James & George Thomson


FirmennameJames & George Thomson
OrtssitzClydebank (Schottl)
Art des UnternehmensMaschinenfabrik und Werft
AnmerkungenGegrĂŒndet von den BrĂŒdern Jamnes R. und George P. Thomson. Ort mit Clydebank und Glasgow angegeben. Die Werft war vorher in Finnieston und Govan (s.d.; dort seit 1851 Schiffbau auf einer FlĂ€che von 3 acres). Seit 1871 in Clydebank; die neue Anlage umfaßt Werft und Maschinenfabrik (mit hohen GebĂ€uden und viel Tageslicht auf 50 acres und 3.000 bis 4.000 BeschĂ€ftigte) und ein durch das Unternehmen gegrĂŒndeten Dorf. Das Unternehmen ist ein Pionier beim Bau von Stahlschiffen udn ist Hauptlieferant fĂŒr Cunard, die AdmiralitĂ€t, auslĂ€ndische Regierungen und fĂŒr MacBrayne. 1897-1899: "Clydebank Engineering Co. Ltd.", dann "John Brown & Co." (s.d.).
Quellenangaben[Kudas: Gesch dt. Passagierschiffahrt I (1986) 66+224] [Bauer: Schiffsmaschinenbau I (1923) 98+99] [Glimpses of old Glasgow (Internet)] [Memoirs and portraits of one hundred Glasgow men (Internet)]
Hinweise[Maver: Glasgow 1830 to 1912 (1994) 118] [Institution of Mechanical Engineers (1895) 511]


Zeit Ereignis
1847 GrĂŒndung der Maschinenfabrik durch James und George Thomson als "Clyde Bank Foundry" Glasgow-Anderston
1871 Die Firma zieht nach Barns o' Clyde (Clydebank), wo sie eine 50 acres große Werft ("Clyde Bank Iron Shipyard") errichtet
1881 Der geschÀftliche Erfolg erfordert die Errichtung von SchiffbauwerkstÀtten, und 1881 werden auch die MaschinenbauwerkstÀtten in neue Anlagen in Clydebank verlegt.
1881 Katastrophales Feuer auf der Clyde Bank Werft, und die Union Bank macht sich zunehmend Sorgen um die Sicherheit der gewÀhrten Kredite.
1884 Der Maschinenbau wird von Glasgow nach Clydebank verlegt.
1889 Das Unternehmen wird eine Privataktiengesellschaft (limited liability)
1899 Der Stahl-Unternehmer John Brown aus Sheffield erwirbt das Unternehmen fĂŒr ÂŁ923,255 3s 3d


Produkt ab Bem. bis Bem. Kommentar
Dampfkessel 1881 Verlagerung 1881/84 1899 Umfirmierung  
Schiffe 1871 Verlegung von Glasgow 1899 Umfirmierung Schiffbau zunĂ€chst in Govan, spĂ€ter in in der neuen Anlage in Clydebank mit dem Maschinenbau zusammengefĂŒhrt.
Schiffsdampfmaschinen 1884 Verlegung von Glasgow 1899 Umfirmierung  

Betriebene Dampfmaschinen

Bezeichnung Bauzeit Hersteller
Dampfmaschine   Robey & Co., Perseverance Iron Works
Dampfpumpmaschine   unbekannt
Dampfmaschinen   unbekannt


Zeit gesamt Arbeiter Angest. Lehrl. Kommentar
1895 5000       bei vollem Betrieb

Firmen-Änderungen, ZusammenschĂŒsse, Teilungen, Beteiligungen

Zeit = 1: Zeitpunkt unbekannt

Zeit Bezug Abfolge andere Firma Kommentar
1871 Ortswechsel zuvor James & George Thomson, Clyde Bank Foundry Maschinenbau 1881/84
1899 Umbenennung danach John Brown & Co. Ltd.  


