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British Industrial History

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George Bennie and Co

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Kinning Park Foundry, Paisley Road, Glasgow.

Formerly the premises of Adam Watt and Co

See George Bennie (1824-1882)

1860 March. Factory Opened. 'One of these foundries, on an extensive scale, has just. been opened in Great Wellington Street, Paisley Road. We do not intend it to be understood that this establishment possesses features of a character so remarkable that it may be set down as one of the lions of the city. The district in which it is situated is filled with works of considerable magnitude, which could scarcely find room in any other quarter. But the foundry of Messrs. George Bennie & Co. is an important addition to their number, and possesses facilities, especially for turning out large and heavy castings, which are very rarely to be found. Mr. Bennie expects to turn out castings weighing from one to 50 tons. The premises occupy fully an acre of ground; and the shop for heavy castings measures 150 feet by 50 feet, giving an almost unexampled working area. The works are driven by a 20 horse-power engine, an exceedingly neat piece of mechanism, from the Eglinton Engine Works. In the heavy castings' shop one furnace has already been erected, and is now in operation; it is built to contain 10 tons of metal, and another is in process which is expected to contain 15 tons. In this shop there are also four very large stoves for drying the moulds previous to casting. We had the pleasure of witnessing the filling of a few moulds, on a recent visit to the premises. The blast was communicated by Russel's improved fans, the speed of which comes up to 1500 revolutions per minute; and these fans possess this very great advantage, that they make little more noise than the humming of a hive of bees, pleasantly comparing with the very great din which is created by the usual appliances. The method by which the blast is supplied. was also on an improved principle, the air being admitted by a single pipe casing of plates, which proceeds like a band round the furnace and plays upon the fire at three points with great force. In a comparatively brief period, surprising to a stranger, the molten iron began to run from the furnace at a glowing white heat, and with a stream so continuous that the workmen were scarcely able to carry it away cleverly enough. At one end of this room or shop, there has been erected a very powerful crane, the beams of which are constructed of solid oak and which will raise 25 tons, and a second is. to be erected at the other end of the shdp expected to lift 30 tons. This shop communicates with the yard by two massive gates, and in the yard there is to be placed a third crane, sufficient to lift 15 tons, to assist in clearing the heavy casts from the shop, and getting them upon the waggons. Every improvement, indeed, which the long practical experience of Mr. George Bennie could have suggested has been applied to the new work. Mr. George is the son of Mr. James Bennie of the Caledonian Foundry, and is commencing business in the establishment which we have been describing. We trust that his experience and assiduity will give success to his new undertaking.'[1]

1860 September. Partnership change. 'The Subscriber, Thomas Young, has retired from, and ceased to be a Partner in the Concern of GEORGE BENNIE & CO., Iron Founders, Kinning Park Foundry, Glasgow. GEORGE BENNIE & CO. GEORGE BENNIE. ROBERT HART. THOMAS YOUNG'[2]

1863 October. George Bennie and Co, Kinning Park Foundry.[3]

1866 The Kinning Park foundry of George Bennie and Co was said to be responsible for some retorts at the Lambton Mineral Oil Works near Durham; the foundry was said to be the only one in Britain exclusively devoted to the production of coal-oil apparatus [4]; but the report in following edition of "The Engineer" ascribed this foundry to James Bennie and Co[5], which suggests both brothers were involved in the foundry.

1866 Charles M'Lean, by mutual arrangement with the Subscribers, George Bennie and Robert Hart, retired from and ceased to be a Partner in the Company Business carried on by them as Ironfounders, &c., at Kinning Park, Glasgow, under the firm of George Bennie and Co. The Subscribers, George Bennie and Robert Hart, will continue to carry on the business in all its departments under the same firm[6]

1876 Bennie's patent vertical retorts illustrated [7]

1881 THE Subscriber George Bennie has, by mutual arrangement with the other Subscriber Edward Rushton Coulborn, retired as at 15th Julv, 1881, from the copartnership concern of George Bennie and Company, Ironfounders and Mineral Oil Engineers, Glasgow, of which they were then the sole partners.[8]

1885 Premises offered for sale. 'TO BE LET OR FOR SALE, KINNING PARK FOUNDRY, as occupied by Messrs George Bennie & Coy., Oil and Chemical Engineers and Ironfounders; in excellent working order'. 'ALL and WHOLE that STEADING of GROUND in SAINT JAMES STREET, KINNING PARK, GLASGOW, containing 2590 Square Yards, or thereby, andalso 8-18th pro indiviso of the BACK AREA of GROUND, containing 510 square Yards, adjoining the sold Standing, together with the ERECTIONS thereon. The Erections consist of Two Buildings. each of Two Storeys, a very high Shed, an Engine-House and Boiler Shed, with Engine and Boiler and a Chimney Stalk, and they are presently used as a Brass and Copper work.'[9]


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Glasgow Herald - Thursday 08 March 1860
  2. The Edinburgh Gazette Publication date:7 September 1860 Issue:7047 Page:1120
  3. Glasgow Herald - Friday 09 October 1863
  4. The Engineer 1866/06/22
  5. The Engineer 1866/08/17
  6. London Gazette 9 Oct 1866
  7. The Engineer 1876/08/18 p116 & p119
  8. London Gazette 28 July 1881
  9. Glasgow Herald - Friday 19 June 1885