Aitken, McNeil & Co.
Aitken, McNeil & Co., Colonial Iron Works, Helen Street, Govan.—
The great engineering industry of the Clyde district has now attained to mammoth dimensions ; while its multitudinous, sectional, and departmental developments are also remarkable for their variety and importance. Amongst those latter, in the Govan district, is the now well-known establishment of Messrs. Aitken, McNeil & Co., engineers, of the above address.
The firm was established in 1881, in their present premises, and have since that date done a large and prosperous business. The sole proprietors of the concern are Messrs. Thos. M. Aitken and John McNeil, The works cover an area of about two acres, and are chiefly devoted to the speciality of the manufacture of all kinds of sugar machinery, though they also do general engineering work as well. The works are well and very conveniently situated for both water and railway carriages, so that raw material is easily received, and finished goods transmitted to their destination.
The offices, which are most conveniently arranged, are situated at the entrance to the works. The large area is occupied by substantial buildings, in which the various operations are conducted, and these are well fitted up with the newest machinery and appliances necessary for the special work of the factory. Steam power is utilised in a variety of ways, and the best form of cranes and handy steam hammers are found on the premises, as well as tools and other appliances in great variety. This busy hive gives regular employment to about one hundred and fifty men, so that a very large amount of work is regularly turned out.
In part detail it may be stated that Messrs. Aitken, McNeil, & Co., in the special sugar plant turned out by them, are manufacturers of machinery employed in both the “crushing” and the “diffusive” processes of sugar manufacture. At present the demand appears to be in favour of the latter, which is the latest and more scientific method of sugar extraction. In supplying the demands of this important trade the firm are manufacturers of sugar-cane mills, steam-engines, steam boilers, and water-wheels, clarifiers, defecators, and eliminators ; charcoal and bag filters, cast and wrought iron evaporating pans, triple effect evaporating pans, vacuum pans, and vacuum pumping engines ; Wetzel and Bour pans ; centrifugal curing machines, filter presses for scum, hydraulic presses and pumps, cane punts; cane and megass waggons, rails, and turntables ; water tanks and sugar coolers of plate and cast iron ; distillery apparatus ; wrought iron sugar and megass houses ; iron bridges, steam and hand-power cranes, and all the requisites for sugar plantations.
The firm are makers of Messrs. Thomson & Black’s patent five-roller mill, which extracts 75 to 80 per cent, of juice from the sugar-cane ; and also of cane slicing machines, diffusion batteries, and all apparatus required when extracting the juice by the diffusive process. In addition to this long list of special work, the firm turns out a fair amount of general engineering work, but the sugar industry is, as a matter of course, the best and chief customer.
The trade connexion is both local and foreign, embracing the sugar growing districts abroad as well as the refining districts nearer home, both in England and Scotland. The two partners have had a long and varied experience in the production and perfection of sugar machinery, and this experience has been enhanced by their visits at various times to the principal sugar-growing countries. All the operations at their works are carried on under their special care and personal supervision ; while in the the firm enjoy the esteem and confidence of sugar trade, the members of a host of business friends.
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