There is interest in
the Consolidated Pneumatic Tool Company’s Fraserburgh works related to its
original construction. The builder was James Stewart* and Company, a US
construction firm that had a UK operation at the time. They brought an American
architect, Louis Christian Mullgardt, over to design some of their projects,
including the Fraserburgh CPT works. It appears much of the work was subcontracted to the local firm Brebner & Jenkins.
(*incidentally, James Stewart was born in Peterhead
to the family that operated the Aberdeen Granite quarries)
returned to the US and his fame is based on his later residential and
exposition work in California.)
feature of the factory is its roof. “Saw tooth” roofs were considered to
provide the best lighting for fine machine work, like that involved in
producing pneumatic tools. The saw tooth design had problems, however. They
tended to be drafty and leaked in the gutters between the rows of “teeth”. In
snow-prone areas, snow could accumulate in the gutters and block the light.
typical saw tooth roofs, which are flat, the roof in Fraserburgh sets the saw tooth
lights on pitched gables to alleviate the draft and drainage problems. Research
indicates it worked well, but so far it is only documented as being used in three
places: Detroit and Lansing, Michigan and Fraserburgh. The *Detroit and Lansing buildings have been demolished, leaving the original Fraserburgh CPT works as perhaps the only surviving example.
If you know
of anyone who may have information about its 1904 construction, please contact Fraserburgh Heritage Centre..
Notes on the architect and his photograph in this link
The above text is contributed by author Chris Meister, who may be contacted directly on firstname.lastname@example.org
The front office block and workshop with the "saw tooth" roof to the rear became Category C listed buildings in December 2012.
*Chicago Pneumatic Tool Company - from an early(c1910?) catalogue page.
*Chicago Pneumatic Tool Company - from a 1938 catalogue page.
CLICK HERE to return to the C.P.T. display page.