A rare surviving engine order telegraph (E.O.T.) manufactured by the shipbuilding Company James Pollock Sons Co. Ltd, shipbuilders & Engineers, London & Faversham.
Designed with a brass telegraph casing and a painted cast iron pedestal with removable brass cover. A single brass control handle with an internal bell that ring's at each command. The telegraph face in white with commands in black and STOP in red letters. A single black painted dial with standard AHEAD and ASTERN commands with ahead commands to the left and astern commands to the right- STOP, STAND BY, SLOW, HALF, FULL. The manufacturers name is centered and at the top of the command plate that states: JAMES POLLOCK SONS & CO. LTD.- SHIPBUILDERS 7 ENGINEERS- LONDON & FAVERSHAM. A manufacturing date is engraved into the top of the E.O.T. marked 3-13-02 dating March 13, 1902. This rare and authentic engine order telegraph survives in excellent working condition and is only one of a few examples that we could find manufactured by this company. This would be a wonderful addition to any maritime collection. Great sounding bell! Weighs 48 pounds. Stands 41 ½ inches tall exclusive of the handle and the telegraph housing measures 10 ½ inches in diameter. Weighs just shy of 75 pounds.
After an adventurous early career, James Pollock (1838-1910) set up on his own in London as a consulting engineer and naval architect in 1875. In 1900 he went into partnership with his son, Walter (1873-1947), forming a private company, and in 1902 this was turned into a limited liability company. The firm concentrated on the design of specialized small craft and in the early part of this century a considerable business with South America was built up.
James Pollock shipyard in Faversham began shipbuilding in 1916 and was one of the best known and respected shipbuilding yards, building over 2,000 ships varying in size from barges up to coasters of 1,100 tons. The early 1950's saw a general boom in shipbuilding in the wake of the Second World War, but gradually there was more competition from Japanese welded ships, which at first Pollocks did not worry too much about. By the end of the decade, the carriage of freight was beginning a period of major change. Lorries were beginning to replace lighters in the transport of cement and grain and the demand for both lighters and tugs fell. This would hit Pollocks very hard, for these craft formed the backbone of their work. A volatile market saw continuing increases in materials, labor costs and the unpredictability of rising steel prices made it increasingly difficult to build a ship at the price quoted and return a profit. By the late 60's fewer cargo ships were arriving at London docks which had signaled the decline of the Thames Lighterage Industry. James Pollock's of Faversham Shipyard became a victim of these times by failing to diversify sufficiently to escape the effects of a steady decline from bulk haulage at the London Docks to containerization at Tilbury.
On Friday 27th February 1970, James Pollock, Sons & Co Ltd shipyard closed for the last time after falling into receivership. This long-established family firm had a first class team of skilled craftsmen, built some remarkable vessels of unquestionable quality, who could still perform technically as well as any, but who had run out of money.