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Townsend Chimney Demolition 1928

Part 5 : I may as well put this post here as a placeholder.
I now know the demolition was post Dec 6 1927* thanks to an article in The Scotsman of that date and the Townsend Chimney does not appear on this 1929 ( August ) Goad Fire Insurance Map

Also ; Glasgow Herald Dec 6th 1927 ( Article)
"It is expected that the work of demolition will begin soon"

Caption reads;
" 'Townsend's Stalk' Port-Dundas , Glasgow as it appeared about 1860(?) . This city landmark which is to be demolished is the subject of an article to-day"

There is a letter in the Dec 9th 1928 edition making sure the company that built the chimney was properly recognised

There is an article from the 14th April 1928 Adelaide Chronicle talking about the chimney coming down but not sure if the article is just late on the news.
Of course the March and April 1928 editions of the Herald are not in the Google newspaper archive.
Then hopefully scanning through pages i find May 8th 1928 Page 3
Caption reads:
"DEPARTED GLORY - All that remains of Townsends Stalk , Glasgow which is being demolished. It was originally the tallest stack in the world"

So the Australian paper may be a proper bound on the date.

Noticed that the Wikipedia Tallest Chimney timeline has incorrect date for the Townsend Chimney and method for the Tennants Chimney. Also not quite sure how a smaller chimney replaces it on the list

More updates as i find information

* The Scotsman article is available through proquest which you can log into using a Glasgow library ID. There were all sorts of reproduction warnings so i found the Herald version to reproduce the info.

Tennants Chimney Collapse and Demolition 1922

In the original single post , in what is currently a four multi part series, there was some lack of clarity about the timing of the demolition of Glasgows mega chimneys. Luckily an article pointed in the right direction and using newspaper archives now have the relevant information for Tennants ( St Rollox ) Stalk.
The method and some notes are at the end.

