James Gillies & Co.
James Gillies & Co., Engineers, &c., 140, Glenpark Street.—
One of the most representative firms in the engineering industry is that known under the above title, of which Mr. James Gillies is the proprietor. The business has been in existence about twenty years, and during the whole of the time has been located in the present premises. These are of considerable extent and cover an area of over three-quarters of an acre. They comprise workshops, foundries, &c., the whole of the establishment being fitted with the most modem machinery and plant incidental to the production of high-class work in all branches of the trade. A large number of hands, such as fitters, turners, &c. are employed, and these have been selected with great care from among the most skilled and experienced artisans.
The firm are very extensively engaged in the manufacture of many different varieties of machinery of the latest patterns and forms. Among the leading features of the business may be mentioned the construction of land engines, for which the firm have gained great renown, not only in the north of Great Britain but also generally throughout the kingdom. Mr. Gillies, who is essentially a practical engineer, has introduced, many patents with great success. One of the most popular of these is that known as Gillies’ Patent Automatic Valve Gear Steam Engines. These have been very widely adopted in many instances, the improvements that Mr. Gillies’ patent has effected in the construction being generally admitted in all directions. In every department the greatest care is exercised that not only shall the material be of the best description, but that the workmanship shall be superior and high class.
Another notable invention is Gillies’ Patent Bush or Shield, with Patent Eccentric Key and Taper Widener, for the bung-holes of casks or other vessels. In Gillie’s patent improvements for bushing casks or other vessels the bush has a thread, or wood screw worm, cast on the outside, the bush, being formed with a suitable taper externally to fit the hole made by the taper widener. The widener cuts the hole to the exact size and taper, of the bush, so that the bush may be entered into the hole of the stave ; the mouth of the hole being wide enough to admit the bottom of the bush, into the wood, which allows the first thread to take hold and lead the bush down to the flange by turning it round with the eccentric key by means of a double-ended wrench which fits on to the top of the eccentric key. The eccentric key takes so powerful a hold that the bush can be sent home to the full depth of the thread ; the thread making a corresponding seat for itself in the wood. By this means the bush becomes so firmly imbedded into the stave as to be almost immovable without breaking the bush or the stave ; and consequently by this invention a there is a great saving of time and labour, as no screw-nails or rivets are required to keep it fast. The name and address of the brewery are legibly cast into the flange of the bush, serving as an additional means of identifying the casks. These bushes are admitted to be superior to all others for their simplicity, durability, and easy mode of fixing into casks, barrels, &c., and they can be used over again two or three times, all that is required is to split off the old wood, and they are ready for use again ; or, the eccentric key may be used alike for unscrewing, as for screwing in.
Nothing of a common or inferior character emanates from this establishment. Messrs. Gillies also do a large business as brassfounders, and manufacture a variety of fittings in connection with engineering. The trade in every branch is very extensive, and the firm have a very large connection. Most of the work being done by contract, there exists no necessity to engage travellers. Nevertheless the firm are well known, not only in the United Kingdom but also abroad, and they deservedly rank among the very foremost engineers in the Glasgow district.
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