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British Industrial History

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William Bruce Thompson

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William Bruce Thompson (1837-1923) founder of W. B. Thompson and Co and later a director of the Caledon Shipbuilding and Engineering Co

1923 Obituary

The death is announced as having taken place on the 8th inst., at Dundee, of Mr. William Bruce Thompson. Mr. Thompson, who was about eighty six years of age, was born at Broughty Ferry in 1837. He served his apprenticeship as an engineer in Dundee Foundry, and afterwards went to Russia, where he remained for several years. Returning to Dundee in 1866, he began business as an engineer and shipbuilder in Tay Foundry. Two small vessels were built and transported over land - for the foundry was some distance from the river - and successfully launched. In 1874 he started the Caledon Shipyard, the first vessel built in which was a composite steam yacht for the Earl of Caledon, who consented to give his name to the yard. The business flourished, and many notable steamers and sailing ships were built in it. In 1881 Mr. Thompson extended his interests to the Clyde, and for five years carried on a yard at Whiteinch, where he built some very large and handsome steel ships. He also carried through a number of important salvage operations. Under the firm name of W. B. Thompson and Co., Ltd., the Dundee business was conducted until 1896, when the yard and Lilybank Engine Works were taken over by the present firm, the Caledon Shipbuilding and Engineering Co Limited, of which Mr. Thompson was a director. [1]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Engineer 1923/06/15