The Carron Company was an ironworks established in 1759 on the banks of the River Carron near Falkirk, in Stirlingshire, Scotland. After initial problems, the company was at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution in the UK.
The company prospered through its development and production of a new short-range and short-barrelled naval cannon, the carronade. The company was one of the largest iron works in Europe through the 19th century.
After 223 years, the company became insolvent in 1982 and was later acquired by the Franke Corporation, being rebranded Carron Phoenix.
The company was founded as a partnership by three men, Dr John Roebuck, a chemist, Samuel Garbett, a merchant, and a wealthy Scottish shipowner, William Cadell. A factory was established on the north bank of Carron Water, two miles north of Falkirk. Taking iron ore from Bo’ness and water from the Carron, they decided to use a new method using coke from coal mines in the vicinity as fuel rather than the usual charcoal. The first blast furnace became operational in 1760, producing pig iron. The company became titled the Carron Company in 1773.
The company began production of a new type of cannon called the carronade from 1778 until the 1850s.
The company also made ammunition and supplied armaments to governments outside the UK.
By 1814, the Carron Company was the largest iron works in Europe, employing over 2,000 workers.
The company produced pig iron throughout the 19th century, together with cast-iron products such as balustrades, fire grates, and the Carron bathtub. It ran its own shipping line, and produced munitions in both World Wars. The company later diversified into plastics and stainless steel, but the works went into receivership in 1982.