Brush dynamos,
to which they were connected by long series circuits, was publicly inaugurated,
and on Saturday, the 22nd April following, the general supply for
private lighting was switched on. In August, 1893, the John Street high-tension
alternating plant was shut down, all the consumers being transferred
to the new low-tension underground mains, supplied from Waterloo Street.
Owing to the rapid growth of the undertaking, it soon became evident
that the space occupied by the special and separate arc lighting plant in the
Waterloo Street works would be required for extensions of plant to meet
the demands of private consumers. The committee then decided to remove
the Brush dynamos from Waterloo Street to John Street, and there to
utilise them for street lighting purposes in connection with the engines
originally put down by Messrs. Muir, Mavor & Coulson, Limited, the high-tension
alternating current dynamos having in the meantime been disposed
of. The John Street works, when reopened and utilised for the purpose of
street electric lighting, only supplied about 100 horse power. Matters
continued in this position until 1897, the plant at Waterloo Street being
increased from time to time, until, during that year, the whole available
space was fully occupied with boilers, engines, and dynamos to a total of
3300 h.p., which at that time provided a small margin of reserve power.
The street lighting being so inconsiderable, it was decided to alter the
arrangements so that these lights could be run from the same plant in
Waterloo Street as the private supply, with a resultant saving in cost. The
John Street plant was thus again shut down, and the whole of the electric
lighting, both public and private, was carried on from the Waterloo Street
The committee soon found the necessity for extensions, and in order
to meet these and the increasing demands for the supply of current from so
wide an area as Glasgow Cross on the one hand and Park Circus on the
other, two temporary accumulator sub-stations were erected — one in
Tontine Lane, Trongate, and the other in Claremont Street. The object
of these sub-stations was partly to avoid transmitting heavy loads through
the mains during the longest lighting hours — a matter involving considerable
loss at the low pressure of 200 volts, or a very large expenditure in
extra heavy copper mains — and partly to relieve the maximum load upon
the generating plant. The arrangement of working is to charge up these
when both plant and mains are under easy load, and to discharge them
during the two or three hours of the afternoon or evening maximum load,
the discharge current, of course, going to feed the local districts around
each sub-station.
The committee then turned their attention to the question of purchasing
sites for entirely new works, one for the north and another for the south
side of the river; and during the year 1897 arrangements were made for the
purchase of about 4½ acres of ground at Port-Dundas, adjoining the Forth
and Clyde Canal at Spiers' Wharf, and about 2 acres of ground close to
Eglinton Toll or St. Andrew's Cross, in Pollokshaws Road.
There had been a considerable overload on the plant in December, 1897,
during an extended period of very thick fog, which caused a demand upon
all the plant, including the accumulator sub-stations, for so long a time
that the accumulators, which were only intended for some two or three
hours' discharge per day, were exhausted, and could not be recharged until
night, as the engines and dynamos were all fully occupied in endeavouring
to supply the demand made directly upon them.
It was clear that, as no more plant could be placed in the Waterloo
Street works, urgent steps must be taken to get new plant of some kind
delivered and fixed on the new site at Port-Dundas, so as, if possible, to be
in operation for the winter of 1898-99. Tenders were accordingly invited
for such plant as manufacturers might be able to deliver quickly. As some
time, however, would necessarily elapse before the permanent buildings
could be erected, it was found necessary to erect a temporary wooden shed
over the engines and dynamo foundations, to contain the 2000 h.p. plant
which was purchased as the result of the tenders referred to. Part
of this plant was put into use in December, 1898. It was, however,
impossible entirely to avert overloading the Waterloo Street plant during
times of heavy demand.
In laying out the extensive scheme which it is intended should ultimately
supply current throughout the whole area of Glasgow, it was decided
to take advantage of the altered Board of Trade regulations, and to make
the pressure of supply in consumers' premises 250 volts, by the use of a
three-wire 500 volt continuous current system, instead of the then existing
200 volt three-wire system, as this would result in a very large saving in
the cost of mains, and, consequently, in the ultimate cost of electricity to
consumers. The only drawbacks to this departure are that the mains
from the Waterloo Street works and those from the new stations cannot be
connected together, and that all parts of the original area, which it is
desired to relieve, have first to be cut off from the Waterloo Street works,
all consumers' lamps changed for 250 volt ones, and often other sundry
alterations made at the same time, and then to be connected to the new
supply. The process is a tedious one, causing some amount of annoyance
to consumers and a great deal of wear and tear on the staff, but the result,
when all is completed, will be a more uniform light at a reduced cost, in
spite of the fact that longer distances have to be traversed.
The new supply has made considerable progress, and there are now some
2773 consumers supplied from the Port-Dundas and Pollokshaws Road
The works and whole undertaking of the Kelvinside Electricity Company
were taken over by the Corporation in August, 1899, at the price of
£37,000, the supply in that district then being at 100 volts only. This has
now been altered to the new pressure, and three Willans engines of 360
horse power each, with Bruce-Peebles dynamos, and an 1100 horse power
Babcock & Wilcox boiler have been added.
At the present time the Port-Dundas works are supplying current from
Bridgeton Cross, on the east, to Whittinghame Drive, Kelvinside, on the
west, and from Springburn Park, on the north, to the Victoria Infirmary
on the south, and to Pollokshields and Dumbreck on the south-west,
except during the evening hours from dusk to 11 p.m., when the Kelvinside
and Pollokshaws Road works take up the supply to their respective
When the electric lighting supply was commenced by the Corporation,
probably no one had any idea of the magnitude which the undertaking
would so rapidly attain. The tabulated statement appended hereto shows
at a glance the progress of the undertaking since the date of its inauguration
in 1893, and there is no indication of any abatement in the demand
for current in the near future. On the contrary, everything points to that
demand increasing from year to year, and to the rate at which this increase
is taking place being steadily augmented.
The demand for electric motive power is also rapidly growing, and now
amounts to over 1894 horse power in motors of all sizes, which are used for
many different purposes.
FROM 1893 TO 1901.
The new Port-Dundas and Pollokshaws Road works will be found
worthy of a visit. The former contains engines and dynamos of both
American and British manufacture, and of both high-speed and slow-speed
types, and in various sizes, from 200 h.p. to 2400 h.p. each unit.
One of these largest sets is now completed, and a second is in course
of erection, the engines being by Messrs. Willans & Robinson, and the
dynamos by the Westinghouse Company. The remaining engines are
by the Balland Wood Co., Messrs. Matthew Paul, Messrs. Mirrlees &
Watson, Messrs. Belliss, and Messrs. Willans & Robinson, and the dynamos
by the Walker Co., the Schuckert Co., Crompton & Co., and the British
Thomson-Houston Co. The condensing plant is all driven by electric
motors, the air pumps being of Edwards' patent design. The switchboards
and recording gauges are of considerable interest, being specially designed
for the purpose, and containing some departures from ordinary practice.
They have been constructed by Kelvin & James White, the Holland House
Manufacturing Co., Messrs. Mechan & Sons, and Messrs. Laing, Wharton
& Down. They are mostly, therefore, of local production.
Current is being supplied from the Port-Dundas works to the Glasgow
International Exhibition through two concentric feeders, each of one
square inch section, at a pressure of 500 volts continuous current. Two
engines, of 1200 horse power each, by Messrs. Willans & Robinson, will be
found in the Exhibition, one driving a Crompton and the other a Schuckert
dynamo. These engines and dynamos have been built for the Corporation,
and will be removed to one or other of the new works during the autumn,
after the Exhibition is closed.
The total cost of the electricity works of the Corporation, including
mains, up to the present time, has been £897,564 8s. 11d. This expenditure
does not, of course, include the cost of the Corporation Tramways electrical
system, which will be dealt with separately.
DEPARTMENT as at 31st May, 1900.
In the year 1869 the initial steps towards the establishment of public
baths and wash-houses in the city were taken, but nothing came of the
movement at that time, and it was not till 1876 — the year of the last
visit of the British Association to Glasgow — that baths and wash-houses
became an accomplished fact. In January of that year the Police Board
accepted an offer to lease to them the site of the old washing-house on
Glasgow Green for the erection thereon of public baths and wash-houses.
In the same year the Water Department agreed to supply the baths and
wash-houses with a free supply of water — an arrangement which has ever
since remained in force.
Almost simultaneously the old London Road Baths were acquired by,
and placed under the management of, the Corporation. These baths
remained the only establishment of the kind controlled by the Corporation
for about a year, when the Kennedy Street Baths — an institution similar
in almost every respect to the before-mentioned London Road Baths —
were acquired. Meantime, the premises now known as Greenhead Baths
and Wash-houses were being erected on Glasgow Green, but were not
formally opened to the public till 19th August, 1878.
While these three establishments were rapidly growing in public favour,
the department of the Corporation in charge of this new scheme was
arranging for sites in other districts of the city whereon to erect baths.
By the year 1885 the districts now known as North Woodside, Cranstonhill,
Townhead, and Gorbals, were all provided with baths and wash-houses.
The old baths in London Road and Kennedy Street (the pioneers of this
department of Corporation enterprise) ceased to be used in 1883. The
number of modern establishments under the control of the Corporation in
1885 was five, and the capital expenditure till that year amounted to
about £120,000.
An interval of twelve years took place in the building operations of
the department, viz., from 1885 to 1897. In the year last named a washhouse
having a few hot rooms connected with it was erected in the
Hutchesontown district of the city, and in the following year — 1898 —
baths and wash-houses were built in the Springburn and Maryhill districts;
in 1899 a wash-house was erected on the site of the old Kennedy Street
Baths, and in the same year and the year following similar establishments
were built on the areas behind tenement property owned by the City
Improvements Department of the Corporation at Stobcross Street and
Bain Square.
The markets at present belonging to the Corporation of Glasgow are —
(1) The Bazaar.
(2) The Cheese Market.
(3) The Bird and Dog Market.
(4) The Old Clothes Market.
(5) The Cattle Market.
(6) The Slaughter-Houses —
(a) Moore Street,
(b) Scott Street,
(c) Victoria Street.
(7) The Dead Meat Market.
(8) The Fish Market.
(9) The Foreign Animals Wharves.
Of these, the first four form part of the General Department of the Corporation,
and as such are administered by a committee popularly known as the
Bazaar Committee, which is also entrusted with the oversight of the public
halls, turret clocks, and city timepieces belonging to the Corporation.
(1) The Bazaar is the modern representative of the ancient vegetable
market of Glasgow, and now occupies a site bounded by Ingram Street,
Candleriggs, Bell Street, and South Albion Street. The Bazaar was laid
out in 1817, and then embraced an area of 2377 square yards. Subsequent
additions have increased the accommodation till now the Bazaar proper
covers 7879 square yards, divided into 58 stances. Previous to 1886 the
business done in the Bazaar was of a different character from that which has
since been carried on there. In its early days, the stalls of the Bazaar
were by no means restricted to dealers in fruit and vegetables. They were
occupied by retail greengrocers, dealers in eggs, butter, cheese, poultry
and game, and by second-hand booksellers, and there were also toy shops
and undefined stores. Owing, however, to the establishment of large
provision premises in the immediate neighbourhood of the Bazaar, and the
large increase of retail shops throughout the city, miscellaneous trading in
the Bazaar soon ceased.
In other respects, also, the Bazaar business has changed with the
changing times. Retail trade is still carried on, but it is on the most insignificant
scale, and steadily the tendency is towards dealing on a wholesale
basis. The Bazaar is now recognised as the principal market for the sale
of fruit and vegetables in the West of Scotland, and nearly all the stance-holders,
of whom there are about two dozen, hold auctioneers' licences,
and dispose of a large portion of their merchandise by auction-room
methods. In summer, during the height of the fruit season, auction sales
are held daily, beginning at nine o'clock, and during the winter months
such sales are held only thrice a week, beginning at eleven o'clock in the
forenoon. With increasing trade and restricted accommodation, there
has arisen a strong competition for stances in the Bazaar, which has therefore
become a highly remunerative property to the common good of the city.
Within ten years the receipts for stances have increased from a little more
than £2000 to over £3300. The stances are let on monthly occupancies,
with rents payable in advance, but the Corporation reserves the right in
lieu of rent to charge such dues on goods as they may fix. The Corporation
are at present seeking power from Parliament to extend the Bazaar under
a scheme which includes the appropriation of part of the solum of South
Albion Street and the acquisition of the Central Police Office. This scheme
if carried out in its entirety, would give an increased space of 3576 square
yards, and would involve an expenditure of about £80,000.
(2) The Cheese Market, devoted to the wholesale cheese trade, is a
portion of the Bazaar entirely distinct and divided off from the fruit and
vegetable stances. It has its own entrance in South Albion Street, and on
that side, including galleries carried round three sides of the north
division of the vegetable market, has a floorage of 1500 square yards. The
Cheese Market is open only on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and
the business is entirely wholesale. The market is, indeed, the modern
representative of the ancient cheese market of Glasgow, which was held on
certain days under magisterial supervision, and in which dues were charged
according to the quantity offered for sale. The cheese sold is entirely of
home manufacture, principally the kinds known as Cheddar, and Dunlop
from Ayrshire. There is no allocation of stances or positions to dealers,
and any one who has cheese to sell may have it placed on the racks in the
market on payment of the prescribed dues. A rent charge is made at the
rate of 4s. 6d. per ton for all cheese brought into the market. For a
payment at that rate the cheese is weighed, and allowed to remain over
two market days, but if not sold and removed within that time an additional
charge of 1s. per week or part of a week is levied on every ton weight.
Goods sold must be taken away within forty-eight hours; if left longer, a
charge of 2s. per ton for every day or part of a day after the expiry of the
forty-eight hours is made.
(3) The Bird and Dog Market is situated in Jail Square, opposite
Glasgow Green, and covers an area of 720 square yards. It was opened for
business in December, 1876, but prior to that date the market had been
successively carried on in premises in Cochrane Street and Ingram Street.
It is rented to a tacksman for £112 per annum. The market is held on
Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, and is divided into a wholesale and a
retail department. The wholesale side is set apart for dealers who have
stock to dispose of to stanceholders or other retailers. A charge of ½d.
for each animal exposed in the market is made, and buyers other than
stanceholders pay 1d. for admission to the wholesale market. In the
retail department stances 6 feet wide by 9½ feet high are let for not more
than 3s. per week, and casual dealers are charged 1d. per day for each
animal they bring in and 1d. for each cage space they occupy. Cages are
supplied in the market when necessary for ½d. per day.
(4) The Old Clothes Market in Greendyke Street, an institution which
exists for trafficking in old clothes, offers a very curious example of magisterial
supervision. The market is really an outcome of purely humanitarian
care for the very humblest stratum of the population. The present
market was opened in July, 1875, and occupies a floor area of 2380 square
yards. Prior to 1900 the market was rented to a tacksman, but in May
of that year the Corporation took advantage of the expiry of the tacksman's
lease to assume the control of the market, and to place it under the charge
of the superintendent of the Bazaar. The stances in the market are let at
a sum of not more than 5s. per day, and 1s. per day for the use of a lock-fast
store. Shopkeepers and retail dealers who have no stance or store in
the wholesale market are required, when purchasing, to pay 6d. per day,
and every person who enters the market with goods for disposal is liable
to be charged 1d. The market is open every day at nine o'clock, closing
in summer at eight, in winter at seven, and on Saturdays throughout the
year at ten o'clock.
Prior to 1895 the markets after mentioned, viz., the Cattle Market, the
Slaughter-Houses, the Dead Meat Market, and the Fish Market, were controlled
by the Corporation in their capacity as Markets Commissioners,
acting under the Glasgow Markets and Slaughter-Houses Act, 1865, but in
that year (1895) an Act was passed unifying the several Corporation departments
and creating the Glasgow Corporation (Markets) Department.
(5) The Cattle Market. — After successive changes of site the Cattle
Market was removed in 1818 to its present site in the East End of the city.
It has from time to time been extended, and now covers an area of 36,478
square yards, a large proportion of which is roofed over. It provides
accommodation for showing for sale about 2000 cattle and 15,000 sheep in
pens, and at the same time 1000 cattle can be kept loose in sheds, and 160
milk cows fed in byres within the market. En suite with the Cattle Market
there is a horse bazaar, occupying an area of 980 square yards, with the
necessary stables for putting up 112 horses. The slaughter-houses attached
to the market extend over 13,695 square yards, and the Dead Meat Market,
erected under the powers of the 1877 Act and opened for trade in 1879,
covers an area of 4246 square yards. For many years the markets,
accommodation, especially the slaughter-house portion, has not at all been
commensurate with the demand made upon it, and it is at present being
reconstructed on more modern lines. The improvements, when effected,
will greatly add to the lairage of the slaughter-house accommodation, provide
facilities for the scientific inspection of carcases, and otherwise bring
the resources and accessories of the market fully abreast of the most
completely equipped institutions of the kind in the kingdom or on the
The principal cattle market day is Wednesday, but the market is open
for business every day of the week. Under Act of Parliament, the maximum
tolls leviable are — For oxen, cows, bulls, and heifers, per head, 9d.; for
sheep and lambs, per head, 1d.; for calves, 2d.; for swine and goats, 3d.
In the horse bazaar the rates are — For animals over thirteen hands high,
6d.; and under thirteen hands, 3d. In the year ending 30th May, 1900,
there were exposed for sale in the market 75,066 cattle, 220 calves, 376,460
sheep and lambs, 22 goats, 6230 swine, and 17,028 horses.
(6) Slaughter-Houses. — There are at present three public slaughterhouses
in the city, viz., Moore Street and the Cattle Market, in the eastern
district; Scott Street off Dobbie's Loan, in the northern district; and
Victoria Street, in the southern district. But as soon as the contemplated
additions to the accommodation at Moore Street shall have been carried
into effect it is intended to concentrate the whole of the business there.
The sheds and yards at Moore Street presently provide accommodation for
dealing with 360 cattle, 2500 sheep, and 240 pigs at one time; and the dues
payable on animals killed in the public abattoirs are — For oxen, 9d. per
head; for calves, sheep, and goats, 1d. each; for lambs, ¾d.; and for pigs,
ls. The following comparison between the number of animals slaughtered
in 1876 and 1900 is interesting, viz.: —
(7) The Dead Meat Market in Moore Street was opened in 1879 as a
necessary outcome of the successful inauguration of the ocean traffic in
carcases during the previous decade. The facilities offered by the Dead
Meat Market have exercised a. marked influence over the retail butcher trade
in the West of Scotland. The market may now be regarded as the central
depot of the wholesale meat business, and the butchers, instead of dealing
in live animals, buy from the exposed carcases such portions and qualities
as suit their requirements, and thus the trade is better and more economically
supplied and is more expeditiously distributed than under the old
system. The market covers an area of 4246 square yards, consisting of 45
stances, let weekly at the rate of ¼d. per square foot per week. In addition
dues are levied on carcases at the following rates, viz. — For oxen, 6d.;
for fat calves, 3d.; slink calves, 1d.; sheep and lambs, 1d. each; and pigs,
2d. There is also exigible for weighing meat a toll at the rate of ½d. per
hundredweight or part thereof. The following comparison of the number
of carcases dealt with during the first year of the market, viz., 1880, and
during 1900, is suggestive of the great strides which have been made in the
interval, viz.:—
(8) The Fish Market, situated by the side of the river between East
Clyde Street and Bridgegate, covers an area of upwards of 2000 square
yards. Nominally it is divided into a wholesale and a retail department;
but while it possesses conveniences for retail dealers, there is scarcely any
retail business done in the market. The revenue of the market is derived
from the renting of stances, of which there are 47, and from dues on goods
brought into the market by dealers who are not stanceholders; but the
latter source of income has completely dried up, showing that the whole
trade is in the hands of the established dealers. The rents levied for
stances are at the rate of 4s. 6d. per annum for each square foot of space
occupied, payable weekly in advance; and casual dealers getting the use of
a stance pay 4d. for each box or barrel of fish they bring into or buy within
the market. During 1883 (the first year for which statistics are available),
213,621 packages of fish passed through the market, while in 1900, 715,076
packages passed through the market.
(9) Foreign Animals Wharves. — Under the Contagious Diseases
(Animals) Act, 1878, the Corporation are the local authority having the
control of the foreign cattle trade at the port of Glasgow. The local
authority are also, under the same Act, entrusted with the duty of dealing
with the outbreaks of contagious diseases among animals, with compensating
owners for the loss of animals, and with the levying of rates to meet such
compensation allowances.
Under the powers conferred by the Act of 1878, the Corporation erected
in 1879, at Yorkhill, on the south side of the river, the first foreign animals
wharf in Scotland. The building cost £3500, and had accommodation for
120 head of cattle. From time to time alterations and additions were
made, until in 1894 the local authority carried out an entirely new scheme
of reconstruction of the wharf at a cost of almost £50,000. The wharf now
covers an area of 23,596 square yards, and provides slaughtering accommodation
of the most approved description, including spacious chill rooms, in
which meat can be stored and preserved in perfectly sound condition for
any length of time.
The wharf at Yorkhill is reserved exclusively for foreign stock subject to
slaughter at port of landing. In 1879 also the Corporation provided a landing-place
at Plantation, on the south side of the river, for foreign stock
not subject to slaughter, which comes principally from Canada. The
accommodation there is capable of providing for 1500 cattle and sheep, and
cost about £4000. In 1886 provision was made at Shieldhall, also on the
south side of the river, for 2000 cattle and 6000 sheep, at a cost of £27,000.
This latter wharf is at present unoccupied owing to the orders of the
Board of Agriculture that all foreign animals landing in this country must
be slaughtered at the port of landing, so that all foreign stock for Scotland
must now be discharged at the Yorkhill wharf.
The following table shows the number of foreign animals landed in
Glasgow during the years 1880, 1885, 1890, 1895, and 1900: —
The great increase in the importation of frozen and chilled meat accounts
for the decrease in live stock.
The Sanitary Department of Glasgow dates from 2nd May, 1870.
Previous to that time the sanitary matters, so far as they were attended
to at all, were divided between the Police and Office of Public Works.
At the inauguration of the department the staff consisted of 1 medical
officer and 5 district medical assistants, 1 chief sanitary inspector, 5
district inspectors, 5 lodging-house inspectors, 7 infectious disease
inspectors, 18 nuisance inspectors, 5 female inspectors, 1 indoor inspector,
2 clerks, 1 boy, and 1 cleaner — a total of 51. By 1876 (the date of the
last visit of the British Association) the staff had been increased to 60.
It has since grown gradually to the present strength of 225.
The Sanitary Chambers are situated at the corner of Montrose Street
and Cochrane Street. The building was opened about three years
ago, and the cost, including the price of the ground, amounted to
about £30,000. It contains accommodation for the chief sanitary
inspector and his staff and the medical officer of health and his staff.
The chief sanitary inspector is an official with a plurality of offices.
He is sanitary inspector under the Public Health (Scotland) Act for
administering that Act so far as it applies to general nuisance and the
regulation of common lodging-houses; he is appointed inspector under
the Sale of Food and Drugs Acts, 1875 to 1899; inspector under the
Dairies, Cowsheds, and Milkshops Orders, 1885-89, for the regulation of
all byres, dairies, and milkshops; inspector under the Sale of Margarine
Act, 1887; inspector under the Horse Flesh Act, 1889; inspector of
nuisances and sanitary inspector under the Glasgow Police Act, 1866,
and the Amendment Act of 1890; he is the official responsible to the
