Reid family: (Neilson & NBL) also William Lorimer and his son William Douglas Lorimer

The Reid family, through their ownership of the North British Locomotive Company, which by the time it was formed in 1903, dominated locomotive manufacture in Scotland. It was formed from Dubs, Neilson and Sharp Stewart (the last-named of which had originated in Manchester and moved to Glasgow in the 1880s). Thus it seems appropriate to consider Walter Neilson and Henry Dubs herein. The Reids may be regarded as the "Thanes" of Springburn leaving their stamp on libraries and parks, albeit their brilliance as locomotive builders evapourated with steam..

James Reid
Accordiing to Marshall James Reid was born in Kilmaurs on 8 September 1823 and died on the golf course at St Andrews on 23 June 1894. He had an extensive background in engineering, both in Scotland, and with Sharp, Stewart in Manchester which he joined in 1858. In 1863 he became Manager of Neilson & Co. in Springburn, Glasgow. James and his sons made North British Loco into a huge family business..

There is a Glasgow website with page devoted to James Reid (includes a portrait of the man who had become a very senior figure in Glasgow public life.
Hunt, David. Locomotive builders to the Midland Railway. Midland Record, (21), 111-26.
Includes a portrait of James Reid

Andrew Thompson Reid
Marshall states born in Glasgow on 17 July 1863 and died in City on 16 September 1940. Son of James Reid. Educated Loretto School and Glasgow University. Became a Partner in firm in 1893. He was chief managing director of North British Locomotive Co., Ltd., and was the son of the late Mr. James Reid, who sometime in the 1850’s was identified with Neilson, Reid and Co., of the Hyde Park Locomotive Works, founded in 1837. He was educated at Glasgow Academy, Loretto School, Musselburgh, and at Glasgow University. As a pupil in his father’s firm he passed through all branches of locomotive building and design and latterly spent some years in the estimating and purchasing departments. In 1893 he became a partner and as always was active in its management. The year 1903 saw the amalgamation of Messrs. Neilson and Co., Sharp, Stewart and Co., Ltd., and Dubs and Co., Ltd., under the name of the North British Locomotive Co., Ltd., and Mr. A. T. Reid was appointed managing director of the new company. He became chief managing director in succession to his brother, the late Sir Hugh Reid, Bart., in 1935, who with Sir John and Mr. Walter M. Neilson Reid made up the four brothers identified with the firm, its fortunes and success. The fifth son was the Right Rev. E. T. S. Reid, Bishop of Glasgow and Galloway and of St. Andrews. Mr. A. T. Reid was a Deputy Lieutenant and a Justice of the Peace of the City of Glasgow and Perthshire. His home was at Auchterarder House, where he had a fine art collection and a famous herd of Aberdeen-Angus cattle. Obituary: J. Instn Loco. Engrs., 1940, 30, 423.

Hugh Reid
Marshall states that Hugh Reid was born in Manchester on 9 February 1860 and died in Glasgow on 7 July 1935. He was the son of James Reid and was born whilst his father was working for Sharp Stewart, but in 1863 he returned to Scotland to manage the Neilson & Co. In 1893 he was joined by his four sons, including Hugh. On the death of his father in 1894 he became senior partner of the firm which in 1903 became part of the North British Locomotive Company of which he became Deputy Chairman and Chief Managing Director. He was the co-inventor of the unfortunate Reid-Ramsay steam turbine electric locomotive, and subsequently the Reid-McLeod design. He also patented a bogie steam locomotive which appeared to conflict with the Garratt patents. He received the freedom of the City of Glasgow in 1917 and was created a baronet in 1922. Searching for the work of others at this time has shown that the Reid family had widespread interests which extended to improvements to road vehicles..

262,244 Improvements relating to locomotives, with North British Locomotive  Co. Applied 18 November 1925. Published 9 December 1926.
This invention relates to locomotives of the double bogie type in which the whole weight of the upper structure, including the boiler and the cab, the water tank and the fuel tank or bunker, is carried on a main frame pivoted towards its ends to two-self-driving bogies.

