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 148,386 pages of information and 233,851 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

W. and B. Cowan

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1892 Badge found at Joseph Williamson's House site by The Friends of Williamson's Tunnels.
Governor for controlling gas in a distribution system; according of William Cowan's patent
1888. Gas plate warming machine.

Gas meter makers, of Buccleuch-street Works, Edinburgh, of Dutton-street Works, Manchester, and Smith Square Works, Westminster, London.

Gas meter makers, of London, Manchester, Edinburgh and New South Wales (1925)

of Terminal House, Grosvenor Gardens, London, SW1. Telephone: Sloane 0111. Telegraphic Address: "Disc, Sowest, London". (1937)

1825/7 Company founded[1], presumably by William Cowan senior.

1863 THE Company carrying on Business as Gas Meter Manufacturers in Edinburgh and Manchester, underthe Firm of WILLIAM & BENJAMIN COWAN, of which the Subscribers are the sole Partners, has this day been DISSOLVED by mutual consent, by the retirement of Mr Benjamin Cowan. The continuing Partner, Mr William Cowan, is authorised to collect the debts and discharge the liabilities of the Company.[2]

Presumably the business was then known as William Cowan.

1864 of Buccleuch-street Works, Edinburgh (see advert)

1870 William and Benjamin Cowan.[3]

1887 Exhibited a 3-Light Wet Gas Meter with William Cowan’s Patent Syphon Overflow, and Warner and Cowan’s Patent Drum in Glass, showing all parts in action. 3-Light Dry Gas Meter, with glass sides, showing all parts in action. Automatic Pressure Changer. Photographic Pressure Register. Electric Recorder for station meter indexes.

1890 Established a leather department for gas meter diaphragms[4].

1894 W. and B. Cowan was exporting gas meters to NSW, Australia as early as 1894.

1894 Antwerp Exhibition. Awarded Diploma of Honour for Lighting.

1900 On 16th November Parkinson and W. and B. Cowan was incorporated as a public company[5], manufacturers of gas meters and other gas apparatus, being the amalgamation of 2 of the oldest firms in this business: W. and B. Cowan Ltd of London, Manchester, Edinburgh and New South Wales, and W. Parkinson Ltd of London and Birmingham[6].

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, 3 March 1925
  2. .London Gazette 7 July 1863
  3. The Scotsman - Friday 05 August 1870
  4. The Times, 2 July 1930
  5. The Times, 5 May 1959
  6. The Times, 3 March 1925