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  1. #1
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    I have been watching this forum for some time but have finally gotten signed up
    I am more comfortable running and repairing old machinery than I am using the computer so I hope I don't make too many mistakes .
    I was prompted to get signed up after I read on the most interesting topic started by by Asquith
    Photos Marine Engineering
    a posting by Cutting oil Mac
    where he writes
    "
    Does anyone know anything about this lathe maker Interestingly enough they became Fairbairn Macpherson Coombe Barbour incorporating Urquart Lindsay Robertson Orchar Ltd ( The builders of the big vertical planer i previously mentioned) "

    My grandfather served his apprenticeship at the Robertson and Orchar ,Wallace Foundry in Dundee Scotland .
    I found an old picture in the attic some time ago that my father said was of the Wallace Foundry with my grandfather being the third man back in the row of lathes on the right hand side .

    I found Andy Robertson's Website with some information about the Wallace Foundry .
    Andy and his brother Barry had built the site mainly in connection with their family history .

    I sent Andy some of what I had and he kindlly put the pictures up on his site .
    http://www.btinternet.com/~andy.robertson/intro.htm
    to acces them from the main site go to the bottom of the page and click on
    What's new
    Here is the direct link to the Foundry page
    http://www.btinternet.com/~andy.robertson/w_fndry.htm
    Barry wrote me about their family connection with the Wallace Foundry

    "Unfortunately, the WF building was largely burnt down in the 1970s and there's not much left to look at now. In its heyday, WF was a big setup – they ended up exporting their machines all round the world, and the two owners became wealthy men.
    We have been researching the WF and have collected together some information about it. Our great-great-grandfather (Andrew R) became the manager and his brother (William R) was the business partner of James Guthrie Orchar. All three men came from humble backgrounds and started their careers as apprentice engineers. "

    The shop picture shown there has been restored using Photo Shop or similar program .
    I have a scan of the original that i will try and post later along with some other links that I have found after I see how I get along with this posting .
    Regards .
    jim

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  3. #2
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    Jim,

    Welcome aboard.

    Interesting photo. Evidently caps were worn large that year!

    Unusually(?) for that era, the lathe in the foreground has had its changewheels safeguarded from the operator. Perhaps he’d had an eye-watering encounter with the gears. Also, it has quite a big saddle, probably used for mounting work on for boring. The lathe on the right looks similar, but that appears to have a large 4-way toolpost attached.

    Once again, it’s good to see this forum serving a valuable role in saving at least some memories of these nearly-forgotten firms from sinking into oblivion.

    Thanks for posting.

  4. #3
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    Thanks Asquith .
    I still haven't figured out how to post the post the shop picture as I have it .
    in the Photoshopped version they cut out the gear from the feed mechanism on the back of the lathe on the right .


    Here are some other links with connections to Robertson and Orchar

    The Victoria Road Calander Works with equipment by R&O.
    Victoria Rd. calander works
    http://www.dundeecity.gov.uk/photodb/wc0669.htm

    I'll post more about the Dundee Photographs in another topic because there is lots of interesting stuff in that collection but not related to R &O.

    http://screenandsound.llgc.org.uk/cr...hp?titleno=848
    Title No.
    848
    Title
    Grosvenor Chater Paper Mill at Holywell
    Date
    1930s
    Description
    Advertises the "complete drive" of a paper mill, as designed and manufactured by Urquhart Lindsay & Robertson Orchar Ltd (Blackness & Wallace Foundries, Dundee). The focus of the film is the machinery, described in some detail using inter-titles with accompanying shots. A few shots show mill workers.
    Form
    Home movie
    Running time
    13 min 25 sec

    http://www.leodis.net/display.aspx?r...6&DISPLAY=FULL

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    I looked at the website, but did not see any specific product. But then I did not look long, since I can just ask you here. Would this Robertson have any relationship to the Robertson builder of milling machines in Hartford Ct. These were used in the firearms trade. I have a Robertson mill dated 1852 from hartford, patterned in the lincoln style. Not sure who came first. Did I read a Robertson arrived in canada a few years later? Perhaps?

