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Illustrated Guide to Christchurch and Neighbourhood

Atlas Foundry

Atlas Foundry.

Messrs. Scott Brothers' Atlas engineering and manufacturing works are situated in Manchester-street, Christchurch; and at Dock Side, Lyttelton. They were established in 1870. The firm commenced in a small way at the north end of Christchurch, and removed to their present premises (an illustration of which we give among our engravings) in 1876, They have the largest and most complete plant, and the best-arranged workshops in New Zealand, which are lit up with the electric light. We may here mention in support of this fact that Scott Brothers have secured the first contract for the construction of ten locomotives for the Government of New Zealand. Hitherto these engines have been imported, but the Government, thinking that the manufacture of them was not beyond the resources of our foundries, called for tenders. On this subject the Hon. Sir Julius Vogel, K.C.M.G., Colonial Treasurer, in a speech at a banquet given to him in Christchurch a few weeks ago, said:— "I must ask you to join me in hearty congratulations that it was page 166a skilful, able, and enterprising firm in Christchurch that succeeded in carrying away this prize (the contract) from all the colony. Gentlemen, I cannot help thinking and. hoping that Messrs. Scott Brothers will find that this is the commencement of a great career. It may be the foundation of one of those princely manufacturing firms like those in America or England, in which thousands of hands are employed. It is a bright beginning, and I hope may have a bright continuation."

The visitor, entering the works from Manchester-street, finds himself in a two-storey building, 48 feet by 24 feet, the ground floor of which is devoted to general offices, and the upper, floor to drawing-rooms and the private offices of the firm. Behind this building is the machine and fitting shop, 100 feet long by 50 feet wide, in which are two planing machines, a slotting machine, a shaping machine, a screwing machine, a large radial drilling machine, and four other drilling machines. In this shop also is the dynamo for producing the electricity which supplies light to the works; and a Root's patent blower, for supplying blast to the smithy fires. The motive power for all these is supplied by a 16 h. p. horizontal condensing engine made by Scott Brothers, which runs with extreme regularity, controlled by a governor invented by one of the firm.

From this workshop the visitor enters the smithy and boiler shop, 66 feet long by 62 feet wide. Here, in addition to the usual smith's hearths, are a large plate furnace capable of heating a plate 10 feet long by 6 feet wide, an angle iron furnace, and a rivet-heating furnace. In the corner nearest the machine shop is the boiler which supplies steam to the engines, steam hammer, &c. The machinery in this shop includes a large steam hammer, two punching machines, a large set of plate rollers, and an ingeniously constructed machine for flanging boiler plates, invented by a member of the firm, and constructed by them.

We next come to a large three-storey building, 96 feet long by 36 feet wide. The ground floor of this is devoted to fitting-up the kitchen ranges, in which Messrs Scott Brothers do such a large trade, and light ornamental castings. The shop is fitted up with a very complete plant for grinding and polishing, and a number of small drilling machines. In one corner of this shop is the Berlin blacking stove, in which the best class of work is heated when blacked. This hardens the black, and gives it the beautiful polish which this class of work always has. In another corner is a large Root's blower for supplying blast for the foundry cupolas. The motive power here is an 8 h. p. vertical engine. The second floor of this building is devoted partly to the pattern shop and partly to a show-room for ornamental architectural ironwork. The pattern shop is 50 feet by 36 feet, and is fitted page 167up with all necessary requisites and machinery, including a circular saw, a band saw, a planing machine, and a strong lathe. The show-room is 46 feet by 30 feet, and in this are displayed examples of ornamental castings in great profusion. On the third floor is carried on one of the most interesting branches of Messrs Scott Brothers' work, namely nickel plating. The space at our command precludes our giving a description of this work. The nickle baths are of various sizes, the largest being 6 feet x 2 feet x 2 feet, so that articles of any size or description may be plated.

Adjoining the building last mentioned is the foundry, 66 feet long by 60 feet wide, supplied with two cupolas. In this shop, castiugs of all sizes and of every description are made in iron and brass. Another building is devoted to the manufacture of malleable castings.

Messrs Scott Brothers are just erecting works on a site adjoining the graving dock in Lyttelton, specially adapted for large ocean steamer work; and have also commenced numerous additions to their Manchester street plant, specially adapted to locomotive work. They are also commencing the manufacture of steel castings.

The Manchester street premises cover over one acre of ground, and in them Messrs Scott Brothers employ 150 hands. The tall chimney of their works, 80 feet high, is the tallest in Christchurch.