Tennants Chimney
Collapse and Demolition March 10/11th 1922
March 10th 1922 : Collapse
( Report in the Saturday March 11th 1922 Glasgow Herald )
Page 5
Page 10
By the collapse yesterday afternoon of “Tennant's stalk," a conspicuous landmark in Glasgow, four workmen lost their lives and a number of others were seriously injured. The stalk, situated in the St Rollox Chemical Works, was 80 years old, and at the time of its erection was the highest chimney in the world. The structure had become dangerous, and on that account demolition had begun. A party of eight men were engaged upon the work, when the edifice suddenly gave way, Carrying with it the wooden sheds in the immediate vicinity Three of the men were trapped beneath the debris, and their bodies have not been recovered. Another man was killed, and the remaining four received injuries, which in two cases were so serious as to necessitate the detention of the men in the Royal Infirmary. The accident took place shortly after four o'clock. The chimney stalk was on the premises of Messrs Charles Tennant and Company, who are associated with the United Alkali Company, chemical manufacturers. The works occupy a large area on the westside of Castle Street, in the Townhead district. On the north side the establishment to bounded by the goods line of the Caledonian Railway, and on the south by the St Rollox branch of the Monkland Canal There are several works of various kinds in the locality, but of them all Tennant's was the best known, the great height of the chimney gaining for it distinction in the West of Scotland. For some years past,however, it had been apparent to the directors of the firm that the famous stalk was showing signs of weakness at the base. The structure when it was built reached a height of 453 feet ( ED: NOPE ) . Within the outer shell was an inner cone extending to a height of about a hundred feet. A space three and a half feet wide separated the cone from the outer brick work, while strong buttresses built across the intervening cavity gave additional strength to the stalk. From some cause which is not quite clear an ominous bulge appeared near the base of the stalk, and it was decided to adopt the prudent course of demolishing the erection, which had not been used for some time. The work was undertaken gradually. and a year ago the height of the stalk had been reduced to 280 feet. Three months ago the destruction of the chimney was resumed, and progress had been made to such an extent that only some 90 feet remained.
A number of workmen were engaged on the operations, which had naturally to be carried out with great care. As the bricks were dislodged they were dropped between the cone and the outer shell which was 3ft thick, filling the intervening space to a considerable depth. A telescope ladder consisting of nine sections, each 10ft long, had been erected on the outer wall of the stalk for the use of the steeplejacks. At the time of the disaster two of these workmen were seated on the top of the stalk, while the others were working on the ground below. Without warning one of the iron rings binding the brickwork gave way, but the men above apparently did not observe this dangerous development. A few minutes later another loop also burst outwards, causing the entire structure to crash to the ground with a deafening noise. The roofs and supports of wooden sheds which enclosed the chimney on three sides of the yard were shattered by the falling Masonry, and in the space of a few seconds this portion of the works was a scene of great confusion and destruction. The inner cone remained standing, with a great fissure extending a third of the way down one side, while all around was piled a tangled mass of splintered woodwork and other wreckage. Apart from the eight men engaged on the work of demolition there were no other workmen in the vicinity, but the roar of the sundered fabric quickly drew the employees from other parts of the establishment. Only one man out of the eight escaped injury. He was George Armstrong. who had been summoned to the scene by a labourer in the street outside when the first hoop burst. Armstrong anticipated the collapse and after shouting a warning to his companion he was able to run out of the reach of danger. A steeplejack named James McAulay had a miraculous escape. He was seated at the top of the stalk, and was thrown amongst the debris. Although injured on the right leg and suffering badly from shock, he managed to stagger some distance across the yard, and then fell exhausted. He was picked up by some of the fresh arrivals, and taken in an ambulance wagon to the Royal Infirmary. Messrs Tennant's employees who had hurried to the scene, at once set about rescuing the unfortunate men caught in the ruins of the fallen stalk. Two men were drawn out severely injured, and the body of a third was found beneath a block of masonry, which was suspended above him by the surrounding wreckage. This man, James Monachan, did not appear to have been seriously hurt about the body. but his mouth was, clogged with grit and ashes, which had evidently impeded his breathing and suffocated him in a very short time. No others were visible, and it was impossible at the time to excavate the mass of bricks in search of the three men who were unaccounted for. It was at once apparent that there was no hope of their being alive for they were trapped beneath a weight of several tons. A detachment of the Fire Brigade, in charge of Assistant-Firemaster Gillon, which was returning from a fire in the Springburn district, stopped at the works, and the firemen willingly othered to lend assistance. A minute's survey, however. was sufficient to show that no effort that they could make would be of any avail, and they had perforce to retire. . The injured were removed to the Infirmary by the Ambulance Corps.. THE ÇASUALTIES
The following is the list of casualties
James Monaghan ( 34 ) steeplejack, 168 Gallowate- killed,
John Henderson (34). Lochiel Street - missing.
Poter Wotherspoon (32), Gallowgate - missing
John O'Boyle (35), 174 Scotland Street, S.S. - missing
George Laukliran (37), 215 Weir street, S.S.-Injuries to both legs and severe shock (detained in Royal Infirmary)..
Frank Logan (44), labourer, 84 Main Street, Ruthergelen injuries to leg and shock(detained in Infirmary).
James McAulay (22), steeplejack, c/o O'Boyle, 174 Scotland Street, 8.8.-injury to leg. but able to proceed home after receiving treatment at the Infirmary.
The eighth man, George Armstrong, co Redmond 39 Braid Street, was unscathed.
All the men engaged on the demolition of the stalk were employed by Mr John Cumming, Rutherglen, who had the contract from Messrs Tennant for the work
In the course of an interview, George Armstrong gave a thrilling account of the accident. He was working at a grindstone in another part of the works, he said, when a Labourer working in the street came to him and said that the men up above were shouting for him as one of the hoops had burst. On approaching the chimney stalk Armstrong saw another of the hoops about to burst, Apprehending the danger, he called out a warning to Frank Logan, who was standing near him, and then ran to the far side of the wall to escape the fall, which he knew was inevitable. "If it had happened a minute later," he said. "I should have been 20ft. up the chimney." A pathetic circumstance, he added, was that in another five minutes the men would have finished their work for the day. James McAulay, who returned to the scene of the calamity less than an hour after being taken to the infirmary, related his marvellous escape from death. He was standing at the top of the ladder along with Laughran. who was a little further away on the top of the stalk. They were both engaged in removing the bricks. McAulay was unaware of anything untoward happening until the crash came and he was sent headlong to the ground. His legs were buried, but he pulled himself free and staggered across the yard. He remembered nothing else until he found himself being carried to an Ambulance Wagon. McAulay is a brother-in-law of John O'Hoyle, one of the missing men, and resident in the same house at 174 Scotland Street.
The St Rollox Chemical Works of Messrs Charles Tennant and Co. are associated with the United Alkali Company, the headquarters of which are in Liverpool. They are situated on the north side of the Monkland Canal, with frontage to Castle Street, and occupy an area of about 50 acres. They were founded in 1800 by Charles Tendant, the inventor of the system of bleaching by means of chloride of lime a process which effected a complete transformation in the bleaching of linen and cotton. The works then established became the largest of the kind in Europe. In 1842 the firm erected their famous stalk, and for many years it was reputed to be the highest in the world, although it was afterwards rivalled by that of Messrs J. Townsend (Limited), chemical manufacturers, Port Dundas, whose chimney is a prominent feature in the northern district of the city. Originally Tennant's stalk a 453ft 8in.( ED: NOPE) In height, but at a later period it was found advisable to shorten it, and on two occasions it was reduced, the last alteration being in 1905 . Altogether above 100ft were taken off, so that latterly the chimney no longer held its previous distinction in regard to height. It was about 40ft in diameter at the base and about 13ft. diameter at the top. It was erected at a cost of about £12,000. It is a remarkable coincidence that about ten years ago another chimney in the same works collapsed. This chimney was situated on the west side of the work, and was about 300ft high. The structure fell at an early hour in the morning, and no one was injured and little damage to property was done."
They get the height wrong . The men , that could, turning back up to work right away.
( NB a 300 ft chimney fell down earlier . What was that like. It was possibly in the top 10 tallest chimneys in the world at the time )

