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Sir William Beardmore

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Sir William Beardmore

Sir William Beardmore (1856-1936) was an iron and steel magnate and shipbuilder.

Beardmore served his apprenticeship at his father's Parkhead Forge. In 1877 he founded William Beardmore & Co, which gained worldwide fame as an engineering and shipbuilding firm. Expansion at Parkhead Forge added new plate mills, open-hearth steel plant, a steel foundry and a large forging press and tyre mill to supply the railway industry. Beardmore's shipbuilding interests were built up by the acquisition of the Govan shipyard of Robert Napier & Sons and by large scale investment in the new Naval Construction Works at Dalmuir.

During the First World War, Beardmore made an immense contribution to the war effort through the provision of warships, tanks, aircraft and guns. At its peak, the company employed over 40,000 workers on Clydeside. Further diversification into the manufacture of motor cars, civil aircraft and airships after the war proved unprofitable. The company went into decline amid difficult economic conditions, and Bearmore's last years saw him oversee the running down and dissolution of many of his privately-owned businesses.

Reference: GC 052 BAI, no.2517

Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning

Keywords:
airplanes, airships, armaments, artillery, engineering, First World War, guns, ironmasters, motor cars, munitions, Naval Construction Works, Parkhead Forge, portraits, Robert Napier & Sons, shipbuilders, shipbuilding, shipyards, steel, tanks, warships



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