Smith and Pearson Ltd. An Irish engineering company in the early years of the State
The Friends Historical Committee’s most recent publication, Irwin Pearson’s account of the family firm of Smith and Pearson: Smith and Pearson Ltd. An Irish engineering company in the early years of the State, tells the story of a firm whose name became almost a household word.
Founded at the beginning of the 20th century by the North of England Quaker John Biglands Pearson, the company initially produced agricultural buildings, gates and fences, but went on to become contractors for structural steel for power plants and other major building projects. In the 1950s they added a division for steel windows which they supplied to the American Embassy, RTE and many private homes. During the second World War steel became unavailable in the Free State, but the British Admiralty gave the company a contract to supply landing craft – an unusual commission for a Quaker firm. Smith and Pearson opened a shipyard at Warrenpoint and the first craft was completed in record time, but this was already too late for the D-day landings. Like many family-owned businesses, Smith and Pearson fell victim to the changes of the 1970s.
This intriguing personal account is available from the Friends Historical Library, Stocking Lane, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16 at €15 (postage included).
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