237,640 Improvements in or relating to locomotives with James MacLeod. Applied 12 April 1924. Published 6 August 1925.
237,338 Power transmitting mechanism with James MacLeod. Applied 23 April 1924. Published 23 July 1925.
216,401 Improvements in connection with locomotive engines, with North British Locomotive  Co. Applied 10 August 1923. Published 29 May 1924.
The invention relates to locomotive engines of the double bogie type in which the whole weight of the upper structure, including the boiler, water and fuel tanks and cab, is carried on a main carrying frame pivoted towards its ends to two self driven bogies as in the "Fairlie" type of locomotive engine; and the invention, while retaining the important advantages of the control of the bogies in lateral movement from the main frame of the "Fairlie" type of engine, and of having rigid (water and liquid fuel) pipe connections between the tanks and boiler, has for its object to provide an improved construction of the carrying frame so that whilst a large boiler may be used its centre of gravity may be kept low, and so that the water and fuel tanks and other structures may be carried on the outer ends of the carrying frame the end portions of which are directly over the bogies, thus giving free access to the boiler and at the same time permitting of the boiler with the mid portion of the carrying frame being removed to facilitate repair or overhaul without disturbing the water and fuel tanks

187,786 Improvements in or relating to locomotives with James MacLeod. Applied 2 September 1921. Published 2 November 1922.
182,356 Improvements in or relating to locomotives with James MacLeod. Applied 18 August 1921. Published 6 July 1922.
178.881 Improvements in or relating to locomotives. with James MacLeod. Applied 9 December 1920. Published 10 April 1922.
19664/1905 Improvements in locomotives, with David MacNab Ramsay. Applied 29 September 1905. Published 13 September 1906.
10311/1904 Improvements in locomotives with David MacNab Ramsay. Applied 5 May 1904. Published  4 May 1905.

[Sir] John Reid
Marshall states born in Manchester on 28 October 1861: son of James Reid. Died 25 January 1933. Educated Glasgow Academy, Herbertshire Castle School and Glasgow Mechanics Institute. Apprenticed Neilson Reid. Taken into partnership in 1893. Knighted 1918.

References to:

Bradley, Rodger P.
Giants of steam the full story of the North British Locomotive Co. Ltd. Oxford Publishing. 1995. 198pp.
Foreword by Sir Hugh Reid (son of subject), President of the North British Locomotive Preservation Group.

Tufnell, Robert
Prototype locomotives. Newton Abbot: David & Charles, 1985. 112pp.
Chapter 3: Turbine condensing locomotives,

Lorimer, Sir William
Biography by Sheila Hamilton in ODNB calls Lorimer a locomotive engineer and industrialist: KPJ: it would seem that there is no evidence to call Lorimer an engineer. William Lorimer was born on 4 November 1844 in Sanquhar, Dumfriesshire, son of William Lorimer, house factor, and Margaret Whigham. He attended the local parish school and at the age of fifteen joined the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway Company, probably as an apprentice or clerk. In 1864 he moved into locomotive engineering as a cashier in the newly founded business of Dübs & Co. Lorimer made an impression on Dübs and was made his principal assistant in 1867. By 1875 Lorimer was made a partner in the firm and only one year later Dübs died, leaving the business in the hands of his two sons, Henry and Charles, and William Lorimer. As managing partner Lorimer held a key role in the firm with the Dübs sons assuming a lower profile.

In 1874 Lorimer began a long association with the Steel Company of Scotland Ltd. He acted as its general manager, in a caretaker role between 1874 and 1878. He then joined the board, following Henry Dübs, who had also been a director. From 1878, under the chairmanship of Sir Charles Tennant, the company went through a period of technical innovation and expansion, but this brought over-expansion and near bankruptcy. When Tennant resigned in 1895 it was Lorimer who took over as chairman and restored business confidence and a measure of stability.. He resigned in 1918, but was then given the position of honorary president. KPJ: it is interesting that this gives some hint of near vertical integration in the locomotive supply industry..