March 11th 1922 : Demolition
( Report in Monday March 13th 1922 Glasgow Herald )
All attempts to rescue the three men who were entombed by the collapse of Tennant's Stalk within the St Rollox Chemical Works, Glasgow, had to be abandoned until yesterday afternoon owing to the danger which attended the operations. When the stalk fell a section of the lower portion of the structure remained standing, and owing to the proximity of this unstable wall the debris could not be removed without imminent risk to rescue workers. It was decided to demolish this stump of the stalk with explosives in order that the wreckage might be cleared away. This work was undertaken yesterday under the direction of an explosives expert from Nobel's. A large charge of powder, rammed into drilled receptacles in the stalk, fired by electricity controlled from a point about 150 yards distant. Two explosions were required to raze the structure, the first one being fired at noon and the second about an hour later. The explosions were of tremendous force, and the sound carried over a very extensive part of the city. At the first discharge & large portion of the wall was lifted intact in the air and settled buck almost to its original position. The second explosion effectually demolished the structure, scattering the bricks over & considerable radius. The operations were witnessed from various points in the vicinity by crowds of onlookers, who were kept at safe distance by the police. All traffic in the adjacent streets was stopped for a time before and after the explosions. The concussion was so great that window panes were broken in a number of houses in the vicinity, and one shop front in particular was considerably damaged, Following the explosions there rose from the heap of ruin dense volumes of black smoke, which were seen from distant points and attracted & good deal of attention.
With the dangerous wall removed, the rescue workers restarted operations yesterday afternoon, but they stopped when darkness fell. There is no hope that the three men who were entombed still survive. It is conjectured that the bodies must be under several tons of brick. The three injured men who were taken to hospital made good progress towards recovery, and two of them were allowed to go home yesterday."

How i finally found this
In this 2017 Glasgow Herald article it says 1922 although no picture of the actual demolition. Then this July 1922 Edition of The Chemical Age says "Members who are familiar with Glasgow will miss a conspicuous landmark owing to the collapse in March last of the chimney at the St. Rollox Chemical Works". So i had a year and month . This may be doable.
Here is the Google Glasgow Herald Archive
Click along to March 1922 and start scanning through the tiny dark smudged print. You quickly notice a pattern though. First page is stocks, 2nd jobs, 3rd motors and the rest a mixture , some that can be skipped by reading the section name. However if you look for a heading like this;
it gives an index of the stories in the paper that makes finding things potentially faster.
Here is the March 12th page as an example

( I may have been able to use , if anyone has a subscription there are a few articles i would like to have a look at.)

I checked through the next few days letters pages to see if there was any reaction but i couldnt find any. Gandhi was arrested and sentenced during this time period though, Glasgow Corporation in talks to buy subway and Scottish Home Rule discussion
I didnt want to type the text so i took screenshots and uploaded to Google docs. Right click and "Open With" : "Google Docs" will ocr the text. It is good but needs some editing to make it usable.

More Mega Chimney info

After these posts ( 1, 2 ) about the Townsend and Tennants chimneys i came across additional related mega chimney information that may be of interest.

Adshead's handy guide to Glasgow , 1902 , Page 80
"A short distance to the north-west, along the banks of the Forth and Clyde and Monkland Canals, is Port-Dundas. There are factories, storehouses, and granaries on every side, and here also is the famous Townsend Stalk. It is 454 feet high, and at the base has a diameter of 50 feet, thus forming the tallest chimney in the world."
Tourists Guide to Glasgow, 1887 ,Page 33
Wrong height. Too small !
"We may add that to the right, climbing up a small ascent, lies Springburn ; and that from thence the visitor may return into Glasgow by way of Sighthill Cemetery and the immense chemical works of St. Rollox, with their colossal chimney shaft 400 feet in height."
The Chemical Age , 1922 , Page 874
Demolition of Tennants Chimney and mistake that it was at any time taller than Tennants Chimney post completion
"Members who are familiar with Glasgow will miss a conspicuous landmark owing to the collapse in March last of the chimney at the St. Rollox Chemical Works, known as “ Tennant’s Stalk,’’ which, at the time of its erection 80 years ago was reputed to be the highest chimney in the world. Originally 453 ft. high, this remarkable-structure was only rivalled in height (after it had been shortened) by a chimney at the chemical works of Joseph Townsend, Ltd., Port Dundas. Although the following extract from The Land We Live In of 1856 describes the St. Rollox Works as they then were, great changes have since been made: ‘“‘ They [the works] are, necessarily, black and dirty ; and some of them are as infernal in* appearance as we can well imagine any earthly place to be. The buildings occupy an immense square, from which shoot up numerous chimneys. Many of these chimneys are equal to the largest in other towns; but they are here mere satellites to the monster of the place—the chimney ! ”

