Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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British Potash Co

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British Potash Company, of 49 Queen Victoria St, EC4.

1914 Recognising that the source of potash, needed for producing high quality lenses for the Royal Navy, had previously been Alsace, which had been occupied by Germany, Kenneth Chance (managing director of British Cyanides Co) organised a process to obtain potash from blast furnace dust[1]. The British Potash Co was formed in conjunction with the North Lincolnshire Iron Co and others, who combined with the government to develop the potash industry in the UK[2].

1914 With the help of the Ministry of Munitions, British Cyanides Co built a factory at Rood End, Oldbury, capable of manufacturing large quantities of potash[3]. Mr. C. H. Glassey (later to be chairman of British Industrial Plastics) was appointed works manager of the newly formed British Potash Co[4].

1919 The British government acquired 40,000t of potash salts from Germany in exchange for food; the potash would be sold by British Potash Co under the direction of a government/industry committee[5]. In the face of resumption of German supplies, the British Potash Co's process was not economic.

1920 December: British Cyanides Co acquired a majority shareholding in British Potash Co and integrated management with the rest of that business[6].

1924 British government petitioned for wind-up of British Potash Co[7].

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. The Times, Wednesday, Jan 19, 1966
  2. The Times, 28 June 1918
  3. The Times, 28 June 1918
  4. The Times, 5 July 1961
  5. The Times, Saturday, Aug 23, 1919
  6. The Times, 16 December 1920
  7. The Times, 28 April 1924