local authority under the 3rd and 4th sections of the Factory and
Workshops Act, 1878, and the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th sections of the
Factory and Workshops Amendment Act, 1891 — in a word, all the
sanitary powers with regard to factories and workshops which before-time
were vested in the inspector of factories, have now been placed
under the charge of the sanitary inspector; he is also responsible for
the carrying out of the provisions of the Shop Hours Acts, 1892-95,
and the Seats for Shop Assistants Act, 1899. In addition to these
duties, he is required to report upon all applications to keep cows in
dairy premises and to keep swine in piggeries; and is responsible for
the officials who are placed in charge of the open spaces and playgrounds
for children in the city. Recently the detection of public work chimneys
emitting black smoke in the city was transferred from the police, and
entrusted to the sanitary inspector. Two inspectors, with technical
knowledge of boilers and furnaces, have been appointed, and submit
their reports, sketches, etc., daily to the chief inspector, who advises
as to the means to be adopted for the abatement of smoke nuisance.
For nuisance removal work the city is divided into seven districts.
Five of these are the Central, Northern, Eastern, Southern, and
Western, and constituted the city of Glasgow up to the year 1891. In
that year, however, a large extension of the city took place, and two
new districts were constituted, viz., the North-Western, covering Mary-hill,
Kelvinside, and Hillhead, and the South Suburban, covering Mount
Florida, Govanhill, Crosshill, Strathbungo, Shawlands, and Pollak-shields.
A further extension of the city has taken place in the latter
district since that time, embracing Craigton and Halfway House,
equidistant between Glasgow and Paisley. The North-Western and
South Suburban, like the other five districts, have a district or foreman
inspector, with a number of assistants, but they do not come in daily
to the central office, there being a branch office situated in these
districts, with a clerk, and telephonic communication with central
office, to which details of the work are daily transmitted for the purpose
of being recorded in the books there.
The district inspectors' duties are generally to confer daily with the
chief, report to, and receive directions with regard to notices, letters,
complaints, and any matter in which there is difficulty. The district
inspector examines the assistant inspectors' notebook, checking the
work, if necessary, and drawing out specifications of remedies in cases
of defective drainage, etc. He personally inspects important nuisances,
or those presenting special difficulties of a structural nature, or whore
there are personal differences between landlord and tenant, or between
the author and complainer. He also supervises the female inspectors
and smoke testers' work, meets owners on the ground in cases of
proposed alterations or extensions of property, and attends the Police
or Sheriff Court to give evidence in cases of prosecution.
The assistant nuisance inspectors have a particular sub-division or
sub-divisions allotted to them, averaging 3000 to 4000 houses, and
they are either daily on the track of nuisances or inquiring into complaints,
attending smoke tests, tracing vaccination defaulters, obtaining
certain information for death cards kept by the medical officer, such as
the size, surroundings, and conditions of the house wherein a death has
occurred ; inspecting, measuring, and registering all houses let in
lodgings, which it is considered for sanitary reasons necessary to place
on the register; inspecting bakehouses on behalf of the medical officer,
etc., etc. With regard to the assistant nuisance inspectors' work for
the years 1876 and 1900 respectively, we find the following: —
1876. 1900.
Nuisances recorded, - - - - - 13,406 44,148
Prosecutions before the Sheriff or police
magistrate in connection with nuisances, 119 20
It will be seen from the foregoing that, whilst more work is done,
there is now not the same necessity, as was the case in 1876, for legal
proceedings being taken for the removal of nuisances.
There is one inspector who devotes his whole time to the inspection
of common lodging-houses, that is, lodging-houses charging less than
sixpence per night. There were 69 such houses at the end of 1900,
giving accommodation for 9497 persons. There has been a gradual
diminution in the number of common lodging-houses during recent
years, and, at the same time, those erected have been larger and better
equipped. In 1887 there were 101 houses, giving accommodation for
6273 lodgers ; whilst there were in 1900 only 69 houses, but the accommodation
was for 9497 lodgers. It may be mentioned that the
Corporation own seven of these common lodging-houses, which financially
have been a success, and at the same time have been models for the private
owner to copy and compete with. This, of course, was the original intention
of the Corporation in erecting them.
There are six inspectors employed during the night throughout the
whole year for the purpose of keeping down overcrowding in the smaller
houses of the city. These inspectors work in pairs, as it is necessary
they should corroborate each other when the prosecutions take place
before the magistrates in the district Police Courts. For a first offence,
and where the overcrowding is not of an aggravated form, the inspectors
warn the householders implicated. In all other cases summonses are
issued against the parties to appear in the Police Court, and fines ranging
from 2s. 6d. to 10s. are imposed. In many cases, however, the magistrate
merely gives an admonition. The night inspection of ticketed
houses has tended to almost clear the city of typhus fever. There
were 72 cases of typhus fever throughout the whole city during the
year 1900.
Six female inspectors are employed during the daytime inspecting
the lower class dwellings. Their duties are, by persuasion principally,
to induce the female householders to keep the interior of their dwellings
in a clean and sanitary condition, and to advise them generally how
this can be best maintained. They wear no uniform, but are provided
with a waterproof. They, however, like all the male inspectors, have
a warrant card of authority from the chief inspector. They report to
the nuisance and infectious disease inspectors any cases they discover.
Drain-testing forms an important branch of the work of the Sanitary
Department. Several of the inspectors are daily employed at this work,
assisted by a lad who works the machine. All newly erected properties
must, in terms of the Glasgow Building Regulations Act, be tested and
certified by the Sanitary Department before occupancy of the premises.
All the houses in a tenement where a case of either enteric fever or
diphtheria has occurred are also tested by the department, and a notice
specifying any defects, and also the remedies required, is issued to the
owner. Where there has been illness, or good grounds for believing
that the drainage system is unsatisfactory, the owner is also asked to
allow the test to be applied. During the year 1900 there were 3656
applications of the test at different times. Glasgow, it is believed,
stands in the first rank in connection with this matter compared with
other large towns; and it would be interesting to visitors to call any
morning at the Sanitary Chambers about 9.30 and accompany the
inspectors to their work, and see the modus operandi.
The sanitary condition of workshops under the Factory and Workshops
Acts, with regard to registration, light, ventilation, lavatory
accommodation, water supply, limewashing, and overcrowding, forms
an important section of the nuisance inspectors' work. One inspector
is set apart to measure and register in a book all the applicants, with
details of number employed, cubic contents, etc. He also places on the
register a sketch of the premises.
The smoke nuisance in the city was transferred on 13th March,
1899, from the supervision of the police to the Sanitary Department,
and two specially qualified assistants were appointed under the direction
and control of the chief sanitary inspector.
Four inspectors are set apart for the inspection of byres, dairies,
and milkshops, detection of adulterated food, Margarine Act infringements,
etc. One of these also daily inspects the public fruit and
vegetable market.
Dead meat inspection was, until July, 1900, under the sanitary
inspector, and three assistant inspectors devoted their whole time to
the work; but they have now been transferred to a new section of the
department under the veterinary surgeon, who has an office at Moore
Street Market, and a large staff of assistants. In connection with this
matter, it may be mentioned that at present there is a proposal to
establish the clearing-house system, by which all meat will be brought
to a central depôt or depôts for inspection previous to sale.
For a large number of years there has been carried out every summer
from day to day the limewashing of privies and wet ashpits in the
city as special cholera precautions. The entire cost (about £120 per
annum) is borne by the Sanitary Department.
There are at present two permanent reception-houses for boarding
the inmates of principally typhus-infected dwellings for a
period of seventeen days. The oldest is a self-contained dwelling at
39 Weaver Street, opened in 1872. The inmates are boarded free, and
also get the temporary use of clothing whilst their own is being treated
at the disinfecting station. It has only accommodation for about
35 persons, and the building is old, and in many respects unsuitable.
The Health Committee has decided to erect, on a site adjacent, an
extensive new house, with accommodation for about 200 persons. In
1892 another house, at 339 South York Street, containing 48 beds,
was opened. It had been previously an orphanage. An annexe with
40 beds was recently erected to the rear of the building. During the
latest visit of the plague and smallpox the two existing houses were
found quite inadequate, and temporary houses were opened at considerable
expense at 134 Montrose Street and Tollcross House, in the
extreme eastern boundary of the city, giving additional accommodation.
One inspector devotes his whole time to the inspection of shops
under the Shop Hours Acts, 1892-95, and the Seats for Shop Assistants
Act, 1899.
There are two wash-houses and disinfecting stations, viz., at Belvidere
and Ruchill, adjacent to the hospitals. During the year 1900 the
number of articles dealt with at Belvidere was 283,187, and at Ruchill
252,959. Each station has steam washing machines, dash wheels, dollies,
drying stove, steam disinfector, carpet-beating machine, etc. The
clothing from infected houses enters at one side, and is sent out at
the other clean and disinfected. The staff comprises superintendent,
engineer, fireman, machineman, stableman, vandrivers, clothing
collectors, washerwomen, and a clerk. Infected houses are also fumigated
and whitewashed by the Sanitary Department free of cost.
There are 11 children's playgrounds in the city, each having a
caretaker, under the supervision of the sanitary inspector. These
playgrounds contain 33,614 square yards. The cost of the ground was
£26,471, and the cost of fitting up £11,454. Their upkeep during a
year amounts to about £1000. They are furnished with swings, maypoles,
and other gymnastic appliances, and are open from 9 a.m. to.
half an hour after sunset. The institution of these playgrounds or
open spaces dates from the year 1889, when the first (a small plot
at Braid Street) was leased by the Corporation. In 1893 the most
extensive and beautiful of these open spaces, "The Phœnix," was
acquired. It contains 11,802 square yards. The ground cost £20,205,
and the fitting up £5219. The site at the time of its purchase
was covered by dingy, disused, and dilapidated sheds of a defunct
iron foundry. "It now smiles in the sunshine, and echoes with the
laughter of happy children" of a densely populated district.
Many other branches of the work under the sanitary inspector's
control might be described, but the foregoing will perhaps be sufficient
to give a glimpse of his department. There is a bacteriologist, with
assistants and laboratory, at the chambers, but as he is more immediately
attached to the medical officer's department, a description of his work,
as well as those particulars with regard to the population, death-rates,
infectious disease, and other statistical information, will be found in
another part of these volumes.
In the seventeenth century municipal cleansing had yet to be begun
in Glasgow. In the absence of any obligations to attend to such matters
the inhabitants could simply do as they pleased, and were practically
a law unto themselves. The city, notwithstanding the absence of any
recognised methods of cleansing, was nevertheless looked upon as a
paragon of cleanliness as compared with other large towns in the
kingdom. The condition of such towns must, indeed, have been
unenviable when Glasgow, under such circumstances, was termed a
well cleansed city. From ancient records it is apparent that numerous,
but unsuccessful efforts were made to induce the inhabitants to
introduce more cleanly methods.
In 1599 it was ordained that the middens, which were placed on
the street near to the entrance to the houses, be removed under penalties
or fines, or of escheating the "fulzie," which would, in that event, be
removed by "ane common carter man," and the proceeds of the sale
thereof devoted to charity.
In 1646-47, when the city was visited by the plague, special efforts
were put forth. A second horse was purchased for "clenging" the
In 1655 the inhabitants were found to be damming back with "fulzie"
the water which found its way to St. Tenowes (St. Enoch's) Burn, the
object being the enriching of the contents of their middens. In consequence
thereof we find "that the current of water was stoppit, so
that the people in the Trongait were forcit to mak brige stones for
entrie to their housses." It was "thairfor enacted and ordained that
every heretor or tenant be chairgit at all occasions to red the passadge
of the water thair foiranent themselvis, and that onder the payne of
fiyve pundis how oft and swa of as they shall contravin."
Edicts of this description appear to have been issued frequently
during the seventeenth century. It is therefore evident that people
paid little attention to them, and that the authorities did not enforce
them. According to minute of 19th January, 1656, an attempt at
street sweeping was made by causing the inhabitants to "clat the
calsay weeklie" in front of their premises under penalty of "fourtie
schillings scottis."
It was not until the passing of the Police Act of 1800 that the
removal of refuse and the sweeping of the streets was looked upon as a
public duty. The cleansing of the city was added to the duties of the master
of police or chief constable. No separate staff was set aside for the work.
however, the night watchmen or Policemen being entrusted with the
cleansing, as well as the watching of the streets of the city. Their first
attempt in the way of cleansing was to devote two hours twice a week
to the sweeping of the street.. Such an occupation would scarcely
accord with the dignity of our blue-coated representatives of law and
order of the present day.
In 1804 a new departure was made. Fourteen scavengers were
appointed. But, while previously policemen acted partly as scavengers,
these fourteen scavengers were now required to act partly as policemen.
It is uncertain how long this dual arrangement continued, but in 1815
it is recorded that a cleansing staff existed. These numbered sixteen
men all told. They were paid at the rate of 11s. per week, with the
exception of one — presumably the superintendent — who received the
munificent salary of 15s. per week.
Up till this time the Town Council did not possess statutory powers
in connection with the cleansing of the city, and it was in 1843 that
the first Act empowered them to deal with the watering, sweeping, and
cleansing of the streets, lanes, and passages. This was undoubtedly a
step in the right direction, but it did not go far enough, for the
inhabitants were still allowed to deal with the contents of their ashpits
as they might think fit.
By the Act of 1862 all such refuse was vested in the Police Commissioners,
so that henceforth the hoarding up of the contents of the
middens was doomed. To undertake this portion of the work a contractor
was employed. This functionary was not only paid for the
collection and removal of the refuse, but had the privilege of disposing
of it to the best advantage.
In 1866 power was obtained to cleanse private streets and courts,
and impose upon the proprietors an assessment of one penny per £ of
rental towards cost of doing so.
The contract system for collection of domestic refuse obtained until
May, 1868, when the Police Commissioners took into their own hands
the whole cleansing of the city, removal and disposal of domestic refuse,
as well as the sweeping and watering of streets. It was at this point
that the city cleansing department was instituted, and an inspector of
cleansing appointed. According to statute, that official is "held responsible
for the entire operations of the department, the keeping of books
and accounts in connection therewith, the good conduct of all persons
appointed by him, and generally for the efficiency of the department."
The wonderful expansion of the city during these thirty-three years
and the consequent extension of the ramifications of, and work performed
by, the department are shown by the following figures, viz.: —
The city is divided for cleansing purposes into fourteen separate
districts, the largest of which are sub-divided into several sections.
Each district is under the charge of a competent foreman, with sectional
assistants for refuse removal, street sweeping, and close sweeping.
Street Sweeping. — This portion of the work is done chiefly during the
night by rotary horse-brushes or sweeping machines. Prior to 1870 hand
labour was entirely employed, first by means of old birch brooms, and
latterly the bass brush, but that method was gradually reduced to a
minimum by the introduction of sweeping machines. The change from
manual labour to horse power enabled this work, which formerly had to
be performed by day, to be done by night, when the streets are free
from traffic. The streets are therefore swept every morning before
business hours. In addition to being swept by night, the principal
thoroughfares are "picked" during the day. The sweepings so collected
are deposited in iron bins, which are sunk in the pavements at regular
intervals. Of these there are about 1600. The contents of the bins
are emptied during the night, and removed along with the sweepings.
collected by the horse-drawn brushes.
Street Washing. — All the improvements that have been introduced in
connection with street sweeping have not been sufficient to satisfy the
growing desires of an æsthetic public. During 1900 the process of hose-washing
the streets was introduced. The apparatus used consists of a
specially designed two-wheeled reel with 150 yards of 1½-inch hose and a
flat nozzle, which sends out the water in sheet form. To adapt the size
of the pipe to the 2¼-inch hydrants in the street a reducing piece has
been introduced. This process has so far been confined to the streets
in the centre of the city, but the result has been so satisfactory that
it is intended during the present year to extend the system to the
main arteries of traffic through the other districts to the suburbs.
As compared with hand or mechanical sweeping, hose-washing is
infinitely superior. It must be borne in mind, however, that the
process should only be applied in streets where the paving is properly
grouted with bitumen, or the surface done with a smooth impervious
The sweeping of macadamised roads is done by the day staff, the
mud collected being either deposited in convenient tips on the outskirts
of the city or trucked to the farms of the department in the country.
No portion of this material is sold as manure.
Snowfalls. — Snowfalls tax the resources of the department to the
utmost. When necessary horses and carts are hired to assist in the
removal of the snow, the cleaner portion of which is tipped into the
rivers Clyde and Kelvin at different points. Large quantities are also
deposited upon vacant pieces of ground around the city. When the
snow has melted any residuum is carted away.
Cleansing of Private Streets and Courts. — Prior to 1866 the owners
of property were responsible for the cleansing of back courts
and closes. Since that year, however, this work has been
attended to by a staff of the Cleansing Department, the cost being
met by a special rate of one penny per pound payable by the proprietors.
Under this arrangement the courts and closes of the city, with
very few exceptions, are attended to daily, and in many cases twice
or thrice as necessity requires. The dirtier courts are regularly hosewashed.
For this purpose there are fitted into the courts at the expense
of the Corporation 1489 taps. To these a hose pipe 1 inch in diameter
is attached. In addition to this attention the worst of the places are
scoured out periodically by means of a 14-inch hose pipe, which is
carried on a reel, as described under street washing, the hose being
attached to the fire-plug in the street. The cost of cleansing private
streets and courts exceeded last year the amount derived from the
assessment on proprietors by £546.
Watering Streets and Roads. — In connection with the watering of
streets in the busier portions of the city watering carts of the ordinary
barrel type are employed. For the quieter roads in the outskirts,
however, the Willacy patent watering machines are used. These patent
machines so spread the water as to cover on one run a road 40 feet
wide, as against two, and in some cases three, runs of the ordinary
water barrel for a road of the same breadth. Watering is also resorted
to during the night in dry weather, so as to prevent dust arising from
the operations of the sweeping machines.
Domestic Refuse. — The ashpits used for storing domestic refuse were at
one time, as has been already stated, placed upon the front streets
opposite the houses. Later on they were transferred to the back yards,
and this is the system which practically prevails in the city. It should
be stated, however, that owing to the abolition of conveniences in the
back yards and the general introduction within recent years of water-closets
instead, the nature of the contents of these pits has undergone
a vast change. The nuisance which formerly was connected with them
has now been practically abolished.
To ensure systematic removal of the refuse each district is subdivided
into six divisions, one of which is overtaken each night. In
this way ashpits all over the city are emptied weekly, with the exception
of those in the Central and Eastern district, where a twice-a-week
service is in operation. In several of the better class districts, however,
a daily morning dust cart service obtains.
To improve matters still further, it has been decided to introduce,
in connection with the removal of domestic refuse, the portable bin
system, the bins to be placed under cover in the back yards. The
object of this change is to obviate the nuisance inseparable from the
present method of emptying ashpits, involving, as it does, the throwing
of the material out of the ashpit, the conveying of it over the court
and close to the street, the depositing of the material loosely thereon,
and thereafter shovelling it into an open cart. Instead of this antiquated
method, the portable bin will be carried to the street, and the
contents of the bin emptied inside of a large covered vehicle. By this
means neither court, close, nor street will be soiled, and the lighter
portions of the material cannot possibly be blown off by the wind.
Refuse from Business Premises. — The refuse from offices, shops, warehouses,
and other business premises (not manufactories) in the centre or
business portion of the city is removed daily by the morning dust cart
service. For the convenience of occupiers of such premises the department
supplies covered galvanised cast-iron bins at cost price.
Excrementitious Matter and Fish Refuse. — This material is collected
in galvanised iron pails of a regulation pattern fitted with air-tight
spring lids, the pails on removal being replaced by clean ones. Fish
refuse, until within recent years, was simply collected in barrels or
anything handy, and thrown out, and removed along with the ordinary
refuse, the mixture being anything but a pleasant or profitable product.
A specially constructed covered van is used for the conveyance of these
pails, so that the process is neither offensive to the sense of sight or
Waste Paper. — The separate collection of waste paper is a new branch
of the service recently inaugurated. It was introduced with the view
of reducing, as far as possible, the nuisance caused by the scattering of
waste paper on the public streets. Bags for holding the paper are issued
to offices, business premises, and better class dwelling-houses, and are
called for as often as necessary by youths wearing a distinctive uniform.
Covered vehicles are used for the collection of the bags.
By this system the paper is not only kept off the streets, but, being
collected separately from the refuse, it forms a marketable commodity,
and a considerable revenue is derived from its sale.
In addition to the ordinary city refuse, the department undertakes
by arrangement the disposal of the manure from the abattoirs and from
the stables of the Corporation Tramway Department and other horse
owners in the city.
Treatment of Refuse. — Having described the methods of collecting
the various classes of city refuse falling to be dealt with by the department,
the next process to be explained is its treatment.
For a number of years after 1868, when the collection and disposal
of city refuse was taken over by the Corporation from the contractor,
there were no other means of dealing with the material than by tipping
it in open depots, or into railway waggons at loading banks round
about the city. In those depots there were stored at times many
thousands of tons of refuse. In 1874 the quantity actually on hand
in the heat of mid-summer was 28,860 tons. Little wonder that there
were frequent and clamorous complaints as to the nuisance arising from
these accumulations! With the advance of sanitary science, however,
other and better means had to be devised, and the present effective
system was gradually organised. In 1881 the first refuse despatch
station was erected at St. Rollox. In 1884 similar works were constructed
at Crawford Street, S.S. In 1890 Kelvinhaugh Works followed.
In 1894 furnaces were put down at Bridgeton. In 1897 Haghill Station
was erected, and a cremating station will shortly be erected at Maryhill.
The following figures show the rapid increase in the quantity of
material dealt with by the department: —
1869 - - - - - - - 140,240 tons.
1879 - - - - - - - 187,669 tons.
1889 - - - - - - - 223,030 tons.
1900 - - - - - - - 444,515 tons.
The process generally adopted at the stations is uniform. Carts
with soft sweepings from paved streets are tipped into a series of
specially designed tanks. These are fitted with sloping bottoms and
drainers for carrying off the water. After a day or two the material
gets into a fit state to be handled, and is harrowed to a waggon. Ashpit
refuse is shot through openings in the floor into revolving riddles placed
horizontally. The finer portions of the refuse pass through the meshes
of the riddle into a mixing machine underneath, which also receives a
regulated quantity of excrementitious matter from a tank above. The
closet pails, already referred to, are emptied into this tank, thereafter
