Basic Site Details

Name: Singer Manufacturing Company Works
Town, district or village: Kilbowie
City or county: Dunbartonshire
Country: Scotland
Grid ref:
Notes: John Bennie Wilson has been attributed a role in the design of these buildings in some sources, but this is erroneous: there is no mention of it in his very detailed nomination paper.


The following date-based events are associated with this building:
 FromToEvent typeNotes
Item 1 of 418821884 Large complex of buildings begun
Item 2 of 41900  Alterations to offices
Item 3 of 41906  Date for factory given in Architectural Review (no architect given)
Item 4 of 419551958AdditionNew recreation building


Design and Construction

The following individuals or organisations have carried out design/construction work. Where architects or practices worked together, matching letters appear beside their names in the Partnership Group column.
 NameRolePartnership GroupFromToNotes
Item 1 of 7Robert Ewan  1885 Exhibited design for Singer's new factory
Item 2 of 7James Salmon & Son A1900 Alterations to offices
Item 3 of 7James Salmon (junior) A1900 Alterations to offices
Item 4 of 7John Gaff Gillespie A1900 Alterations to offices
Item 5 of 7William Forrest Salmon A1900 Alterations to offices
Item 6 of 7D S R Waugh & Associated Architects B19551958New recreation building
Item 7 of 7David Stark Reid Waugh B19551958New recreation building


The following individuals or organisations have commissioned work on this building/design:
Item 1 of 1Singer Manufacturing Co 

Related Buildings, Structures and Designs

Child Structures

This structure or site has the following component or child structures (click on an item to view details):
 Building NameNotes
Item 1 of 1Singer Manufacturing Company - 1904 FactoryKILBOWIE, GLASGOW. - Additions made to the factory at Kilbowie of the Singer Manufacturing Company were opened on Friday. At these works the company have been producing sewing-machines at the rate of 800,000 per annum, but found that while other departments could produce more, their cabinet factory prescribed this limit. They therefore decided at the beginning of the year to make an addition in order to increase production to 1,000,000 sewing-machines per annum. The contract for the new building was let to Messrs Robert McAlpine and Sons, the Glasgow firm who had erected the original factory 21 years ago. The structure measures 800 feet long, 80 feet wide, and the six floors, with flat roof, rise to a height of 90 feet. from surface level. The four walls are built of brickwork, 36 inches thick at the base, narrowing to 18 inches at the top, having at intervals of 15 feet 4 inches buttresses 3 feet wide, and projecting 18 inches from the face. The intermediate supports for the floors consist of three steel columns in the width of 80 feet, set at 15 feet 4 inch centres in the longitudinal line. These columns are built of channel section, there being four 12 inch by 3inch by 0.5 inch. channels, with six cover-plates for the two lower floors, two channels for the third and fourth floors, and H -beams for the fifth and sixth levels. The main girders, which are transverse, are formed of two joists rivetted together, while the longitudinal beams rest on these at 3 feet. 3 inch centres. The calculated load per square foot of floor is 300lb. The steel was of 27 to 32 tons ultimate tensile strength, with a minimum elongation of 20 per cent, in 8 inches. While concrete was used as a bottom for the brick foundations, ferrolithic was adopted for casing the steelwork and for forming the floors. The building is divided by fire-resisting walls of ferrolithic into four compartments, the doors of communication being of tin-lined timber, running on inclined rails, and held open by balance-weights, the chain of which is released automatically by the fusing of a solder link when the temperature becomes abnormal. [Building News 9 September 1904 p379]


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this building:
Item 1 of 3Gifford, John and Walker, Frank Arneil2002Stirling and Central Scotland (The Buildings of Scotland) New Haven and London: Yale University Pressp335 (mention of John Bennie Wilson is erroneous)
Item 2 of 3Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts1885   948
Item 3 of 3Stratten and Stratten1891Glasgow and its environs: a literary, commercial & social review past & present… London, Stratten & StrattenIllustration as first built, pp42-3

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this building:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Architectural Review1942no91 (Jan-June) p109 Article by Pevsner