The rise of Port Glasgow as an important shipbuilding area has its roots in the eighteenth century. By the 1780's John Wood's yard was in operation in Port Glasgow. As the area became a flourishing shipbuilding area many other builders and associated industries came to the area such Ropeworks & canvas manufacturers. The initial idea for the building of the Comet came from Henry Bell. In 1811 he ordered a vessel from Messrs John Wood and Sons of Port Glasgow. The keel was laid in October of that year. The location of John Wood's shipyard was in Shore Street, Port Glasgow on the site of what later became the yard of Robert Duncan & Co. The Comet was launched on 24th July 1812. It was the first steam powered vessel in Europe to carry fare paying passengers. John Wood's yard in Port Glasgow followed their success with the 'Comet' by producing a notable list of steam vessels in later years.
The period 1875 - 1914 saw the fullest development of the shipbuilding industry. Ferguson Brothers at Port Glasgow's Newark Yard specialised in ferries, coaster and specialist vessels. Another specialist was Murdoch & Murray who operated from their yard at Brown Street in Port Glasgow.Henry Murray commenced shipbuilding in Port Glasgow , Scotland, in 1866 or 1867 at the Kingston Yard , later known as the Brown Street shipyard. Ships were built there until vessel no.114 and then at Sandpoint, Dumbarton, Scotland, until Murray went out of business in 1883.
Henry's original business was known as Henry Murray & Co from 1880. He was a partner in two other firms, Murdoch & Murray at the Glen Yard, Port Glasgow in 1874 and Murray Brothers , in Dumbarton in 1883. Murray Brothers only built sixteen small ships and closed down in 1890, their goodwill being taken over by Murdoch & Murray .
Murdoch & Murray was reformed as the Port Glasgow Shipbuilding Co in 1912 and remained in business until ship no.304 in 1923. The company was eventually taken over by Lithgows Ltd , shipbuilders and repairers, Port Glasgow
Yards And Dates Of Ownership
2: Inch Yard
4: Glen Yard
5: Brown Street Yard
6: East Yard
7: Bay Yard
8: Newark Yard
9: Castle Yard
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