washed in hot water, and disinfected ready for issuing again. Dry
sweepings from paved streets are also passed through the riddle and
into the mixer; the whole, after being thoroughly mixed by means of
revolving blades, falls into a railway waggon on the siding below. The
rougher portions, which cannot pass through the riddle, are forced from
its bell-shaped mouth by the revolving process on to an endless carrier.
When passing over this carrier articles of any value, such as iron,
meat tins and fruit tins, glass, bones, etc., are picked off, while the
remainder, chiefly light useless material, falls from the carrier on to
a range of furnaces on a lower level.
The interior of the furnaces is very simple. An important feature
in connection with these destructor furnaces is that the vitiated air
from the works is driven by means of a powerful fan at the rate of
40,000 cubic feet per minute into pipes which lead into the chambers
underneath, thus forming not only a strong forced draught, but at the
same time burning the bad air. The smoke, which is light blue in
colour, is carried off by means of a tall chimney.
It will thus be seen that the process is one of separation of the
saleable from the unsaleable. The better portions which fall direct
into the waggon forms a good fertiliser, and finds a ready sale among
agriculturists. The rougher material, which is passed to the furnaces,
is cremated, and a considerable revenue is derived from the residuum
of the burning process.
The following table shows the cost of treatment of refuse at despatch
works and loading stations for year ending 31st May, 1900: —
In addition to the material shown on the foregoing table, the following
was disposed of otherwise than at the works of the departmen: —
Tons Cwts.
Snow deposited in Coups, - - - 27,124 16
Mud deposited in Coups, - - - 29,261 9
Sludge put on rail by Sewage Department
for disposal at spoil banks, - 7,567 0
Manure loaded by Tramway Department
at sundry stations, - - 6,492 8½
Tons Cwts.
70,445 13½
Material treated at Despatch Works as per above table, 374,069 5
Total material disposed of, - - - 444,514 18½
Utilisation of Material Saved from Refuse. — As already stated, iron,
glass, and bones are picked off, laid aside, and sold. Tins having solder
are also saved, and passed through a specially designed furnace in
order to extract the solder ; the tins themselves, after passing through
the furnace, are flattened out and sold also.
The most important source of revenue in this connection is from
the sale of clinker from the destructor furnaces. Previous to
1896 this residuum was trucked to tips in the country at a cost of
8d. per ton. In that year, however, an endeavour was first made to
find a market for it as a material for making concrete. To begin with,
it was broken by hand labour, but as the demand increased it was
found advantageous to use mechanical breakers. Screening machinery
has more recently been erected at one of the stations, which produces
the clinker in five different sizes, so as to meet the requirements
of contractors. Instead, therefore, of paying for the disposal of this
waste product a considerable revenue is now derived, and this may
be considered altogether saved money, as the cost of breaking does not
exceed the cost of the former method of disposal. The following figures
show the rapidly increasing success of this new departure: —
1896-97 — Clinker sold, 2133 tons, realising - £242 11 2
1897-98 — " 5682 " " - 643 1 10
1898-99 — " 7266 " " - 804 6 0
1899-00 — " 9184 " " - 1089 11 2
Disposal of Refuse. — Within the city there are four stations at which
the refuse is dealt with as described. The collection and treatment of
the refuse of the city forms no light task, but the disposal of such a
huge quantity of material, which averages 1443 tons per working day,
is a question which taxes to the utmost the staff of the department.
By the process of cremation the quantity of domestic and shop refuse
is considerably reduced, the reduction last year being 20 per cent., but
there still fell to be disposed of by railway 49,299 waggons. Of this
quantity 57·20 per cent. was sold to farmers as manure, and the
remaining 42·80 per cent., being the unsaleable portion, sent to the
tips at the farms of the department at Ryding, Fulwood Moss, and
Maryburgh. The quantity sent to the country was distributed over
fifteen counties as follows: —
Tons. Per Centage.
Lanark - - - - - - 152,944 46·74
Renfrew - - - - - - 69,111 21·12
Ayr - - - - - - - 27,440 8·39
Stirling - - - - - - 16,044 4·90
Dumbarton - - - - - 15,396 4·71
Forfar - - - - - - 12,873 3·93
Perth - - - - - - 11,410 3·49
Linlithgow - - - - - 10,353 3·16
Fife - - - - - - - 5,838 1·79
Edinburgh - - - - - 3,213 0·98
Haddington - - - - - 1,834 0·56
Kinross - - - - - - 455 0·14
Selkirk - - - - - - 133 0·04
Kincardine - - - - - 112 0·03
Bute - - - - - - 87 0·02
For the transit of city manure and refuse to the country 894 railway
waggons, the property of the Corporation, are employed. Special rates
are fixed by Act of Parliament for the conveyance of the city manure.
The department pays carriage to the railway companies, and charges
the purchaser a price delivered.
Farms. — In consequence of the difficulty of disposing of such large
quantities of material the Cleansing Committee found it necessary to
acquire land on the different railway systems. The first venture in this
direction was made in 1879 by the leasing, on a thirty-one years' improvement
lease, of 98 acres of bog land, viz., Fulwood Moss, near Houston,
Caledonian Railway, 10 miles from the city. In 1889 other 25 acres
adjoining were added, and in 1896 another field of 19 acres was taken
in, thus making 142 acres in all. The ground was originally a bog,
and yielded no return whatever to the proprietor. The first step taken
was to have the land thoroughly drained, and a railway siding run
through the property. The total capital outlay in connection with this
project is being cleared in equal payments, so as to be liquidated at
the expiry of the lease. For some years potatoes were the principal
crop, the varieties grown on the Moss finding a ready sale as seed. In
recent years the chief products have been hay and oats, all of which
are used in the stables of the department in town. The Moss is now a
first-class agricultural subject, the only regret being that it reverts to
the proprietor on the expiry of the lease. Apart from providing an
outlet for immense quantities of refuse annually, the cropping account
of the farm has always shown a profit.
The Cleansing Committee, with this instance before them of the folly
of taking land on lease, decided to purchase outright in future. When
therefore it was found necessary to obtain land as an outlet for surplus
refuse on the North British Railway system they purchased the estate
of Ryding, near Airdrie. This property, which was acquired in 1891,
is situated about 11 miles from the city, and originally comprised five
farms, containing in all 575 acres, and costing only £22 5s. 4d. per acre.
Two adjoining farms have since been added at a cost of £24 and £19 14s.
per acre respectively. The whole estate now contains 817 acres. The
soil of this property is, as a rule, poor and clayey, and capable of much
improvement. The undulating nature of the surface lends itself admirably
to the laying down of the surplus and unsaleable refuse of the city,
and provides accommodation in this connection for many years to come.
The ground has since the date of purchase been thoroughly drained, and
suitable railway sidings have been formed. Suitable buildings have also
been erected. The crops grown on this estate are, like Fulwood Moss,
chiefly hay, oats, and turnips, which are used in the stables of the
department in town. On the estate there are two whinstone quarries,
which last year yielded in rent and royalty £298 18s. 4d.
Maryburgh is a small farm, 31 acres in extent, situated on the Caledonian
Railway between Glenboig and Cumbernauld. It was purchased
in 1895 for £1000, the object being to provide an outlet for surplus
refuse loaded on the Caledonian north line.
Hallbrae Farm, which adjoins Maryburgh, and extends to 45 acres,
could not be purchased, but was leased in 1895 for nineteen years. The
object of the leasing of this farm was to give more complete railway
connection with Maryburgh and provide siding accommodation for the
delivery of city manure to farmers in the neighbourhood.
Altogether, at these farms the Cleansing Department owns and leases
1035 acres of land. To this land and the tips thereon there were sent
during the year ended 31st May, 1900, the enormous quantity of
140,041 tons of refuse. The combined profit on cropping account in
connection with the farms amounted to £579 17s. 5d.
A suitable place of deposit has, by means of these farms, been found
for immense quantities of refuse, which, if not satisfactorily disposed of,
would undoubtedly become a nuisance and a menace to public health
in the city. Now, instead of these immense accumulations of refuse
which in former years were to be found within the city boundary, every
cartload of refuse which is collected during the night is either burned
or despatched by rail to the country by ten o'clock the following
Workshops. — The workshops of the department are situated at Charles
Street, St. Rollox, contiguous to the destructor station. Here the
vehicles and harness used by the department are made and repaired, and
the railway waggons kept in running order. A railway siding runs right
into the waggon repairing shop, and all waggons requiring repairs are
sent thither by arrangement with the three railway companies. Laboursaving
machinery of the most modern description is provided and driven
by power derived from the adjoining destructor works. The tradesmen
include joiners, cartwrights, waggon builders, blacksmiths, engineers,
turners, painters, and saddlers. Horse-shoeing is the only portion of
the work which is not done by the employees of the department. Owing
to the rapid extension of the city and the consequent necessity of
erecting stables in the outlying districts it is more convenient to have
the horses shod by local horseshoers than to send them from all points of
the city to a central shoeing forge.
Granary and Stores. — The granary and general stores of the departwent
are centrally situated in Græme Street, quite near Glasgow
The granary is a building of four storeys; is fitted with the most
modern machinery, and arranged on the most up-to-date principles.
The grain is elevated by means of a hoist to the upper floor, where the
various kinds are fed into large hoppers. The material passes automatically
from flat to flat through the processes of measuring, cleaning,
sifting, bruising, mixing, and finally bagging ready for despatch to the
different stables. By means of this mechanical process all dust is removed
from the grain, while magnets extract all nails or other pieces of iron or
The farms of the department furnish all the hay required for the
stud. It is baled at the farms, railed to town, and cut in the granary,
all dust being removed. The straw and grain grown on the farms do not
altogether meet the requirements of the department, and it is therefore
necessary to purchase from dealers in town. The cost of feeding and
bedding the horses of the department during year ended 31st May, 1900,
was 10s. 0·65d. per horse per week.
The general stores are also at Græme Street. All material and
implements required in the different districts are issued by the storekeeper,
who has also charge of the granary. The materials required by
the department are of a very varied description. They are purchased
under thirty-four different contracts, which are fixed annually.
The heritable and movable property of the department in 1868, when
it was first organised on the present footing, amounted to £19,162. In
1876 the property was valued at £43,064. Now the figure is £262,545.
The total sum dealt with in 1868 was £55,924, in 1876 £82,052, and for the
year ended 31st May, 1900, £160,000.
The cost of these varied and far-reaching operations in connection
with the cleansing of the city on modern principles is of necessity considerable.
During the year 1899-1900 the expenditure on general
cleansing was £119,627 14s.; the revenue from manure sold and other
sources was £40,372 7s. 5d., leaving a net cost against the general rates
of £79,255 6s. 7d.
The cleansing of private streets and courts, which is work done for
proprietors, and for which a special assessment of 1d. per £ is charged,
cost £14,492 4s. 10d. Apart from the cleansing of private streets and
courts, which work is not done by the Corporations of other cities, the cost
of carrying on the various branches of the cleansing of the city during the
past year was equal to a rate of 3·83d. per £ on the rental. This rate
compares favourably with Dundee, 4·49d.; Edinburgh, 5·05d.: Liverpool,
6·40d.; Leeds, 8·20d.; Sheffield, 8·48d.; and Manchester, 9·63d.
The department of the Corporation of Glasgow, popularly known
as the "City Improvements Trust," was constituted under the Glasgow
Improvements Act, 1866. The condition of matters which gave rise
to, and the objects contemplated by, the constitution of the Trust
cannot be better described than in the words of the preamble of the
Act, which state — "Whereas various portions of the city of Glasgow
are so built and the buildings thereon are so densely inhabited as
to be highly injurious to the moral and physical welfare of the
inhabitants, and many of the thoroughfares are narrow, circuitous, and
inconvenient, and it would be of public and local advantage if various
houses and buildings were taken down, and those portions of the said
city reconstituted, and new streets were constructed in and through
various parts of said city, and several of the existing streets altered and
widened and diverted, and that in connection with the reconstitution
of those portions of the city provision was made for dwellings for the
labouring classes who may be displaced in consequence thereof. . . . "
The congested areas referred to were situated in or immediately
contiguous to that portion of the city known as "Old Glasgow," including
Gallowgate, High Street, Trongate, and Saltmarket, and also in
the precincts of Main Street, Gorbals.
The Lord Provost, Magistrates, and Council, and their successors in
office were appointed as Trustees for executing and carrying into effect
the provisions and purposes of the Act. The scheduled lands extended to
about 90 acres. The Act, inter alia, empowered the Trustees (1) to form
thirty-nine sew streets, and to alter, widen, or otherwise improve twelve
existing streets; (2) to purchase lands by agreement; (3) to take down the
whole or any part of the buildings situated on any part of the lands
acquired, to lay out the said lands of new in such way and
manner as they might deem best, to sell or dispose of the ground
or buildings, or lease or feu the same, or to erect buildings thereon,
or dispose thereof, or lease the same, and generally to deal with the lands
and houses acquired by them under the Act as absolute proprietors; (4) to
erect and maintain on any of the lands acquired by them such dwelling-houses
for mechanics, labourers, and other persons of the working and
poorer classes as from time to time they might think expedient, and to let
the same when so erected and fitted up to the class of persons mentioned
at such weekly or other rents, and upon such terms and conditions
as might be thought fit, or to sell or dispose of the same; and
(5) to acquire, by agreement, ground for, and to form and lay out, a
public park in the north-eastern district of the city at a sum not
exceeding £40,000.
The amount which the Trustees were authorised to borrow on mortgage
or otherwise for carrying out the purposes of the Act was
£1,250,000, but by the Glasgow Improvements Amendment Act, 1880,
this amount was increased to £1,500,000. An assessment was also
authorised to be levied upon occupiers only, for defraying the expenses
to be incurred in carrying out the objects of the Act, which was not to
exceed 6d. per £ for the first five years. and 3d. per £ for a further period
of ten years. By the Act of 1880 these restrictions as to the time
during which the assessment was to be imposed were removed, and
the maximum rate was fixed at 2d. per £ for an indefinite period.
The provision in the 1866 Act, putting the assessment wholly upon
occupiers, was afterwards regarded as a blot upon the statute, having
regard to the fact that the owners as well as the occupiers of property
all over the city were equally interested in, and would derive mutual
benefits from the improvements to be carried out within the scheduled
areas. In 1892, therefore, an attempt was made to have this defect
in the 1866 Act removed, but Parliament refused at the stage at which
the operations under the Act had then reached to make any change in
the incidence of the assessment.
The period given for the compulsory purchase of the lands scheduled
under the 1866 Act was five years, but as regards the lands not then
acquired this period was extended for five years longer by the Glasgow
Improvements Act, 1871.
Armed with the extensive powers thus conferred upon them by
the Legislature, the Trustees, as soon as possible after the passing of
the 1866 Act, proceeded to acquire by compulsion or agreement all the
properties comprehended within the scheduled areas. In addition to
acquiring those properties, the Trustees, in 1871, under the powers of
the 1866 Act, purchased by agreement (1) the lands of Kennyhill, in
the north-eastern district of the city, extending to 89 acres, at the
price of £40,000; and (2) the lands of Overnewton, in the western
district of the city, for £35,433 12s. 4d., and the lands of Oatlands, in
the eastern district of the city, on the south side of the river Clyde,
for £23,950. These prices do not, of course, include the sums which
were subsequently expended by the Trustees in forming streets and
sewers and laying out the lands at Oatlands and Overnewton for feuing
purposes. Upon a portion of the lands of Kennyhill, containing 63
acres, there was formed what is now known as the Alexandra Park,
which was completed and handed over to the Parks Trustees in 1872,
and the remainder of the lands were conveyed to the Parks Trustees to
be appropriated by them for building purposes.
Although the Act of 1866 authorised the Trustees themselves to
erect, and seemed to contemplate that they would erect, new buildings
upon the lands acquired by them, this power practically remained
unexercised until 1889, the only buildings which the Trustees had
erected up to this time being two model tenements in Drygate and
the Model Lodging-Houses in Greendyke Street, Portugal Street, Clyde
Street (Calton), North Woodside Road, Hydepark Street, and East
Russell Street, to which special reference will afterwards be made.
It would appear that the Trustees, after clearing the lands acquired
by them within the compulsory areas of the dilapidated and insanitary
buildings standing thereon (which, to a large extent, they did as soon
as possible after acquiring the same), and forming new, and altering,
widening, and otherwise improving the existing, streets as provided for in
the Act, expected that the lands within the said areas, as well as the
feuing lands of Overnewton and Oatlands, would be taken up by private
enterprise for the erection thereon of modern dwelling-houses and
business premises, and that at prices which would largely recoup the
ratepayers for the expenditure which they would be called upon to
bear by way of assessments in carrying out the purposes of the Act.
This expectation was to a large degree being realised, both as regards
the feuing grounds at Overnewton and Oatlands and the cleared ground
within the scheduled areas, when it was abruptly terminated by the
commercial crisis that occurred in 1878, which brought about a complete
collapse of the property market, and, so far as Glasgow was concerned,
culminated in the failure of the City of Glasgow Bank. After this
panic builders ceased either to purchase or to feu the ground remaining
in the hands of the Trustees, even although it was publicly advertised
for disposal at prices far below the normal value. At this period also
a great many of the old properties acquired for demolition were still
standing, and as the maximum assessment leviable under the Act was
now limited to 3d. per £, the Trustees were forced to conserve a
considerable number of those properties, by making repairs and alterations
thereon, in order to derive a certain amount of revenue therefrom.
In this way the scheme for reconstructing the scheduled areas sanctioned
and contemplated by the Act of 1866 was for a time, to a large extent,
As already mentioned, the whole of the seven model lodging-houses
referred to (one being for females and the remaining six for males)
had by this time been opened. The erection of these houses was largely,
if not entirely, brought about in this way. Within the scheduled areas
there existed at the date of the passing of the Act of 1866 a great
number of what were designated common lodging-houses, conducted by
private enterprise, where men and women were huddled together promiscuously,
in dark and unventilated rooms, without any of the conveniences
requisite for decent living, not to speak of healthful existence. These
houses, besides being hotbeds of vice and misery, were also centres for
the propagation of disease. To destroy such insanitary and unsavoury
abodes, however, without providing accommodation of a higher and
healthier kind for the classes who, either from choice or necessity,
frequented them, would have been not to remedy, but to intensify the
evil. The Trustees accordingly, at a very early date after obtaining
their Act of 1866, took this matter in hand, and in rapid succession
constructed and equipped the seven model lodging-houses, which are
still retained and successfully carried on by them, even from a financial
point of view. The houses are all provided with a common dining-room,
a kitchen with utensils and fire available for cooking at any
hour of the day, a large recreation room, and ample lavatory and
bathing conveniences. Each lodger has a separate cubicle, with spring
mattress, pillow, sheets, blankets, and bedmat. The charges range
from 3d. to 6d. per night. A provision shop is attached to all the
homes, except one, where uncooked food can he purchased at outside
market prices. Each house is managed by a resident superintendent
and warders, and all the houses are visited by members of the Improvements
Committee once a fortnight. The seven houses give accommodation
for 2430 persons nightly, and rarely are the houses, taken all over,
unoccupied to an extent exceeding 3 per cent. The total cost of the
seven houses (including the sites and equipment) has been £109,343,
and on this amount, in addition to writing off as depreciation the sum
of £16,685 15s. 2d., there was a return for the financial year ending
31st May, 1900, of £4 17s. 1¼d. per cent. on the original cost of the
seven houses, and £5 14s. 7d. per cent. on their cost, as reduced by
the sum written off for depreciation. The best evidence that the
erection and conduct of those houses by the Trustees has been a
complete success is to be found in the fact that the example has been
followed both by private enterprise and by other municipalities
in the towns and cities where the model lodging-house has
been established. It may be of interest to mention that the model
lodging-houses some time ago established in London under the auspices
of Lord Rowton, who was private secretary to the late Earl
of Beaconsfield, are upon the lines of the houses erected by the
Trustees, and that Lord Rowton personally visited and inspected several
of these houses prior to commencing his operations in the metropolis.
Any narrative of the operations of the Trustees would be incomplete
without reference being made to "The Family Home," situated in St.
Andrew Street, off Saltmarket, and which was opened on 14th March,
1896. The construction and equipment of this building have cost
£17,609. It was designed and erected to afford accommodation for
deserving and respectable widows or widowers belonging to the working
classes having one or more young children with no one to look after
them. The house contains 160 single bedrooms, plainly furnished,
each capable of accommodating one adult and three
children, a common dining-room, a kitchen with gas fires and steam
cooking boilers, a nursery, recreation rooms, baths, and lavatories, and
the building throughout is lighted by electricity, and warmed by a hot
water heating installation. The rent of a bedroom varies from 4s. to 5s.
per week, according to the number of children occupying the room
along with the parent, and regular meals are cooked and supplied to
the inmates at the lowest possible charges. The Home is managed
by a superintendent and matron, with a staff of nurses and other
servants. The children who are under school age are tended by the
nurses during the day while the parents are at work, and the older
children are sent to school. The Home has steadily grown in favour
with the class of persons for whom it was intended. So far the working
expenses have each year since the opening resulted in a loss, but this
loss is being gradually reduced in proportion to the increased number
of residents, and it is expected that the establishment will ere long
be at least self-supporting.
For about ten years after 1878 the action of the Trustees in dealing
with the vacant ground and old properties still in their possession seems
to have been paralysed by the fear of having to call upon the ratepayers
for an increased assessment. Even necessary repairs upon these properties
were delayed as long as possible, and, when executed, were kept
down to a minimum. At the end of this period of laissez faire the
properties still in the hands of the Trustees were probably the worst
and most insanitary in the city.
In 1888, however, active measures were recommended by the Trustees
for the demolition of the remaining old properties and for the erection
upon the sites thereof, as well as upon the other vacant ground held
by them, of new and improved dwellings. The first. two blocks erected
were on the east side of Saltmarket, and consisted of tenements of shops
and dwelling-houses. After having once again put their hands into the
mortar tub, the work of demolition and reconstruction proceeded apace,
with the result that practically the whole of the areas scheduled under
the Act of 1866 and the surplus lands taken over by the Trustees from
the Police Commissioners in 1893 have now (1st May, 1901) been covered
with buildings of a substantial and modern character. In two or three
instances only have old properties been remodelled and improved, and
it is intended that these should be left standing for a few years yet.
In order that as little loss as possible might accrue to the rate-payers,
the Trustees, in all cases where the lands to be dealt with had
valuable street frontages, erected thereon buildings with shops, and
other business premises on the ground floor, while the upper floors
were devoted to dwelling-houses for the working classes. Upon the
less valuable sites tenements consisting exclusively of dwelling-houses,
also suitable for the working classes, were erected. In all 46 blocks
of buildings have been constructed upon the lands in question. There
are 200 shops and 1455 dwelling-houses in these buildings. Of the
latter 402 are one-apartment, 890 two-apartment, and 152 three-apartment
houses, and there are only 11 houses of a larger size. The
old properties reconstructed by the Trustees, and still standing, contain
116 one-apartment, 123 two-apartment, and 93 three-apartment houses,
and there are only 10 houses of a larger size. The total population
provided for by the Trustees in these houses, the seven model lodging-houses,
