Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Cookson and Co

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of Milburn House, Newcastle-on-Tyne

1827 Cookson and Co established soda works at South Shields; Thomas Doubleday gave them the plans of his chamber, furnaces, etc, when they established the works[1]

1831-45 Carried on the manufacture of dioptric lenses for light houses, which was a difficult process. In 1845 they relinquished the process which was monopolised by two Parisian firms.

1846 The Cookson family sold their (plate) glass works[2]

1852 Messrs J Cookson were lead merchants at Upper Thames Street, London, with manufacturing works at Newcastle[3].

1854 William Isaac Cookson acquired the Howdon lead works

1855 William Isaac Cookson and Co, were paint and colour manufacturers, of West End of Close, Newcastle[4].

1858 W. I. Cookson, refiners of antimony, manufacturers of lead, white lead, red lead, white paint, sheet lead, rolled pipe and venetian red, at 71 Close, Newcastle; shared premises with Cookson, Cuthbert and Co bottle manufacturers. Also William Isaac Cookson, lead refiners, at Hayhole, Ulgham, Northumberland. Also coke manufacturers, at Mickley, Gateshead. Also chemical manufacturers at Pipewell Gate, Gateshead[5].

By 1863 The alkali trade had been developed to an extraordinary extent, such that it was making about 47 per cent. of the whole amount made in the UK.

1876 "NOTICE is hereby given, that the Partnership lately existing between William Cuthbert, William Isaac Cookson, John Cookson, Norman Charles Cookson, and George John Cookson, carrying on the business of Lead Manufacturers and Smelters, and Antimony Refiners, and Venetian Red Makers, at East Howdon and Willington-Quay, in the county of Northumberland, and at the borough and county of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, under the style of Cookson and Co., has this day been dissolved, so far as regards the said William Cuthbert.[6]

1886 Cookson and Co, lead smelters and manufacturers, Sanderson St, Newcastle-upon-Tyne [7].

1887 "NOTICE is hereby given, that the Partnership which has for some time past been carried on by us the undersigned, William Isaac Cookson, John Cookson, Norman Charles Cookson, and George John Cookson, under the style or firm of Cookson and Co., at Bankchambers, Sandhill, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Howdon Smelting Works, Howdon-on-Tyne, Willington Quay Antimony and Venetian Red Works, Willington Quay-on-Tyne and Hay Hole Lead Works, Northumberland Dock-on-Tyne, as Lead Merchants, Lead Smelters, and Lead Manufacturers, Antimony Refiners, and Venetian Red Makers, was this day dissolved, by mutual consent, so far as regards the said John Cookson only; the said businesses being in future carried on by the said William Isaac Cookson, Norman Charles Cookson, and George John Cookson as heretofore, under the said style or firm of Cookson and Co."[8]

1904 The company Cookson and Co was registered on 21 December, to acquire the business of lead, copper and antimony smelters and refiners of a firm of the same name. [9]

1909 Death of Norman Cookson, head of the company, who had succeeded his father in that position; had displayed a scientific approach to his business; had been responsible for the development of processes for refining lead and antimony, and for extracting silver and gold from lead[10].

1912 Exhibited a block of pure antimony and a new process for making white lead at the Non-Ferrous Metals Exhibition at the Royal Agricultural Halls[11].

1924 Merger of Locke, Lancaster and W. W. and R. Johnson and Sons Ltd, the white lead, red lead and litharge works of Rowe Brothers and Co Ltd of Exeter, and the lead, antimony and other manufacturing interests of Cookson and Co which were put into a separate company Cookson Lead and Antimony Co. Shareholders would receive, in exchange for their shares, shares in Associated Lead Manufacturers Ltd. The 3 companies were all private companies; they would continue as separate entities with their existing management[12].


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. The Engineer 1863/09/25
  2. Archives of the British chemical industry, 1750-1914: a handlist. By Peter J. T. Morris and Colin A. Russell. Edited by John Graham Smith. 1988.
  3. The Times, 15 May 1852
  4. Slater's Commercial Directory of Durham, Northumberland and Yorkshire, 1855
  5. Post Office Directory of Northumberland & Durham, 1858
  6. London Gazette 25 August 1876
  7. Kelly's Directory of Newcastle-on-Tyne and Suburbs, 1886
  8. London Gazette 4 November 1887
  9. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  10. The Times, 20 May 1909
  11. The Times, 19 June 1912
  12. The Times, 4 December 1924