and a link to the George Dodd section referred to above
The Land We Live In , George Dodd, 1853 , Page 320
"From whichever side we approach it, we are forcibly struck with its vastness : area, number, height — all are there : the area of the whole works, the number of chimneys, and the height of the giant ' stalk,' as factory people call the great chimney. "
"The buildings occupy an immense square, from which shoot up numerous chimneys. Many of these chimneys are equal to the largest in other towns ; but they are here mere satellites to the monster of the place — the chimney "
ICI Magazine 1964 August, Page 5
Ignore that they have the wrong year on the image caption. That may be the Townsend Chimney in the back right

"The Chimney” was, of course, Tennant’s Stalk, built between 1841 and 1842 which rose from the ground to the dizzy height of 447 ft. 8 in. The depth of the foundations was 14 ft. 10 in., the diameter of the chimney at base 45 ft. and at the top 14 ft. 10 in. This remarkable chimney was built so that it could float off muriatic and other noxious fumes far above the now surrounding houses, and to do so the better it was built as a cone within a cone to prevent the cooling and condensing of hydrochloric gases. When, however, the chimney was ready, the process had been so improved by earlier condensation that very little hydrochloric acid gas went up the stalk, which was used mainly to convey away the products of combustion from about 120 tons of coal a day, some of the conveying flues being 400 yards long. “The Chimney” was a triumph of the building art, with over one and a quarter million bricks in its construction. Before it went into use, the braver spirits among the officials were hoisted to the top, whence from a platform they toasted the view and future success in champagne. Two mighty cracks developed in the outer casing two years afterwards. For a time it was thought that a controlled captive balloon might be used to survey the damage, for ordinary scaffolding would have been too dangerous and too costly, but ultimately an ingenious climbing machine was developed that also permitted effective repair, so that the Stalk remained until demolition in the early 1920s. Perhaps like some humans and other tall chimneys, “it showed, in the course of years, a slight deviation from the perpen¬ dicular, but this had no effect upon its stability."
The Glasgow Herald, June 27th 1842 , Page 2
Readable but not great scan. References a Guardian article from the previous Friday ( June 24th ). Pre completion within the next few days and talks about the trips given to the public to the top
The Glasgow Herald July 1st 1842, Page 2
Post completion
Tennants Stalk , The story of the The Tennants Of The Glen, Nancy Crothorne , 1973, Pages XVII , 107 , 224
This book seems unwilling to admit that the Townsend Chimney existed and was taller than Tennants
Page 224 Appendix III is a reprint of an article in The Mirror 4th December 1841
The cover and some illustrations show the Tennants Chimney. In particular this dramatic photo;
NB a few places claim this image from the Tall Chimney Construction book 1885 page 147

shows the Townsend chimney as it is plate 4 but the only shown parts of the Townsend chimney are figures 4,5,6 and 7 on Plate 1. Figs 8 and 9 are sections of the St Rollox Chimney. There has been confusion between figure numbers and plate numbers
This is Plate 1 Page 136 with the relevant figures
Page 9 List of Illustrations

Townsend's Stalk, The Tallest Chimney in the World

Following on from this post re the two monster chimneys in Glasgow;

