Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Howards and Sons

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January 1947.
March 1947.
October 1949.

of Ilford, near London. (1922)

of Uphall Road, Ilford, near London. Telephone: 0162-3-4-5. Cables: "Quinology, Ilford". (1929)

1772 Luke Howard was the eldest son of the second family of Robert Howard who, being a widower with three children, had married Elizabeth Leatham of Pontefract as his second wife. Luke was born at Red Cross Street, London.

1780 When he was eight years old, he was sent to school at Burford in Oxfordshire, where he remained till 1787. He was then apprenticed to a pharmaceutical chemist, Ollive Sims at Stockport.

1795 He set up business in Fleet Street.

1796 He married Mariabella Eliot and shortly afterwards went into partnership with William Allen, a forerunner of the firm of Allen and Hanburys, moving from Fleet Street to Plaistow in order to supervise their manufacturing branch already established there.

1797 Business established

1807 The partnership was dissolved. Luke Howard then moved his family to Tottenham, and his factory to Stratford.

1821 He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (mainly for his work on meteorology) and, giving up his active business life, bought an estate at Ackworth, near Pontefract.

1830 Sons Robert Howard and John Eliot Howard took over the family firm.

During the nineteenth century, quinine was the firm's most profitable product, though it also manufactured many other fine chemicals, including cocaine, ether, borax, and citric acid.

1888 Acquired Hopkin and Williams, of Wandsworth, who made photographic chemicals, in the same year that Kodak launched their camera.

c.1900 concentrated manufacturing at a new site in Ilford, where Howard and Sons remained.

1903 David Howard succeeded his father as chairman

1905 the firm acquired an interest in Bowmans of Warrington, making chemicals for the brewing industry

1914 Established Thorium Ltd to make thorium nitrate for gas mantles.

1916 Started to make aspirin.

1922 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Manufacturers of Aspirin, Bismuth Salts, Bromides, Camphor, Æthers, Mercurials, Quinine Salts and many other Fine Chemicals, including Howards' Pure Products in Tablet Form. (Stand No. A.14) [1]

1929 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Manufacturers of fine Chemicals, Pharmaceutical Preparations, including Aspirin, Bismuths, Camphor, Ethers, Iodides, Menthol Mecurials, Quinines, Salicylates, Thymol, etc. Also Solvents for the Lacquer, Varnish, Soap, Dry Cleaning, Laundry and Textile, etc., Trades. (Stand Nos. K.94 and K.101) [2]

By 1942 Geoffrey E. Howard was chairman[3]

By 1947 the company was also known as Howards of Ilford

1947 British Industries Fair Advert for Fine and Technical Chemicals for Industry. (Chemicals etc. Section - Olympia, 1st Floor, Stand No. F.1867) [4]

1949 Public issue of preference shares[5]

1952 Further capital raising.

1961 Acquired by Laporte Industries[6]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1922 British Industries Fair p39
  2. 1929 British Industries Fair p83
  3. The Times Sep 07, 1942
  4. 1947 British Industries Fair Advert 265; and p140
  5. The Times, May 30, 1952
  6. The Times, Mar 13, 1961
  • [1] Howard Family Background
  • Biography of David Howard, ODNB [2]