John MacDonald & Co was established in 1884 to manufacture water turbines, which were tested in the River Cart. Manufacture of machine tools including drills, grinders and breakers, began in 1909 under an agreement with an American company, the Cleveland Pneumatic Tool Co.
During the Second World War, the firm designed a drop tester for aircraft undercarriages. Other new tools were developed after the war, with 30 per cent of output going for export worldwide.
The factory of John MacDonald & Co, pneumatic tool makers, in Shawbridge Street, Pollokshaws, 1956. This is one of a series of photographs taken by Glasgow Corporation’s Architectural and Planning Department prior to the wholesale redevelopment of Pollokshaws in the 1960s.
Planning permission for expansion was refused by Glasgow Corporation, as it would have conflicted with their redevelopment plans. After appealing unsuccessfully at a public enquiry, the firm moved to East Kilbride, where it continues to trade as Macdonald Air Products.
Original MacDonald Breaker
Modern Day Breaker
MacDonald Air Products Ltd
77 Carron Place
Kelvin Industrial Estate