and the Family Home may be taken at 11,875. The minimum
rents charged for the one-apartment houses is £4 10s.; for the two-apartment
houses, £6 16s.; and for the three-apartment houses,
£12 9s. per annum, while the maximum rents are £8 15s., £14, and £21
per annum respectively.
The lauds of Overnewton and Oatlands had before this time all been
feued out, and many of the annual feu-duties or ground rents in respect
of which the feus were given out had been sold for prices equal to
twenty-three years and upwards. The only portion of the lands of
Oatlands retained was a small piece of ground close to the riverside,
which has been formed into an open space and children's playground.
There are two special matters connected with the city improvements
scheme which may now be briefly referred to. In 1876 the Trustees
took the opinion of counsel (Lord M'Laren) as to the legality of inserting
in the charters of all the lands which might be feued by them a clause
prohibiting premises for the sale of intoxicating liquors from being
erected thereon. Counsel entertained great doubt as to the validity
of a resolution of this kind if made applicable to the whole estate
vested in the Trustees by the Act of 1866, but advised that if the
prohibition were confined to any one particular area, and constituted a
real burden upon the ground, it would, in his opinion, be legally binding
and operative. Acting upon this advice, the Trustees selected what is
known as the "Calton area" as the one upon which the prohibition
should be imposed, the result of which has been that not a single
public-house has been, or can be, established in any of the new properties
erected within that area upon ground feued from the Trust. As
a step further in this direction of social reform, the Trustees, in 1890,
adopted a resolution to discontinue all licensed premises exising in the
properties belonging to them at the end of tho then current leases, and
to grant no new leases for such premises, either in these properties or
in any new properties which they might erect. The result of this
resolution has been that not one public-house now exists in the very
numerous properties of which the Trustees are the owners. From time
to time as the properties within the scheduled areas were acquired
they were put into the hands of outside factors, who, until the subjects
came to be demolished, attended to any repairs requiring to be made
thereon, collected the rents, and accounted periodically for the same
to the treasurer of the Trust. This system continued for about twenty-six
years. At the end of this time the number of old and new
properties belonging to the Trust was so great that a correspondingly
large number of factors had to be employed to look after them. In
1892, however, it was resolved to inaugurate a new system by dispensing
with the services of outside factors and appointing a general manager
for the Trust. Mr. W. C. Menzies was accordingly appointed to this
office. His duties are to take a general supervision of the whole
properties of the Trust, including the lodging-houses and Family Home,
to collect the rents and other revenue receivable therefrom, and to see
that all necessary repairs are at once attended to and properly executed.
Under the manager there are a number of caretakers, to each of whom
is allocated a certain share of such properties as more particularly need
to be supervised in this way, and in one of the houses situated in the
properties assigned to him the caretaker has his residence. This new
method of management has proved very satisfactory. It has resulted
in a financial saving, and brought all the properties and the tenants
occupying the same more directly under the control of the Trustees.
Before passing on to notice the additional powers granted to the
Corporation by the Act of 1897 some further reference may be made
to the assessment sanctioned by the 1886 Act. The maximum and the
minimum rate and the period during which it might be imposed have
already been mentioned. The maximum rate of 6d. per £ was only
levied for the first year. The following year it was fixed at 4d. per £,
and remained at this rate till 31st May, 1871. Thereafter it was
gradually further reduced to 3d. per £ for two years, 2d. per £ for
eleven years, 1½d. per £ for three years, 1d. per £ for five years, ½d. per
£ for three years, and ¼d. per £ for each of years 1895-96 and 1896-97.
Since the last-mentioned year the financial position of the Trust has
been such that it has not been necessary to impose any assessment
under the 1866 Act.
The total amount of assessment received
from the ratepayers from 1866 to 1897,
when it ceased, was - - - - £597,003 0 11
As at 31st May, 1900, the net free assets
over liabilities amounted to - - 17,129 12 2
The total cost of the schemes under the
1866 Act to the ratepayers from first
to last may therefore be stated at - £579,875 8 9
For this they have obtained: —
1. The Alexandra Park ;
2. 98,929 square yards of ground applied in the formation of thirty
new streets and in the improvement of twenty-six existing streets,
being 34,259 square yards of street surface beyond what was contemplated
in the original scheme; and
3. The sanitary and social amenities produced by the street, sewer,
and other public works, which have cost £106,279 0s. 9d.
No sinking fund was provided for in the Act of 1866. By section 6
of the Amendment Act of 1880, however, it is provided that so soon
as the Trustees have completed the works authorised by the 1866 Act,
and shall have sold and realised the various properties acquired and
held by them, the powers of assessment under the 1866 and 1880 Acts
shall be leviable and applicable only to meet the expenses of carrying
on and managing the Trust, and to provide and set aside as a sinking
fund such an annual sum as shall, by accumulation with compound
interest thereon at the rate of 4 per cent. per annum, be sufficient to
pay off in twenty years the whole of the money then owing by the Trustees.
Looking, however, to the financial position of the Trust, as shown
by the following balance sheet, it does not appear that the provisions
of section 6 of the 1880 Act will, so far as the sinking fund thereby
provided for is concerned, require to be put into operation.
as at 31st May, 1900.
Cash held on loan, - - - - - - - - - £1,276,784 17 11
Open accounts, - - - - - - - - - 6,960 15 11
Sinking fund, - - - - - - - £3,747 2 10
Reserve fund, - - - - - - - 3,747 2 10
7,494 5 8
Balance of free assets, - - - - - - - - 17,129 12 2
£1,308,369 11 8
Tenement buildings erected, - - - - - - - £298,259 17 8
Tenement buildings acquired from Streets
Improvements Committee and others, - - - - 75,305 17 6
Tenement buildings under construction, - - - - - 5,237 10 0
Ground valued by city engineer, - - £493,181 12 0
Less Capitalised value of unredeemed burdens,
- - - - - - - 14,702 18 9
478,478 13 3
Lodging-houses, including Family Home, - £130,442 6 6
Less Allowance for depreciation, - - - 16,685 15 2
113,756 11 4
Capitalised value of feu-duties and ground
annuals, - - - - - - - - - - 322,780 2 11
Security, stock, cash, and outstanding accounts, - - - 14,550 19 0
£1,308,369 11 8
In 1896 the Corporation promoted in Parliament an Omnibus Bill,
the principal objects of which, so far as relating to the City Improvements
Trust, were (1) to obtain compulsory powers over six congested
areas on the north side and one similar area on the south side of the
river Clyde for the purpose of removing the old and insanitary buildings
and reconstructing the areas; (2) to widen Nelson Street from
Trongate to Bell Street, which had been authorised by the 1866 Act,
but never carried out; (3) to purchase by agreement any lands not
exceeding on the whole twenty-five acres, either within the city
or within a radius of half a mile from the boundaries of the city, for
the purpose of erecting thereon houses for the poorest classes; and (4)
to impose a new assessment equally on landlord and tenant to carry out
these objects. The portion of the bill relating to these matters was
keenly opposed by, inter alias, the Glasgow Landlords' Association,
Limited, and the Wine, Spirit, and Beer Trade Association — by the
latter for the reason apparently that there were a number of public-houses
within the scheduled areas. Notwithstanding this opposition to
the measure, it was successfully carried through Parliament without
any clause whatever being obtained by either of the opponents named,
and on 6th August, 1897, it received the royal assent under the title
of "The Glasgow Corporation (Improvements and General Powers) Act,
The amount authorised to be borrowed under the 1897 Act for the
improvements and other operations before referred to was £560,000,
and of this amount £100,000 was to be applied exclusively in the purchase
of the 25 acres of ground and the erection thereon of dwellings
for the poorest. classes, provided for in section 12 of the Act.
As the price (£103,245 18s) paid to the Police Commissioners for the
lands and ground annuals taken over from them in 1893 had been met out
of the £1,500,000 authorised to be borrowed by the Trustees under the
Acts of 1866 and 1880, the borrowing powers under these two Acts
were by section 15 of the 1897 Act increased to the extent of the first-mentioned
The new assessment authorised by the 1897 Act was limited to 1d.
per £, and, in contrast to the assessment under the 1866 Act, which
was entirely on occupiers, was to be levied equally upon landlord and
tenant. A sinking fund was also provided for of such an amount as to
secure that the capital sums borrowed should be paid off within a
period not exceeding sixty years.
The seven congested and insanitary areas scheduled under the 1897
Act contained in all about six acres. The whole of the properties
within these areas were acquired either by agreement or arbitration
within a considerably shorter time than the three years allowed by
the Act. The amount which has been paid for these properties, and
also for those required for the widening of Nelson Street, including
claims for business disturbance and expenses, may be stated in round
numbers at £300,000.
Considerable progress has already been made with the reconstruction
of the areas scheduled under the 1897 Act. On the portion of the King
Street area, north of Parnie Street and abutting on Trongate, new buildings,
consisting exclusively of business premises, are reaching completion,
and the covering of the portion of this area south of Parnie Street with
buildings of a similar character is about to be commenced. It is estimated
that the cost of the buildings on both sites will be £46,583 6s. The reason
which led the Trustees to confine the new buildings on these two sites solely
to business premises was the commercial value of the ground, and this
action was quite within the discretionary powers given to them by the
1897 Act.
Plans for the reconstruction of the two areas on the east and west
sides of high Street, north of George Street, were also some time ago
adopted by the Trustees. The buildings on the west side of the street,
which consist of warehouses, shops, and dwelling-houses, are now being
erected, but it is not intended to demolish the existing, and proceed
with the erection of the new, buildings on the east side (which are to
be of a kind similar to those on the west side) until the last-mentioned
buildings have been completed. The reconstruction of these two areas
includes the widening of High Street north of George Street to 55 feet.
The cost of the buildings on both sides of High Street is estimated at
Designs have also been selected for the reconstruction of the Nelson
Street area, which comprehends the entire east side of that street and
portions of (a) the north side of Trongate, (b) the south side of
Bell Street, and (c) the west side of High Street between Bell Street
and Trongate. So far as fronting Nelson Street and Trongate, the
new buildings will be wholly business premises, but as regards those
fronting Bell Street and High Street, dwelling-houses will be included.
The total cost of the buildings when completed is estimated at £88,231.
The erection of the first instalment of these buildings will be commenced
within the next two or three months. After the east side of Nelson
Street has been finished the only thing that will remain to be done to
complete the widening of it from a passage of 22 feet wide to a street of
50 feet wide will be the reconstruction of the north-west corner from
Antigua Place to Bell Street. This portion will be proceeded with at
the earliest possible date.
It may be mentioned that the plans for the reconstruction of the
whole of the three areas before referred to were competitive designs
invited from outside architects of well-known ability, and were selected
by the Trustees after mature consideration and under the advice of
a competent expert.
In the exercise of the powers given to them by section 12 of the
1897 Act, the Trustees have also already acquired from other departments
of the Corporation at merely nominal prices close upon 25 acres
of vacant ground for the erection thereon of dwellings for the poorest
classes. The largest portion of the ground so acquired is situated
upon the fringes of the Alexandra and the Springburn Parks, in the
northern quarter of the city, while the remaining portions are located
in Baltic Street and at Haghill, in the eastern district of the city.
The covering of the ground at Haghill with buildings of the character
just described, from plans furnished by an outside architect, was completed
in June, 1900. The buildings contain in all 69 houses of one
apartment and 84 houses of two apartments. The former are let at
an average rent of £4 19s., and the latter at £7 19s. 6d. per annum.
The cost of the tenements has been £14,399.
Plans for the erection of similar tenements on the ground in
Baltic Street have also been prepared by the same architect, and the
work is to be commenced at once. The estimated cost is £9528.
In the case of the Haghill tenements it is calculated that, after
allowing the usual 25 per cent. for taxes, management, repairs, and
insurance, the rents charged will yield 5 per cent. on cost of ground
(7s. per square yard), 3½ per cent. on cost of buildings, and 1 2/3 per
cent. for sinking fund.
The committee in charge of the same have now under consideration
the exact kind of buildings to be erected upon the remaining ground at
Alexandra Park and Springburn Park. It is a question whether these
should be more of the small cottage rather than of the tenement order,
but whatever is resolved upon, the buildings will be such as to conform
with the requirements of section 12 of the 1897 Act.
It is to be hoped that what has been set down in the foregoing
pages will convey in some measure at least an idea of the scope and
value of the great work which has been accomplished by the City
Improvements Trustees within the sphere of their past labours. So
far as the central portions of the city are concerned, especially in the
region of the Cross and the historic Saltmarket, very little now remains
of old Glasgow as it existed prior to 1866. Indeed, so great have
been the changes effected by the operations of the Trustees in this
locality that if the shade of Bailie Nicol Jarvie were to revisit it he
would fail to find any of the ancient landmarks, except, perhaps, the
steeples of the Tolbooth and the Tron Church and the statue of King
William, and as for the latter he would be puzzled to know why it had
changed its locus. Although, however, the operations already carried
out by the Trustees under the Acts of 1866 and 1897, and those
still to be completed under the last-mentioned Act, have been and will
be productive of great sanitary and hygienic advantages to the whole
community, there are still a few "dark spots" within certain districts
of the city for the clearance and reconstitution of which legislative
sanction is required. It will be for the City Fathers of this, the
beginning of the twentieth century, to take early and active measures
for these remaining congested and insanitary areas being dealt with,
and by doing so the Corporation of Glasgow will thus maintain the high
reputation it has attained among municipalities of the world.
The work carried on in the office of the city engineer is of a complex
and important character, and includes not merely the design and construction
of such works as fall within the ordinary practice of a civil engineer,
but a large amount of architectural work as well. Apart from this, the
city engineer is required from time to time to advise with the numerous
committees of the Town Council regarding the various matters that engage
their attention. These embrace a range of subjects too wide to enumerate,
extending as they do from the intricate public interests that influence the
policy of the Corporation in their Parliamentary business, to the adjustment
of the details of a royal pageant. Intermediately the duty devolves on
him of valuing the heritable estates of the Corporation, and determining,
under the provisions of a special statute, the terms on which property may
be transferred from one department of the public service to another.
The engineering work in itself is extensive and important, comprising
the preparation of Parliamentary plans and sections for deposit, and the
compilation of large wall maps for use in the Committee Rooms of Parliament,
whether the action of the Corporation be the promotion or the
opposition of private bills. There is also the duty of aiding in the preparation
of cases for submission to Parliament, and the attendance to give
evidence before the respective Committees of the Lords and Commons.
The revision of the Ordnance Survey of the city likewise falls under his
charge, as does also the professional work necessary to the preparation of
plans for the development and realisation of the lands belonging to the
several departments of the Corporation, and the construction of the
streets, ,sewers, and other works required for these purposes.
The construction and repair of the river embankments above the harbour
involve large expenditure, and for their more effectual protection a tidal
weir, equipped with movable sluices, has for some time been in course of
construction, and is now approaching completion. This complex and most
difficult undertaking has been carried out according to a plan suggested by
Sir Benjamin Baker, K.C.M.G. The work has occupied a longer time than
was anticipated, mainly on account of the character of the river bed,
below which the foundations of the weir have been constructed, under air
pressure, in concrete, enclosed in steel caissons, 30 feet deep, which form
a curtain wall extending from the northern to the southern bank of the
river, to provide a rest for the mid-stream piers and the sills of the three
sluices. The work was originally estimated at £70,000, but various modifications
of the design, attributable to obstructions that could not have been
foreseen, will add considerably to the cost.
The principal undertaking entrusted to the department of the city
engineer is the scheme for completing the main drainage of Glasgow and
the adjacent local authorities. Authorised by Parliament in 1896 and
1898, this great undertaking, whose dimensions exceed those of any similar
work in this country outside of the metropolis, involves the construction
of 30 miles of sewers varying in size from 3 feet to 10 feet diameter,
by which the drainage of the city and the adjacent districts will be
conveyed to separate sewage disposal works on the right and left banks
of the river Clyde. The sewage derived from the right bank will be
conveyed to a station at Dalmuir, situated about seven miles to the west
of the river Kelvin, and the sewage collected on the left bank will be
treated at Braehead, on a site about a mile eastward of the burgh of
The drainage on either side of the river will be conveyed partly in
outfall sewers of large capacity which will deliver their contents by gravitation,
and partly by low level sewers of less capacity, which will be pumped
into the outf ails. The pump for the northern sewage is in Partick, and for
the southern in Pollokshields. The dry weather flow of sewage included
within the area drained by the works to be constructed on both banks of the
river will, when the whole territory is developed, be about 94 million
gallons per day, augmented occasionally by rainfall to 189 million
gallons. The capacity of the different sewers has been so designed as to
convey without surcharge a quarter of an inch of rainfall, over and
above the dry weather flow.
The method of sewage treatment which the Corporation, after much
anxious deliberation, have resolved to adopt, is chemical precipitation. It
is not intended to make use of sludge presses, as the separate works are
situated on the fairway of the Clyde, and the liquid sludge can thus be
economically carried out to sea.
The Parliamentary estimate for this undertaking was £1,000,000, but
the great increase in the rate of wages and the cost of material which has
been experienced since 1896 will have a corresponding effect on the outlay
involved in the construction of the authorised works.
The working drawings and specifications for the works on the right bank
of the river were prepared three years ago, but various causes induced the
Corporation to delay the commencement, so that at the present time only
4 miles of the outfall sewer have been actually constructed. Work has,
however, been begun on the pumping station at Partick and the sewage
works at Dalmuir, and arrangements are in progress for letting the contracts
for the low level sewers and the remainder of the outfall. The
design of the works authorised for collecting and disposing of the sewage of
the left bank of the river is in active preparation.
The architectural work of the department is very extensive, including
the design and construction of hospitals for infectious diseases and
isolation houses for cases of suspected infection, baths and wash-houses,
markets and slaughter-houses, public halls and libraries, lodges, waiting
rooms and entrance gates for the public works, police offices, fire stations,
and the erection of improved dwellings for the labouring and artisan
classes, as well as the ordinary work of superintending and maintaining
a vast extent of public property.
The outlay involved in the different buildings enumerated is necessarily
very great, and cannot, without occupying undue space, be set forth in
detail. It may be of interest, however, to state that the hospital for
infectious diseases at Ruchill will cost upwards of £250,000. The work at
present in hand in the Baths Department represents an outlay of £50,000.
The work being carried on in connection with the markets and slaughterhouses
exceeds £30,000; the extension of the fruit market, £60,000; public
halls and libraries under design at present represent upwards of £30,000.
The extension of the fruit market involves the erection of a new Central
Police Office at a cost of not less than £30,000. The Central Fire Station
cost upwards of £40,000, and the various blocks of improved dwellings at
present in progress in different parts of the city, so far as these have been
designed in the office of the city engineer, will cost upwards of £25,000.
The constructional work in the different public parks, including bridges,
as well as buildings, entrance gates, and railings, also devolves on the city
engineer, as does also the duty of aiding the several committees of the
Corporation in protecting the amenity of the city wherever the structures
of railway companies are carried over or along the leading thoroughfares of
the city.
The Master of Works has charge of the public roads, bridges, sewers,
and public conveniences, and is responsible for the carrying out of the
provisions of the Police Acts for securing the safety, health, and comfort of
the citizens in connection with the construction, alteration, and repair of
buildings, private streets, pavements, courts, ashpits, and other works, the
maintenance of which devolves upon proprietors. Along with other officers,
he requires to inspect all factories, workshops, theatres, and music halls,
and also the buildings requiring to be licensed under the Petroleum
Roads. — The city roads are divided into two classes — (1) Public streets,
maintained by public assessment; and (2) private streets, maintained by
proprietors whose property has a frontage thereto.
The public streets, previous to 1843, were, with a few exceptions, paved
with rough whinstone irregular blocks or cobble, the exceptions being the
principal or main thoroughfares thirteen in number — which, for facility
of traffic, were partly paved with square dressed whinstone setts, 4 to 6
inches broad and 8 inches deep, laid on a bed of sand 9 inches deep, the
other parts of those streets being paved with the rough blocks referred to.
In 1838 a small portion of Jamaica Street was paved with granite setts
from Inveraray Quarries, and at the same time the rest of the street was
paved with whinstone. Six years later it was found that, while the whinstone
was much worn, the granite setts were as good as when first laid.
According to a report made in 1844 by Mr. Carrick, the then Master
of Works, it was calculated that at the end of twenty years the cost of
whin paving, including repairs made during that period, would slightly
exceed the cost of granite, and that, while the former material would
be worn out and be unfit for relaying, the latter, with a slight redressing,
would be practically as good as when first laid. The adoption of granite
as a paving material for the principal streets was accordingly resolved
upon, whinstone being used in streets where the traffic was light. Since
that period portions of the rough rubble causeway have, year by year,
been lifted and replaced with square dressed stones. For some years
past the streets have, as a general rule, had a foundation of Portland
cement concrete 4 to 6 inches deep, and the joists of the setts are
grouted with Portland cement or coal tar pitch, whereas formerly the
joints were grouted with sand, although occasionally lime was used.
The total sum expended on the paving of the public streets with square
dressed blocks has been as follows: —
Granite Paving. Whin Paving.
From 1844 to 1876 - - £300,348 15 9 £33,524 9 9
From 1877 to 1901 - - 274,009 1 6 146,166 13 3
£574,357 17 3 £179,691 3 0
— a total of £754,049 0s. 3d., exclusive of the sums expended by the
Corporation Tramway Department.
Experiments with wood blocks for paving purposes have not given very
satisfactory results in this city. Soft wood rapidly wears out, while hard
wood blocks only remain good for a period not exceeding seven or eight
years. This is due partly to the excessive moisture in our atmosphere, and
partly to the method of shoeing horses here.
Somewhat extensive experiments are at present being made with a
comparatively new material called tar macadam, and in streets where the
traffic is light it seems likely to prove a success.
Portions of certain streets have also been experimentally paved with
alcatraz and seyssel, but so recently that no decided opinion can as yet be
formed of their suitability as paving materials here.
In regard to cost and durability granite stands far ahead of all other
materials. Its principal disadvantage — that of noisiness — is common to all
stone pavings in a greater or lesser degree.
The rate of assessment for the maintenance of roads and bridges, and
providing for a sinking fund of 5 per cent. for permanent paving, and
2 per cent. for bridges, is at present 4d. per £ on rental, one-half
payable by the proprietor and one-half by the tenant; the assessment
provided the sum of £83,056 16s. 6½d. for the year ending 31st May,
1900. The length of the public streets is 214⅓ miles, of which 106½
miles are macadamised.
Bridges. — The bridges forming part of the city roads are maintained out
of the assessment for the upkeep of roads and bridges, and are as undernoted:

