This article is one in a series of articles exploring the history of some of Howden’s world famous product brands. Recently we had a copy of A Hundred Years of Howden Engineering sent into our office, and it is from this that the following article has been written.
Howden was formed in 1854 by James Howden, with a focus on the main boilers and engines of sea going vessels. By 1862, a factory on Scotland Street in Glasgow had been purchased, and in 1882 a patent had been granted for his forced draught system which significantly increased the power of a ship. At the turn of the century, Howden began to look landwards creating high speed engines and becoming early pioneers in steam turbine manufacture. By 1914, James Howden & Co had produced the largest turbo-generator in the UK (a 15MW unit for Manchester Corporation). But then of course things were to change.