Wolff Tower Cranes
In 1861, the company Harland and Wolff was formed. Mr. Gustav Wilhelm Wolff, born in Hamburg during 1834, together with Mr. Edward James Harland born in 1831, formed the business. During 1858 Harland, who was the general manager at the time, bought the small shipyard located on Queen's Island. He bought the property from his employer, Richard Hickson.
Once Harland bought Hickson's shipyard, he then made his assistant Wolff a partner in the company. Gustav Wilhelm Wolff was the nephew of Gustav Schwabe of Hamburg. He has invested mostly in the Bibby Line. The initial 3 ships that the brand new shipyard constructed were for that line. By being innovative, Harland made the company a successful undertaking. Among his well-known suggestions was increasing the overall strength of the ship by utilizing iron for the upper wodden decks. In addition, he was able to increase the capacity of the ship by giving the hulls a flatter bottom and a square cross section.
Harland and Wolff were eventually faced with competitive pressures in regards to building ships. They sought to shift their focus and broaden their portfolio. They decided to concentrate more on structural engineering and design and less on shipbuilding. The company even diversified into the areas of ship repair, offshore construction projects as well as competing for additional projects that had to do with metal engineering or construction.
These other interests led to Harland and Wolff constructing a series of bridges in Britain and in the Republic of Ireland. These bridges include the restoration of Dublin's Ha'penny Bridge and the James Joyce Bridge. During the 1980s, with the construction of the Foyle Bridge, their first venture into the civil engineering sector happened.
Today, the last shipbuilding job of Harland and Wolff was the MV Anvil Point. This was among six near identical Point class sealift ships that was constructed for use by the Ministry of Defense. In 2003, the ship was launched, after being built under license from German shipbuilders Flensburger, Schiffbau-Gesellschaft.
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