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British Industrial History

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James Bennie and Co

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of Caledonian Foundry, West Street, Glasgow, Iron founders and boiler makers.

Established by James Bennie; the address is that previously occupied by Newton, Bennie and Co.

1850 Advert: 'TO FOREMEN MOULDERS. WANTED, for an Extensive Foundry in Rotterdam, a Person to act as a FOREMAN. None need apply who does not thoroughly understand Loam Moulding, and is acquainted with all the other branches. - Apply immediately to Mr. James Bennie, of Jas. Bennie & Co, Caledonian Foundry, Glasgow.'[1]

1853 'Large Castings. — About a fortnight ago, we noticed the casting, in one piece, of the condensers and air pumps, intended for a large screw steamer, which Messrs Tod and Macgregor are about to build, executed in the extensive establishment of Messrs Bennie & Co., Caledonian Foundry, West Street. Since that time the workmen have been engaged extricating the huge mass from its location in the mould and placing it in a position on level ground, which enables the spectator to form some idea of its immense magnitude, and the careful labour which has been necessary for its successful completion. It is clean and free from all roughness. The dressing will be finished by Tuesday evening, and on Wednesday forenoon it will be removed to the premises of the engineers : meantime it may be seen at the works. The cylinders for the leviathan ship, which are 90 inches in diameter, 7 feet long, and 20 tons weight, have been cast and bored. The pinion for the screw shaft is in advanced state, and will weigh, when finished, about 9 tons. The nicety of the workmanship displayed in the manufacture of these castings reflects credit on all concerned. Ibid.'[2]

1857 Advert: 'IMMENSE CASTING. — Yesterday, one of the heaviest iron castings ever executed, was successfully effected at Messrs Bennie and Co.'s, Caledonian Foundry, West Street, Tradeston. It was the sole plate of a marine engine, and measured 18 1/2 feet in length, by 16 feet in breadth, and 6 feet in depth over all. The casting includes, in one piece, the sole plate, two air-pump seats, two hot-well seats, and a double condenser. Four cupolas and a large air furnace were required to melt the iron for this one casting, and 48 tons of iron were used. One large ladle, built for the purpose of holding 15 tons, contained that quantity of molten metal as a reservoir; and there was in addition a large oblong dam or tank about 18 feet long. 2 1/2 broad, and 2 feet deep, which received the metal from the furnace, preparatory to being run into the mould. The mould itself was a curiosity,. and exhibited great skill as well as strength in its construction. It consisted of 54 pieces firmly secured together by cramps and screw-bolts, for it had to sustain a bursting pressure equal to 340 tons! The operation was every way most successful, and was finished without the least accident. This enormous casting is intended as the base or foundation for a pair of most powerful engines, intended for a large screw steamier now being built by Messrs Tod & Macgregor, of this city, we believe for the P. & O. Co.'[3]

1860 His son, George Bennie, opened a new business which became the Kinning Park Foundry.

1866 Thomas Newton Bennie left the partnership which was continued by James Bennie and James Bennie, Junior.

1868 THE Copartnery of JAMES BENNIE & COMPANY, Ironfounders and Engineers in West Street, Tradeston, Glasgow, of which the Subscribers are sol ePartners, was DISSOLVED by mutual consent. The Subscriber, James Bennie, Senior, is authorized to uplift and discharge all accounts and debts due to the Company, and will pay any debts due by the Company.[4]

Subsequently James Bennie and Co was at Clyde Engine Works, presumably under the control of James Bennie, Junior

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Glasgow Herald, 4 February 1850
  2. Stirling Observer, 24 February 1853
  3. North British Daily Mail, 2 July 1857
  4. Edinburgh Gazette 17 April 1868