TEXTThis firm was founded in 1846, by the brothers James Mid George Thomson, who commenced business as engineers at Clydebank Foundry, Finnieston Street, Glasgow, adding, five or six years later, the shipbuilding branch at Govan, near Glasgow. The business was transferred, about seventeen years ago, to the present premises, about seven miles from Glasgow, and in that locality (named from their works) has been formed one of the largest and most complete shipbuilding yards and engine works in this country, covering an area of about fifty acres, including a dock of ample size for the largest vessels, shear legs to lift 120 tons, locomotive transport throughout the works; complete system of hydraulic power for riveting, punching, lifting, bending, and the other operations usually effected by steam appliances, a complete arrangement of electric lighting for the shops and open yard; extensive ranges of engine and boiler shops, worked by overhead cranes, and containing all necessary plant, from the most massive to the most minutely finished description; amongst other departments, a joiners' and cabinet shop filled with the latest American wood-shaping and finishing tools, &c., &c. The works are reached by the Clydebank Railway from Glasgow in twenty minutes. The launching facilities are specially favourable, the yard being situated on the banks of the Clyde, opposite to the junction of the Cart, thereby giving a width of water space amply sufficient for the safe launching of the largest vessels yet built.
Messrs. J. & G. Thomson have built all sizes and descriptions of vessels, with machinery for their propulsion, but they have for many years made a speciality of turning out first-class ocean steamers. Among other companies they have built for, their largest customers have been the Cunard Company, a connection extending over more than a quarter of a century, and summing up something like 120,000 tons, and 100.000 horse-power. Messrs. Thomson are presently building for the Inman & International Steamship Company, the City of New York and City of Paris of 11,000 tons and 20,000 horse-power each. These are the largest and most powerful passenger steamers as yet built in this country.
Messrs. Thomson have, within the last few years, directed their special attention to high-speed war ships ; they have recently built for the Spanish Government the Reina Regente of 5,000 tons, and 12.000 horse-power, which attained on trial a speed of 21 knots, and for the same Government, the Destructor, torpedo catcher, which realized a speed of 22 1/2 knots; also for the Russian Government, the fast torpedo boat, Wiborg. For the British Government, Messrs. Thomson have built a large amount of tonnage and supplied a number of sets of engines and boilers ; recently they have built and fitted with machinery, seven high-speed cruisers of the Scout and Archer class, and supplied engines of 8,800 horse-power for H.M.S. Aurora.
While specially designed for the production of such vessels as we have named, the works of Messrs. Thomson have turned out not a few of the lighter and more graceful craft which ply on our own waters, notably the celebrated West Highland fleet, now owned by Mr. David MacBrayne, which comprises, amongst others, the Columba, Iona, Grenadier, &c., &c.

TEXTThe Clydebank Shipbuilding Yard is situated on the north bank of the Clyde, about six miles below Glasgow. The yard is in the form of an irregular quadrilateral, Plate 139, having a total area, including fitting-out basin, of about 50 acres, comprising a shipbuilding and a marine engineering department, with equipment adequate for the largest class of work in vessels and machinery. The yard is situated close to the terminus of the Clydebank branch of the North British Railway; and a siding is led into the yard, with branches extending to different parts, one branch being led alongside the building berth of H.M.S. "Jupiter" at present under construction, so that the heavy armour-plates may be lifted directly on board the vessel.

The main entrance is at the north-east corner of the yard, from which a broad roadway leads down the centre of the ship-yard. Immediately after entering, on the right-hand side is a block of substantial buildings forming two sides of a square, in which are situated in the basement the counting house, model hall, and the engine-works drawing-office, and on the first floor, a directors' boardroom, ship-yard drawing-office, and the tracing department. The second floor is entirely devoted to the photographic department, in which a large amount of work is done.

Immediately in front of the offices is a large square space devoted to the storage of plates and angles, and other steel shipbuilding material. The plates are stowed on edge in iron racks, so that they can easily be identified by their marks without handling. The plates are lifted into their positions by means of four steam 5-ton travelling cranes; and when required they are lifted by the same means upon trucks running on the portable narrow-gauge railway, of which there is a complete system throughout the yard.

