Braidwood Refractories Ltd, Carluke, South Lanarkshire

Bonnybridge Silica and Fireclay Company (Bonnybridge Refractories) were always trying to improve the refractory brick manufacturing process. Mr Walter Smith of Braidwood patented a process involving the carbonising of clay. This involved changing the chemical makeup of the fire clay by heating it to change the iron into magnetite which could then be removed via magnets. Tests at the National Steel Foundry at Leven were observed by Walter McBryde and Fred Griffiths (of Bonnybridge Silica and Fireclay Company) and in 1928 an investment of £3000 was made in Braidwood Refractories Limited. This was later increased to £5000 to exploit this process but the process was never successful and with dwindling funds the company was dissolved in 1933.

24/11/1928 – Dundee Courier – New Scottish companies. Braidwood Refractories, Ltd., Braidwood, Lanarkshire. A private company, carry the business of makers of silica and fireclay goods and dealers in refractory and plastic materials products. Capital, £13,000 in shares.

Below – 08/02/1929 – Carluke and Lanark Gazette – Walter Smith died at Brickworks Cottage, Braidwood aged 66. He was a Yorkshire man. He came to Scotland around 1919. He carried out research and experiments in order to create a high-quality refractory product. He carried out research at St Rollox, Glasgow. He also converted part of the Nellfield Brickworks and built a small kiln there.



06/10/1933  – Carluke and Lanark Gazette – Braidwood Refractories, Ltd – Notice is hereby given that a meeting of the shareholders has been called to consider and, if approved of, pass a resolution for the voluntary winding up of the company …

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