Macfarlane, Strang & Co., Limited

Macfarlane, Strang & Co., Limited, Lochburn Iron Works, Glasgow.—

    Of all the branches of iron industry that have found exemplification in the nineteenth century, none has received a better or more creditable development than that of cast-iron pipe making, for water and gas conduction ; and in connection with this highly important branch of productive enterprise, one of the foremost houses in Great Britain to-day is that of Messrs. Macfaclane, Strang & Co., of the Lochburn Iron Works, Glasgow.

    The gigantic business carried on by this well-known firm was established in 1877, and during the eleven years that have elapsed since its inception, the concern has attained proportions of magnitude and noteworthiness which give it a distinct claim to consideration among the great representative industrial institutions, not alone of Glasgow, but of the United Kingdom. In eleven years, Messrs. Macfarlane, Strang & Co. have accomplished what other firms have barely achieved in half a century, and have taken up their position among the leaders of the industry they so worthily and successfully specialize. The name of Lochburn has now an individual influence that has been recognized in almost every quarter of the globe, and which stands as an accepted guarantee of the worth and excellence of any description of ironwork with which it becomes identified.

    The Lochburn Works comprise a great aggregation of foundries and workshops, covering the major part of a property of sixteen acres, advantageously situated on the Forth and Clyde Canal. A siding from a branch of the North British Railway system runs into the works ; and this, together with the immediate proximity of the canal, affords the most valuable facilities for transport, both of raw material and manufactured goods. The entire premises constituting the Lochburn Works have been subjected to a perfect system of arrangement and appointment, and are fully equipped with all the most modern plant and appliances requisite for the production of cast-iron pipes of the largest dimensions known.

    The manufactures of Messrs. Macfarlane, Strang & Co. may be briefly enumerated as follows :—cast-iron pipes, from 3 inches to 4 feet diameter, cast vertically in dry sand; and also from 1 inch to 7 inches diameter, cast on a declivity, in green sand Sluice valves, suitable for water, gas, and sewage ; and sluices for reservoirs, penstocks, tidal or outfall and reflux valves. Hydrants, ball-hydrants, fire-cocks, fire-hydrants, street or surface boxes, suitable for sluice valves, hydrants and service cocks, street wells, watering posts, air valves, wrought iron tubes and fittings for gas, water and steam ; and pumping engines for waterworks. Special pipes of any size are made from standard patterns to engineers’ designs.

    It is probably as makers of the largest sizes of water and gas main pipes that Messrs. Macfarlane, Strang & Go. have won the greatest distinction, and in this connection they have completed a great number of very important contracts in all parts of the world. Of these contracts, the following notable ones may be mentioned as indicative of the capabilities of the works:—Bombay Waterworks — about 50,000 tons of 48-inch pipes; Manchester Waterworks — 27,000 tons of 40-inch pipes; Sydney Waterworks (N.S.W.) — about 20,000 tons of 42 and 48-inch pipes, &c., &c. And in addition to these, the firm have executed contracts of great magnitude for pipes of all sizes for the waterworks of Glasgow, Liverpool, Oldham, Paris, Boulogne, Oporto, Naples, Venice, and Constantinople ; and for the gasworks of Glasgow, Dublin, Limerick, Manchester, &c. In every instance their supplies have afforded full satisfaction, a circumstance which is well-attested by the constantly increasing dimensions of the trade controlled.

    The firm have also a valuable specialty in the “Bonna Water Meter”, for which they conduct a distinct and expressly equipped manufactory This meter, which is protected by international patents, has the merits of strength and simplicity, automatic action, noiselessness, and perfect reliability ; and it is meeting with a success which has long awaited the advent of such an apparatus.

    Messrs. Macfarlane, Strang & Co.’s industry is, in its entirety, one of the largest in the iron-founding trade of Glasgow, and employs from 800 to 1,000 hands, the number varying in accordance with the volume of orders in process of execution. The company's city offices are situated at 204, St. Vincent Street, Glasgow. The works and offices are connected by private telephone ; the public telephone number of the house is 930, and the telegraphic address is “Lochburn, Glasgow”.

    The firm are exhibiting at the Glasgow International Exhibition, and make a fine show. One pipe has a diameter of 48 inches, and is one of a large number that have been ordered by the Bombay Municipality. It is 12 feet long and weighs 4 tons. A 40-inch diameter sample of the pipes being supplied for the Thirlmere scheme of the water supply of Manchester is also shown. A useful thing included in this display is the ball and socket joint made to Ward’s patent for laying pipes over uneven ground or across river-beds. These pipes, it should be stated, are shown just outside the Machinery Annexe.

    In one of the metallurgical courts, Court IV., Stand 115, the firm have another stand, whereon they exhibit sluice-valves and samples of Bonna’s water-meter. This meter works as follows :—The pressure of the water acting on one of the faces of a large piston, puts it in motion, whereupon a quantity of water equal to the volume of the cylinder is expelled. When this large piston is on the point of arriving at the end of its stroke, its piston-rod operates the commanding rod of the distributor, and the distribution of the water in the hydraulic spring is modified. The small piston of this spring then acts upon the valve of the other distributor, which reverses quickly, in its turn, the distribution of the water in the large measuring cylinder. This change in the distribution sends the pressure of the water to the other face of the piston, putting it in motion in the opposite direction, while sending out a new and equal quantity of water. The go-and-come movement of the large piston is communicated to the index by means of a commanding lever, and the volume of the water delivered by the meter may be read on the index.

    Messrs. Macfarlane, Strang & Co., Limited, conduct a trade that is universal in scope and range, with a steadily widening circle of valuable connections which they maintain, both at home and abroad.

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