Passing along the main roadway, on the left-hand side is the frame-bending shed, in which are three angle-iron furnaces, each about 61 feet long, with ample space around them for setting and bevelling frames, and for the strive boards which are used for giving the required shape to the frames. In this shed is the usual equipment of punches and shears for dealing with the frames, as well as a hydraulic machine for cutting channels and angle-bars, and a machine for straightening and planing angle-bars. Adjacent to the angle-iron furnaces are four Lancashire boilers, 28 feet long and 7.5 feet diameter, supplying steam at a pressure of 120 lbs. They are fitted with Proctor's mechanical stokers, the coal being raised by an elevator and distributed by means of a screw worm. The main engine for driving the ship-yard machinery is a horizontal compound engine by Robey and Co., having cylinders 18.25 and 30 inches diameter with 40 inches stroke, and indicating about 300 H.P. The power from the engine is distributed by means of twelve 5.5 inch cotton ropes working on a grooved fly-wheel and actuating two main lines of shafting. There is also a complete hydraulic installation for supplying pressure to a large hydraulic plate-flanging machine, to two large man-hole punches, and to hydraulic riveters, cranes, capstans, &c.

The iron-workers' shed is about 350 feet long by 150 feet broad, and is constructed in three bays with two lines of main shafting. In this shed are twenty-seven shearing and punching machines of various sizes, some of them exceptionally powerful and capable of dealing with plates 1.5 inch thick, suitable for the protective decks. of the largest sear vessels.

Among other machines is a powerful hydraulic machine by Hugh Smith and Co. for flanging keel-plates, garboard plates, bulkhead plates, &c.; it is capable of flanging plates 1:1 inch thick when cold. There is also a large set of plate rolls by Shanks and Co., of Johnstone, capable of dealing with plates 35 feet long and 1 inch thick. The top roll is a solid steel forging, weighing 45 tons. Adjacent are punches, shears, and planes to deal with large plates. There are also in this shed a number of circular saws, a baud saw, and several radial drilling and countersinking machines.

The ship-yard department also comprises a large engineers' shop for dealing with all the work in connection with water-tight doors, pumping, ventilation, steering gears, and other engineers' work 'independent of the main propelling engines for the vessels. In this engineering department alone about 500 men are employed at the present time.

There is also a large forge and smithy containing about a hundred fires. The joiners' shop is 200 feet long by 150 feet wide. It is on one floor, and contains a number of modern wood-working machines by both British and American makers. This shop also contains a cabinet-making and polishing department. There is a large saw-mill, rigging loft, electrical department, plumbers' shop, and boat-building shop, moulding loft, and pattern shop. There are a large munbor of launching berths, four of which are available for the construction of the largest vessels, while the situation of the yard opposite the river Cart allows ample space for launching vessels of the largest size.

The fitting-out basin is 700 feet by 300 feet, and has a depth of 24 feet at low water, so that the largest war vessels may remain afloat during construction. On the east side are sheer legs capable of lifting 120 tons, as well as two light electrical cranes; and on the west side is a 20-ton travelling jib-crane.

The Engine Works are situated on the west side of the yard, and are entered from the main entrance, as well as from a separate gateway further west. The west entrance leads into a large yard, part of which is employed as a light plate and angle-bar store; and the first building passed on the left side is the pattern shop, a long building extending across to the main entrance. It is lighted by skylights running the whole length of the roof, and by a double row of windows in the walls. The larger patterns are made on the ground floor, and the lighter work is carried on in a large gallery which extends completely round the shop. The shop is equipped with lathes, planing, and stripping machines, circular and band saws, and other special tools, and is lighted by electric light.

The drawing office is on the basement of the next building in order, and above it are the tracing offices; while further on are entrances to the counting-house, and offices in connection with the engine works.

