Robert Maclaren & Co. operated the Eglinton Foundry on the south bank of the river Clyde for over 70 years. Robert Maclaren (1817–1889), son of a manager at Carron Ironworks, Falkirk, established his own firm when taking over his uncle's 'patent gas-tube and lap-welded' pipe company, Andrew Liddell & Co., of the Globe Foundry in Washington Street, in 1844. Around twelve years later, the firm relocated to Eglinton Foundry, where business continued until 1931.
By 1888, the works covered an area of 26,000 square yards and employed between 600 and 800 men – their speciality was the manufacture of cast iron pipes - by 1901 'producing 30,000 tons of pipes annually for water, gas or electric purposes'.
Robert MacLaren Junior (c. 1860–1936) later took over the running of the firm and was an important figure in the city – becoming a director of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and was chairman of the Glasgow Royal Exchange for 18 years.
The foundry survived the Great War – they were involved with making the earliest tanks – but succumbed to the great Depression of 1931 and was wound up.