Hall-Brown, Buttery & Co.

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Hall-Brown, Buttery (not 'Butlery') & Co. were a firm of electrical and marine engineers and ships' engine-builders, in Helen Street, Govan. 1 They were founded about 1893 by Ebenezer Hall Brown (later 'Hall-Brown', c. 1863–1920), originally a working-class engine-fitter from Springburn. 2 He designed an improved steam-engine indicator, or internal-pressure graphic recorder, while working for a Hartlepool marine engineers, around 1889. 3

Brown's co-partner was John Alexander Buttery (born Penang, Malaya, 1868–1912), 4 son and grandson of wealthy Scottish East India merchants, John Buttery (1831–1912) 5 and Alexander Kay of Cornhill House, Biggar (W. Leiper c. 1871). 6 Buttery's great-grandfather and great-uncle were successive proprietors of the Monkland Iron and Steel Company (John Buttery Senior, c. 1766–1842, and A. W. Buttery, c. 1815–1877). 7

Buttery, in 1891 was an 'engineer, locomotive builder', visiting his maternal grandfather's colleagues (James Finlay & Co.), alongside John Ure Primrose, future Lord Provost of Glasgow – a complete contrast to Brown, who was a self-made man 8 . Hall-Brown, Buttery & Co. built a triple expansion steam engine for Inverkeithing Paper Mills (1893), and 'compound surface-condensing' engines for three cargo steamers (1894). 9 Non-payment for the latter caused the Montrose Shipbuilding Co. to be wound up. 10

In 1894, their machine-output represented 5175 H.P., 11 and in 1895, they fitted a New Hebrides missionary vessel, 'engined' a Welsh passenger ferry (1896) 12 , and produced marine-engine indicators for evaluating performance efficiency. 13 . A fire in 1898 destroyed wooden patterns worth 500, 14 , but in 1899, the company still fitted engines for Russia’s Baltic timber-trade, and for Spain. 15

They merged with A. Rodger & Co, shipbuilders, Port Glasgow, around 1900, retaining both St Helen’s Engine Works, and Hall-Brown as a partner, until 1911. 16 Buttery, however, joined the Royal Engineers Militia, Submarine Miners (laying underwater ordnance) from 1902 until 1908. 17

Notes:

1: Glasgow Post Office Directories 1890–1910; these sometimes wrongly refer to 'Butlery'.

2: Census Data, and National Probate Calendar, at www.ancestry.co.uk, accessed 30 May 2013.

3: John Walter, The Engine Indicator: Internal-Spring Type, Thompson 1875, 2013, Online Resource, curated by The Canadian Museum of Making, at www.archivingindustry.com; English Census Data at www.ancestry.co.uk [both accessed 30 May 2013].

4: Census Data, at www.ancestry.co.uk and www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk; Royal Engineers, Chatham, Records of Officers, WO76/18/14, at http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk [all accessed 30 May 2013].

5: Census Data and National Probate Calendar, at www.ancestry.co.uk [accessed 30 May 2013]; Arnold Wright (Editor), Twentieth century impressions of British Malaya, London: Lloyd's Greater Britain ... Ltd, 1908, pp. 793–5.

6: Census Data and National Probate Calendar, at www.ancestry.co.uk; Building Report, Dictionary of Scottish Architects, at www.scottisharchitects.org.uk [both accessed 30 May 2013]; Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1875–6, p. 248.

7: O.P.R. Births and Deaths at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk; Andrew Miller, The Rise and Progress of Coatbridge, Glasgow: David Robertson, 1864, pp. 107–8.

8: Census Data at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk [accessed 30 May 2013].

9: Dundee Courier, 24 October 1893, p. 2; 7 March 1894, p. 4; Glasgow Herald, 8 September 1894, p. 7.

10: Edinburgh Gazette, 17 May 1895, p. 852; Dundee Courier, 21 November 1894, p. 3; 17 May 1895, p. 4; 6 June 1895, p. 2; 31 July 1897, p. 4.

11: Glasgow Herald, 18 December 1894, p. 4.

12: Glasgow Herald, 20 August 1895, p. 8; 27 May 1896, p. 8.

13: John Walter, The Engine Indicator: Marks found on Indicators, 2013, Online Resource, curated by The Canadian Museum of Making, at www.archivingindustry.com [accessed 30 May 2013].

14: Belfast News-Letter, 17 October 1898, p. 7; Scotsman, 17 October 1898, p. 6.

15: Glasgow Herald, October 1899, p. 3; 8 December 1899, p. 9.

16: Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1900–01, p. 524; 1901–02, pp. 271, 528. Edinburgh Gazette, 20 February 1912, p. 177.

17: Royal Engineers, Chatham, Records of Officers, WO76/18/14, at http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk, accessed 30 May 2013 (describes service as only until 1905; Gazette gives until 1908); London Gazette, 6 May 1902, p. 3016; 2 June 1905, p. 3941; 4 July 1905, p. 4632; 14 July 1908, p. 5135.