Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Summerlee Iron Co

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of Glasgow

Summerlee Iron Works was one of the first iron works built using the revolutionary 'hot blast' method of making iron invented by James Beaumont Neilson which transformed the iron industry in Scotland.

1836 The works were established by James Neilson's elder brother John Neilson, whose son, Walter Neilson, an all-round practical engineer, was called on to manage the new blast furnace. He was the junior partner in the firm formed to start the works; the other members of the firm were his father (John Neilson), and Messrs. George and John Wilson, of Dalmarnock and the Hurlet Alum Works and was long known as Wilsons and Co. At first the works had two blast furnaces, the blowing-engine for which was made at Oakbank Foundry.

c.1870 The Summerlee Iron Co took over the works of Wilsons and Co which had ceased operation. The Summerlee company consisted of Walter Neilson, his brother Hugh Neilson, and Messrs. John and William Neilson, sons of the former; the manager was Mr. George Neilson, another son, who had been in that position for several years.

1896 The company was registered on 23 June, as the Summerlee and Mossend Iron and Steel Co, to acquire the business of a firm carried on under the same title.

1906 The name was changed to Summerlee Iron Co[1]

1921 Death of Walter Neilson (c.1849-1921), ironmaster, director of the Summerlee Iron and Coal Co[2].

1926 Summerlee's furnaces went out for the last time.

Late 1930s, the site was demolished and the remains of the ironworks were covered over.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  2. The Times 6 December 1921