Brown, Andrew

Brown, Andrew
SUBJECT AREA: Ports and shipping
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b. October 1825 Glasgow, Scotland
d. 6 May 1907 Renfrew, Scotland
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Scottish engineer and specialist shipbuilder, dredge-plant authority and supplier.
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Brown commenced his apprenticeship on the River Clyde in the late 1830s, working for some of the most famous marine engineering companies and ultimately with the Caledonian Railway Company. In 1850 he joined the shipyard of A. \& J.Inglis Ltd of Partick as Engineering Manager; during his ten years there he pioneered the fitting of link-motion valve gear to marine engines. Other interesting engines were built, all ahead of their time, including a three-cylinder direct-acting steam engine.
His real life's work commenced in 1860 when he entered into partnership with the Renfrew shipbuilder William Simons. Within one year he had designed the fast Clyde steamer Rothesay Castle, a ship less than 200 ft (61 m) long, yet which steamed at c.20 knots and subsequently became a notable American Civil War blockade runner. At this time the company also built the world's first sailing ship with wire-rope rigging. Within a few years of joining the shipyard on the Cart (a tributary of the Clyde), he had designed the first self-propelled hopper barges built in the United Kingdom. He then went on to design, patent and supervise the building of hopper dredges, bucket ladder dredges and sand dredges, which by the end of the century had capacity of 10,000 tons per hour. In 1895 they built an enclosed hopper-type ship which was the prototype of all subsequent sewage-dumping vessels. Typical of his inventions was the double-ended screw-elevating deck ferry, a ship of particular value in areas where there is high tidal range. Examples of this design are still to be found in many seaports of the world. Brown ultimately became Chairman of Simons shipyard, and in his later years took an active part in civic affairs, serving for fifteen years as Provost of Renfrew. His influence in establishing Renfrew as one of the world's centres of excellence in dredge design and building was considerable, and he was instrumental in bringing several hundred ship contracts of a specialist nature to the River Clyde.
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Principal Honours and Distinctions
Vice-President, Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland.
Bibliography
A Century of Shipbuilding 1810 to 1910, Renfrew: Wm Simons.
Further Reading
F.M.Walker, 1984, Song of the Clyde. A History of Clyde Shipbuilding, Cambridge.
FMW

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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