The Weir Group (Ebook)
The History of a Scottish Engineering Legend
The classic account of an international engineering industry leader's development, from the Victorian era to the present day.
In 1871 two brothers, George and James Weir, founded the engineering firm of G. & J. Weir, joining the booming range of industry on the west coast of Scotland. At their Cathcart works in Glasgow, the Weirs produced their own groundbreaking inventions. The most notable of these was the celebrated direct-acting feed pump, but all were crucial to the development of steam ships at that time.
Today, more than 140 turbulent years later, the Weir Group is almost the last of those once-flourishing companies still to retain its independence and a Scottish base.
Over the intervening century, Weir's manufactured pumps and valves for ships' engines around the world, oil pipelines and desalination plants, armaments (in the two world wars) and heavy equipment for power stations. Along the way it was also involved in other activities, including the development of the autogiro (the precursor of the helicopter) and prefabricated housing. Rooted in the inventiveness and determination of the Victorian manufacturing age, Weir's adapted to a changing world, determined always to diversify, win overseas contracts, build partnerships and above all survive. Now, as Lord Smith of Kelvin retires after more than ten years as chairman and passes an impressive legacy - further strengthened by major recent acquisitions - to his successor, Charles Berry, the Weir Group once again has success firmly in its grasp.
This fascinating story is told by William Weir, a past chairman and chief executive of the company. Combining personal reminiscence and colourful anecdote with cool analysis of the company's triumphs and occasional failures, this is an unusual company history and an invaluable record of a Scottish engineering legend.