Andrew & James Stewart Ltd.

Andrew & James Stewart Ltd., Manufacturers of Iapwelded Iron & Steel Boiler Tubes, & Wrought Iron Tubes & Fittings for conveying Gas, Steam, Water, &c., 41, Oswald Street, Glasgow.—

    This is one of the largest, if not, indeed, the largest, firm in the iron and steel tube trade, and has achieved an unsurpassed reputation, not only in this immediate district, but in all parts of the United Kingdom and abroad. The work of the firm is extremely comprehensive in its character, and embraces every branch connected with iron and steel tube making and kindred industries.

    A very good idea of the manufactures of this firm may be obtained from a description of their exhibit at the Glasgow International Exhibition, necessarily condensed, as space will not permit of a full and extended notice. There are in the Machinery Section several fairly good collections of wrought-iron and steel tubes, but undoubtedly the most extensive show is made by A. & J. Stewart, Limited, and, considering that tubes are things which do not lend themselves to artistic display, the firm may be congratulated upon making such an effective exhibit. The outside of the stand is arranged in a form which resembles the front of an organ, the shortest tubes used being 12 feet long by 1/4 inch diameter, and the longest 18 feet 6 inches by 12 inches diameter. The lengths might have been 30 feet, but the Executive Committee declined to admit longer lengths. In the centre of the stand is a triangle formed of tubes, made up on one side of round tubes ranging from 2 inches to 8 inches inside diameter, and on the other side, of square tubes from 1 1/2 inch to 7 inches inside diameter. On the pinnacle is placed a single tube of 20 inches inside diameter by 1/4 inch thick, and 12 feet long, and within it the smallest iron tube ever made, the internal diameter being 1/16 part of an inch. Between the outer lines of the triangle, smaller tubes are arranged both in triangular and cross-like forms.

    The next feature of the show that is noticed is a specimen of two tubes put crosswise, and welded in the centre. The welding, which has been done by hand, not only proves the excellence of the quality of metal used, but reflects the highest credit upon the workman that performed the operation.

    As a further test of the quality of metal, there is shown a coil of 260 feet of 2-inch tube, made square shape in eighteen turns, without a single join or exhibiting the least sign of defect. A similar thing has been done with 200 feet of 2-inch tube, but this is a circular coil.

    Then, as a sample of bent-work, there is shown a 3-inch tube bent in eight turns, each 6 feet high, after the fashion of the pipe of a bombardon or euphonium. Other specimens displayed consist of a 12-inch T-piece, forged by hand, and beside it is placed a 3/16-inch T-piece, also forged by hand ; a 5 1/2-inch flanged tube with the flange welded on, and another tube with a collar and loose flange ; pieces of steel tube crushed cold under a steam hammer.

    The tests to which these tubes have been subjected show that the metal has been double folded without breaking in the slightest degree ; a set of boring-tubes; several stay-tubes which are thickened by 1/8 inch at the place where they are threaded ; and a set of galvanised tubes from 1/4 to 4 inches ; point and signal rods for railways, telegraph poles, rollers for weaving machines, printing machines, and shafts and piles ; rigging screws, to refer in detail to each of which is utterly impossible within the space at command.

    In joints there are shown several specialities of this firm, two or three of which are illustrated in the accompanying woodcuts, which almost explain themselves : one is a flanged joint, Stewart’s patent ; another is a conical screwed joint with recessed sockets for extreme pressures, one block showing the outside, and the other a sectional view of socket.

The business was originally established in Glasgow in 1861 by Andrew Stewart. He afterwards assumed his brother James as a partner, and the business was then carried on by Andrew and James Stewart; but having rapidly developed a very extensive and thriving trade, the firm was in July, 1882, formed into a private limited company, the shares in which are held by the heads of the late firm and their chief officials.

    The well-known Clyde Tube Works belonging to the firm are located in Coatbridge, where also are situated the Sun Tube Works, lately remodelled so as to enable the firm fully to meet the increasing demands for their products. Both these establishments are admirably fitted with a complete equipment of the most modem and improved forms of patent machinery, no expense having been spared to render them complete in every detail. At the two Coatbridge works the principal products of the firm are manufactured, and these cover a very wide scope of operations.

    One of the chief features is the manufacture of lap welded iron and steel tubes for marine, locomotive, and stationary boilers. This is a branch to which the very special attention of the firm has always been given, and in which the most marked success has been achieved. A further leading speciality is the manufacture of oil-well boring tubes and casing tubes, and oil line pipes, which are exported to all the oil-bearing regions of the world. There is an ever increasing demand both in this country and abroad for supplies of wrought-iron screwed and socketed tubes, for the conveyance of gas, steam, water, compressed air, &c., &c.; and in this, as in the other branches of the trade, the firm has taken and still occupies the leading position. Among other specialities may be particularised—artesian well-boring tubes, boring tubes forsalt wells, blast furnace tuyere coils, bedstead and railing tubes, square, oval and rectangular tubes, gas valves, stocks, taps and dies and other articles appertaining to the tube trade.


    An interesting feature of their exhibit is a collection of old pipes of lead, wood, stone, &c., from the year 90 A.D. down to the modern steel tubes which the firm supplied for conducting water across the well-known Tay Bridge for the water supply on the south side of the river.

    Shortly after the formation of the limited company the proprietors bought the Clyde Pipe Foundry in Firhill Road, Glasgow, largely increasing the scope of their operations. The works in Firhill Road are devoted exclusively to the manufacture of cast-iron pipes for the conveyance of gas and water, and for almost every purpose to which they may be put. Thus the business carried on by the firm covers a wide area and embraces a most important branch of trade.

    A large number (about a thousand) skilled and experienced workmen are constantly employed at the various works under very careful supervision, and only work of the highest class is allowed to emanate from the various establishments of the firm. The head offices and warehouse are at 41, Oswald Street, Glasgow, where a numerous and efficient staff attend to the requirements of customers. Few firms have gained such a great reputation, and none occupy a more prominent position in the trade, and their name and character for good work is known all over the world.

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