Opened. Width. Cost.
Rutherglen Bridge, - - - - Stone 7/8/96 60 feet £75,547
Dalmarnock Road Bridge, - - Iron 6/5/91 50 " 30,500
Polmadie Foot Bridge, - - - Wood 13/6/01 16 "
Govan Street Bridge, - - - „ 13/6/01 50 "
M'Neil Street Suspension Bridge, - 1856 13 " 6,348
Albert Bridge, - - - - - Iron 21/6/71 60 " 62,328
Victoria Bridge, - - - - Stone 1/1/54 58 " 46,206
* Portland Street Suspension Bridge, 1853 14 " 9,083
Glasgow Bridge, - - - - „ 24/6/99 80 " 129,500
Opened. Width. Cost.
Canniesburn Road, - - - - Stone 25 feet
Bridge Street, Maryhill, - - - " 24 "
Kelvindale Road Bridge, - - - 18 "
Kirklee Bridge, - - - - 13/6/01 60 " £25,000 †
Foot Bridge at Ford Road, - - Wood July, 1886 7 "
Queen Margaret Bridge, - - - Iron 1870 34 "
Belmont Bridge, - - - - " 1870 40 "
Great Western Road Bridge, - - " 29/9/91 60 " 51,878
Woodlands Road Bridge, - - - " 1895 60 "
Dumbarton Road Bridge, - - - " 1877 60 "
Old Dumbarton Road Bridge, - - " 1896 50 "
Opened. Width. Cost.
Castle Street, - - - - - Stone 60 feet
Garngad Road, - - - - - " 50 "
Millburn Street, - - - - Iron 50 " £2431
Opened. Width. Cost.
Millbrae Bridge, - - - Stone 20/1/99 50 feet £3850,
Bridge at Cathcart, - - - - " being built 60 "
Sewers. — The sewers for the general drainage of the streets and buildings
abutting on same are of two kinds — (1) Public sewers, for the drainage
of public streets, the cost of the construction of which is paid for by the
proprietors up to a size equal to that of a circular sewer 3 feet in diameter;
the extra cost of any size above this is paid for by the city; (2) private
*Taken over from proprietors at £9083. Further sum of £6836 spent shortly afterwards on
extensive repairs, including service bridge.
† Estimated cost.
sewers for the drainage of private streets, the cost and maintenance of
which are paid by the proprietors of property fronting the street. The
length of public sewers in the city constructed previous to 1849 was 40
miles. The length constructed between 1849 and 1876 was 48½ miles,
costing £111,216; and between 1876 and 1900, 35 miles, costing £187,790.
The cost of the maintenance and repair of the public sewers and street
gratings is about £13,000 per annum.
Workmen. — The staff of workmen employed in the maintenance and
repair of streets and sewers numbers 400 in all.
Contracts. — All new pavior work, extensive renewals, and the construction
of new sewers are done by contract. The pavior work contracts extend
from three to five years. All materials are supplied under yearly contracts,
with the exception of granite and whin setts, the contracts for the supply
of which extend from three to seven years. Separate contracts are entered
into for the construction of each sewer.
Public Safety, Health, and Comfort. — The duty of the inspecting staff
is to visit their districts and ascertain and note any defects in footpaths,
streets, courts, drains, ashpits, washing-houses, or in the structure of
buildings. When defects are found, notices are issued to the parties
responsible, requiring them to make good such defects. Parties not complying
with the requirements of such notices within the time specified for
the execution of the works may be proceeded against, as provided in the
Police Acts. The number of such notices issued to proprietors during the
year ending 31st May, 1900, was as follows: —
For repairs on streets, - - - - 927
" footpaths, - - - 3540
" drains, - - - - 1022
" wash-houses, - - - 105
" outhouses, - - - 382
" buildings, - - - 755
" areas and back courts, - 362
Total, - - - 7093
Dean of Guild Court. — This Court was instituted in 1605 under a Letter
of Guildry, its power from that date till 1862 being principally, so far as
the structure of the city was concerned, confined to the securing of the
proper lining of the streets and the protection of the rights of adjoining
proprietors in regard to boundary lines, etc. The necessity for acquiring
powers to regulate the laying out of new streets and securing that these
should be of adequate width, for the securing of sufficient air space in
front of and behind buildings, for regulating the minimum capacity of
dwelling-houses, for securing proper drainage and sanitary necessities, etc.,
resulted in an application being made to Parliament for additional powers
and in the passing of the Glasgow Police Act of 1862, under which authority
was granted to the Dean of Guild to enforce the carrying out of provisions
necessary for the public safety and health in connection with the erection
of new and the alteration of old buildings. These powers and provisions
have, by the passing of the Police Acts of 1866, 1890, 1892, and 1900, been
largely extended.
Under the Police Act, as at present in force, application for authority
to erect a new or alter an old building must be lodged with the Dean of
Guild, accompanied by complete and detailed plans of the intended operations.
The Master of Works is called as a party in every case in the public
interest, and the plans are carefully examined by him to see that the
requirements of the Acts are complied with previous to warrant authorising
operations being issued by the Dean. The works so sanctioned are
periodically examined by the inspectors of the Master of Works, and when
completed in accordance with the plans he reports to the Dean of Guild
that they have been so completed, and the Dean then sanctions the occupation
of the building. Cases of non-compliance with the requirements of
the Acts are reported to the procurator-fiscal to the Dean of Guild Court,
and proceedings may be taken against the offending parties in terms of the
Acts. The total number of linings granted by the Dean of Guild Court
in 1876 was 636, and in 1900 536.
Area of the City. — Since 1876 the area of Glasgow has been more than
doubled, and it may be of interest to show how the area of the city has been
extended from time to time.
The ancient Royalty, the charter for which was granted in —
1636 Contained - - - - - - - 1768 acres.
There were added in —
1800 Part of Glasgow Green and part of the present
centre of the city, between Ramshorn
Church and St. Enoch's Burn - - - 96 "
1830 The area between St. Enoch's Burn and the
burgh of Anderston - - - - - 296 "
1843 The Necropolis, and the portion of the city
between Castle Street and Garscube Road,
south of the canal - - - - - 213 "
1846 Areas including the burghs of Anderston,
Calton, Gorbals, and portions of the counties
adjoining, making the municipal boundaries
correspond with the Parliamentary boundaries
- - - - - - - - 3418 "
1872 Areas including Glasgow University, Hundred
Acre Hill, and part of Alexandra Park, etc. 242 '
Note. — A portion of the ancient Royalty
in the Springburn district was also added to
the municipal boundary at this time.
1878 Coplawhill - - - - - - - - 78 "
1891 Burghs of Maryhill, Hillhead, Govanhill, Crosshill,
Pollokshields (West and East), Kelvinside,
and portions of county of Lanark, and
extensions at Belvidere, etc. - - - 5750 "
1896 Bellahouston Park, etc. - - - - - 450 "
1899 Blackhill and Shawfield areas - - - - 377 "
Making total area of municipality now 12,688 "
One of the most interesting, as well as one of the most useful, departments
of the Corporation is the Fire Brigade, which has had a most striking
development. The earlier efforts in the direction of fire extinction, when
contrasted with the elaborate, extensive, and, it may be added, expensive
organisations of to-day, appear to be crude, slow, and ineffective.
The records of the city disclose that a conflagration occurred on 17th
July, 1652, which was far-reaching in its consequences, resulting, as it did,
in the total destruction of about one-third of the city, and irreparable
loss to more than one thousand families, who were rendered homeless.
The loss was estimated at £100,000. Following upon this fire, in 1656,
the Town Council ordered their first fire engine. It is unnecessary in
this article to trace the fluctuating history of the Fire Brigade. Nothing
further seems to be called for than to indicate the present position and
scope of a department upon the efficiency of which so much depends.
The following summary may prove interesting: —
In 1870 Glasgow purchased its first steam fire engine. In 1871 two
new manual engines were ordered. In 1872 other two steam fire engines
were purchased and are still in service, though about to be placed in
reserve, after twenty-nine years' service. In the same year it was agreed
to purchase horses for the Fire Department, and the resolution was put
into effect in January, 1873. The first of the street fire alarms was fitted
up in 1878, and these were likewise the first to be used in Great Britain.
In 1878 it was decided to convert the staff into a permanent one, and the
staff soon after consisted of about 70 men and 50 police auxiliaries. The
subjoined table contains some features of interest as showing the progress
within the tenure of office of the present head of the department: —
While the above shows the staff as 127 sixteen years ago, 50 of that
number were police constables, the permanent staff being thus 77. The
services of the constables as firemen were dispensed with in 1891. The
net increase in the permanent staff during the last sixteen years is ·57,
the increase in horses is 3·5, in steam-engines 3·7, the hose-carriages are
doubled, fire-escapes increased fourfold, tool and general purposes carriages
increased sevenfold, public fire alarms a little more than doubled, private
fire alarms nearly eight times what they were, hose increased ·7, fire-plugs
and hydrants increased ·67. The decreases in plant are in manual engines
having 13 less, hand reels reduced from 14 to 3, and only one of the three,
viz., the one at St. Enoch's, being now in use. There are now only two
buildings used as fire stations which were in service sixteen years ago,
viz., the south and west stations. The Corporation has dealt with the
Fire Department on very liberal, nay, even generous lines. At present
there is a very considerable extension being carried out on the fire alarm
system, and during the current year there will be over 200 public call points
spread over the city.
The department is very efficient. The plant, horses, etc., are the best
that can be got, and with the exception of for river and riverside fires, the
equipment is ample. The staff has no superiors and few equals in the
country, the only fault — and it is not one for which the staff is responsible
— is that their number is too few. The expenditure of the Fire
Department sixteen years ago was £8400, and to-day it is over £17,000,
exclusive of capital expenditure.
London has a staff of 1205, or ten times that of Glasgow; the population
of London is as nearly as possible six times that of Glasgow. The
number of fires in London is five times that of Glasgow. To have the same
ratio of staff to population Glasgow should have 200 men instead of 121.
The strength, smartness, etc., of the New York Fire Department is
often quoted, and it is not intended to dispute any or all of the statements
made. The citizens of New York pay for all these qualities, and they are
entitled to receive value in return.
New York Brigade costs, per head of the population, 5s. 6d.; London,
10d.; Glasgow, 5 2-5d. These figures are submitted with the view of showing
that, as Glasgow is so often contrasted with New York and London, it
may be made evident to all by comparison that Glasgow has a much cheaper
service, and if the citizens are prepared to provide the necessary means, the
Fire Brigade Committee can and will make the department superior to
any in the country, and remove any grounds which hostile critics may have
for cavil.
This department of the public service was opened on 4th August, 1896.
The Bureau has been established by the Corporation for the registration of
workers of every kind, and to provide an easy and convenient means of
bringing together employers and persons of both sexes in search of either
temporary or permanent work. There are no fees payable by either the
employer or the worker. The Corporation, while accepting no responsibility
in connection with applicants, endeavours to assure itself of the
character of those whom it sends to any situation. Since its inception the
progress of the Bureau has been steady and continuous, as will be
seen from the following table: —
As regards the males registered, almost every variety of occupation is
included, excepting a few of the highly skilled trades, and even these are
occasionally represented. The entire number of males who found work were
distributed over 43 different occupations. The female side of the work is
very largely confined to the various classes of domestic servants.
The first tramway in Glasgow was constructed by the Corporation and
opened on 19th August, 1872. In 1876 the total length of tramway lines
laid was only 31 miles of single track. From 1872 to 1894 the lines were
leased to the Glasgow Tramway and Omnibus Company, and on 1st July,
1894, the Corporation commenced to operate the tramways as a municipal
undertaking. The lines now extend to 80 miles of single track, and, in
addition, the Corporation have leased 8 miles of track belonging to the
burgh of Govan. These lines are operated as part of the Glasgow
By the Glasgow Corporation Act, 1899, powers were obtained for the
construction of extensions to Paisley, Cathcart, Rutherglen, Tollcross, and
Shettleston. The work of making these extensions is now in progress.
In this session of Parliament, at the request of the residents, and with
the consent of all the local authorities, further powers are being sought for
the construction of tramways to Bishopbriggs, Clydebank, Renfrew, and
Cambuslang. When all these lines have been completed, the total length
will be about 137 miles of single track, forming connections between
Glasgow, as the centre of the system, and all the surrounding communities.
When the Corporation took over the working of the tramways in 1894
fares were considerably reduced, and halfpenny fares instituted for half-mile
stages. The result has been that the traffic has steadily increased
from year to year.
During the year to 30th June, 1894, the lessees carried about 54,000,000
passengers. The following table shows the remarkable progress of the
system since it became a municipal undertaking in 1894: —
Prior to July, 1894, the Tramways Committee considered the question
of mechanical traction, and reported on various systems. The lines, however,
being in the hands of the lessees up to the last day of the lease, it
was impossible to start with any other system than horse traction. In
1895, after the issue of the first annual report, a committee was again
appointed to go fully into the question. In the course of their investigations
they visited various continental and British cities. It was not,
however, until May, 1897, after the general manager and engineer had
visited America, and reported very fully on the different systems in operation
there, that it was finally decided to equip the Springburn route,
measuring 5 miles of single track, as a demonstration of the overhead
system of electric traction. An electric service was started on this route
on 13th October, 1898. So satisfactory in every way was this demonstration
during the first two months' working that on 28th December, 1898, it was
finally decided to convert the whole of the tramways to the overhead
The following is a summary of the revenue and expenditure of the
electric traction routes from the start to 31st May, 1900: —
The above results, although highly satisfactory, would undoubtedly
have been still more so had the plant at the small power station been
operated during the full period at its maximum output.
When it was finally decided by the Corporation to equip the whole of
the tramways on the overhead system, no time was lost in getting the work
of conversion in hand. Mr. H. F. Parshall, M.Inst.C.E., who had been
requested to report on the whole question of generating and distributing
the current, was appointed consulting engineer for the scheme, which
provides for one high-tension generating station, with five sub-stations.
An eminently suitable plot of ground at Pinkston was purchased as a site
for the main generating station, and arrangements were made for erecting
the sub-stations at five of the existing horse-car depots. The ground
purchased for the Pinkston generating station extends to 18,997 square
yards. It is bounded on one side by the canal, and is connected with both
the Caledonian and North British Railways.
The work of excavation was commenced by the staff of the department
in September, 1899, and in order to have all the concrete foundations upon
the solid rock upwards of 50,000 tons of material had to be removed.
As this will be the largest generating station of the kind in Europe, the
following short description of the different sections of the building and
equipment may be interesting: — The main building consists of a framework
of steel, on which the roof is supported. By adopting this method of construction,
the brick walls could be proceeded with after the roof was
completed and simultaneously with the erection of the machinery. The
Ritter Conley Company, of Pittsburg, were the contractors for the supply
and erection of the steel work, which weighed about 1300 tons. The
building is 244 feet in length by 200 feet in breadth, and the height of the
walls is 88 feet. There are two chimneys, 250 feet in height. The building
is divided into three bays. The east bay, of 84 feet span, contains the
steam generating plant. The centre bay, of 75 feet span, contains the
main engines and generators, also the auxiliary engines and exciter engines
with their generators. The switchboards are placed in this bay against the
north gable. The west bay, of 40 feet span, which adjoins the canal, contains
the condensing plant and feed pumps. In the boiler room there are
16 Babcock & Wilcox boilers, each capable of producing 20,000 lbs. of steam
per hour at a working pressure of 160 lbs. per square inch. The mechanical
stokers have also been supplied by the same firm. The coal is tipped from
the waggons into outside coal bunkers having a capacity of about 3000 tons.
These bunkers have been supplied by Sir Wm. Arrol & Co., Ltd. It is then
conveyed by bucket conveyors to the storage bunkers on the top of the
boilers. These storage bunkers can hold 2000 tons of coal. The conveyors
can deal with 100 tons of coal per hour. From the storage bunkers the coal
passes down through shoots into the furnaces, and, while doing so, is
weighed. The boiler feed pumps can deliver 8000 gallons of water per hour
against a pressure of 180 lbs. per square inch. Two storage tanks for water
are placed between the two chimneys, and these can each hold 18,000
gallons. The pumps, as also the coal conveyors, have been supplied by the
Mirrlees Watson Company, Limited, Glasgow. A reserve boiler feed steam
pump is by Messrs. G. & J. Weir, Glasgow. The fuel economisers have
been constructed by the Clay Cross Company, Derby. There are two of
these, capable of dealing with 12,000 gallons of feed water per hour, and of
raising its temperature from 90 to 160 degrees Fahr. In the engine room
each of the four main engines is designed to work at 4000 i.h.p., but
is capable of developing a maximum of 5000 h.p., while still running at
its normal speed of 75 revolutions per minute. Two of these engines
have been made by the E. P. Allis Co., of Milwaukee, and two by Messrs.
Musgrave, of Bolton. They are of the vertical compound condensing
three-cylinder type, with Corliss valve gear. Each fly-wheel weighs over
120 tons, and the weight of each engine complete is about 700 tons. Each
engine is 43 feet long — or 52 feet including the fly-wheel and alternator-35
feet high, and extends to 24 feet below floor level. Each engine is
directly coupled to a 3-phase generator designed for an output of 2500
kilowatts at a pressure of 6500 volts. These machines have been supplied
by the British Thomson-Houston Company.
The auxiliary plant is used for driving the motors in the main station
and for supplying power and light during the night to the sub-stations and
car sheds when the main engines are shut down. The two auxiliary
engines, which have been supplied by Messrs. Duncan Stewart & Company,
Glasgow, are each 800 h.p., but are capable of developing 1000 h.p. Each
engine is coupled to a 500-volt direct current dynamo of 600 kilowatt
capacity, also supplied by the British Thomson-Houston Company. There
are also four surface condensers, supplied by the Mirrlees Watson Company,
for the main engines, each capable of condensing 60,000 lbs. of exhaust steam
per hour. The water is pumped from the canal by four centrifugal circulating
pumps, supplied by Messrs. Mayor & Coulson. There are four air
pumps for the main condensing plant, and there is also a separate complete
condensing plant for the auxiliary engines. The feed, air, and circulating
pumps are electrically driven; also the mechanical stokers and coal conveyors,
the current for which is supplied by the auxiliary sets. The main
switchboard in the Pinkston Station, and the switchboards at the
sub-stations, are the work of the Westinghouse Company.
Each of the two cranes in the engine room is capable of lifting 50 tons,
and the crane in the auxiliary room is capable of lifting 30 tons. These
are supplied by the Clayton Company, near Manchester. Each crane is
fitted with three electric motors.
Distribution of Current. — From the feeder panels of the main switchboard
in the generating station four 3-core cables are led to each of the
five sub-stations, which are situated in the different districts of the city.
These cables are carried out through the wall of the generating station
into a main tunnel, and thence led in underground ducts to the sub-stations.
The five sub-stations are situated at Coplawhill and Kinning Park on
the south side of the river; Partick in the west; Whitevale in the east;
and Dalhousie Street near the centre of the city. The units in each of
the sub-stations are of the same size, each static transformer being
200 kilowatts, and each rotary converter 500 kilowatts. There are at
each sub-station separate 3-phase and continuous current switchboards.
The high-tension 3-phase current, at a pressure of 6500 volts, is first of
all transformed down to a pressure of 310 to 330 volts, and is then converted
into low-tension continuous current at 500-550 volts. The overhead wire
is fed at about 500 volts. On one end of the converter shaft is a continuous
current booster designed for dealing with part of the return current
from the rails. All the sub-station equipment has been supplied by the
Westinghouse Company.
The feeder system is laid in cement-lined pipes. The pipes and cables
have been supplied and laid by the National Conduit and Cable Company.
Permanent Way. — When the Corporation took over the lines in 1894
almost the whole of the system had been relaid with steel girder rails,
weighing 79 lbs. per yard. The Corporation introduced a heavier section,
weighing 89 lbs., and since 1898 all the rails used have been 100 lbs. per
yard, and in 60-feet lengths.
The rails are laid to a gauge of 4 feet 7¾ inches on a bed of Portland
cement concrete 6 inches in depth, and extending 18 inches beyond the
outside rail. The 60-feet rails have recently been supplied by the Leeds
Steel Works and Messrs. Bolckow, Vaughan & Co., Middlesbro', the dimensions
being — depth, 7 inches; width of sole, 7 inches; width of head, 2
inches; width of groove, 1¼ inches; width of lip, 5/8 inch; width over all,
3 7/8 inches. The rails are fished by steel fishplates, weighing 74 lbs. per
pair, and measuring 31 inches in length, and secured in place by eight
1-inch bolts. They are tied to a gauge, at intervals of 5 feet, by steel
tie-bars 2 inches by 3/8 inch in section. The whole width of the track, including
18 inches beyond the outside rails, is paved by the Tramways Department
with granite setts, and these are thoroughly grouted with bitumen and
granite chips. For the purpose of lessening the wear and tear of the
paving next the rail in the busier parts of the city chilled cast-iron paving
blocks are laid on each side of the rails alternately with the granite setts.
Overhead Construction. — Throughout the whole system the trolley wires
are supported in the centre of the track by means of span wires, with the
exception of a portion of Great Western Road, where there are centre
poles. A few centre poles have also been erected on two short portions of
the Springburn route, where the street is exceptionally wide, and also on
Glasgow Bridge. Wherever possible, the span wires have been attached
to the buildings on either side of the street by means of ornamental metal
rosettes. Where there are no buildings, or where the existing buildings are
not suitable for this purpose, steel poles have been erected on the edge of
the footpath. The trolley wire is double throughout, and consists of
No. 00 Brown & Sharpe gauge, having a conductivity of 98 per cent, and a
breaking strain of over 5000 lbs. The guard wires are placed 24 inches
above the trolley wire.
Workshops. — The workshops of the department are situated at Coplawhill,
on the south side of the Clyde, about a mile from the centre of the city.
The ground in this locality has been in the possession of the Corporation of
Glasgow for several centuries, and in 1894 the new Tramways Department
took over at a valuation 14,000 square yards, on which the Coplawhill depot
and workshops were erected. In 1898 an additional piece of ground was
taken over, making the total area about 28,000 square yards. The whole of
the ground is now covered with buildings, except about 3000 square yards.
The workshops consist of office, store, smith shop, sawmill, car building
shop, iron working shop, car repairing shop, paint shop, etc. All these
departments are fully equipped with the most approved machine tools for
making and repairing cars. Nearly all the electric cars have been built in
these workshops by the staff of the department.
About 400 electric cars are now ready for running, and for the
extended system already indicated at least 650 cars will be equipped.
Increased accommodation for the electric cars is being provided at several
