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 148,111 pages of information and 233,643 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Fleming and Ferguson

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June 1888. Quadruple expansion engine.
1894. Water-tube land boiler.
1897. Single-Crank Quadruple Expansion Mill Engines.
1897. Clyde Water-Tube Boiler.


Engines for Hartlepool. 1906.
Triple-Expansion Pumping Engine. 1907.
Triple-Expansion Pumping Engines. 1907.
1951. Diesel-Electric Dredger.

of Phoenix Works, Merksworth, Paisley.

Fleming and Ferguson of Paisley built steam engines for marine use.

The Phoenix yard of Fleming and Ferguson was one of five yards based at Paisley in Scotland. However, it was the one that survived the longest.

1877 Company established by W. Y. Fleming and P. Ferguson.

1885 Fleming and Ferguson took over the yard of H. McIntyre and Co to build dredgers, hoppers and lighters, mainly for British ports and harbours. However, around half of the yards output was also for overseas customers

1888 Steam Yacht 'Grace Darling'. [1]

1889 See 1889 Shipbuilding Statistics for detail of the tonnage produced.

1889 See 1889 Shipbuilding Statistics for detail of the marine engines produced.

1889 Quadruple expansion engines for 'SS Singapore'. [2]

1890 Engine for SS 'Alpha' of Salford Docks.

1894 Water-Tube Marine Boiler. Article and illustration in 'The Engineer'. [3]

1898 Public company. The company was registered on the 23 June to take over the business of engineers, shipbuilders of a private company of the same name (registered 17 July 1895). [4]

1900s The yard specialised in floating cranes, large steam-powered suction and grab dredgers for many countries around the world. The yard also made "kit ships" which were sent out in pieces and built at their destination. [5]

1903 The 4 Ferguson brothers withdrew from the Company in 1903 in a bid to get the company closed down, but the yard continued trading under the Fleming and Ferguson name. The yard went from strength to strength: building a sterling global reputation for quality small ships and steam reciprocating machinery. The Fergusoons set up on their own at Newark Shipyard, Port Glasgow.

1904 Two inverted vertical triple-expansion engines for Brighton Waterworks (Falmer Station). [6]

1914 Shipbuilders and engineers. Speciality: Dredging plant. Employees 1,000. [7]

1925 See Aberconway for information on shipbuilding h.p produced in 1904 and 1925.

World Wars. The yard made small warships, standard coaster, self propelled cranes and other harbour craft. The yard also fulfilled a number of orders for the Canadian and South African Governments.

1950s The yard made whalers and redesigned minesweepers so that they could be used in Antarctic research. Lighthouse tenders, motorships, coasters and dredgers also featured heavily in the yard's output during this time.

1961 Marine engineers and ship and dredger builders. [8]

1964 The yard was taken over by The American Marine and Machinery Co. Inc.

1969 The yard closed. its last ship was a 400 ton cutter suction dredger called Bled.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Engineer of 2nd March 1888 p216 & p220+ & p236+ & p240
  2. The Engineer of 19th April 1889 p328 & p355
  3. The Engineer of 16th February 1894 p132-3 & p136
  4. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  5. British Shipbuilding Yards. 3 vols by Norman L. Middlemiss
  6. Stationary Steam Engines of Great Britain by George Watkins. Vol 10
  7. 1914 Whitakers Red Book
  8. 1961 Dun and Bradstreet KBE
  • The Steam Engine in Industry by George Watkins in two volumes. Moorland Publishing. 1978. ISBN 0-903485-65-6