Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 143,349 pages of information and 230,029 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

British Enka Artificial Silk Co

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c1950s. British Enka. David Thomas Goodall (back row far right).
c1950s. British Enka.

1911 The Enka Artificial Silk Company of Holland was founded[1]

1925 The British Enka Artificial Silk Co was registered by the Maekubee company of Holland which held all of the foriegn rights of the Enka company. A factory would be erected immediately in UK; the site of the National Aircraft Factory at Aintree was chosen.

1929 Formation of the General Rayon Union (otherwise A. K. U. or Algemene Kuntszijde Unie N.V.) by merger of the parent company with Vereinigte Glanzstoff-Werke[2]

1936 The price of rayon was only 30 percent of that of 12 years previously[3]

1939 The plant had been overhauled and production increased; the company was working profitably; the name was changed to British Enka Ltd[4]

1952 Offered to acquire Breda-Visada Ltd (indirectly controlled by A.K.U.)[5]

1956 British Nylon Spinners licensed British Enka and British Celanese to make Nylon 6[6]. British Enka exploited this in The Netherlands, Germany, Italy and USA.

1959 Decided to produce cellulose wrapping film; equipment to be installed at Aintree[7]

1960 British Enkalon and A.K.U. announced plans for joint venture to establish a UK factory to make nylon yarn and nylon textiles[8].

1961 Courtaulds acquired British Enka[9] by agreement with A.K.U. to enable the firm to have sufficient finance at its disposal[10]

1965 The Aintree factory was re-developed for use by another Courtaulds subsidiary[11]


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. The Times, Sep 17, 1925
  2. The Times Mar 25, 1930
  3. The Times, Apr 04, 1936
  4. The Times, Apr 18, 1939
  5. The Times, Jan 24, 1952
  6. The Times, Apr 08, 1960
  7. The Times, Dec 14, 1959
  8. The Times, Apr 08, 1960
  9. The Times Nov 14, 1961
  10. The Times, May 02, 1962
  11. The Times, Oct 08, 1965