( "Tall chimney construction. A practical treatise on the construction of tall chimney shafts ... in brick, stone, iron and concrete" Bancroft, Robert M; Bancroft, Francis J 1885 , Page 33 )
"Designed and built by Mr. ROBERT CORBETT, Bellfield Terrace, Duke Street, Glasgow, for Mr. Joseph Townsend, Crawford Street, Chemical Works, Port Dundas."
Total height from bottom of foundation to top of coping . 468'
Height from ground line to top of coping 454'
Outside diameter at ground line 32'
,, ,, top 13"
"Total brick 1,400,000 7,000 tons for bricks only."
"a total of 1,171 days, which was on an average 1,200 bricks laid per day of ten hours."
"The building operations were suspended from the 15th Sep. to 5th Oct., in consequence of the chimney swaying. During this interval it was restored by No. 12 cuttings, with saws on the opposite side to inclination, as hereinafter mentioned under head of straightening"
"Straightening. On Sept. 9th, 1859, the chimney (height 449') was struck by a gale from the N.E., which caused it to sway. The builder does not attribute this action to the gale alone, but to the pressure of the whole pile on the scaffolding, which was so constructed as not to yield to any pressure caused by settling down. The additional pressure caused by the wind on the lee side of the stalk (the mortar of which was not set) was consequently too great for the scaffolding to bear, and caused the splices of one of the uprights A diagram, No. 6 to give way, making the fibres of the timbers to work into each other by compression. The ends of the bearers B diag. No. 5 were tightly built into the masonry at each staging, which occurred every 5' to 6' ; had a space of say 4" been left over each end of the bearers the stalk would have subsided uniformly, and would possibly have withstood the gale. The builder observed this omission, but too late ; he thinks the deflection commenced at from 100' to 150' from the ground, so that the foundation and heavier portion remained firm. The chimney would have probably fallen had not the process of sawing been commenced promptly and continued vigorously. Even during the earlier part of the process of sawing, Mr. Townsend, who was on the ground the whole time, observed the deflection increasing, but as the sawing progressed he noticed it received a check and the shaft u came to " gradually. The chimney was bent 7' 9" at top from its original position, and was less in height than before it swayed, but when brought back regained its former altitude.
Mr. Townsend made his observations during the sawing- back by taking a position in a room of the works near the chimney where he had a full view of it, and fixing the ends of two pieces of twine to a beam above, he formed them into two plummet-lines in a line with the stalk, and with these alone he directed the adjustment of the colossal mass.
The sawing-back was performed by Mr. Townsend's own men from the inside, on the original scaffolding, which, of course, had not been removed. Holes were first punched through the sides to admit the saws, which were worked in opposite lateral directions from such holes at the same joint. This was done at twelve different heights from the ground line, viz.: 41 81 121 151 171 189 209 228 240 255 277' and 326'. The chimney was brought back in a slightly oscillating manner, and the men discovered when they were gaining by the saws being tightened by the superincumbent weight. It took six men continuously working at the sawing- back four sawing and two watering at a total cost of £400.
Prior to the sawing operations the bolts of the scaffolding were taken out and altered, so as to relieve the pressure on it. This was done to meet the want of a little space over the ends of the uprights, as before stated."
" Completion. For many days after the chimney was brought back to the perpendicular and finished Mr. Townsend invited the public to go to the top, and thousands availed themselves of the opportunity. Parties of two at a time were sent up on a small platform without sides, and having at a convenient height a circular cross-bar, on each side of which one person stood and held on. It was quite dark from the time of leaving the ground until emerging through the hatch at the top. There were always four at the top and two going up ; when they arrived two came down to make room. The machinery used for hoisting visitors and materials was driven by friction gearing, an ordinary strong rope being employed. Between 200 and 300 persons were sometimes waiting at the base of the shaft, so great was the rage to mount the monster " lum," and many waited half a day before ascending"

