James & George Thomson

James & George Thomson, Engineers and Shipbuilders, Clydebank, Dumbartonshire.—

    This firm was founded in 1846, by the brothers James Mid George Thomson, who commenced business as engineers at Clydebank Foundry, Finnieston Street, Glasgow, adding, five or six years later, the shipbuilding branch at Govan, near Glasgow. The business was transferred, about seventeen years ago, to the present premises, about seven miles from Glasgow, and in that locality (named from their works) has been formed one of the largest and most complete shipbuilding yards and engine works in this country, covering an area of about fifty acres, including a dock of ample size for the largest vessels, shear legs to lift 120 tons, locomotive transport throughout the works ; complete system of hydraulic power for riveting, punching, lifting, bending, and the other operations usually effected by steam appliances, a complete arrangement of electric lighting for the shops and open yard ; extensive ranges of engine and boiler shops, worked by overhead cranes, and containing all necessary plant, from the most massive to the most minutely finished description ; amongst other departments, a joiners’ and cabinet shop filled with the latest American wood-shaping and finishing tools, &c., &c. The works are reached by the Clydebank Railway from Glasgow in twenty minutes. The launching facilities are specially favourable, the yard being situated on the banks of the Clyde, opposite to the junction of the Cart, thereby giving a width of water space amply sufficient for the safe launching of the largest vessels yet built.

    Messrs. J. & G. Thomson have built all sizes and descriptions of vessels, with machinery for their propulsion, but they have for many years made a speciality of turning out first-class ocean steamers. Among other companies they have built for, their largest customers have been the Cunard Company, a connection extending over more than a quarter of a century, and summing up something like 120,000 tons, and 100.000 horse-power. Messrs. Thomson are presently building for the Inman & International Steamship Company, the City of New York and City of Paris of 11,000 tons and 20,000 horse-power each. These are the largest and most powerful passenger steamers as yet built in this country.

    Messrs. Thomson have, within the last few years, directed their special attention to high-speed war ships ; they have recently built for the Spanish Government the Reina Regente of 5,000 tons, and 12.000 horse-power, which attained on trial a speed of 21 knots, and for the same Government, the Destructor, torpedo catcher, which realized a speed of 22 1/2 knots ; also for the Russian Government, the fast torpedo boat, Wiborg. For the British Government, Messrs. Thomson have built a large amount of tonnage and supplied a number of sets of engines and boilers ; recently they have built and fitted with machinery, seven high-speed cruisers of the Scout and Archer class, and supplied engines of 8,800 horse-power for H.M.S. Aurora.

    While specially designed for the production of such vessels as we have named, the works of Messrs. Thomson have turned out not a few of the lighter and more graceful craft which ply on our own waters, notably the celebrated West Highland fleet, now owned by Mr. David MacBrayne, which comprises, amongst others, the Columba, Iona, Grenadier, &c., &c.

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