Thomas Seath began shipbuilding at
Meadowside, Partick at the mouth of the river Kelvin in 1853 and in
1856 moved to Rutherglen. His original yard was talen over by
brothers Anthony and John Inglis in 1862.
Seath built, owned and even operated the
small steamer ‘Artizan’, which had pioneering engine controls on the
bridge, between Rutherglen and Glasgow.
He designed and built the first of six of what were to become known
as ‘Cluthas’, small steamships of shallow draft marine omnibuses
that ferried workmen up and down river. The age of the ‘Clutha’ came
to an end at the turn of the century with the construction of the
Glasgow subway and the world’s largest tramway network. Seath built
steamships for Loch Lomond and Loch
steamships for Loch Lomond and Loch Maree, Windermere and Ullswater.
He also provided luxurious steam yachts, most notably ‘The Fairy’
for the King of Burma and the ‘Little Eastern’ for the King of Siam,
both commissioned in 1872. Almost all of the ships he produced were
iron-hulled and this proved to be a factor in their longevity.
Thomas Bollen Seath was a major
influence in the design and production of high quality small ships
which were renowned world wide.
shipyard that he leased for 47 years from Rutherglen Corporation
finally closed when access to the sea was closed off by a weir at
Glasgow Green. By then Seath had built over 300 ships, an average of
one every eight weeks. This output included the paddle steamer ‘Isle