Naval gun mounting at the Elswick Works

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When: 01 January 1911

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Naval gun mounting at the Elswick Works, Newcastle upon Tyne, c1911 (TWAM ref. DS.VA/9/PH/3/1).

‘Workshop of the World’ is a phrase often used to describe Britain’s manufacturing dominance during the Nineteenth Century. It’s also a very apt description for the Elswick Works and Scotswood Works of Vickers Armstrong and its predecessor companies. These great factories, situated in Newcastle along the banks of the River Tyne, employed hundreds of thousands of men and women and built a huge variety of products for customers around the globe.

The Elswick Works was established by William George Armstrong (later Lord Armstrong) in 1847 to manufacture hydraulic cranes. From these relatively humble beginnings the company diversified into many fields including shipbuilding, armaments and locomotives. By 1953 the Elswick Works covered 70 acres and extended over a mile along the River Tyne. This set of images, mostly taken from our Vickers Armstrong collection, includes fascinating views of the factories at Elswick and Scotswood, the products they produced and the people that worked there. By preserving these archives we can ensure that their legacy lives on.

(Copyright) We're happy for you to share this digital image within the spirit of The Commons. Please cite 'Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums' when reusing. Certain restrictions on high quality reproductions and commercial use of the original physical version apply though; if you're unsure please email [email protected].


Owner: Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 23096
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    • 05/May/2016 12:40:23

    Interesting text and great photo - thanks! Looking back, it's tempting to say that countries are better off when they're the workshops of the world than under post-industrial economies.

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    Billy Embleton

    • 05/May/2016 15:20:49

    Could be a turret for the battleship HMS Monarch as that was under construction at Elswick in 1911.

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    optimal chicken

    • 05/May/2016 18:10:34

    Oh wow this is a fantastic photo! Very atmospheric! I kinda forgot these things are assembled 'dirty' and then dismantled, painted and placed onto a ship..

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    Billy Embleton

    • 06/May/2016 23:35:33

    13.5 inch calibre Paul. Monarch mounted 10 of these guns in 5 turrets. As a footnote the Japanese battleships Yamato & Musashi mounted the largest guns in history at 18 inch calibre. The armoured plates on the turret faces were 25 inches thick.

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    optimal chicken

    • 07/May/2016 05:42:13

    That's madness Billy. Mind saying that, it's how warfare was carried out on the seas then. Now it's missiles and aircraft..