The Growth and Dissolution of a Large- Scale Business Enterprise

BookThe Growth and Dissolution of a Large- Scale Business Enterprise

The Growth and Dissolution of a Large- Scale Business Enterprise

The Furness Interest, 1892-1919

Research in Maritime History, 49


October 18th, 2017

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This book is an in-depth case study of the Furness Withy and Co Shipping Group, which operated both tramp and liner services and was one of the five major British shipping groups of the early twentieth century. It demonstrates how British shipowners of this period generated success by exploring Christopher Furness’ career in relation to the social, political, and cultural currents during a time of tremendous shipping growth in Britain and the establishment of some of the largest shipping firms in the world. It approaches the study from three angles. The first analyses how the Furness Group expanded its shipping activities and became involved with the industrial sector. The second illustrates the organisational and financial structure of the enterprise. Finally, the Group’s leadership and entrepreneurship is scrutinised and placed within the wider context of twentieth century British business. The case study begins in 1870, with an introduction explaining how Christopher Furness came to join the family company, Thomas Furness and Co. in order develop services, expand, and instigate the changes and mergers that brought the Furness Group into existence. There are thirteen chronologically presented chapters, a bibliography, and seven appendices of data including an ownership timeline, tonnage statistics, acquisitions, a list of maritime associates, and a timeline of Christopher Furness’ life. The book concludes in 1919 with the de-merging of the Furness Group’s shipping and industrial holdings, the resignation of the Furness family from the company’s board, the sale of their shares, and the move into managing the firm’s industrial interests.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Title Page3
Copyright Page4
About the Author11
Figures and Tables15
Chapter 1: Furness' Shipping Services: Growth by Organic Means in the 1880s33
Chapter 2: The 1890s: Furness Withy's Expansion by Acquisition and Promotion53
Chapter 3: Diversification into the Industrial Sector, 1895-190173
Chapter 4: Trouble on the Transatlantic Route: The Formation of the IMM and Furness' Response103
Chapter 5: The Growth of Shipping Services, 1902-1909125
Chapter 6: Industrial Operations and Performance, 1900-1914161
Chapter 7: The Growth of the Shipping Interests, 1910-1919195
Chapter 8: Structure231
Chapter 9: Finance267
Chapter 10: Holding Company Investment Activities and Intermediary Operations303
Chapter 11: Personnel317
Chapter 12: Furness339
Chapter 13: Dissolution377
Appendix 1: Development of the Combined Fleet, 1900-1919391
Appendix 2a: Patterns of Ownership: The Furness Group, 1919394
Appendix 2b: Reorganization of Branch Offices and Superintending Departments, 1911-1912395
Appendix 3a: Fluctuations in Freights, Profits, Tonnage Afloat and Merchant Shipping Output396
Appendix 3b: Output of Merchant Tonnage (Excluding Warships), 1892-1913397
Appendix 3c: Fluctuations in the Price of a 7500-ton Cargo Steamer, 1898-1913398
Appendix 4: Development of the Furness Group: Principal Promotions, Acquisitions and Divestments, 1880-1919399
Appendix 5: Northern Allies and Maritime Associates402
Appendix 6: Contemporary Accounting Law and Conventions, 1845-1914403
Appendix 7: Lord Furness' Movements, 1899-1912405