John Bilsland & Co.
John Bilsland & Co., Victoria Bolt and Rivet Works, Cranstonhill.—
It is most interesting to meet with a firm of such old standing and extensive connections as that of Messrs. John Bilsland & Co., rivet, bolt, and screw manufacturers, of the Victoria Bolt and Rivet Works, Cranstonhill, and to accord to this well-known establishment that special prominence in these reviews which its influential position in the trade so justly demands.
Reverting for a moment to the early history of the firm, we find that the business was established in the year 1855, in Main Street, Anderston, by the present head of the firm, Mr. John Bilsland, in conjunction with Mr. James Rose. The manufacture was most successfully carried on by these two gentlemen up to 1869, when Mr. Bilsland became the sole proprietor, and in 1874 his two nephews, Mr. William Howat and Mr. R. B. Macouat, entered the firm, and the present extensive premises, so well and widely known as the Victoria Bolt and Rivet Works, were specially built to meet the increasing demands of the trade.
These works have a frontage to Houldsworth Street of 120 feet, and to Elliot Street of 150 feet. The large building to the front facing Elliot Street is of four stories; behind this are three large sheds connected with each other, which form the forging department. The floor area of the whole works measures some 30,000 square feet. These buildings are replete with all the most improved machinery and appliances that skill, experience, and mechanical science have devised to command economical production and meet advancing competition.
The productions comprise iron and steel rivets, deck, service, waggon, and fish bolts, railway chair spikes, dog spikes, engineers’ bolts and studs, boiler stays, washers, wood screws, nuts, set screws, &c., &c. Some idea of the magnitude of the operations may be gathered from the fact that from six to eight hundred tons per month are turned out, and upwards of two hundred hands are regularly employed.
The mercantile department of this extensive business is conducted in a spacious suite of well appointed offices and counting house, by a large staff of experienced clerks, correspondents, and assistants. Telephonic communication is established with the city, No. 1389. The business in every department is conducted with marked ability, energy, and enterprise.
The firm have a first-class connection extending to all parts of the United Kingdom, and also do a large and increasing export trade, being well represented in the foreign and colonial markets. The magnitude of the manufacturing operations, and the extent and importance of the mercantile transactions of this firm fully justify its position as one of the largest and most influential of the great industrial establishments of this district.
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