The Howden Story

We provide our customers with engineering expertise based on a long history of innovation in the air and gas handling field, and our past achievements still inform the way we work today.

Innovation

In 1854, aged 22, James Howden set up his own consulting engineering business in Glasgow, Scotland, competing against professional engineers of greater age and experience.

 

1857

James Howden commences the design and supply of boilers and steam engines for the marine industry.

 

1860

James Howden patents a method of preheating combustion air.

 

1863

James Howden introduces a furnace mechanical draught system which uses a steam turbine driven axial flow fan.

 

1866

BF Sturtevant Co pioneers the use of mechanical draught fans for ventilation in the marine industry when its fans are fitted on the USS Alliance.

 

1867

James Howden introduces a furnace mechanical draught system which uses a steam turbine driven axial flow fan.

 

1880

Bryan Donkin Co pioneers the use of gas boosting at Beckton Gas Works in UK.

 

1882

James Howden introduces a furnace mechanical draught system which uses a steam turbine driven axial flow fan.

 

1886

Buffalo Forge Co pioneers the use of centralised heated air circulation for building ventilation.

 

1895

Buffalo Forge Co becomes known as “The Birthplace of Air Conditioning” when it designs the first practical cooling system for the Auditorium Hotel in Chicago.

 

1898

Samuel Davidson invents the forward bladed centrifugal fan - the 'Sirocco' fan.

 

1904

Howden commences manufacture of steam turbines for use in the power generation industry.

 

1909

The Wallsend-Howden oil fired burner is developed to work in combination with the company's forced draught system.

 

1910

Bryan Donkin Co commences manufacture of turbo-exhausters and blowers based on the Rateau principle.

 

1912

Howden designs and supplies water tube boilers for the marine propulsion industry.

 

1914

The largest turbo-generator running in the UK (a 15MW unit for Manchester Corporation) is supplied by James Howden & Co.

 

1914

Buffalo Forge publishes the first edition of 'Fan Engineering', the industry-standard reference work on air and gas movement.

 

1916

The metal diaphragm compressor is invented by H Corblin.

 

late 1910s

BF Sturtevant invents the backward-inclined bladed centrifugal fan.

 

1926

The Davidson mechanical dust collector is patented.

 

1934

In conjunction with ICI, Howden develops a flue gas desulphurisation (FGD ) system for use in power stations.

 

1938

James Howden & Co Ltd licences the screw compressor from SRM in Sweden and is the first company to commercialise the technology.

 

1940's

Stork brothers develops the aerofoil bladed centrifugal fan. Joint development work with Howden raises the efficiency of centrifugal fans to 90%.

 

1947

Howden supplies the main blowers for the world's first two large nuclear reactors at Windscale, UK.

 

1951

Nordisk Ventoliator Co. supplies the world’s first variable pitch axial flow fan in the power generation industry.

 

1966

James Howden & Co receives the order for the world's first submerged gas circulators for the UK AGR programme.

 

1973

Howden Canada supplies the turbo-generators to the world's first large CANDU nuclear power station, the 4x514MW Pickering A station near Toronto.

 

1982

Howden supplies the first wind turbine in the utility industry in the United Kingdom.

 

1984

Howden supplies 26MW of wind turbine capacity to Altamont Pass, California.

 

1992

Howden designs and launches an ultra low noise cooling fan.

 

1999

Large centrifugal fan impellers which are tolerant of dynamic excitation under off-load duties are introduced by Howden.

 

2000

Large centrifugal boster fans with rotors designed to run above their critical speed supplied to Howden customers.

 

2006

Howden develops a fully submerged gas circulator running on magnetic bearings for handling helium as a nuclear reactor core coolant.

 

2008

Introduction of super-high pressure blading for modern single and two-stage axial fans.

Business development

 

1854

James Howden sets up business working as a consulting engineer in Glasgow.

 

1878

BF Sturtevant builds the largest fan manufacturing plant in the world at that time.

 

1881

Samuel Davidson sets up business in Belfast, UK

 

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.

 

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 respectively

 

1945

The Joy Manufacturing Company enters the fan business by purchasing LADEL Mfg., a fan maker located in New Philadelphia, OH.

 

1947

S T Westerholz forms the Nordisk Ventilator Company to produce the “Variax” variable pitch axial flow fan.

 

1950

James Howden Australia Pty Limited is formed.

 

1952

James Howden & Company Africa (Pty) is formed.

 

1961

Howden takes controlling stake in Holima Ingenieursbureau voor Warmte en Koudetechnick NV which designed and manufactured refrigeration installations.

 

1968

Sir George Godfrey & Partners is taken over by James Howden & Company to expand activities in the refrigeration and precision engineering fields.

 

1970

Howden Group is formed as the holding company.

 

1971

Howden acquires the fan business of Carter in UK.

 

1974

Howden acquires Airscrew in UK.

 

1977

At the ending of the agreement with Parsons, Howden becomes a manufacturing associate of Brown Boveri to manufacture steam turbines for the Canadian market.

 

1979

James Howden America is formed in Hartford, Connecticut, after the acquisition of Aetna Special Manufacturing Corp.

 

1988

Howden acquires Davidson & Co., which includes Berry, Sturtevant, American Blower, Ventilateurs Neu, Airtech.

 

1988

Howden acquires Ventilatoren Stork Hengelo.

 

1991

Howden acquires Turbowerke Meissen in Germany.

 

1993

Howden acquires the Novenco (formerly Nordisk Ventilator Co.) which includes Sheldon, Engart, Aerex, and Voith Novenco.

 

1993

Howden acquires The Buffalo Forge Fan Co and Canadian Blowers.

 

1995

Howden acquires Burton Corblin®, manufacturers of piston and diaphragm compressors.

 

1997

Howden acquires Joy Green Fans.

 

1997

Howden acquires Tallares Sanchez Luengo (TSL).

 

1997

Howden acquires Bryan Donkin Blowers.

 

1997

Charter plc acquires Howden Group plc.

 

1998

Carrier Corporation acquires a majority stake in Howden Compressors. Howden Process Compressors, a wholly owned Howden subsidiary is formed to supply package compressor sets.

 

2007

Howden re-acquires from Carrier Corporation the remaining 51% shareholding in Howden Compressors Ltd, and its affiliated sales company, that it had sold to Carrier in 1998.

 

2007

Howden Russia is established and opens in Moscow.

 

2007

Howden India is established, and opens in Delhi in 2008.

 

2008

Howden acquires Aeolus Industra e Comercio Ltd, a leading Brazilian designer and manufacturer of fans.

 

2009

Howden Water Technology A/S established in Birkerød, Denmark.

 

2009

Howden Middle East is established in Dubai.

 

2010

AustCold Refrigeration Pty Ltd. in NSW, Australia is acquired by Howden.

 

2011

Howden acquires Thomassen Compression Systems, a leading manufacturer of reciprocating compressors.

 

2012

Colfax Corporation acquires Howden Group plc.

 

2013

Howden acquires ČKD Kompresory, a leading supplier of multi-stage centrifugal compressors to the oil and gas, petrochemical, power and steel industries based in Prague.

 

2013

Fläkt Woods GII Division becomes part of the Howden organisation.

Douglas Hume - A Personal Story : The Howden Heritage is Douglas Hume’s personal story, as told to his brother David H. Hume, and is reproduced with the kind permission of David H. Hume. Any views represented in the book are the author's personal views.

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