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Titan Crane Clydebank

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Titan Crane, 2008
Titan Crane
© Colin Smith
Titan Crane, 2005
Titan Crane
© Chris Upson

Titan Crane, Clydebank was built by Sir William & Co between 1907 and 1907. Titan was the the world's first electrically-powered cantilever crane, and the last to be left standing on the banks of the River Clyde.

Cost of construction was £24,600. Originally capacity 150-ton, uprated to 200-ton in 18938. Unlike similar cantilever cranes, the Titan crane did not incorporate a movable counter balance weight on the short arm, having instead fixed ballast tanks containing 86 tons of nickel slag. While this simplified the crane's operation, it required Arrol to strengthen the design accommodate the various additional stresses this generated. The cantilever arms are approximately 150 feet and 90 feet long.

The crane was used to carry out heavy lifts at the John Brown shipyard on the River Clyde, and ist he last surviving example of the type which remains on the site. It is also the the only remaining part of Brown's yard. Other survivors can be found at Rosyth (1917), 250-ton capacity, and Finnieston, Stobcross Quay, 150-ton capacity.

During World War II, Luftwaffe bombers carried out the bombing of the Clydebank Blitz, intended to cripple shipbuilding in the area, but none of the bombs landed near the crane, and remained undamaged by the attacks.

The crane was used in the construction of many large ships, including the Cunard liners, and for warships. Examples include Lucitania, Aquitania, HMS Hood, Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, and Queen Elizabeth II.

It was last used for shipbuilding in 1971.

In 2007, the crane was was refurbished to become aa tourist attraction and shipbuilding museum. The work coast £3 million, and included the installation of a lift to carry visitors up to the platform 150 feet (46 m) above ground.

In 2011, a new visitor centre was added.

In 2012, it received an Institution of Mechanical Engineers engineering heritage award.

In 2013, four leading engineering groups (the American Society of Civil Engineers Board of Direction, the American Society for Mechanical Engineers, the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers) came together to designate the crane an International Historic Civil and Mechanical Engineering Landmark. This was the first time all four institutions had come together to make such and award.[1][2]

Titan was the fifth Engineering Landmark to be named in Scotland, the others being the Forth Rail Bridge, Forth and Clyde Canal, Caledonian Canal, and the Craigellachie Bridge in Aberlour.

References

1 Clydebank's Titan Crane named 'engineering landmark' Retrieved August 24, 2013.

2 Titan Crane joins Eiffel Tower on list of world engineering landmarks | Glasgow & West | News | STV Retrieved August 24, 2013.

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