Johnston Park & Co.

Electric lighting contractors

Johnston, Park & Co. were gasolier manufacturers, gasfitters and electrical engineers. William Johnston (born Biggar, c. 1822–1873) was a zinc importer, and maker of plumbers', brassfounders and gasfitters' materials. Richard Park (c. 1830–1884) was Johnston's employee as early as 1861. When he became owner of the firm, he changed the style to 'Johnston, Park & Co.' The firm's gas lighting and heating showrooms were at 78 Gordon Street, opposite the new Central Station in 1880, before moving to 15 Oswald Street in the 1890s. 1

The firm patented numerous products including 'Maltese sliding gasaliers ... with solid glass balance-weights'; 'patent terracotta gas stoves', and specialised shop-window lighting. 2 On the Prince of Wales's marriage in 1863, Glasgow displayed the Royal Arms on plate glass, 'correctly rendered' by Johnston, 'in transparent colours [like] a cathedral window'. 3

Park's sons, Thomas Russell (c. 1862–1939) and Richard Park Junior (c. 1863–1940) inherited the firm and accompanying brassfoundry producing light-fittings and lamp-brackets. A third brother, Andrew, worked with them as an electrical engineer. Johnston, Park & Co. was wound up voluntarily in 1943. 4

Notes:

1: Death and census information, www.ancestry.co.uk and www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk [accessed 5 October 2012]; Glasgow Post Office directories, 1849–1910; Glasgow Herald, 16 February, p. 1.

2: Glasgow Herald, 29 December 1866, p. 7; 15 January 1872, p. 2; 1 July 1871, p. 8.

3: Glasgow Herald, 11 March 1863, p. 3.

4: Death, administrations and census information, www.ancestry.co.uk and www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk [accessed 5 October 2012]; Edinburgh Gazette, 26 January 1943, p. 37; 22 February 1944, p. 59.