Wilson Brothers, Starch Manufacturers, Loch Katrine Starch Works, Garscube Road.—
Somewhat closely connected with the grain trade, which in Glasgow is one of the most important branches of mercantile industry, is the manufacture of starch. Starch forms an essential property of all kinds of grain, but it is not every description of grain that is used. Starch made from Indian corn has been found to be suitable for a great many purposes. A well-known house engaged in this branch of the trade is that now known under the title of Wilson Brothers, of whom the partner are Messrs. David, John, and Robert Wilson. So far as the present firm is concerned its history is somewhat short, it having been first started in 1885, but Mr. Robert Wilson, the managing partner, has been connected with the starch manufacturing industry since 1864, and was, until the dissolution of the firm, managing partner of that known as Robert Wilson & Co.
Thus he was enabled to bring his lengthy experience to bear upon the control of the present concern, and as the works are under his personal supervision there exists a guarantee for the superiority of the firm’s productions. It may be interesting to give a necessarily brief description of the firm’s works. These are known as the Loch Katrine Starch Works, and cover an area of upwards of five thousand square yards. Situated on the banks of the Forth and Clyde Canal (opposite the junction of the New City Road with the Garscube Road) they are conveniently located for the dispatch and receipt of goods, supplies, coals, &c., the canal affording every facility in this direction. The buildings were used as a starch factory before they±were occupied by Messrs. Wilson, but they had been closed for some time previously to the present owners taking possession. Several large buildings conveniently arranged constitute the works.
The maize or Indian corn, which is imported on a very extensive scale from the United States, South America, &c., is ground by means of large French burr millstones. After grinding there is a sifting and separating process, followed by a further separating and purifying process in large tuns, of which there are a great many in the works. Only Loch Katrine water is used, and it will be readily believed that a large quantity is required. Quite a big pipe is led in from the main to the meter and through the works, branching off from which are three-inch and two-inch and smaller branches. The starch, after having been thoroughly purified, is taken to the drying stoves, which are heated by the exhaust steam from the engines. When dried it has much the same appearance as corn flour. The starch made in this factory is used for various purposes, a large proportion being for gum making, in which case it undergoes an extra special process to adapt it for this use. The whole of the works are fitted with the most improved forms of modern machinery, no expense having been spared to render the establishment thoroughly complete in every respect. After the starch has been extracted from the corn the remaining portion is made into feeding meal for cattle, and commands a ready sale for this purpose. Thus there is no waste, every particle of the corn being devoted to some useful purpose.
Messrs. Wilson Brothers do a large trade in all parts of the United Kingdom, and also in the export department. The business is very ably conducted in every detail, and occupies a deservedly leading position among the chief industries of Glasgow.
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