of the existing depots, and two new car sheds have just been completed —
one at Possilpark and the other at Langside. After a general start has been
made with electric traction, a considerable number of the horse cars will be
converted into electric cars.
The main generating station is at present being equipped with four
units, with a total capacity of from 16,000 to 20,000 i.h.p., but room has
been provided in the building for two additional units.
The work of the Corporation in respect of public libraries has consisted
almost wholly in the administration of the Mitchell Library.
This institution was founded in 1874 by the late Mr. Stephen Mitchell,
tobacco manufacturer in Glasgow, who by his will directed that the
residue of his estate should be devoted to the establishment of a large
public library for the use and benefit of the citizens of Glasgow. In
the volume dealing with the educational institutions of the city a
more detailed account of the history of the library will be found. Here
it may be sufficient to record that the library was opened in November,
1877; that it was at once obvious that it met a real want in the
city; that both in respect of the growth of the library itself and of
the advantage taken of it by the public it soon surpassed all previous
British experience; and that it has now become the largest library
in Scotland to which the public have a right of free access, and one
of the most largely frequented reference libraries in the kingdom.
It contains more than 144,000 volumes, and since its opening more than
nine million and a quarter volumes have been consulted. Almost
equal in amount to the use of the books in the library has been the
reading of the current reviews and other periodicals in the magazine
room, where about 450 selected serials of all kinds are placed on racks
and tables, freely open for the perusal of all who come.
In addition to the administration of the Mitchell Library, the Corporation
is represented on the directorship of Stirling's Library and of
Baillie's Institution. Of the first-named institution the Lord Provost
is ex officio President, and the Corporation nominate three of their
number as directors, while one member of the Corporation is named a
director of Baillie's Institution.
The near future will bring to the Corporation an increased responsibility
in the matter of public libraries. By an Act passed in the
session of 1899 they acquired powers to establish branch libraries and
reading rooms in the various districts of the city, for the maintenance
of which a rate may be levied, not exceeding a penny in the pound
of rental, half to be paid by the occupier and half by the owner. A
scheme which provides for eight branch libraries and five branch reading
rooms has been generally approved by the Corporation, and a commencement
has been made by the decision to place a library and reading
room in the halls attached to the public baths in Main Street, Gorbals.
Plans for branch libraries for two other districts are now under
consideration. Mr. Andrew Carnegie, in a letter to the Lord Provost,
has expressed his pleasure in providing the sum of £100,000 for the
cost of buildings for the district libraries, and by this munificent gift
has ensured the full and efficient completion of an adequate district
library establishment for the city.
The extension and development of the public parks of the city is one of
the most striking features of the civic administration of Glasgow within
recent years.
In 1876 there were only four public parks, viz., the historic Glasgow
Green (which for over two hundred years has been the jealously guarded
open space of the citizens in the East End of the city); the classic Kelvingrove
Park, rendered famous in Scottish song, and situated in the West End,
where the International Exhibition is at present being held; the Queen's
Park, on the South Side; and the Alexandra Park, in the north-east. At
present there are thirteen public parks, besides a number of recreation
grounds and open spaces. Of these, no fewer than nine parks have been
acquired since 1891, when a local Act of special significance, i.e., the City
of Glasgow Act, was passed, by which the boundaries of the city were
extended so as to include a number of small suburban burghs.
Under that Act the Maxwell Park, which had been presented to the
former burgh of Pollokshields by Sir John Maxwell Stirling-Maxwell, Bart.,
of Pollok, M.P., came to be administered by the Parks Department of the
In 1891 the lands of Kennyhill, extending to 40 acres, were acquired
as an extension of the Alexandra Park. Considerable additions were made
to the parks of the city by the acquisition in the same year of (1) the
Springburn Park, extending to 56 acres; (2) the Ruchill Park, extending
to 53 acres; and (3) the Maryhill Park, extending to 5½ acres.
The next important purchase was in 1894, when the lands of Camphill,
extending to 58 acres, were acquired from Hutchesons' Hospital as an
addition to the Queen's Park. A smaller and relatively more expensive
area was also acquired in 1894, when 4 acres of land were purchased as a
juvenile recreation ground for the densely populated district of Govanhill.
In 1895 two important purchases were made, viz., (1) the Bunhouse
Recreation Ground, of 6½ acres, and (2) the lands of Bellahouston, extending
to about 178 acres.
In 1897 an opportunity arose to supply the clamant needs of the East
End of the city by the purchase of the residential estate of TolIcross,
extending to 83 acres. The mansion-house, which is beautifully situated in
the park, is a magnificent specimen of the Scottish baronial style of
In the following year, viz., in 1888, 44 acres of land on the south side of
the river Clyde opposite Glasgow Green were acquired, and is now known as
the Richmond Park. The Park takes its name after Sir David Richmond,
who was Lord Provost of the city from 1896 to 1899.
Whilst the area of the parks has been extended within the past decade
from 371 to 1055 acres, there has been a still more striking advance in the
equipment of the parks in the direction of providing healthy recreation
and amusement for the people. In the Maxwell, Springburn, and Alexandra
Parks ponds have been formed for the sailing of model yachts. These
ponds, while affording facilities for the enjoyment of a popular amusement
for many of the artisan class during the summer months, are also used in
winter for skating.
Football and cricket are also provided for in certain portions of the
parks, and provision is also made for the playing of golf in the Alexandra
and Bellahouston Parks. The latest development in the direction of
outdoor games is that of bowling, by the resolution to form two greens on
Glasgow Green during the present session. A number of gymnastic appliances
are also in existence in one or two of the parks for the use of the
children of the city. The gymnasia are found to be largely taken advantage
of by the junior population in the vicinity.
A striking feature of municipal enterprise has been the inauguration of
what is popularly known as Children's Day. In 1897, on the occasion of
the late Queen's Diamond Jubilee, the Corporation arranged a fête for all
the school children in the city in eight parks. So much interest was manifested
in the event, as well by the adult as the juvenile population, that
the Children's Day has become an annual institution. In addition to light
refreshments provided to the children, entertainments of maypole dances,
physical drill, etc., by selected teams of school children are provided. On
each of the four occasions on which it has been held, 100,000 children have
taken part, and it is safe to say that double that number of adults have been
spectators. Notwithstanding the magnitude of these popular demonstrations,
no serious accident has ever occurred at one of the celebrations.
To further popularise the parks, as well as with a view to bring the
population from the crowded streets and lanes of the city to places where
the change of scene contributes to health and enjoyment, music has for
some years been provided in the various parks during the months of June,
July, and August. The appreciation of the public of this scheme becomes
year by year more apparent, and the Corporation have increased the amount
expended for music from £504 in 1876 to £2345 last year. In addition to
these payments, a sum of £135 was spent on musical performances given in
the People's Palace in Glasgow Green and in the Winter Gardens at the
Springburn Park.
The mention of winter gardens suggests a reference to the development
of this feature of the work of the Parks Department.
When the management of the Botanic Gardens was taken over from
the Royal Botanic Institution by the Corporation in 1892, the splendid
range of conservatories and the magnificent winter garden known as the
"Kibble Palace" immediately became popular resorts, the latter especially
proving a delightful retreat and resting-place for hundreds daily. Under
Corporation management, annual displays of chrysanthemums were
inaugurated in the Kibble Palace, and have year by year been visited
by thousands of interested citizens. The success which attended these
displays, and the manner in which the Kibble Palace was taken advantage
of, encouraged the Corporation to erect a winter garden as an adjunct to
the People's Palace in Glasgow Green, and since this institution was opened
by the Earl of Rosebery in January of 1898, it has been a favourite
resort for the people of the East End. Similar success has attended
the propagating establishment at Camphill, which was primarily erected
for the purpose of propagating plants for the parks. This propagating
establishment is open daily for inspection by the public, who have
evinced the deepest interest in the range of glass-houses and their
contents. When the late ex-Bailie A. G. Macdonald gifted his conservatories
and collection of plants to the Corporation for Tollcross
Park it was resolved to rearrange and enlarge the conservatories so as
to allow the public more freedom when inspecting the plants. The
result has been that these houses have also become exceedingly popular
resorts. The same success has likewise attended the opening of the
magnificent winter garden in Springburn Park, which was gifted to the
city by the Messrs. Reid, of Hydepark Locomotive Works, Springburn,
and erected last year at a cost of £10,000. There can be no doubt that
the inauguration of winter gardens in Glasgow, which often enjoys a
too short summer and a long spell of wet weather, will prove a decided
success, and provide means of pleasure and enjoyment to thousands who
would never have an opportunity of becoming acquainted with the wonders
and beauties of plant life.
The following table shows the areas of the various parks and the cost of
their acquisition: —
It is somewhat interesting to note that the present and the two
previous meetings of the British Association in Glasgow have been
coincident with three important stages in the history of its Museums
and Art Galleries. Strictly speaking, in the year 1855, when the
British Association paid its second visit to the city, there was nothing
of the nature of a Museum or Art Gallery, but in that year the
Town Council was negotiating for the purchase of the collection of
pictures which had been formed by Mr. Archibald M'Lellan, and the
M'Lellan Gallery became municipal property early in 1856. At the
last meeting of the British Association in Glasgow in 1876 a new wing
was added to the Industrial Museum, which meanwhile had been formed
in the old Kelvingrove mansion-house, this addition being made at a
cost of about £8000. The present year is to see the fourth meeting of
the British Association in the city and the opening of the new Art
Galleries and Museum, which have been raised at the cost of a quarter
of a million. The development of the Corporation Museums and Art
Galleries since their first inception forty-five years ago, when as yet no
such institution existed, up to the present time when the Corporation
are owners of museum property to the value of nearly three-quarters
of a million sterling, has been entirely due to the enterprise of the city
or to the generosity of its individual citizens, and has been done quite
independent of any Government aid.
As has already been remarked, the beginning of the municipal
connection with museums dates back to the year 1856, when the Corporation
resolved to acquire the M'Lellan collection, which had really
been dedicated to the public by its owner under a deed of bequest.
The testator's affairs were, however, found to be in such a condition
that the terms of the will could not possibly be carried out, and ultimately
the Corporation resolved to purchase for the sum of £44,500 the
collection and the heritable property, in which Mr. M'Lellan had
erected a suite of galleries. Of this sum, £15,000 represented the
supposed value of the pictures, whilst the remaining £29,500 was the
value of the property. It may here be remarked that more than one
single picture could be named in the M'Lellan collection which alone
would probably now realise more than the sum paid for the entire
series in 1856. The building (now known as the Corporation Galleries)
is situated in Sauchiehall Street, between Rose Street and Dalhousie
Street. About eleven years after the purchase of the structure by the
Corporation the private tenants who still occupied part of it were
expelled with the exception of the shopkeepers on the ground floor;
the upper floors underwent considerable reconstruction so as to render
them suitable for public purposes, and afterwards wete let to several
educational and scientific institutions. The Galleries in which the
M'Lellan pictures were hung were at this time frequently let for public
entertainments, concerts, bazaars, balls, and various social functions.
In spite of the apathetic interest and neglect with which the M'Lellan
collection was treated for a long period after its acquisition by the
Town Council, several valuable bequests and donations of pictures have
been made by public-spirited citizens anxious to see in the city a gallery
of art which would at once be a credit to Glasgow and a source of
pleasure and instruction to its citizens. Amongst these may be mentioned
the donation and bequest by Mr. W. Euing, and the bequest of
Mrs. Graham-Gilbert of Yorkhill, which included a most valuable
collection of old masters formed by her husband, Mr. John Graham-Gilbert,
R.S.A., besides a large number of pictures executed by
Soon after this munificent bequest by Mrs. Graham-Gilbert, received
in 1877, the Corporation awakened to the fact that the pictures in their
possession were of great value, and that they were administrators of a
most important public trust and heritage. It was then resolved to seek
the advice of some outside authorities upon the condition and proper
utilisation of their collections. Accordingly, Sir Daniel MacNee, President
of the Royal Scottish Academy, Sir William Fettes Douglas, and
Mr. Robert Greenlees were asked to make an examination of the pictures,
and draw up a report regarding their artistic value. In the report
which these gentlemen submitted it was recommended that certain
works should be withdrawn from the permanent lists, but they expressed
their satisfaction with the greater proportion of the pictures, which
they considered were of great artistic value. A catalogue of the works
was then prepared, approved of by those gentlemen, and when completed
it was resolved to again submit the collection to the scrutiny
of Mr. (now Sir) J. C. Robinson, F.S.A., H.M. Surveyor of Pictures,
who made a further examination of the works, and whose report did
much to reinstate them as works of art that ought to be carefully
From this time onwards a livelier interest has been taken by the
city in their Art Gallery and its contents. The public bodies which
had hitherto met in the Galleries removed elsewhere, and the Corporation
obtained full control of their halls, enabling them thereby to
further the interests of art in the city. In pursuance of this end
a number of exhibitions were organised, which met with considerable
appreciation from the public. In connection with these exhibitions
many valuable loans of pictures and art objects were received and placed
on show in the Galleries. The nature of the building made it particularly
liable to risk from fire; in fact, fire had more than once
broken out in contiguous shops whilst these loans were on exhibition.
Eventually the committee resolved to cease such exhibitions owing to
the great risk they involved. Out of these circumstances the desire
to build a new Art Gallery and Museum specially suited for such
purposes arose, with results which will be seen in the sequel.
Turning from the history of the city's art collections, we pass to
a description of how its first municipal museum was founded. In
1870 a small collection was begun in the old mansion-house of Kelvingrove
under the name of the City Industrial Museum. From the very
first it was clear that the building was wholly unsuited for museum
purposes, the principal and first felt want being that it was far too small.
The limited nature of the space available was not lessened by the
manner in which all sorts of objects begun to be accumulated. As
implied by the name which it bore, the original purpose of the
museum was the formation of a collection illustrative of the industrial
arts, but this idea of forming a purely technological museum was soon
departed from, and collections were made of all sorts of objects —
natural history, technological, ethnological, antiquarian, and others.
The smallness of the building soon became very obvious, and in 1874
an extension was resolved upon. With the sanction of the Corporation,
an appeal was made to the public for subscriptions to defray the cost
of the new building, whereby a sum of £7500 was raised, to which
the Corporation added £500, and the new building was proceeded with.
That extension was opened in 1876 with an exhibition of local industries,
which had been arranged in connection with the meeting of the
British Association in Glasgow that year. During the existence of
this museum the space available made it quite impossible for any
systematic classification or arrangement of its contents to be carried
out, and it came ultimately to be looked on more as a store than
a museum suited for educational or scientific purposes, yet it cannot
be doubted that in some small measure it suited both these ends, and
that there will be many who will miss it now that it is gone, and many
that will remember it affectionately as the parent of its more pretentious
From time to time, since 1883, district exhibitions have been organised
and carried out by the Museums and Galleries Committee, a large series
of these being held in the halls connected with the Corporation's
baths and wash-house in the Gorbals. In 1891 it was sought to organise
a similar exhibition in the Bridgeton district, but a hall could not be
found suitable for such a purpose. The failure to find a hall in this
locality ultimately resulted, after much investigation and deliberation,
in the erection of the branch Museum and Winter Garden, known as
the People's Palace, on Glasgow Green, at a cost of £30,000. This
building was opened on the 22nd January, 1898, by the Right Hon.
the Earl of Rosebery, K.G. Besides containing several valuable
collections of pictures, art and industrial objects, as well as
the geological collections belonging to the city, the People's Palace has
from time to time since its opening received valuable loans of pictures
and other objects of art. A special feature in this institution is the
yearly exhibition of some section of craftsmanship or art industry, at
which prizes and certificates of merit are awarded to works entered
for competition. Three of these exhibitions and competitions have already
been held, and have proved highly successful, a large and increasing
number of exhibitors and competitors coming forward from year to year.
The exceeding popularity of this institution is shown by the fact that
during the opening year it was visited by 770,807 visitors, while the
next two years show an average of 500,000. These figures, then, surely,
more than justify the erection of this building, showing that it has
truly become a palace for the people, and that it has done, and may
yet do, much to infuse sonic sense of the beauty and mystery of this
great world into the lives of many who have but few opportunities of
rising above their daily round of toil.
In 1894 the Corporation acquired the grounds of Camphill, and
with it the fine mansion-house which belonged to the property. From
the first the Museum and Galleries Committee had their eye upon it
as a most desirable position for a small district museum. After some
structural alterations had taken place which were rendered necessary
to make it suitable for museum purposes, the Camphill Museum was
inaugurated by a most successful photographic exhibition, and in this
way another district museum was added to the list. At present it
contains a collection of art objects lent by the Victoria and Albert
Museum, a collection of modern paintings, and a type collection of natural
history specially designed for the use of schools and elementary classes,
besides a miscellaneous collection of art objects.
The next phase which falls to be chronicled in the development of
the Municipal Art Galleries and Museums is by far the most important
and ambitious of all the schemes that have as yet been taken in hand.
As has been already stated, the great risks to which the art collections
of the city were exposed from the insecure nature of the Corporation
Galleries made it imperative that something should be done. Therefore,
in 1886, the suggestion was thrown out that by the holding of a great
temporary exhibition in Kelvingrove Park a sum of money might be
realised that would, at least, form a nucleus for the raising of an
adequate fund for the erection of a gallery of art and museum worthy
of the city. Accordingly, an International Exhibition was held in the
summer of 1888, and proved such a complete success, that upon its close
the sum of £46,000 stood to the credit of the Exhibition Association.
Not content with this large measure of success, the Exhibition Association
undertook to double the amount by public subscription if the
Corporation would grant a site in Kelvingrove Park for a new building
for Art Gallery and Museum purposes, and allow the administration of
the fund, the adjusting of the scheme of building, the selection of an
architect, and the execution of the work to devolve on an executive
committee elected in the proportion of two-thirds from the Corporation
and one-third from the Exhibition Association. This committee,
under the new name of "The Association for the Promotion of Art
and Music in the City of Glasgow," set vigorously about their work,
and within the prescribed time — twelve months — they had gathered more
than the minimum £46,000. A site was then claimed in Kelvingrove
Park, and the first steps were taken towards the erection of the new
building. After open competition, the plans submitted by Messrs.
J. W. Simpson & Milner Allen, of London, were, in June, 1892, selected
under the advice of Mr. Alfred Waterhouse, R.A. The estimate given
by the architect for the completed building was £154,398, or, leaving
the quadrangles uncovered, £119,775, while the local surveyors put these
figures at £170,320 and £130,450 respectively. Even these larger
figures, however, were discovered to be far below the amount of the
contracts sent in for the work. Having, however, £113,000 in hand the
work was proceeded with, the committee being assured that it would
not greatly exceed £120,000. After contracts for the basement had
been received, with some surprise it was found that the estimate for
this preliminary section alone reached £22,225, and eventually it cost
£2000 more. It was afterwards found that the superstructure could
not possibly be raised for a less amount than £154,000, which so far
exceeded the original amount collected by the committee that they
found themselves in the somewhat awkward position of having spent
£25,000 upon a building which, to partly finish in a second-rate manner,
would cost £27,000 more than they were possessed of, while to completely
finish it in a worthy manner would mean an outlay of £70,000
beyond the sum actually in hand.
In this somewhat difficult position the only resource left to the
committee was to approach the Corporation and ask them either to
guarantee funds sufficient to carry the building to completion, or to
take over the whole matter, and deal with it themselves. The latter
alternative was accepted, and now the building has been completed
in the most substantial fashion under the supervision of the Museums
and Galleries Committee, aided by certain consulting members selected
from the defunct Association for the Promotion of Art and Music.
As it stands, the building consists of a central hall, 125 feet by
56 feet, with two courts, each 102 feet by 60 feet, east and west of
the hall. There are twelve galleries, arranged in two floors around
the courts, with eight pavilions at the corners. The galleries average
100 feet long by 28 feet wide, the upper galleries being specially
adapted for the show of pictures. Altogether the building is a handsome
and most commodious edifice, and thoroughly worthy of the city.
The new Art Gallery and Museum at present contains a unique collection
of the pictorial art of the nineteenth century, extensive loan collections
of British and continental sculpture and architecture, an adequate
representation of engravings, etchings, and monochrome drawings, a
series illustrating the present high level of photographic achievement,
and a comprehensive collection illustrative of Scottish history and
Within these spacious and magnificently equipped walls, saloons,
and galleries will fall to be arranged the art and science collections
of the city when, at the close of the International Exhibition, the
building reverts into the exclusive charge of the Corporation.
Within recent years many valuable additions have been made to the
collections of the city, and foremost should be placed the munificent