Such qualities of leadership also led to Lorimer's appointment as chairman of the North British Locomotive Company in 1903. Lorimer's interest in the welfare of his workers was marked during the 1903 amalgamation by his conveyance to trustees of a large number of shares in the North British Locomotive Company to provide pensions for aged and infirm workmen. He was a director of the Glasgow and South Western Railway Company. He was elected a member of the Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland in 1896 and also was a member of the West of Scotland Iron and Steel Institute. From 1900 he was chairman of the Locomotive Manufacturers' Association of Great Britain. Education was close to his heart and Lorimer served on several bodies. He was a governor of the Royal Technical College of Glasgow, a governor of Hutcheson's Education Trust and was closely associated with Glasgow University: he received an honorary degree of LLD in 1910. In 1911 Lorimer was appointed to the dominions commission, a body set up to survey the natural resources of the overseas dominions and to assess the possible trade links.

Lorimer was a man of simple tastes and outlook. When young he developed an interest in literature and through his membership of several literary societies and clubs became a keen collector of books. Two sons followed their father into locomotive engineering; and in 1903 Lorimer passed the day-to-day running of the Queen's Park works to his son William, one of the joint managing directors. He received a knighthood in 1917, and died on 9 April 1922 at home in Glasgow. He was buried in Cathcart cemetery on 12 April.

William Douglas Lorimer
Grandson of William Lorimer (above). Born in London in 1889. Educated at Cambridge University. Director of NBL. Died aged 53. Obit. J. Instn Loco. Engrs, 1958, 48, 420.

Neilson, Walter Montgomerie
Born in Glasgow in 1819 and died in Florence, Italy on 8 July 1889 (Marshall). Son of James Beaumont Neilson (1792-1865) inventor of the hot blast for iron manufacture (subject of ODNB biography by Francis Espinasse revised by Ian Donnachie). Trained with his uncle John Neilson of the Oakbank Foundry, builders of the first iron ship on the Clyde. John Thomas' Springburn story and Lowe tell of his locomotive building activities in Glasgow.
396/1855 Position of driving axle. 22 February 1855.
988/1856 Locomotives. 24 April 1856
0-4-0ST with single 10in x 16in cylinder (Ahrons)

On an improved locomotive boiler. Proc. Instn Mech. Engrs, 1856, 7, 236-8.
Hunt, David. Locomotive builders to the Midland Railway. Midland Record, (21), 111-26.
Includes a portrait: another in John Thomas (a cartoon-type drawing/photograph) shows him in Masonic Regalia.

Dubs, Henry
Dübs was born in Guntersblum, Hesse Darmstadt in Germany on 10 March 1816 and died in Glasgow on 24 April 1876. Marshall notes that he was apprenticed in a small workshop in Mainz. In 1834 he joined Reuleux in Aix-la-Chapelle where he became the shop manager when aged 21. Following a period in the drawing office of Sharp, Roberts in Manchester he became works manager of the Vulcan Foundry in 1842. He was briefly with Beyer Peacock before joining W.M. Neilson in Glasgow, but in 1865 he opened his own works in Glasgow.
Hunt, David. Locomotive builders to the Midland Railway. Midland Record, (21), 111-26.
Includes a portrait of Henry Dubs.

Robinson, Cecil Herbert
Educated at Repton and at Owen’s College, Manchester. He served his engineering apprenticeship with the North British Locomotive Co., Ltd., from September, 1908, till May, 1911, and was in the drawing oftice from the latter date till March, 1912. He then proceedcd to the Darlington works of the North-Eastern Railway, where he obtained further experience in the works and running sheds, and on the footplate. He returned to the works of the North British Locomotive Co., Ltd., and on the outbreak of WW1 he enlisted and subbequently served as Captain in the Royal Engineers, being located at the French military and transport machine shops at St. Etienne du Rouvray, near Rouen. From 1919 he was associated with the works manageria1 department of the North British Locomotive Co., Ltd., and was appointed a director in 1934. His grandfather, John Robinson, Chairman of Sharp Bros. & Co., Locomotive Builders, Atlas Works, Manchester, had introduced the injector to Britain having noticed one at work on a steamer on the River Seine he obtained the patent rights, and injectors were produced for many years at the Atlas works in Manchester. He was a member of the Springburn Local Employment Committee under the Ministry of Labour, and was an employers’ representative on the Springburn Juvenile Advisory Committee. His experience of labour problems made his service in both these capacities particularly valuable. For a time he also took an active interest in the Springburn Committee of the City of Glasgow Society of Social Service. He died on 24 November 1940 aged 52. (obituary. J. Instn Loco. Engrs, 1940, 30, 504.