Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,385 pages of information and 233,851 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Brown Brothers and Co

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1911 model of Brown‘s Patent Steam Tiller in the London Science Museum

Rosebank Ironworks, Edinburgh, Scotland.

1863 Company founded when Andrew Betts Brown bought an old brewery in London which he converted into an engineering works

1870 Andrew Betts Brown won a contract to fit Hamburg Docks with a plant combining steam and hydraulic power for discharging ships. Part of the plant was constructed in London and part at a new site Brown acquired at Rosebank in Edinburgh.

By 1872 Andrew Betts Brown was giving his business address as Brown Brothers and Co, Rosebank. Presumably his partner was his brother David George Brown

1881 Fitted the SS Quetta with elaborate hydraulic machinery. [1]

1901 Public company. The company was registered on 30 November, to acquire the business of mechanical engineers and iron founders of a private company of the same name. [2] Mention of Andrew Betts Brown and David George Brown, both engineers, and also of James Dowie Brown, of Rosebank Iron Works, Edinburgh, who was appointed liquidator.[3]

Maurice Edward Denny collaborated with William Wallace of Brown Brothers and Co to produce the Denny-Brown stabilizer which was used during WWII to give greater stability for gunnery, and afterwards in many ships.

1922 Manufacturer of steam, hydraulic and electro-hydraulic steering gears, tele=motors for steering and helm signals, etc.

1961 Marine hydraulic and general engineers. Specialists in ships' electro-hydraulic steering gears. 1,000 employees. [4]

1965 Introduced a new form of ship stabilizer, the Muirhead-Brown Controlled Tank Stabilizer, developed by John Bell, engineering consultant of Muirhead and Co. This completed the range of Denny-Brown fin stabilizers[5]

1970 Vickers and Swan Hunter purchased the remaining one-third of the equity from the other shareholder, Laird Group, for a nominal sum[6]

1982 In April, Brown Brothers secured a US naval contract to build stabilisers for the Navy's new Perry class frigates. By now the company was with the Vickers Group and had breached the US naval equipment market for the second time in as many months with a contract to start building long-lead items for stabilisers on 23 frigates.[7]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Engineer 1881/10/21
  2. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  3. The Edinburgh Gazette Publication date:3 December 1901 Issue:11361 Page:1409
  4. 1961 Dun and Bradstreet KBE
  5. The Times, Jan 21, 1965
  6. The Times, Oct 09, 1970
  7. The Engineer 1982/04/08 and 1982/04/15