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    Sorry I don't really know that much about the Robertson family infact I had never heard about Robertson Milling machines either .
    I find I always learn alot from this forum .
    Perhaps Andy Robertson through his site may be of some help in regards to the family .
    The main purpose of their site was for their family history and as far as i know they are not into the old machinery hobby .
    I only refered to their site as the pictures and history were already posted there .
    Regards,
    Jim

  7. #6
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    Here are some other links I found connected with Robertsson and Orchar .

    Robertson and Orchar made machinery for the Jute manufacturing buisness
    This is a link to a museum in Dundee about the Jute trade.
    Verdant Works [/URL]

    While looking around I also found this site
    http://www.rls.org.uk/

    I did a search for Robertson and Orchar .
    If you want to see more than the Thumbnail sized pictues you have to register .
    http://www.rls.org.uk/database/results.php?field=who&searchterm=%22Robertson+%26+ Orchar%22&searchdb=scran]Robertson and Orchar Search[/url]
    For some reason I can't seem to get the URl to work on this link
    It seems as though there might be lots of interesting stuff here too if one had lots of time to look .
    I did a search for Engineering works and it came back with 1126 records .
    I checked out a few pages and saw lots interesting old factory equipment .
    Search for Engineering Works
    Regards Jim

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    Hi Jim,
    Perusal of 1950 RYLAND'S ENGINEER'S DIRECTORY reveals Robertson,Charles J. Soapworks Lane,Victoria Rd. Dundee -sack sewing machines.No mention of Orchar.

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    Millwright,
    Perhaps by 1950 the company would have been listed as Urquart Lindsay Robertson Orchar Ltd .
    What little I know about the company history is what I'v read on Andy Robertson's web site and from the links I've found listed above .
    I'm hoping that by posting hear that I may find out a bit more .
    I'd also be interested to find out if any one knows any thing about the lathes in the shop picture on Andy R.'s site .
    I thought I'd seen a similar one posted on this foum a while back but I can't seem to find it now .
    I don't recall seeing any any lathes built in Canada or the U.S.A with the feed shaft or leadscrew on the back side of the machine .
    I tried looking on the UK. lathe site but I'm not familiar with all the older machine tool builders in the U.K. so I haven't found anything yet.
    Jim .

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    Jim,
    You're quite right about the company name in 1950.The RYLAND'S entry for them icludes : Blackness,Wallace & Victoria foundries,Dundee.Textile engineers & gearcutters.Regd. Oct 1921. Directors -Sir Digby Lawson, J.H. Keeling, J.Wright, T.E.R. Harris, J.A. Page, E.F.Robson, G.R. Parker. Sec.- F.G. Nicoll. Fairbairn Lawson Combe Barber Ltd. hold all the share capital of the Co.
    Good luck in you your quest to identify specific lathe design features - always expect the unexpected !

  12. #11
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    Thanks alot Millwright,
    That gives us some more to go on .
    Incase you didn't check the link above
    I copied the caption with another name change and another divison of the company in Leeds at a later date

    http://www.leodis.net/display.aspx?r...6&DISPLAY=FULL
    Description:
    Undated, The origins of this firm can be traced back to Lawson's Hope Foundry, founded in 1812 and Fairbairn's Wellington Foundry from 1828. Fairbairn Lawson Combe Barbour came into existence in 1900 as manufacturers of textile machinery. During the two World Wars, munitions were made and many female workers were employed. This view shows the Wellington Foundry.


    User Comments:


    Name:George lacey
    Comment:I started my apprenticeship as a fitter and turner with this company in 1955.At that time they made weaving looms for the textile industry.The company was later amalgamated and became Fairbairn lawson Combe and Barbour,Urahquart Lindsay Robertson and Orchar.FLCBULRO for short !!!