The boiler shop is situated on the right hand of the yard, and consists of three bays, two of which serve as erecting shops and are each provided with three overhead travelling cranes; the third bay is occupied by various kinds of furnaces and hydraulic flanging tools, smiths' fires, and the machine-tools necessary for the equipment of a modern boiler shop. In the east wall are numerous large doorways, for conveying plates into the shop from the store yard; they are provided with suspended doors, counterbalanced so as to be easily opened and shut.

The chief exits are at the south end, where the yard railway enters each of the two erecting bays, and connects them directly with the sheer legs at the fitting-out basin. The heavier machine-tools are therefore placed at the north end, so as to reduce the transport of materials to a minimum, and to secure their continuous progress towards the point at which they will leave in a finished condition. The wagons conveying the heavy plates enter the shop at the north end; and immediately alongside the rails, which extend across the bays, are placed a couple of plate-edge planing machines, the larger capable of accommodating a plate 38 feet long. Here is also placed a vertical machine for cutting ovals or circles for manholes and their doors. Further on is situated the engine house.

A tandem compound engine is employed to drive all the machinery of this department, except those special tools which have independent engines attached to them. A set of compound surface-condensing pumping engines, with cylinders 12 and 201 inches diameter and 18 inches stroke, is also situated alongside, with steam accumulator, which supplies all the hydraulic tools in this and the other departments of the engine works through a system of hydraulic pipes, distinct from the system laid throughout the shipbuilding department.

Beyond the engine house is the large plate-furnace 20 feet long by 10 feet wide, with its table in front. Over the table swings a radial steam-hammer, having both hand and hydraulic traversing gear for directing the blow of the hammer. The furnace is served by a hydraulic radial crane and a couple of warping drums.

In the third or westernmost bay is one of Tweddell's large double-power flanging machines with horizontal bottom cylinder, served by a 6-ton hydraulic crane of 20 feet radius. Another Tweddell machine of smaller size with special furnaces follows alongside; and further south is situated a large tube-staving press, designed and constructed in the establishment. The method of staving and enlarging the ends of tubes and of solid stay-bars by hydraulic pressure has been employed in these works for a number of years, and has been successfully applied to stave and enlarge the ends of the screwed tubes which form the elements of the Belleville boiler. A couple of air furnaces serve this press.

Nearly opposite are a couple of multiple boring and drilling machines, with traversing tables 8 feet long and 61 feet wide; and near these in the centre bay is a powerful set of vertical cold-plate rolls, which can bend plates 12 feet wide; they are triple geared, and are driven by an independent pair of vertical reversible engines. Alongside is a set of horizontal plate-rolls; and opposite are several punching and shearing machines, between the first and second bays.

Returning to the third hay and continuing southward, there will be found a number of radial drilling and tapping machines, and a set of two large horizontal boring and tapping machines. The latter are capable of traversing a surface 16 feet long by 12 feet high, and have steel spindles 31 inches diameter; they are employed to tap the front and back tube-plates of tubular boilers, but are at present boring and screwing the holes in the lower side of the steam collectors of the Belleville boilers. In this bay are also situated a number of smiths' fires with special appliances for dealing with angle-bar work. Towards the south end is the screwing department, which is quite distinct from a similar one connected with the engine shops; and as all boiler tubes are received in straight lengths, without being swelled, staved or screwed, a large amount of work has to be done here. The machines employed include a duplex tube-screwing machine for screwing simultaneously both ends of a tube up to 41 inches diameter, a screwing and turning machine, and several double-geared self-acting open-spindle capstan-rest chasing lathes.

The machinery for drilling and riveting the shells of boilers is to be found towards the south end of the centre bay, and comprises two sets of boiler-shell drilling machines. One set is provided with four working heads, each carried by a radial arm arranged to travel on the bed of the machine, and provided with reversing motion for screwing and tapping. The other machine has three independent heads, movable horizontally and vertically by rack and pinion, whose drilling spindles can work over a boiler 21 feet long and of the largest diameter.

At the south wall is placed a powerful hydraulic riveting machine by Messrs. Brown Brothers; the frame of the machine is formed of forged steel slabs, the hydraulic cylinders are of cast steel, and the gap is 8. feet.