gift of the family of the late Mr. James Reid, of Auchterarder, who,
in memory of that gentleman, presented to the Corporation ten modern
pictures, which cost Mr. Reid himself more than £23,000. Another
munificent bequest to the art section was that of the late Mr. Adam
Teacher, who left 117 pictures, mostly by Scottish artists, which served
to supply a long-felt want. Through the last thirty years or so there
have been steadily accumulating numerous valuable archæological,
ethnological, and technological collections, which will now have a
proper chance of being displayed. The natural history collections,
including the geological collection, have also been steadily progressing.
The purchase of the Glen collection and that of the Glasgow Geological
Society having a most valuable nucleus for future development, it is to be
hoped that before the next meeting of the British Association in
Glasgow has marked off another stage in our museum history, as it has
evidently been wont to do in the past, Glasgow shall have progressed
somewhat towards the realisation of these ideals which it has set before,
it, and, relying upon the past enterprise and liberality of citizens, it
is hoped to form such a collection as shall stand second only in the
kingdom to the great national collections, which none may ever hope
to rival.
The Corporation of Glasgow first considered the telephone question
in February of 1893, when they remitted to a special committee to
report on the Treasury minute of 23rd May, 1892. Following on the
report by the special committee, the Corporation resolved, on 3rd
August, 1893, to apply to the Postmaster-General for a telephone
licence. The Corporation based their application largely on the principle
that whenever the carrying out of any undertaking necessitates the
opening of streets and interference with drains, sewers, gas, and water
pipes, the control of such undertakings should be in the hands of the
municipality. The Corporation also believed that the service in Glasgow
was not an efficient one; that the cost was excessive, and that an
effective telephone service was an absolute necessity for such a business
centre as Glasgow.
During the next two years a lengthened correspondence with the
Postmaster-General took place, and evidence was given on behalf of the
Corporation before a Select Committee of the House of Commons
appointed "to consider and report whether the provision now made
for the telephone service in local areas is adequate, and whether it is
expedient to supplement or improve this provision either by the granting
of licences to local authorities or otherwise."
The Corporation repeatedly renewed their application, and on more
than one occasion interviewed the Postmaster-General, urging upon him
the necessity of granting the licence applied for. So persistent were
the Corporation in their demands that the Postmaster-General, in May
of 1897, resolved to have an independent and local investigation in
order that he might have sufficient proof that the circumstances were
such as to justify the granting of a licence.
Mr. Jameson, Sheriff of Perthshire, was appointed Commissioner,
and the questions to which he was authorised to direct his attention
were — (a) Is the service, so far as it goes, sufficient? (b) Is it adequate?
(c) Is the price charged for the service reasonable? The inquiry extended
for a period of eleven days. Thirty-seven witnesses were examined
on behalf of the subscribers, twenty-eight on behalf of the Corporation,
twenty-three on behalf of the National Telephone Company, and one
for the Clyde Trust. The Commissioner found that the service in
Glasgow was not efficient; that the service, generally speaking, was
adequate; that the rates charged were not unreasonable, except in
some of the outlying districts. The Commissioner further reported
that the continued inefficiency of the telephone service in Glasgow
was in great measure due to the refusal of facilities to the National
Telephone Company by the Corporation for constructing an underground
metallic circuit system, and recommended that as there was
no likelihood of the Corporation giving their consent to the National
Telephone Company using the streets, the licence asked for should,
in the interests of the public, be granted to the Corporation.
Following on the Commissioner's report, the Postmaster-General,
on 16th March, 1898, intimated that he could not assent to the wishes
of the Corporation and grant them a licence. On 10th May, 1898, a
second Select Committee of the House of Commons was appointed "to
inquire and report whether the telephone service is calculated to become
of such general benefit as to justify its being undertaken by municipal
and other local authorities, regard being had to local finance, and, if
so, whether such local authorities should have power to undertake
such service in the districts of other local authorities outside the area
of their own jurisdiction, but comprised wholly or partially in the same
telephone area, and what powers, duties, and obligations ought to be
conferred or imposed upon such local authorities." The Corporation
also gave evidence before this committee. The Select Committee
reported that they were strongly of opinion that general, immediate,
and effective competition by either the Post Office or the local authority
was necessary, and considered that a really efficient Post Office service
afforded the best means for securing such competition. They further
considered that when in an existing area in which there is an exchange —
the local authority demands a competing service — the Post Office ought
either to start an efficient telephone service itself, or grant a licence to
the local authority to do so.
On 29th August, 1898, the Corporation renewed their application
for a telephone licence for the city and suburban burghs and districts
included in the Glasgow Telephone Exchange area. After some further
correspondence, the Postmaster-General, on 23rd September, 1898,
informed the Corporation that he was prepared to grant a licence to
the Corporation, expiring at 31st December, 1911, on their securing
from Parliament the requisite powers for working an exchange system.
The Corporation thereupon remitted to the Parliamentary Bills
Committee to take the necessary steps for obtaining in the next session
of Parliament the requisite powers to enable them to establish and
carry on a telephone exchange within the Glasgow Exchange area.
The Corporation proceeded with their bill, and also opposed three
bills which the National Telephone Company brought forward.
Before either of the bills above referred to had reached the committee
stage, Mr. Hanbury, M.P., introduced the Telegraph (Telephonic
Communication) Bill, which became law on the 1st of August, 1899. The
Corporation bill and those of the National Telephone Company were
accordingly dropped.
Immediately after the passing of the Telegraph Act the Corporation
applied to the Postmaster-General for a licence, and proceeded to
arrange for the establishment of their exchange. The licence in favour
of the Corporation is dated 1st and 6th March, 1900, and the area
covered by the licence extends to 143 square miles. Mr. A. R. Bennett,
M.I.C.E., has been appointed engineer and general manager, and,
along with an efficient staff, has already made considerable progress
in the establishment of the system. Large and commodious premises,
entirely new and specially fitted up to meet the requirements of the
Corporation, have been leased for a period of twenty-eight years in
Renfield Street, and suburban exchanges have been established in
Hillhead, Bridgeton, Springburn, Govan, Strathbungo, Maryhill, and
Kinning Park. The Corporation were authorised to start with an expenditure
of £121,000 for the purpose of joining up 5250 completed lines and
making provision for laying another 5250. The tariffs adopted by the
Corporation are (1) £5 5s. per annum to cover unlimited number of calls
for the whole extent of the telephone area; and (2) £3 10s. per annum and
1d. for each call made, payable by the caller only, also applicable over the
whole extent of the area. The work of construction was commenced in
June, 1900, and has been carried on without intermission since. 52 miles of
trenching have been made in the streets, wherein have been laid 77 miles of
iron pipes and 41 miles of cable, representing a total wire mileage of 16,500
miles, being equal to the route distance from this country to Australia. 81
manholes have also been built. Operating service began in the Central
Switchroom on 28th March; since then Exchanges have been opened at the
Exhibition, Hillhead, and Bridgeton, to which are now connected 1400 subscribers.
Communication with the Government trunk lines commenced on
2nd June, the service on that day being placed in communication with all
the other Exchange systems in the kingdom. The number of orders on the
books on the 15th August was 5347. The metallic circuit system has been
adopted throughout, and special attention has been directed to privacy of
conversation between subscribers; while the switchboard has been so
arranged that the operators cannot listen to conversations not intended
for their ears.
The latest undertaking of the Corporation is the establishment of a
home for the reception and treatment of inebriates. The Inebriates
(Scotland) Act of 1898 empowers Town Councils and others to establish
and maintain a certified inebriate reformatory, and on the 4th of April,
1899, the Corporation remitted to a special committee, to consider
what steps should be taken with this view, and to report. After submitting
their report the committee were authorised to lease or purchase
suitable premises for an inebriate reformatory, and to obtain the
sanction of the Secretary for Scotland to their proposals.
The committee, after examining a number of country houses, at last
fixed upon the mansion-house and estate of Girgenti, in Ayrshire,
which they purchased for £7500. The house is distant 21 miles from the
city, 4 miles from a town, stands 200 feet above sea level, is distant about
4 miles from the sea, and is open on every side. It is situated about 4
miles from Stewarton, from Kilwinning, and from Irvine, and 1½
miles from Montgreenan and Cunningham Head Stations, on the
Dairy and Kilmarnock line. The mansion-house consists of three
storeys, including the basement storey, which is partly sunk. On the
main flat are a large entrance hall and a large drawing-room (30 feet
by 20 feet), large dining-room, and two bedrooms, with dressing rooms,
store room, pantry, etc. On the upper flat are six bedrooms and
two dressing rooms, box room, etc. On the basement there are kitchen,
cook's room, scullery, wash-house, servants' hall, two bedrooms, lumber
room, and billiard room. Two staircases go from the top to the bottom
of the house, and the basement is perfectly dry. There are two bathrooms
and lavatories with earth closets. The outside offices are combined
with a farm steading for the 55 acres of good arable land attached
to the house. The offices consist of a two-stall stable, three loose
boxes, coach-house, harness room, and engine-house, with gas engine
for pumping the water supply, gasworks, and joiner's shop. The
steading consists of two byres (one for six cows and another for twenty),
piggery, granary, boiler-houses, dairy, dwelling-house of room and
kitchen, stable (four stalls), three barns of corrugated iron, sheep-house,
and a number of other erections. The ground is well fenced, and in
good order. There is a walled-in garden of three-fourths of an acre,
and there is a conservatory opening from the drawing-room. There
are two lodges, consisting of room, kitchen. etc.
The water supply is obtained from a bore about 500 yards from the
house, and the water is pumped to the house by means of a gas
The house has been altered and rearranged to meet the requirements
of an institution, and accommodation provided for twenty-eight male
and thirty female inmates.
The Home was licensed by the Secretary for Scotland on 18th
December last, and formally opened on 12th January, 1901.
Under the Inebriates Act the Corporation have the right to say
whether or not they will admit a person remitted to the Home by
the Sheriff, and the following conditions indicate the class of persons
to be received as inmates: —
"1. The inmates must be persons belonging to Glasgow, and
must be sent for trial to the Sheriff of Lanarkshire through one
of the city Police Courts.
"2. Preference will be given in every case to persons who,
while habitual drunkards, are of such character and disposition
that it may be reasonably expected, if cured of their intemperance,
they would be able to take their places in society as self-supporting
"3. The persons admitted must not be known thieves, or
otherwise belong to the criminal classes.
"4. In respect that other institutions are available for
prostitutes, women of that class cannot be received.
"5. Persons suffering from infectious, contagious, or other
serious disease cannot be received."
The work on which the inmates will be employed will be, as regards
the female inmates, a thorough training in household and laundry
work, sewing, knitting, etc., with outdoor work in the lighter form
of gardening, and also in special cases, dairy work and poultry keeping,
and, as regards the male inmates, they will he employed for a part of
the day in any occupation which they may have previously followed, such
as carpentry, shoemaking, painting, etc., for which facilities can be
provided at the Home. All the male inmates will be trained in
gardening or other outdoor work.
Up to the present time 21 inmates have been received. The institution
is purely an experiment, and the erection and maintenance of an Inebriate
Home on a much more extensive scale depends in large measure upon the
success which it is hoped will attend the present venture.
General Manager and Secretary to the Clyde Navigation Trustees.
At the present day the Clyde Navigation consists of 18½ miles of the
River transformed into a great navigable highway. Within the Harbour
there are three tidal docks, providing, with the riverside quays, over
8½ miles of berthage. The annual revenue has reached nearly half a
million sterling.
In giving a brief account of the port of Glasgow, the leading features
of its rise and progress will be sketched under the following heads,
viz.: —
I. Constitution of the Trust.
II. Powers of the Trustees.
III. The Undertaking.
IV. Trade of the Port.
V. Finance.
VI. Harbour Extension Schemes.
I. Constitution of the Trust. — The undertaking is, and has been since
1858, administered by an incorporated body of twenty-five statutory
Trustees, who give their services gratuitously, consisting of —
The Lord Provost of Glasgow, ex officio ;
9 Town Councillors of Glasgow; and
15 Members "representative of the Shipping, Mercantile, and
Trading Interests of Glasgow," viz.:—
2 chosen by the Chamber of Commerce;
2 chosen by the Merchants' House ;
2 chosen by the Trades' House; and
9 elected by the Shipowners and Harbour Ratepayers.
The earlier constitution of the administrative body is interesting.
As far back as 1611 down to 1808 the Magistrates and the Town Council,
as the municipality, were the River and Harbour authority. In 1809
an Act of Parliament was passed creating the Magistrates and Town
Councilors Statutory Trustees of the navigation, which they continued
to be exclusively till 1825, when, under an Act of that year, "five
other persons interested in the trade and navigation of the River and
Firth of Clyde" were added to their number, and directed to be
appointed by them annually. The next change was made under an
Act in 1840 which gave a representation of twenty-three members to the
Town Council and of ten to outside bodies, viz.: — One to the Chamber
of Commerce, three to the Merchants' House, two to the Trades' House,
two to the barony of Gorbals, and one each to the two neighbouring burghs
of Calton and Anderston — making the whole body of Trustees thirty-three in
number. This remained the constitution till the passing of the Consolidation
Act of 1858, which gave to the Trust its present governing body, the
changes then effected being the reduction of the total number of
Trustees from thirty-three to twenty-five, and the distributing of that
number by giving ten to the Town Council, six to the three Houses, and
nine to the Shipowners and Harbour Ratepayers, who were then for the first
time admitted to direct representation. The various Acts of Parliament
referred to were promoted by the Trustees. A body of executive officers
and servants, controlled by and acting under the Trustees, carry on the
work of the undertaking.
II. Powers of the Trustees. — The powers of the Trustees have,
beginning with an Act obtained by the municipality in 1758, been
granted from time to time by numerous Acts of Parliament, and are
mainly —
1. Works.
(a) The deepening, widening, and straightening of the river,
together with the buoying and lighting thereof.
(b) The construction of riverside quayage, tidal basins, and
graving docks, along with the equipment of the harbour
with sheds, cranes, and other appliances, and tramways.
(c) The maintenance of the whole undertaking.
2. Borrowing of money.
The borrowing of money for capital purposes. The amount
authorised by the Act of 1858, including all previous money
authorised to be borrowed, was £1,504,000, and it has been
increased till it is now £7,250,000.
3. Rating.
The levying of dues on all vessels and goods, and for the use
of the various appliances, all within prescribed maxima.
III. The Undertaking. — 1. The River. — Although as early as the
middle of the sixteenth century the citizens of the riverside burghs
made some attempts to deepen the fords, and fifty years later the
municipality began to improve the river, it was practically still in a
state of nature in 1755. There were then in the 5½ miles between Glasgow
and Renfrew twelve shoals, one having only 15 inches at low water,
and four only 18 inches each; but, carrying out an Act obtained in
1770 authorising deepening to at least 7 feet at low water, Colborne,
of Chester, who had previously reported, got a contract in 1772 from
the municipality to deepen the Dumbuck Ford to at least 6 feet, and
actually accomplished a depth of 7 feet. This, on a visit made by him
in 1781, was found to have become 14 feet through the increased scour
of the river, produced by the contraction of the stream by jetties.
Thus was fairly begun the deepening and improving of the river.
The next step towards further deepening was taken under the Act
of 1809, authorising at least 9 feet at low water, and the third advance
was authorised by the Act of 1825, sanctioning at least 13 feet at low
The next Act dealing with the improvement of the river was that
of 1840, authorising the deepening of the harbour and river throughout
to at least 17 feet at neap tides, and laying down lines for future
The most serious natural obstacle in the later deepening of the
river was the Elderslie Rock, discovered in 1854 by the grounding of
a vessel. The rock, which was found at a depth of 8 feet below low
water, and extended across the river, and along it nearly 1000 feet,
was, after years of labour, and at a total cost of about £70,000,
removed by 1886 to a depth of 20 feet below low water.
With the advantages of progressively improving dredging appliances,
and the introduction forty years ago of steam hopper barges, the
deepening has gone on continuously till the present waterway has been
formed, affording a navigable channel deepened almost throughout to
22½ feet at low water, giving, with the tidal range of about 11 feet,
33½ feet at high water.
The magnitude of the work of bringing the river to its present
condition — practically a great artificial waterway — and the result
accomplished, will be realised when it is stated that during the last
fifty-six years over 58 million cubic yards of material, including that
excavated in the construction of the docks, have been dredged; that the
bed of the river has been lowered from Glasgow to Dumbuck Ford between
24 and 29 feet, and is now practically level; and that a vessel drawing 27½
feet has come up to Glasgow on one tide.
Pilotage is compulsory within the jurisdiction of the Trustees.
2. Tidal Docks. — Of the existing three tidal docks the earliest,
Kingston Dock, was opened in 1867, and has five acres of water space,
with 830 lineal yards of quays; the next, Queen's Dock, opened partially
in 1877, and wholly in 1880, has a water area of about 34 acres, with
over 3300 lineal yards of quayage; and the last, Prince's Dock,
partially opened in 1892, and wholly in 1900, has a water area of
35 acres, with 3737 lineal yards of quayage.
3. Quayage. — In 1792 the quayage of the harbour of Glasgow was
only 382 yards in length, and the water area 4 acres. In 1840 the
quayage was 1973 yards in length, and the water area 23 acres. In
1869 the quayage was 5604 lineal yards, or 324 yards more than 3 miles,
and the water area 76 acres. In 1887 the quayage was fully 6 miles
in length, and the water area 154 acres. The quayage is now 15,115
yards, or fully 8¼ miles in length, 7263 yards thereof being on the
north and 7343 yards on the south side of the river. The area of the
existing quayage is 546,581 square yards, or about 113 acres.
4. Equipment. — The quays, except at some necessary open quays,
have single and double storey sheds, the total floor area of the single
storey sheds being 24 acres, and of the two storey sheds 22½ acres.
Numerous cranes, partly hydraulic and partly steam, ranging from
two tons to one hundred and thirty tons lifting capacity, are provided.
There are 18 miles of tramways around the harbour connected with the
various railway systems.
5. Graving Docks. — The harbour is provided with three graving
docks, side by side, on the south bank of the river. Two enter off
the harbour, and the third is entered from Prince's Dock. The first
dock was opened in 1875, the second in 1886, and the third in 1898.
No. 3 dock has a pair of inside gates, whereby it can be divided,
and so form an outer division 460 feet in length, and an inner of
420 feet.
6. "Cluthas" and Ferries. — Below Glasgow Bridge, which is the lowermost
bridge across the Clyde, the ferry system belongs to, and is
conducted by, the Clyde Trustees by means of cross ferries and up-and-down
steamers known as "Cluthas," both of which meet the public
requirements at very moderate cost. The extent to which this service
is used is shown by the fact that nearly nine million passengers and almost
460,000 vehicles used the cross ferries last year, while the "Cluthas" carried
nearly three million passengers.
The leading dimensions of the docks are as follows: —
IV. Trade of the Port. — The number and tonnage of vessels entering
and leaving the port for the year ended 30th June, 1901, are as
follows: —
The total tonnage of goods exported and imported last year was
7,273,533 tons.
The principal articles of trade are fine goods, iron and steel, grain,
timber, coal, ores, provisions, oils, and fruit, besides a great variety of
a miscellaneous nature.
The trade of the port is encouraged by ample facilities and moderate
rates. Reductions on the rates on goods have been made in recent
years equivalent to £30,000 a year on the present tonnage.
The progress of the trade of the port may be seen at a glance,
thus: —
The trade is conducted by large and important regular lines of
vessels engaged in the foreign and coastwise services, world-wide in their
connections, supplemented by numerous transient vessels, whose visits
vary in frequency according to the requirements of commerce.
V. Finance. — Since the transfer of the undertaking from the municipality
to themselves as Parliamentary Trustees, authorised and carried
out under the Act of 1809, the Clyde Navigation has been financed solely
on its own credit, without any Government or municipal financial aid whatsoever.
No difficulty has ever been experienced in raising the necessary
capital, the confidence of the investing public being well supported by the
steady and continuous progressive increase in the revenue of the port,
which has been as follows: —
In 1800 - - - - - - - £3,319
In 1850 - - - - - - - 64,243
In 1860 - - - - - - - 97,983
In 1870 - - - - - - - 164,093
In 1880 - - - - - - - 223,709
In 1890 - - - - - - - 356,202
In 1900 - - - - - - - 441,419
Notwithstanding that revenue bears its full share of the expenditure,
the total surpluses in the last three years amounted to over £133,000.
The total capital expenditure has been nearly seven and a half
millions, but only about six millions thereof have been borrowed from
the public, the remaining million and a half having been provided
out of the savings of revenue.
The Customs revenue is nearly two millions sterling a year.
VI. Harbour Extension Schemes. — A new dock is in course of construction
at Clydebank, about six miles from Glasgow Bridge, for the
accommodation mainly of the coal and ore trades, with the object of
relieving the harbour, and setting the mineral quays there free for
general traffic. The dock, which will be connected with the Caledonian
and North British Railways, will have 17 acres of water area, with
1800 lineal yards of quayage.
The Trust is possessed of riverside lands purchased from time to
time, and held in reserve for dock and wharf extensions, there being
on the south side 134 acres at Shieldhall and Shiels, and on the north
side 21 acres at Merklands, near the harbour. The Clyde Navigation
Trust, which is not worked for profit, has done immense service in
furthering the development of the commercial and industrial interests
of the city of Glasgow and West of Scotland. It has been administered
on the most liberal lines for the conduct and expansion of trade. The
Trustees provide the waterway and harbour, and receive in return the
dues on vessels and goods, the shipowners and merchants having the
amplest liberty in carrying on their business, and entire freedom to
employ, on the best terms procurable, all necessary labourage.
From this retrospect can be seen how the commercial instincts of
the men of past generations led them to persevere and succeed in the
high aim of making their inland city a great seaport.


