Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,347 pages of information and 233,846 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

William Spence and Son

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1920. Exhibit at Amberley Working Museum.
1920. (Detail). Exhibit at Amberley Working Museum.

of Cork Street Foundry and Engineering Works, Dublin.

1856 In conjunction with three of his brothers, William Spence started a business in Cork Street, Dublin, as general engineers, millwrights, iron and brass founders, specialising in brewery, distillery, and corn and flour mill machinery.

After a few years, because of the level of demand, they found it necessary to move to larger premises, also in Cork Street.

Contracts were carried out for Messrs. A. Guinness, Son and Co., Dublin, Messrs. J. J. Murphy and Co., Cork, Red Lion Brewery, London, and Messrs. Jameson and Co., Dublin, in whose distillery they made and erected the largest mash tuns in the world.

1872 the partnership was dissolved

William Spence then acquired the works, and commenced on his own account, maintaining this business up to his death.

1875 Erected the 3-foot equatorial telescope for the Earl of Rosse

Later made and erected very large brewery plants throughout the country, also steel-framed light-houses, air-compressors and sirens for the Irish Lights Board, bridges, roofs, screw-pile work and railway plant, engines, boilers, locomotives, and the first road locomotive in Ireland.

By 1907, the works had doubled in size since 1887, all types of engineering work being undertaken.

Built locomotives for the Guinness Brewery: A total of 18 were produced.[1]. The locomotives were designed by the brewery's engineer, Samuel Geoghegan. See Samuel Geoghegan: Locomotives

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. British Steam Locomotive Builders by James W. Lowe. Published in 1975. ISBN 0-905100-816