James Little & Co.
James Little & Co., Shipowners, 69, Buchanan Street.—
It is particularly interesting, in reviewing historically the trade and commerce of this city, to meet with a firm of such old standing and extensive connections as that of Messrs. James Little & Co., of 69, Buchanan Street, and to accord to it that special prominence in these reviews which its influential position in the shipping trade so justly demands. This extensive business dates back in its foundation to the year 1806, when it was established in Greenock by Mr. James Little, whose name it still bears, and its history has been most intimately associated with the development of the trade and commerce of the Clyde from that period up to the present time.
More than seventy years ago this firm ran the first line of steamers between Greenock, calling at the Isle of Man, and Liverpool ; this service was conducted by the steamers Majestic and City of Glasgow, and the Clyde not being then navigable to Glasgow for steamers of their size, the steam tender Post Boy carried passengers from Greenock to Glasgow in connection with them. Shortly afterwards they opened the first service between Greenock and Dublin with the steamers Erin and Scotia. These were followed by the steamers of the Dublin and Glasgow Steam Packet Company, for which Messrs. Little & Co. acted as agents at Greenock, as they have continued to do ever since.
In connection with this company they gave the order to Messrs. Wm. Denny & Brothers, of Dumbarton, for the first screw steamer built on the Clyde. This vessel, the 'Waterwitch', was engined by Messrs. Caird & Co., of Greenock, as Messrs. Denny had not at that time opened their engine works.
In 1867 Messrs. Little & Co. started their Barrow and Belfast, and Barrow and Isle of Man services, and now run lines between Barrow and Liverpool, London and Terneuzen (Holland), &c., and act as agents of the Dundalk and Newry Steam Packet Company’s service between Ardrossan and Newry and Dundalk. They are also agents for various other lines of steamers, having offices at Glasgow, Greenock, Ardrossan, Belfast, Barrow in Furness, Liverpool, and London.
Besides the coasting services enumerated above, Messrs. Little & Co. have always had steamers engaged in foreign trading with all parts of the world. Their fleet, besides being a very extensive one, comprises all kinds of steamers from a hundred up to five thousand tons carrying capacity, and includes very fast paddle and cargo-carrying screw steamers. They are probably the only firm who have been intimately connected with the steam shipping trade of the country from its infancy down to the present time.
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