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Local Industries of Glasgow and the West of Scotland

Document Information

Document ID 44
Title Local Industries of Glasgow and the West of Scotland
Year group 1900-1950
Genre Expository prose
Year of publication 1901
Wordcount 137543

Author information: Caird, Robert

Author ID 335
Forenames Robert
Surname Caird
Gender Male
Year of birth 1852
Place of birth Greenock, Scotland
Occupation Shipbuilder
Father's occupation Shipbuilder
Education University
Locations where resident Greenock, Glasgow

Author information: Chisholm, Sir Samuel

Author ID 343
Title Sir
Forenames Samuel
Surname Chisholm
Gender Male
Year of birth 1836
Place of birth Dalkeith, Midlothian, Scotland
Occupation Politician
Father's occupation Tobacco manufacturer
Locations where resident Glasgow

Author information: Dyer, Henry

Author ID 338
Forenames Henry
Surname Dyer
Gender Male
Year of birth 1848
Place of birth Bothwell, Scotland
Occupation Engineer
Education University
Locations where resident Glasgow, Japan

Author information: Fleming, Sir James

Author ID 342
Title Sir
Forenames James
Surname Fleming
Gender Male
Year of birth 1831
Place of birth Rutherglen, Glasgow, Scotland
Occupation Academic, pottery manufacturer
Education University
Locations where resident Glasgow

Author information: Henderson, George Gerald

Author ID 341
Forenames George Gerald
Surname Henderson
Gender Male
Year of birth 1862
Place of birth Glasgow, Scotland
Occupation Academic
Education University
Locations where resident Glasgow

Author information: Macintyre, Robert

Author ID 340
Forenames Robert
Surname Macintyre
Gender Male
Locations where resident Glasgow

Author information: Mackenzie, T R

Author ID 344
Initials T R
Surname Mackenzie
Gender Male
Place of birth Torres, Scotland
Locations where resident Glasgow

Author information: McLean, Angus

Author ID 43
Forenames Angus
Surname McLean
Gender Male

Author information: Sandeman, David T

Author ID 339
Forenames David
Initials T
Surname Sandeman
Gender Male
Year of birth 1838
Place of birth Dundee, Scotland
Occupation Journalist
Father's occupation Journalist
Locations where resident Glasgow, Edinburgh, England

Author information: Sexton, Alexander Humboldt

Author ID 337
Forenames Alexander Humboldt
Surname Sexton
Gender Male
Year of birth 1853
Occupation Academic

Author information: Thompson, George R

Author ID 336
Forenames George
Initials R
Surname Thompson
Gender Male
Occupation Academic