On the other side of the bay are two smaller hydraulic riveters, having an independent accumulator, which is supplied by a duplicate set of double-ram hydraulic pumps driven off the main shafting. Portable riveters are employed for much of the lighter classes of work, and are moved by hydraulic lifts attached. The buildings are lit by electric light, as well as by a large lucigen apparatus; and the narrow-gauge railway runs throughout the bays.

Leaving the boiler shop by a southern exit, the smithy lies to the west; it is a long building extending between the boiler and machine shops. It accommodates twenty-four smiths' hearths arranged on either side, which together with those in the boiler shop are supplied with air-blast by a large duplex blower, placed at the north end of the building.

At this end are also situated the larger steam-hammers with their reverberatory furnaces opposite, and served by hydraulic radial cranes. Four double sets of steam-strikers, a hot saw, and a number of steam-hammers of various sizes ranged up the centre of the shop, make up the larger tools in this department.

Continuous with the smithy is the brass foundry, where all the brass work required by the shipbuilding and engineering departments is cast. There are ten crucible furnaces, two air furnaces each capable of melting 6 tons of brass at a time, three drying stoves, loam mill, grinders, band saw, and the various necessary store-rooms. The foundry is served by a 10-ton overhead travelling-crane, besides other hydraulic and hand cranes.

The machine and erecting shops may be entered direct from the south end of the smithy, and consist of four main bays. The first is 35 feet wide, the other three are each 50 feet wide, and provide a height of 40 feet from the floor-level to the underside of the crane girders; they are employed respectively as receiving shed, large machine-shop, erecting shop, and small machine-shop. The engine-shop store is situated at the north of these buildings, and is entered by various doors from each of the larger bays.

The receiving shed has a standard-gauge railway laid along the entire length, with turntable and cross rails at the north end; and is traversed by a 6-tou locomotive jib-crane, which removes materials from the railway wagons brought in by the yard locomotive, and deposits them in positions convenient for the overhead travelling crams of the machine shops to remove them.

The large machine-tool shop is the next in order. The dressed and ground tools supplied to the machine attendants form a separate department; and the machines specially set apart for preparing them include two universal milling machines, a shaping machine, milling-cutter grinders, Morse-drill grinders, emery grinders, and a number of ordinary grindstones. All the milling cutters, twist-drills, and other small tools used throughout the works, are made and re-ground in this shop, and are distributed ready for use. In this shop will be noticed two vertical milling machines, one having a bed with longitudinal, transverse, and circular motions, while the other has a treble-geared milling spindle, and is capable of working over a surface 10 feet long by 4 feet 7 inches wide and 8 inches deep.

Opposite is a powerful treble-geared lathe, designed to deal with the heaviest class of connecting-rods and thrust shafts; it is 20 feet between the centres, and has two saddles with independent screw-motion.

Alongside are two other powerful treble-geared lathes, mounted on one bed, so that two pieces of shafting, together 33 feet in length, can be driven by each head; if the centre heads are removed, the bed will admit between the centres a shaft 76.5 feet long to be turned. A set of four slotting machines is placed about the centre of the bay; and on the north side of the cross rails are three combined planing and slotting machines. One can deal with an area 21 feet by 17.5 feet high; another can slot and plane over a surface 20.5 feet long by 14 feet high; and the third can take in pieces 12 feet long and of an equal height.

At the north end of the bay is situated a set of four universal boring, drilling, and tapping machines. Two can work over a continuous surface of about 35 feet by 10.5 feet; they have steel spindles 5 inches diameter with 42 inches travel, and have bored cylinders up to 48 inches diameter, also drilling, tapping, and studding their flanges at a single setting. The other two machines have spindles 3, inches diameter, and can traverse a surface 15 feet long by 10 feet high. Opposite are two large treble-geared shafting lathes, whose beds are continuous; in these seas machined the large traversing screw for the 130-ton sheer legs made for the dock, which when finished measured over 76 feet in length, the diameter over the threads being 9.5 inches.