The Builder , May 4th 1878 , Vol 36 Issue 1839 , Page 461
This may be the most complete telling of the building, and fixing, of the chimney
"The Townsend Chimney, Port Dundas, Glasgow. —The total height of this chimney from foundation to top of coping is 468 ft., and from ground level to summit 454 ft. The history of its construction, and of its threatened failure when nearly completed, is fraught with much interest. The chimney was designed and built by Mr. Robert Corbett, for Mr. Joseph Townsend, Crawford-street Chemical Works, Port Dundas. No piles were used in the foundation, which is on “blue till” or clay, which is as solid and compact as rock. The foundation consists of thirty courses of brick on edge, the lowest course being 50 ft., and the topmost course 32 ft. diameter. The foundation was commenced on July 30, 1857, and finished on August 20 of the same year. The erection of the shaft was con- tinued until November 11, 1857 (excepting from September 3 to October 5, during which period operations were suspended). This closed the first season. The second season commenced on June 10, 1858, and closed on October 16 in the same year, the stalk at the latter date being 228 fi. in height. The third and last season commenced on June 3, 1859, and the coping was laid on October 6 of the same year ; but the work was suspended from September 15 to October 5, in consequence of the chimney swaying. During this interval it was restored by twelve cuttings with saws on the opposite side of the inclination, as detailed hereafter. The inside lining or cone is of 9-in. fire-brick, and about 60 ft. in height, built distinct from the chimney proper, with air-space between, and covered on top to prevent dust from falling in, but built with open work in the four upper courses, so as to allow of air passing into the chimney. The size of the bricks used in the construction of the chimney was 10 in. by 4 in. by 34 in.; and the number consumed was as follows :— Common bricks in chimney ................+6 1,142,532 Composition and firebricks in cone......... 157,468 Total ...... 1,300,000 The bricklayers’ time was:—In 1857, 316 days of ten hours each; in 1858, 431} days of ten hours each; and in 1859, 4234 days of ten hours each, giving a total of 1,171 days’ time occupied in building the chimney, which gives on an average 1,110 bricks built per day of ten hours by each bricklayer. . Besides the above number of bricks used in the chimney, there were also 100,000 used in constructing flues,. The total number of bricks laid in chimney and flues was 1,400,000, the weight of which, at five tons per thousand, is 7,000 tons. The cope is of vitrified till, purpose-made, about 9 in. wide by 3 in. thick, flanged over the wall of the chimney, and jointed with Portland cement. The top of the chimney was struck by lightning some time since, which displaced and threw to the ground some pieces of coping, and upon inspection only one of the flanges was found to be broken. Iron hoops were built in at a distance from the surface of 9 in. at the bottom, and 44 in. at the top, and at intervals of 25 ft. in height. The thickness of the wall of the chimney varies as follows, commencing, of course, at the ground level :— Total 454 ft. from ground line, The height originally contemplated for the chimney was 450 ft.; but when about 350 ft. up it was proposed to add about 35 ft. to the original height, making the total height 485 ft. : hence the increased height of the tenth and eleventh seciigns. But on the completion of the eleventh section this idea was abandoned, and therefore only 20 ft. of the last thickness were added. The chimney was not built by contract, but by day wages, as Mr. Townsend was not quite certain to what height he would carry it, or what deviation might be made in course of construction from the proposed plan. Three different dimensions were calculated by the builder ; those carried out were the greatest of the three. The builder calculates the cost of the chimney and cone (exclusive of iron hoops in the chimney and flues) at from 5,500/. to 6,0001. Mr. Townsend estimates the cost of the whole, including flues, iron hoops, machinery, and scaffolding, at 8,0001. On September 9, 1859, the chimney was struck by a gale from the north-east, which caused it to sway; but the builder does not attribute the action to the gale alone, but to the pressure of the whole pile on the scaffolding, which was so constructed as not to yield to any pressure caused by a slight settling-down. The additional pressure thrown by the wind to the lee-side of the stalk (the mortar of which was not solidified) was conse- quently too great for the scaffolding to bear, and caused the splice of one of the uprights to give way by abrasion, making the fibres of the wood to work into each other. The ends of the planks forming the scaffolding were placed about 5 ft. or 6 ft. apart vertically, and were tightly built into the masonry; but had a little space been left over each, the stalk would have subsided uniformly, and would possibly have withstood the gale. The builder observed theerror, but toolate. He thinks the deflection commenced at from 100 ft. to 150 ft. from the ground, so that the foundation and heaviest portion remained firm. Had not the process of sawing been com- menced promptly and continued vigorously, in all likelihood the chimney would have fallen. Even during the earlier part of the process of sawing, Mr. Townsend observed the deflection increasing, but as the sawing progressed he observed that the deflection got a check, and the chimney came-to gradually. The chimney was 7 ft. 9 in. out of the perpendicular, and several feet less in height than before it swayed ; but when brought back it regained its original height, at which time it was not completed by 5ft. Mr. Townsend made his observations during the sawing-back by taking up his position in a room of the works near by the chimney, where he had a full view of it, and fixing the ends of two pieces of twine to a beam above, he formed them into two plummet-lines in a line with the stalk, and by these alone he directed the adjustment of the colossal mass. The sawing-back was performed by Mr. Townsend’s own men, ten men working in relays, four at a time sawing, and two pour- ing water on the saws. This work was done from the inside on the original scaffolding, which, of course, had not been removed. Holes were first punched through the sides to admit the saws, which were wrought alternately in each direction at the same joint on the opposite inclination, so that the chimney was brought back in a slightly oscillating manner. This was done at twelve different heights fromthe ground line, viz., 41 ft., 81 ft., 121 ft., 151 ft., 171 ft., 189 ft., 209 ft., 228 ft., 240 ft., 255 ft., 277 ft., and 326 ft. The men discovered when they were gaining by the saws getting tightened with the superincumbent weight. It took six men to do this work, at a cost of 4001. Prior to the sawing operations, they had taken out and altered the bolts of the scaffolding, so as to relieve the pressure on it. This was done to meet the want of a little spare space over the ends of the planks built into the chimney, as before stated. The stack is protected from lightning by two copper wire conductors, } in. thick, opposite each other allthe way up, joined to one pike fixed to the chimney, but standing above it, at the top. It was erected by a “Steeple Jack” of Manchester, after the chimney had been put straight. The chimney has been several times struck by lightning, and slightly damaged. It is intended to put three more pikes ut the top, and take the conductor round the chimney from pike to pike, to give a better opportunity for absorption of the electric fluid."

When Glasgow had the Tallest Chimney(s) in the World

(updated July 20th 2021 )
There is a much told tale of Glasgows World Record tallest chimney and what and where it was. It is generally referred to as Tennants Stalk , or Rollox Stalk, and the matter left at that. However this chimney was the tallest from its completion in 1842 until an even taller chimney was built close by in 1859. Having the two tallest chimneys so close by has caused confusion when the height is stated and what chimney is being referenced.

