G. & J. Weir
G. & J. Weir, Engineers, Holm Foundry, Cathcart.—
Prominent among the most notable of Glasgow’s engineering houses stands that of Messrs. G. & J. Weir, of Commerce Street, who have acquired a very eminent reputation by reason of the effective and useful character of their numerous specialities. This representative firm commenced operations in 1871, in Liverpool, and came to Glasgow in 1873, opening in Hyde Park Street, Jamaica Street, and Commerce Street.
Two years ago Messrs. Weir built large works at Cathcart for manufacturing purposes. These are well known as the Holm Foundry, and are most completely equipped with mechanical plant of the newest and best description. Their productive facilities are of a very high order, and have now centralised the whole business by removing their offices to the works, a step which will doubtless result advantageously in many ways to the house. Messrs. Weir employ a large and efficient staff of skilled artisans, engineers, clerks, and draughtsmen, the total force engaged at offices and works numbering upwards of two hundred and sixty. Great success has attended the development of this firm’s notable specialities.
As far back as 1861 Messrs. Weir first brought out what is now well and favourably known as Weir’s governor for steamships ; and in 1871 they patented the triple expansion engine and the feed-water heater for compound engines. The possibilities of success evinced by these two productions first induced Mr. Weir to devote his attention to bringing out these patents to the fullest extent. At first their progress in general favour was slow, but their unquestionable merits soon were recognised, and now 90 per cent, of the large steamships’ triple expansion engines are fitted with this firm’s connections.
In 1874 Messrs. Weir introduced their famous hydrokineter for effecting the circulation of water in marine boilers ; and this invention is now very generally adopted, having been highly commended everywhere by eminent authorities on steam engineering. In 1878 was patented Weir’s conserver for high-pressure boilers, designed to prevent corrosion by the extraction of dissolved air contained in the feed-water ; and in 1880 the firm accomplished the same object by perfecting a means of preventing the air from mingling with the feed-water in the course of its introduction to the boiler. This was achieved by fitting independent feed-pumps automatically regulated by the water in the hot well. Many other notable developments in feed-pump and valve attachments followed this in rapid succession, and in 1884 the firm introduced another improvement in their evaporator, designed to supply fresh water to make up the waste in the boilers caused by leakage. In 1885 Messrs. Weir introduced their boiler mountings, known as combination feed-checks, which dispense with the bottom and surface blow-off cocks, and also now obviate the use of the hydrokineter.
Nearly all the first-class mail steamers have adopted Messrs. Weir’s specialities in their engine equipment, and both the British and foreign Governments have largely employed their various gear in different connections. The firm’s business is particularly notable in its important Chinese relations. Messrs. Weir act as agents for the China Merchants’ Steam Navigation Company, and ship all the engineering and shipbuilding materials used in the Foochow arsenal. Their general trade is one of a highly important and influential character ; and they maintain valuable connections in prominent engineering circles at home and abroad.
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