Howden UK History
Howden UK's origins are the fan and heat exchanger businesses of two companies founded by innovative engineers in the 19th century - James Howden and Samuel Davidson.
James Howden sets up business working as a consulting engineer in Glasgow.
1857 James Howden commences the design and supply of boilers and steam engines for the
marine propulsion industry.
1860 James Howden patents a method of preheating combustion air for marine boilers.
1863 James Howden introduces a furnace mechanical draught system which uses a steam
turbine driven axial flow fan.
1875 Samuel Davidson patents tea drying machinery.
1881 Samuel Davidson sets up business at Bridge End in Belfast.
1882 James Howden patents the 'Howden System of Forced Draught' which combines
mechanical draught with the transfer of heat from the flue gases to the combustion air.
1898 Samuel Davidson invents the forward bladed centrifugal fan - the 'Sirocco®' fan.
1898 Davidson and Company formed as a limited company.
1918 Howden opens a factory in Wellsville, NY, to manufacture forced draught equipment.
1923 Negotiations with A/B Ljungströms Angeturbin (ALA) result in the formation of a joint
venture company – Howden Ljungström Preheaters (Land) Limited based in Glasgow and
Wellsville to develop and manufacture the rotary air preheater.
1926 The Davidson mechanical dust collector is patented.
1931 Davidson & Company supplies its 100,000th fan.
1931 Holdings in the Howden-Ljungstrom joint ventures are exchanged and James Howden &
Company and the Ljungstrom Company take full control of the UK and the US organisations
1934 In conjunction with ICI, Howden develops a flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) system for use
in power stations. This is installed at 3 power stations in the UK.
1947 Howden supplies the main blowers for the world's first two large nuclear reactors at
1957 Lurgi licences Howden to manufacture its range of electrostatic precipitators in the UK.
1962 Howden receives an order for the first air preheater with adjustable sector plates.
1966 Howden incorporates sensors to control sector plates in its range of air preheaters.
1966 James Howden & Co receives the order for the world's first submerged gas circulators for
the UK Advanced Gas-Cooled Reactor (AGR) programme.
1979 The first air preheater is retrofitted with the Howden advanced VN sealing system.
1981 A special purpose factory is opened in Renfrew to manufacture CO2 circulators for the AGR
programme in the UK.
1982 Howden re-enters the FGD industry by supplying the second gas-gas heater to be installed
in Europe, at Nijmegen Power Station in The Netherlands.
1988 Howden acquires Davidson Group. Howden Sirocco Limited is formed, combining the air
and gas handling activities of James Howden & Co and Davidson and Co.
2001 The Company becomes part of the Power Division of Howden Group and is renamed
Howden Power Limited. It becomes the Howden global Centre of Excellence for centrifugal
fans and rotary heat exchangers.
2006 The Company is renamed Howden UK.
Howden UK History