At the north end of this and of the centre bay or erecting shop are placed the three engines which supply the motive power. They are tandem compound; one, having cylinders 13 and 19i inches diameter by 30 inches stroke, drives all the machines in the large machine-tool shop; another of equal size drives the tools in the small machine-tool shop, which forms the fourth bay; and the third, which is slightly smaller, drives the whole of the overhead travelling-cranes. Steam is supplied by three single-ended return-tube boilers, of the dry-back kind, situated immediately outside the buildings at the north-west corner. They are 14.5 feet mean diameter by 9 feet 3.5 inches long, each having three furnaces 3 feet 9 inches diameter, and a working pressure of 120 lbs. per square inch.

The erecting shop is served by two 40-ton overhead travelling-cranes, which run the whole length of the bay upon built wrought- iron girders supported on cast-iron columns; and a number of hydraulic radial cranes and hoists of varying power, up to 5 tons, are placed in advantageous positions.

The largest machine-tool in the shop is placed at the north end of the erecting bay. It consists of a boring and planing machine combined. There are two massive standards with a cross-slide, of the same general kind as in an ordinary planing machine, 18 feet apart, and capable of taking articles 13 feet high under the cross-slide. For planing, the work is stationary, and the cross-slide is caused to move, the limit of travel being 12 feet; and two tool-boxes traverse the slide. The columns are joined at the top by a cross-beam; the latter carries the bearing in which the journal of the vertical boring-bar turns, when the machine is being used for boring. The boring bar is driven from a separate counter-shaft. The table will also revolve for turning any circular work, the tool-box being held on the saddle of the cross-slide. In this machine, cylinders of the largest size can be bored, faced on ends, turned on outside, and have the port faces planed at one setting; cylinders up to 113 inches diameter have been so treated. Near this machine are placed two 8-inch spindle vertical boring mills; they are powerful machines, and can take in work 8 feet wide between the standards and 6.5 feet high, and their spindles have a travel of 4 feet. In this bay are also four sets of boring, tapping, and studding machines, which have also a milling arrangement fitted. The drilling spindles are 3 inches diameter, and have a feed of 3 feet, and can operate over a continuous surface 40 feet long by 10i feet high.

In the last or fourth bay is a varied assortment of all the numerous classes of smaller machine-tools, including various screw- cutting lathes and a complete set of seven lathes ranging from 6 to 12 inches centres.

About the centre of this bay are placed a number of drilling and tapping machines; and further southward is a multiple drilling machine, arranged to drill at one time ten holes 1.25 inch diameter by 1 inch deep per minute through steel plates 11.5 feet wide by 15 feet long, or through drums 4 feet diameter by 10 feet long. The machine is specially designed to drill the drums of water-tube boilers, such as those of the "Normand" kind, which have recently been fitted here into the torpedo-boat destroyers "Rocket," "Shark," and "Surly."

The southern end of this bay is exclusively devoted to the manufacture of parts of water-tube boilers; and at the present time various parts are being made in connection with the Belleville boilers which are being fitted on board HMS. "Terrible." Amongst the machinery laid down for this purpose is a band-saw for sawing tubes and coupling pieces, which admits 2.5 feet deep and 4 feet between the saw and frame, and is also employed for salving out the jaws of piston and connecting-rods, &c. There is also a three-spindle machine, specially designed to finish the end boxes, into which the tubes of Belleville boilers are screwed; a couple of milling machines; several surfacing lathes; a double-geared screwing and facing machine; as well as an assortment of hand tools and gauges.

On an upper floor in the same bay are situated the brass-finishing and iron-finishing shops, which also accommodate a large variety of all classes of iron- working and brass-working machine-tools. A service of hydraulic radial cranes and hoists removes materials from one level to the other; and in connection therewith a system of overhead travellers has been arranged throughout the entire flat.
QUELLE[Institution of Mechanical Engineers (1895) 511]