SOLE proprietor till recently, when the concern was formed into a limited liability company, of the world-famous Parkhead Forge, Rolling Mills, and Steel Works, Mr. Beardmore was born at Greenwich in 1857. A few years later his father removed to Glasgow, to work the Parkhead Forge in company with Mr. Rigby, patentee of a new and powerful type of steam hammer. The son accordingly received his education at Glasgow High School and Ayr Academy. At the age of fifteen he entered the Forge, and served for a time in each of its chief departments, attending at the same time evening classes in mathematics and chemistry at Anderson's College. He also, for 2½ years, studied chemistry and metallurgy at South Kensington School of Mines. During this period of apprenticeship his father died, but his uncle, Isaac Beardmore, who had been made a partner on the retiral of Mr. Rigby, carried on the business. In 1880 Mr. William Beardmore was in turn taken into partnership, and six years later his uncle retired from the business. Under his sole management the Forge continued to develop and extend till it covers over ninety acres, and employs some four thousand men. It has a reputation over all the world for the manufacture of all classes of armour for battleships, boiler and ship plates, castings, shafting of all descriptions up to the greatest dimensions, railway material, such as tyres, axles, finished wheels and axles, etc., etc. In 1900 the firm purchased the old-established shipyard and engineering works of Messrs. Robert Napier & Sons, the firm which had supported Messrs. Rigby & Beardmore in their early struggles, and from which they had bought the Forge itself in 1861. And now the vast new shipbuilding and engineering yard, seventy acres in extent, laid out by Messrs. Beardmore at Dalmuir, promises to rival the magnitude even of Parkhead Forge, and to become perhaps the greatest undertaking of its kind on the Clyde. The limited company was formed in 1902 with a capital of £2,500,000, and combined with that of Messrs. Vickers, Son, & Maxim. Mr. Beardmore is Chairman and Managing Director of the Scottish company, and a Director of the English one. He is a Member of the Institute of Naval Architects, of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, of the Iron and Steel Institute, and of the Institution of Shipbuilders and Engineers of Scotland.
Index of Glasgow Men (1909)