    Some one mayfind something to start a new topic with as I did a searc for Engineering works from this Leeds site and there are quite a few pictures listed .


    Engineering Works

    Thanks again Millwright .

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    Jim,you're welcome.
    Fairbairn Lawson's works have recently been demolished - like scores of other engineering works in recent years.Unlike some textile mills they are seldom attractive prospects for developers to convert into apartments.I'm priveleged to be working in Leeds at present, recording very early (pre 1800) works and foundries. Knowledge of the machine tools (such as they were at this time) is minimal and when most operations were carried out on the lathes,boring and drilling m/cs available. Hand fitting skills were paramount and much rivalry existed between machinebuilders.

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    I came across this advert on display at 'Oakham Treasures', a fascinating collection of memorabilia and machinery in Portbury, Bristol, UK.

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    Asquith ,
    Thanks for posting this .
    I also found an other add through your other posting
    http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb...d.php?t=180927

    I was going to post there and thank you for posting the link.

    I did a search for Robertson and Orcahr and found this and some other interesting finds .
    http://www.gracesguide.co.uk/wiki/Im...rtson.jpg#file

    I then tried to look at Andy Robertson's site again but it seems to be down now so I have an E-mail address for him and will try and see if I can get back the information he had posted .
    I have a couple of the pictures on my Photobucket site that I will link to here as soon as I get a chance .
    Regards,
    Jim

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    Thanks, Jim.

    Looking at the advert you posted from Grace's Guide that in addition to hydraulic mangles their specialities included 'Cloth crisping machines' and 'Golf ball moulding machines'!

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    I dont remember if i mentioned in a previous posting or not, But Urqhuart, Lindsay Robertson Orchar Ltd Were the builders of a range of extremely heavy, well designed (elegant) machine tools, to rival anything else made in Britain, and were found in many West of Scotland Engineering factories One of the interesting little details on any of their machine tools was a diamond motif, with the word ULRO cast inside it , A nice embelishment, Even in the mid to late 1950/s, Urqhuart Lindsay were farming out a lot of their orders for heavy castings to the West of Scotland, The very ancient and honourable ironfoundry of J Fyffe Donald & Co of Johnstone in Renfrewshire were making heavy cast iron castings for machine tool components Some weighing up to thirty tons

    Also about this time ULRO, were making large gears & gear boxes, During the second world war, they also designed ammunition works layouts, One such contract on this line which springs to mind, was a factory for producing shell forgings, and machining same, in the Lion Foundry at Kirkintilloch

  18. #17
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    Thanks Mac for your insight .
    It was one of your posts that I quoted from at the start of this thread that promted me to post this .

    Asquith the graphics in the add you posted are quite something .
    Do you have this posted on your photbucket site where I could download a copy ?
    Could you post a link?
    It would be nice to print it to put up in my shop.
    Untill i can link up with Andy Robertson's site again here is a scan of the original picture I have .
    I will have to post one of the Photoshop version to see more detail later .as well as some other related photos that Andy had on his site .
    Regards,
    Jim


    Here is the link to the above photo
    http://s220.photobucket.com/albums/d...inalfore-m.jpg

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    Jim,

    If you want to send me a private message with your e-mail address, I can send you a slightly higher resolution version. In the meantime, here's the link:-

    http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y54...onOrchar01.jpg

    The advert was actually joined to one for another Dundee firm, Don Brothers & Buist Ltd, textile spinners.

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    j.s.whites of cowes had an urquart lindsay robertson orchar lathe for turning steam turbine rotors.i have a photo somewhere.i think it was about 20 ft centres with about a 6 ft swing. it became part of elliot turbomachinery and when they closed in 1981 i believe the lathe was taken to thier plant in the states. i will post a photo soon

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    found the picture - taken in the late 1950's
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails jsw-shop-rotor-lathe-01.jpg  

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