Johnstone History Museum
Johnstone History Society • Scotland
Recently we received an enquiry from Chile about a Machine Tool made in Johnstone by Thomas Shanks & Sons. The enquiry to our web site was from a man in Chile who communicated in Spanish. Luckily our web sponsor, Rees Clark, is fluent in Spanish, so was able to communicate with our contact. More of the story to follow once Rees fills in this section of the story.
For more Thomas Shanks Machine Tools go to Thomas Shanks
Cockatoo Island Dockyard in Sydney. Large Thomas Shanks machines. Photographs courtesy of Mori Flapan of Sydney Australia.
For more Thomas Shanks Machine Tools at Cockatoo click on link Thomas Shanks
The Cockatoo Island Dockyard was a major dockyard in Sydney, Australia, based on Cockatoo Island. The Dockyard was established in 1857to maintain Royal Navy warships. It later built and repaired military and battle ships, and played a key role in sustaining the Royal Australian Navy. The Dockyard was closed in 1991, and its remnants are heritage listed as the Cockatoo Island Industrial Conservation Area. Credit Wikipedia.
Recently we have been amazed to find evidence of how Johnstone Machine Tools reached right round the world.
This first story starts when John McFarlane, a visitor to the Museum, told us about his father's uncle, Tom McFarlane, who had worked in Loudon Bros Machine Tool Company in Johnstone. He added that Tom had not only worked in Loudon's but had been in charge of a small team who travelled to Russia to install a huge planing machine in a Russian Machine shop. John subsequently brought us in a photograph of this event. The Machine was a Planing Machine and one of the largest machine tools made by Loudons.
An Apprentice’s Personal Journey by John Steel
In this latest article on John Langs, John steel describes his journey from Apprentice to Journeyman. Read his story via the link below
John Steel's Article
Skilled trades workers were a major factor in the development of Johnstone's reputation as a center of innovation in the 19th and 20th Centuries. Eddie McRorie has described his experiences working in the machine tool industry in the 1970s; excerpts follow, click here
for the full story or
for the related gallery.
Johnstone History Society welcomes submissions of personal, professional and company histories. Use the Contact form to suggest a topic or submit an article for evaluation by the editors.
Iain Reynolds of Johnstone has kindly provided us with an interesting insight into the importance of the Fair to all of the Town's citizens.
Read the Letter
The Lang organisation started as a private family partnership and progressed into a limited company around 1916. John Lang and Sons specialised in designing and producing lathes. Although they mainly and successfully produced lathes. The company also produced tools and machine parts such as gears.
Read the Article