William Arrol & Co.
William Arrol & Co., Dalmarnock Iron Works, Baltic Street, Bridgeton.—
Among the foremost houses of Glasgow engaged in the great industry of constructional engineering stands that of Messrs, William Arrol & Co., the well-known engineers, ironfounders, and contractors, who control the extensive establishment known as Dalmarnock Iron Works, in Baltic Street, Bridgeton. This very important and representative concern was founded in 1868 by Mr. William Arrol, who commenced operations in London Road upon quite a small scale. He speedily developed a prosperous and progressive business, however, and was soon obliged to remove to larger premises than those he originally occupied. Accordingly the works were established upon their present site in Bridgeton, and here they have undergone successive enlargements, until to-day the property extends to about seven acres, the greater part of which area is closely covered by the buildings incidental to the great industry carried on.
In the works, which are most completely equipped and perfectly arranged throughout, Messrs. Arrol have a splendid plant of valuable machinery, of the most recent and in many cases unique construction, which has to a large extent been designed and made by themselves. A considerable portion of this plant is of exceptional individual size and capacity, one planing machine, for instance, being the largest of its kind in the world, and capable of planing a plate no less than forty feet in length. A great amount of very powerful and effective hydraulic machinery is also used in the works, and a very large force of hands is regularly employed.
Messrs. Arrol & Co. undertake all classes of engineering work, iron-founding, &c., but their leading speciality consists in bridge building — a department in which they enjoy a most eminent reputation. This firm were contractors for the new Tay Bridge, opened in June, 1887, all the material used in this gigantic pontine structure, comprising about 23,000 tons of malleable iron, being prepared at the Dalmarnock Iron Works, and subsequently put together at the Bridge Works, at Dundee. The new Tay Bridge, it may be interesting to state, is 10,780 feet long, and took five years to construct, the average number of men employed on the work during that time being 800.
Messrs. Arrol are at present engaged in the construction of a bridge across the Forth, which is rapidly nearing completion owing to the energetic action of this firm, who erected large works at South Queensferry expressly for preparing the material. This bridge, it is anticipated, will be finished about the end of 1889. The viaduct is one and a third mile long, and stands at the loftiest point 150 feet above high water. It is expected that fully 45,000 tons of steel will be used in the construction of this colossal bridge, and that it will cost between £2,000,000 and £3,000,000. A great many workmen are employed on this contract, as many as 4,000 having been engaged thereon at one time.
Among other large contracts carried out successfully by Messrs. Arrol are the following : the Carlisle Citadel Railway Station, a splendid piece of station structure ; the Caledonian Railway Bridge, spanning the Clyde at Glasgow ; the bridges on the Glasgow, Bothwell, Hamilton, and Coatbridge Railway, one of which is 728 feet long ; and a fine bridge, 1,200 feet in length, crossing the Paraquassu River, at Bahia. The firm have also erected numerous notable bridges in the colonies, and are at present constructing one to span the Hawksbury River, Sydney, N.S.W., this last being all of steel, and about 2,800 feet in length. Messrs. Arrol have, in fact, erected bridges of the best class in nearly all parts of the world, and have won a splendid reputation for the excellence, soundness, and unexceptionable honesty of their work, down even to the most minute detail. The new Tay Bridge stands as a magnificent illustration of this firm’s ability to turn out material and execute work calculated to afford the highest satisfaction. It is one of the noblest and most unique specimens of railway pontine architecture extant to-day, and cannot be ranked second even to Stephenson’s mighty triumph in a similar direction, the famed Victoria Tubular Bridge at Montreal.
The personnel of the firm of Messrs. William Arrol & Co. comprises Mr. William Arrol, the founder, Mr. James Arrol, Mr. Thomas Arrol, and Mr. Robert Young. These gentlemen are all engineers of the highest attainment, and most thorough practical and theoretical skill, and under their capable joint direction the administration of the affairs of the house is characterised by energy, sound judgment, and honourable principle, all qualities guaranteeing the maintenance of reputation, the extension of trade, and the future augmented prosperity of the Dalmarnock works.
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