J. Copeland & Co.
J. Copeland & Co., Engineers, Pulteney Street, Dobbies Loan.
It is particularly interesting in reviewing historically the various industries and manufactures of this city and district to meet with a firm of such old standing and extensive connections as that of Messrs. J. Copeland & Co., engineers, of the Pulteney Street Engine Works, Dobbie's Loan, and to accord to this eminent house that special prominence in these reviews which its high and influencial position in the trade so justly demands. Dating back in its foundation to the year 1863, this establishment has been most intimately associated with the progress and development of this important branch of industry from that period up to the present day. The firm commenced business originally under the title of John Norman & Co. The nucleus of the present extensive works then formed, which from time to time have been enlarged and extended to meet the requirements of the trade. Under the above title the firm continued to be successfully conducted until 1880, when Mr. Copeland, who had been an active partner since the establishment of the Pulteney Street Works, now took over the business.
It would be impossible within the limits of the present article to give a detailed account of the very varied machinery manufactured by them since the works were started. It must suffice to say that the works are laid out on an extensive scale, covering a very large area of ground, and are replete with all the most improved machinery and appliances that skill, experience, and mechanical science have devised, and capable of undertaking the construction of the most elaborate machinery or plant used in the arts, manufactures, or hydraulic or railway engineering. Some idea of the magnitude of the operations here carried out may be gathered from the fact that over three hundred skilled and experienced workmen are constantly employed in the various departments. All kinds of general engineering and boiler-making work are extensively carried on.
Special attention is given to the latter branch of the business. The firm make it a rule that all boilers be made of the very best plates and of the most reliable workmanship. Bridges, girders, roofs, and iron houses are also constructed in this department. The following are a few of the specialities of this firms manufacture, viz.: sugar, rice, flourmills ; distillery and oil-refining plants ; machinery for ice-making, for tea-leaf rolling and drying, for chemical works, for steel and iron making, &c. ; water wheels, steam engines, general hydraulic work, presses, machines for printing calico scarfs, and also for printing linoleum and floor-cloth. With reference to the steel-making machinery we may say that this firm recently constructed and tested a special hydraulic shearing machine, capable of exerting a pressure of 1,000 tons, and cutting steel slabs 30 ins. by 1O ins., as they came from the mill.
The manufacture of sugar plant has always been a large trade with this firm. As an instance of their capacity for producing this class of work, it may be mentioned that a few seasons ago Messrs. Copeland & Co. sent to Cuba a complete sugar-refining plant, including triple effect evaporating apparatus, vacuum pan, &c., &c., weighing altogether about three hundred tons, and capable of making forty-five tons of sugar per day. This large plant was made by the firm in the short space of four months.
The firm also manufacture Haworths patent tea-leaf rolling machines and drying machines, together with special engine and boilers adapted for its use. Also the new system of slip-dock ships cradle constructed by Messrs. Copeland. This is one of the greatest successes of the day, and far superseding the old and costly system of hauling up on greased ways. These slips can be made of any size and shipped with the greatest facility to any harbour at home or abroad ; they also make machinery for hauling up the ships on a cradle, either by strong wire rope worked by engines and gearing, or by a hydraulic purchase with strong linked chain and pins. Messrs. Copeland shipped, about three years ago, one of these latter to Queensland for the Brisbane Patent Slip Dock Company, which firm have been so pleased with the design, workmanship, and capabilities of this style of hauling up ships, that they have now ordered from Messrs. Copeland another hydraulic purchase of a much heavier size to work at three tons pressure, complete with pumps and cradle mountings.
This firm have just shipped an ice machine to Rangoon capable of making five tons of ice per day ; two flour-mill plants to Japan and one to Spain ; a large rice-mill plant to Japan, complete with engines and boilers, &c. ; a distillery to Spain, &c. ; and have in hand at the present time the slip dock for Brisbane already referred to ; hydraulic presses and pumps for Damascus; pontoon bridges for Burmah ; tea-leaf rolling machines, tea-leaf drying stoves for India ; chemical machinery for France and Germany ; besides a large machine for printing linoleum, and other local work for mills, steel works, and chemical works, &c. The business connections of this firm extend to all parts of the globe, and the magnitude of their industrial operations, and the extent of the mercantile transactions of Messrs. J. Copeland & Co., fully justify their position as one of the largest and most influential of the great commercial establishments of this city.
Back to Index of Firms (1888)