R. Smith & Co.

Supplier of iron fittings

Robert Smith (b. 1884) was a blacksmith, like his father, and in 1901 was training as an apprentice smith. In 1910, he set up as R. Smith & Co. ‘art and general ironworker’ among other small workshops in Townhead, to the N.E. of Glasgow city centre, before moving to 250 Alexandra Parade, Dennistoun six years later. 1 The business remained there for nearly 40 years, making staircases, gates and railings, and shared the site with other construction-related trades. 2

A much later project for Smith's, in 1953, was supplying and fitting ‘ornamental ironwork, gates, railings and other steelwork, both inside the building and outside’, for the new Wills tobacco factory on Alexandra Parade. 3 As the factory covered eight acres, with a frontage of 386 feet, this was a significant contract for the firm.

In the mid-1950s, when reorganised as limited company, R. Smith & Co. (Dennistoun) Ltd, the firm moved to 11 Pinkston Road, and then again in the late 1960s, to 450 Petershill Road. 4 The firm was voluntarily wound up in 1977, the director at the time being a James Smith. 5


1: Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1910–11, p. 618; 1916–17, p. 596; census information, www.ancestry.co.uk [accessed 11 November 2012].

2: Glasgow Herald, 29 October 1953, p. 4.

3: Glasgow Herald, 29 October 1953, p. 4.

4: Glasgow Phone Directory, 1955, p. 423; 1956, p. 467; 1970, p. 779, British Phone Books, 1880–1984 (online database), www.ancestry.co.uk [accessed 11 November 2012].

5: Edinburgh Gazette, 15 February 1977, p. 205; 8 March 1977, p. 313; 4 December 1981, p. 1667.