John Shearer & Son
John Shearer & Son, Iron and Wood Ship Repairers, Kingston Dock Saw Mills, 247, Paisley Road, Glasgow, and Slaterís Croft, Govan.ó
Upwards of forty years ago was founded by the late Mr. John Shearer, senior, the well-known and representative house of Messrs. John Shearer & Son, iron and wood ship repairers, ship carpenters, joiners, block makers, boat builders, ship smiths, and painters. In 1866, Mr. Shearer, now deceased, assumed his son as partner, and the latter is now sole principal of the house, which has, since his accession to the firm, traded under its present style and title. In addition to the several departments named above, Messrs. John Shearer & Son engage very largely in docking ships for the purpose of scraping and painting them, and are also extensive manufacturers of and dealers in masts, spars, oars, sawn boards, dunnage, and other wood goods and saw-mill products.
The Kingston Dock Saw Mills, as the premises off the Paisley Road are called, are very extensive, and possessed of splendid general facilities of the most effective order. The establishment is peculiarly well adapted for the purposes of the firmís great ship-repairing industry, being fully equipped with steam-power appliances of every description for the economising of labour, and for the rapid execution of all work engaged in. The wood department has steam saw-mills, planing and turning machines, &c., &c., and the iron department contains a very fine plant of improved apparatus in steam hammers, plate-working machines, and all other requisites for the proper carrying out of repairs to iron ships. The branch establishment at the head of the public graving dock, Govan, is used as a painting shop and for general stores, and is connected by telephone with the Paisley Road headquarters, which latter are also in telephonic connection with the central office at the exchange. At Govan the firm hold a very extensive stock of iron, timber, paints, and stores of all kinds, for the prompt execution of repairs and renovations in the matter of all vessels taken into the graving dock under their charge.
As an instance of the important character of the work executed by this house, it may be stated that while the notes for the present brief sketch were being taken at the Paisley Road establishment the telephone bell sounded, and forthwith a negotiation was entered into for a steamer to be taken into the graving dock on the following Monday morning for the execution of the following repairs : scraping the bottom and painting the hull, taking off the propeller, drawing the tail shaft, and removing and replacing with new ones some of the hull plates which had sustained damage. This is but a casual sample of the orders the firm are daily receiving, and an evidence of the long-continued confidence reposed in Messrs. John Shearer & Son by shipowners is contained in the notable fact that they are constantly being entrusted with important commissions of the above nature by houses whose names have been on their books continuously during the last forty years. Every day there are, under the charge of this representative firm, several timber-built ships undergoing caulking, coppering, and classing, and iron vessels being renovated in damaged or worn parts.
The Kingston Dock premises cover an area of five thousand square yards, and the store and workshops at Govan occupy a space of six hundred square yards. And to meet the requirements of a trade that increases to-day more rapidly than at any period in its prosperous past, the firm have recently acquired a fine ground plot of ten thousand square yards, or more than two acres, for the purpose of extending their Govan establishment.
Messrs. John Shearer & Son are agents for Glasgow and the west of Scotland for the celebrated patent metal sheathing, bolts, nails, &c., of P. H. Muntz & Co., of West Bromwich ; and in this, and all other departments of their enterprise, the trade controlled is one of very great volume and importance.
The business is most capably and energetically conducted by its present well-known principal, who is a prominent and influential Glasgovian of the class always holding the welfare and interests of the city close at heart. Mr. Shearer was elected to the Glasgow Town Council in 1883, was made a bailie in 1884, and is this year devoting himself earnestly and beneficially to furthering the successful prospects of the Glasgow International Exhibition, of which he is Vice-Chairman.
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