Arrol Brothers, Germiston Works, Glasgow.—
The steel and iron trade of the Glasgow district has now attained a position of great importance and value among the industries of the country, while the many sections of the trade are remarkable for their variety and application. Large concerns have put down enormous plant for special purposes, and in this respect Messrs. Arrol Brothers, of the Germiston Works, in the north eastern suburb of Springbum, have distinguished themselves for their devotion to the particular work of steel and iron bridge and roof building. In an ordinary way this would appear to be an industry sufficiently large and distinct enough, in all conscience, but in the iron and steel trades every section or department is of gigantic and mammoth dimensions, and other branches of the general engineering trade also find a place in the Germiston Works.
The firm commenced business here in the year 1883, and the sole partners in the concern are Messrs, J. Cameron Arrol and J. Arthur Arrol. The works are of large extent and cover an area of from four to five acres, situated in a most convenient position and in close proximity to the North British and Caledonian Railway systems. Raw material, and finished work are thus easily and expeditiously transmitted to and from the works. The large and commodious suite of offices of the firm are situated at the entrance to the factory, on the street frontage. Passing through these, the extensive works are found, replete with all the plant, machinery, shops, &c. necessary to make up an efficient factory for turning out the large work to which the energies of the firm are devoted. All the various sections and parts of bridge and roof work, from the rivet to the girder, are found in the “shops”, and “erected”, according to the state of finish or preparation to which it has reached.
As may he expected, Messrs. Arrol employ a large number of hands, the average being over three hundred — dependent upon the number and proportions of the various “jobs” in hand. In the year 1886, Arrol Bros, held the contract for all the ironwork used in the construction of the Edinburgh Exhibition, and again, in 1888, the energy and speculative ability of the firm enabled them to secure the contract of a similar character, in the face of all comers, for the ironwork of the gigantic palace of industry now delighting the whole world in the Glasgow West End Park.
At the present time, also, the great railway extension now going on in the city has placed large contracts in their hands from the different railway companies. The extension of the railway bridge over Argyle Street, an important piece of constructive engineering work, has been placed in their hands, and is in the course of successful completion. Amongst other contracts which this firm has executed since they started are the 70 ft. diameter caissons for the Forth Bridge, in which there are upwards of 2,000 tons of iron and steel ; the iron and steel work of a warehouse for the London, Tilbury, and Southend Railway Company, in connection with the Tilbury Docks. In this structure there are about 7,000 tons of steel girders and roofs, and 1,500 tons of cast-iron columns. Already Messrs. Arrol Bros, have opened up an extensive connection with the different railway companies in South America, where they are now represented by a resident agent ; as also in Canada, in South Africa, and in Australia, whence they are looking for a still further increase of business.
On the whole, the Germiston Works are receiving a large share of patronage at present, indicating the public appreciation of the skill and speculative enterprise displayed by the firm in such an eminent degree. The Messrs. Arrol already have achieved an envied position among the successful leaders in the great iron and steel industry of the western metropolis, while each completed contract, of late years, has added to their already high reputation for turning out first-class work, both as regards the material employed and the engineering skill and constructive ability displayed in the progress of the work. The partners are well known and highly esteemed in the commercial community of Glasgow, and, in a more extended sense, have acquired a name of respect and consideration throughout the engineering world.
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