Charles Tennant Wikipedia
"The huge chimney known as the St. Rollox Stalk aka Tennant's Stalk towered over everything. It was a well-known landmark around Glasgow. Built in 1842, it rose a majestic 435.5 feet (132.7 m) in the air. It was 40 feet (12.2 m) in diameter at ground level.[7] In 1922 it was struck by lightning and had to be dynamited down, but until that time it was in daily use."
"Guide to the Glasgow to Edinburgh Railway" , John Wilcox, 1842, Page 95
"the huge towering chimney of St Rollox, a stupendous work, as yet only in progress, but sufficiently extensive to command the wondering gaze of every passeresby. It is to be four hundred and twenty feet in height, and is fifty feet in diameter at the base. "
"Commercial enterprise and social progress, or, Gleanings in London, Sheffield, Glasgow and Dublin", JD Burn , 1858, Page 117
"Turning our eyes to the north-east, we are confronted with the mammoth stalk, whose altitude is 450 feet, with a base of 50 feet, and 9 feet 6 inches over the top. This huge monster is continually pouring his sooty treasures into the region of the clouds."
"Popular traditions of Glasgow; historical, legendary and biographical" , Andrew Wallace , 1889, Page 165
"St. Rollox, or, as it is more familiarly called, " Tennant's " Stalk, is regarded with more pride by the citizens of Glasgow than any merely ornamental monument in the city. It was erected in 1842, and its measurements are as follows ..."
"It may be interesting to note here the following facts relating to the great rival chimney stalk of Glasgow, erected at Port- Dundas by Mr. Joseph Townsend in the years 1857-8-9 : — The foundation consists of thirty courses of brickwork, the lowermost course 47 feet in diameter, the uppermost 32 feet 6 inches in diameter. The height above the foundation is 454 feet. The diameter at the base is 32 feet, and at the top 13 feet 6 inches. A 9-inch lining built inside, distinct from the chimney, with a space between the walls, is carried up to a height of 60 feet. It will thus be seen that Townsend's stalk is the higher of the two"
"The Anecdotage of Glasgow" , Robert Alison , 1892 , Page 341
"Who, in and around Glasgow, does not know that characteristic local landmark, Tennant's Stalk, which is now of fifty years' standing, as the centre of an immense chemical industry ? Yes, the gigantic chimney, familiar by its name to the ears and in the mouth of every denizen of Glasgow, and familiar also, as an ever conspicuous object, to their eyes,"
How tall was it?
Tall enough that children in a school were scared it could fall on them.
History of St. Rollox School, Glasgow: Together with Memorabilia of Same ", Hugh Aitken Dow , Page 89
"The proximity of the old school to Tennants' chimney, or ' stalk ' as it is locally called, frequently gave rise to not a little disquietude in the minds of the scholars, when the equilibrium of the towering pile was threatened either by severe gales or thunderstorms. It is a fact, presumably patent to all residenters in St Rollox, that, during the prevalence of high winds, the chimney sways perceptibly."
Although if this image shows the chimney relative to the school it is understandable

It is mentioned in novels; "White heather", William Black , 1885
"From Dixon's fire-wreaths to Rollox stalk,
Blow, south wind, and clear the sky,
Till she think of Ben Clebrig's sunny slopes,
Where the basking red-deer lie."
and parody poems
The Bon Gaultier Ballads ,William Edmondstoune Aytoun , Page 181, this edition 1864
Sank the chimneys from the town, amid the clouds of vapour brown
No longer, like a crown,
O'er it rolled
. Sank the great Saint ollox stalk, like a pile of dingy chalk

"Saint Mungo's bells; or, Old Glasgow stories rung out anew" , A. G. Callant , 1896 , Page 179
"St Rollox Chemical Works (Messrs Tennant, Knox, & Co.), for making sulphuric acid, chloride of lime, soda, soap, c., are the largest of the kind in the world, and employ twelve hundred hands. The chimney, built in 1843, cost £12,000, and is 455 feet high. Townsend's is still higher.
Can we find out more about Townsend's Chimney and why it appears to get ignored in many post 1859 books?

