Babtie & Bonn

Civil engineers

Carl Bonn (1858–1906) was employed as a civil engineer by Sir John Wolfe Barry and Henry Marc Brunel, son of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, from 1877 to 1890, specialising in railway and bridge engineering. Between 1890 and 1897 he worked for Formans and McCall on the West Highland Railway, the Lanarkshire and Dumbarton line and Bowling harbour improvements, and was associated with the preparation of drawings and designs for the Glasgow Central Railway. 1

In 1897 he went into partnership with John Taylor Babtie (1867–1940), a civil engineer from Dumbarton, establishing a practice at 180 Hope Street, Glasgow. In 1898, Alexander Alban Hamilton Scott was appointed architect to the firm, and in 1905 they moved to 188 West Regent Street. 2

The firm specialised in bridge and reservoir work, and was responsible for many important projects, including the structural work for the Glasgow International Exhibition of 1901, and waterworks for Dumbarton, Helensburgh, Bowling, Kilpatrick and the Vale of Leven.

After Bonn's death, Babtie merged his practice with the partnership of William Barbour Shaw and Hugh James Morton, the practice title becoming Babtie, Shaw & Morton. Scott left the firm in the following year, 1907. 3 The Babtie Group was acquired by Jacobs Engineering Group in August 2004. 4


1: 'Obituaries', Minutes of the Proceedings of the Institute of Civil Engineers, 168, 1 January 1907, p. 339.

2: Glasgow Post Office Directories, 1895–1910; 'John Taylor Babtie', Dictionary of Scottish Architects, 1840–1980, [accessed 4 September 2012].

3: 'Babtie, Shaw & Morton', Dictionary of Scottish Architects, 1840–1980, [accessed 4 September 2012].

4: 'Jacobs buys Babtie consultancy for £90m', Financial Times, 16 August 2004, [accessed 4 September 2012].