William Ramsay, junr., & Co.
William Ramsay, junr., & Co., Ironmongers, Brass-finishers, Gasfitters, &c., Lamp Makers and Patentees, 254, Argyle Street.—
The energy and enterprise which are so eminently characteristic of the business men of this city are nowhere more apparent than in the well-known establishment of Messrs. William Ramsay, junr., & Co. This business dates from 1844, when it was established by the father of the present proprietor. The present extensive and commodious premises were acquired in 1879. These are most advantageously situated, and comprise a handsome double shop, with a large saloon at the back used as a showroom, together with extensive warehouse accommodation.
A very large and comprehensive stock of goods is displayed, comprising general ironmongery of the best quality, also the numerous specialities for which this firm is so well known, as church coronas and brackets, plate-glass lanterns, hall lamps, gasaliers, shadowless sunlights, while shop fittings of every description and for all trades forms a large proportion of their business. In this line they represent in Scotland the well-known firm of Messrs. Harris & Sheldon, of Birmingham, London, Manchester, and Belfast.
Mr. W. Ramsay, junr., is the inventor and patentee of “Ramsay’s Patent Opal Back Lamps”, for outside shop windows. The introduction and use of these lamps have effected quite a revolution in the lighting of shops and warehouses in this city, which till some half a dozen years ago might be said to be fifty years behind the age in this respect. Probably more sign and advertisement lamps are made by this firm than any other in Scotland. The firm are also the sole agents for Chappuis’s Patent Daylight Reflectors.
The workshops are also situated in Argyle Street, on the opposite side. These are on an extensive scale, and replete with machinery and appliances. A large number of skilled and experienced workmen are actively engaged in the manufacture of every description of outside lamps, general gasfittings, brasswork, hall lamps, gasaliers, and the well-known patent “Argand” and “Opal Back” lamps, which have rendered this firm so justly celebrated.
It is worthy of special mention that the contract of this firm for all the gasfittings of the New Municipal Buildings was accepted by the Lord Provost, magistrates, and Town Council of Glasgow. They are now busily engaged in the execution of this work, which is probably the largest of the kind ever given out in Scotland, if not in Great Britain, and will keep them actively employed for a long time to come. Some idea of the magnitude of this work may be gathered from the fact that besides other fittings, it is computed that no less than eleven miles of gas tubing—principally galvanised, malleable iron—will be used in this splendid building, in which fourteen meters will be required.
Mr. William Ramsay, junr., the present proprietor of this extensive business, is a gentleman occupying a high position in business and social circles, and is well known for the earnest interest he has taken in the Crosshill Branch of the Young Men’s Christian Association, and other departments of Christian usefulness. There certainly could be no better testimony to the popularity and the utilitarian qualities of the specialities of this firm — the “Argand” and “Opal Back” lamps, for illuminating and advertising purposes — than their rapidly extending use and application, and the increasing demands upon the resources of the establishment for their production.
It is specially worthy of notice that when the important subject of the gasfitting and lighting up of the great International Exhibition, Glasgow, 1888, came to be considered, the Executive Council entrusted Messrs. W. Ramsay, junr., & Co. with the entire contract, both for the main buildings and grounds. This extensive undertaking had to be very smartly accomplished in order to be ready for the opening day, and no small responsibility it must have been when Mr. Ramsay had at one and the same time to conduct the arrangements necessary to keep in good going order a warehouse, workshop, Municipal Buildings contract, and Exhibition gasfittings. Yet, by extreme diligence, all was safely accomplished, and although the Exhibition contract was greatly increased, all was ready in good time and lighted up on the opening day. Since then Messrs. Ramsay have been appointed to undertake the lighting up of the entire Exhibition and grounds before dusk each evening and to extinguish them at four o’clock each morning. Altogether these two immense contracts seem to place this firm in the position of Scotland’s premier gasfitters.
Messrs. Ramsay are agents and licensed manufacturers of the new Siemens’s patent regenerative lamp, the peculiarity of which consists in its adapting an ordinary gas burner to the regenerative system, thus producing the simplest and brightest lamp in the market. The entire centre court of the Gas Annexe at the Exhibition is fitted with these, also the Bank, the press-room, the engineers’ room and pumping house, and the Gray Street entrance, where they light up the turnstiles brilliantly. Messrs. Ramsay have now lighted up some fifty churches, public buildings, and halls.
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