"How to straighten the Worlds Tallest Chimney ( 1860) "
"“The tallest chimney was built at Port Dundas, Glasgow, Scotland, 1857 to 1859, for F. Townsend. It is the highest chimney in the world, (454 feet,) and one of the loftiest masonry structures in existence. It is, independent of its size, one of the best specimens of substantial, well-made brickwork in existence.”-­September 8, 1895, Page 17, The New York Times Archives"
"The structure turns up in this delightful illustration of the world's tallest structures in Rand, McNally & Co.'s Universal Atlas of The World. Edition 1896 (as #7):"
( Wikimedia )
The height mentioned in the St Mungos passage is consistent with the mistating of the heights.I guess everyone just copied from the same source and never fully checked.
J R Hume 1974 in the fantastic "The Industrial Archaeology Of Glasgow" and quoted on Canmore
"At one time the works was renowned for 'Tennant's Stalk', a chimney 455.5ft [138.9m] tall, built 1841-2 and demolished in 1922."
Ian Jack, Granta, 2021
"In Glasgow at that time, what the name Tennant mainly evoked was a memory of height. ‘Tennant’s Stalk’ had been demolished in the early 1920s, but books of city history recalled it as a marvel, a chimney that at 455 feet and 6 inches tall stood higher than any other man-made structure in the world when it was completed in 1842 "
Jack quotes the German travel writer Johann Georg Kohl and his wonder at the "improbable" height. We can start to see where the mistakes regarding the height were started early on In his "Travels in Scotland" ,1849, Page 19-20
"I was told its height was 450 feet.As this, however, appeared to me improbable, I determined to satisfy myself of the fact on the spot and my first walk in Glasgow was to " Tennant's Stalk" as the Glasgow people call it."
"On the spot, I was told, that the height is 435 feet "

Some actual information
"Tall chimney construction; a practical treatise on the construction of tall chimney shafts" , Bancroft, Robert M; Bancroft, Francis J , 1885
Page 11

Page 33
Page 37
You can start to see where the confusion in the post 1859 accounts come from. People may have quoted the height from the foundation to the top and others the height from the ground line. Unfortunately in this case they can be mixed up as approx. 455(ish) ft is common to both albeit for different measurements. The Ordnance survey marking the incorrect height on a map does not help as shown later.

( The chimneys were also built approx 50 m above sea level )

Glasgow City Archives tweeted pictures of the Townsend Chimney;

( NB the differences in the buildings in the foreground of the left image and on the left in the right hand image especially the smaller square chimney )
The Townsend stalk is marked on contemporary Ordnance Survey Maps ( LINK ) ;
The Rollox ( Tennants ) Stalk is on the map but not named ( LINK ) ;

An earlier 1857 Ordnance Survey map has the height wrong ( LINK )

For a period of the late 1800's the two tallest chimneys in the world were 1000m apart in Glasgow. An adventurous person could have taken a canal cruise between them ( LINK )
Current Locations ( Townsend , Rollox )
For a while i thought the chimney you could see in the background of Thomas Annan's "Glasgow in Panorama" 1907 Plate 2 was the Tennants chimney although by then it had been much reduced in height so i am now sure that it is the Townsend Chimney.
Thomas Sulmans 1864 Birds Eye View of Glasgow ( Separate information posts ) The University of Glasgow post on Industry makes the common mistake neglecting that the real monster chimney is on the image just to the left.
So remember take into account the years any statement is being made about , the heights stated and that there were two monster chimneys.
It is an easy mistake to make
GMRC Charles Edward Stewart "Townsends Stalk"

( Updated July 19th 2021. Found the newspaper articles about the Tennents Stalk collapse and demolition. Tennant Chimney Collapse Post )
I am still not sure when they were demolished as i think the accounts mix them up. I know the Tennants chimney was reduced in height over the years and was 90 feet when it was demolished probably in 1922.
This Glasgow Herald article references a 1922 image at a demolition but not an image of the demolition.
Indications of both chimneys are on the 1909 OS Map.
The Townsend Chimney does not appear on this 1929 Goad Fire Insurance Map and there are other buildings already constructed.
Although the book Fosters Scottish Oddities ( 2010 ) claims that the chimney was demolished in 1927 which is very soon considering the number of buildings in the 1929 insurance map.( It also gets the height incorrect )
(Update July 20 2021 Found an article in The Scotsman and Glasgow Herald of Dec 6 1927 re the proposed demolition so the book is correct if it is demolished in the next 25 days. Had a check and it doesnt look like it was demolished in 1927)
The separate Townsend Chimney demolition post shows why i now think the correct date range is April/May 1928

This July 1922 edition of The Chemical Age refers to the Rollox Chimney but still makes a mistake re the Townsend Chimney. Townsends was always taller. ;
"Members who are familiar with Glasgow will miss a conspicuous landmark owing to the collapse in March last of the chimney at the St. Rollox Chemical Works, known as “ Tennant’s Stalk,’’ which, at the time of its erection 80 years ago was reputed to be the highest chimney in the world. Originally 453 ft. high, this remarkable-structure was only rivalled in height (after it had been shortened) by a chimney at the chemical works of Joseph Townsend, Ltd., Port Dundas."

This follow up post has additional details, for the Townsend Chimney, of the costs, time to build, number of men and bricks. Information about the correction that had to be made after the tower swayed almost 8ft out of perpinducular when nearly complete .
I came across more information and made yet another post as a collection of the odds and ends, mainly references about the Tennants Chimney.