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Henry Dübs (1816 – 24 April 1876), born Heinrich Dübs in Guntersblum near Darmstadt, Germany, was a German-born British businessman and engineer who founded Dübs and Company, at one time the second largest locomotive manufacturer in Britain.
From 1842 - 1858 Dübs appears to have worked for the Lancashire locomotive builders Beyer-Peacock in Manchester. He lost his position as works manager in 1857 for reasons which may have had to do with his managerial style rather than his technical abilities.
Neilson and Company
In 1858 Dübs was appointed works manager and company partner at the Clydeside engineers and locomotive builders, Neilson and Company, in place of the existing works manager, James Reid, on the strength of his knowledge of locomotive building. Neilson and Company were at that time changing from being a general engineering concern into specialist locomotive builders.
Dübs and Company
In 1863 Dübs surrendered his partnership in Neilson and Company and set up his own locomotive building company. Walter Neilson stipulated that it should no closer than three miles to his new Hyde Park Works in Springburn, Glasgow; accordingly, Dübs chose a site in Queens Park in Polmadie on the south side of Glasgow, which began business as the Glasgow Locomotive Works in 1864.
Dübs' new company, Dübs and Company, soon proved successful. Despite disagreements with Walter Neilson of Neilson and Company, Dübs had managed to inspire sufficient loyalty that a number of workers left Neilson to work for him, including Neilson's chief draughtsman. Additionally, a number of Neilson's customers began placing orders with Dübs.
Although making locomotives was its main business, Dübs & Co also manufactured traction engines and steam cranes. His company is further notable in that it was the first to employ women in its drawing office (from 1866).
Henry Dübs died of pancreatic cancer in 1876, at the age of 60. He was succeeded as managing partner by William Lorimer who had joined the company in 1864. Lorimer held this position until 1903.
Following Dübs' death, the company expanded its export business and in 1903 merged with Manchester locomotive builders, Sharp Stewart and Company and Neilson, Reid and Company to become the North British Locomotive Company (NBL). At the time Dübs and Company were the second largest locomotive manufacturer in Britain.
- Anon. (1951) "The North British Locomotive Co. Ltd", Railway Magazine, 97, Part 2, p. 82–90 & 92–93
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