Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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John and James Thomson

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of the Finnieston Engine Works, Glasgow, aka J. and J. Thomson.

1845 Brothers James and George Thomson, with their father's support, established engineering works in Finnieston Street, Glasgow.

1847 They established their Glasgow foundry in Anderston. The engine and boiler shops occupied an area of 2½ acres; the design largely copied that of the old Vulcan and Lancefield Works of Robert Napier; the hoisting and handling of the pieces of machinery was performed almost entirely by manual labour; the haulage of machinery relied on large gangs of men and boys.

1851 The Thomson Brothers opened a shipyard at Cessnock, calling it J. and G. Thomson after their Glasgow foundry.

1863 James Thomson retired; George took over the business.

1866 George died, his son James took over that business.

1868 James bought land at Finnieston Street, Glasgow, and started his 2 sons, John and James, junior in business as the Finnieston Engine Works: John and James Thomson, engineers and boiler makers.

1881 600 men employed[1]

1882 The business had progressed so well that the Finnieston works were too small for both engineering and boiler-making, so a large place was acquired for boiler-making at Kelvinhaugh.

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

1891 The brothers decided to retire from active participation in the business

1893 The brothers let both of the works to Messrs. Barclay, Curie and Co., who had sold their own works.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1881 census for James M Thomson
  • Obituary of John Thomson