Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

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Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 162,868 pages of information and 245,381 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Hutchinsons Alkali Works

From Graces Guide

Hutchinson's Alkali Works, of Widnes

John Hutchinson worked for Andreas Kurtz at St Helens

Recognising the potential for alkalis, he moved to Widnes to set up his own chemical works, which became known as Hutchinsons Alkali Works

1847 First plant established at Widnes (later known as Hutchinson No.1 Works)[1]

By 1850 Messrs Hutchinson and Earle had begun to manufacture alkali at Widnes, on the east bank of the canal[2]. Oswald Earle had business interests in lime. It is likely that Earle was the selling agent for this business.

1851 Henry Deacon left Pilkington to work for John Hutchinson, a Widnes alkali manufacturer.

1853 Deacon filed his first patent for an improved sulphuric acid manufacturing process. He established an alkali works in Widnes with William Pilkington (presumably that particular William) but this only lasted until 1855. After this Deacon went on to set up Gaskell, Deacon and Co.

1859 Second works established at Widnes

1861 John Brunner obtained a clerical post at Hutchinson's at Widnes, where his brother Henry was already technical manager[3]. During the next twelve years he rose to the position of general manager.

c.1862 Ludwig Mond, who had developed a process for recovering sulphur from waste streams, licenced the process to Hutchinson[4]

1864 Mond left Hutchinson's

1873 Brunner left Hutchinson's and with his friend Mond set up a partnership to make soda ash, which evolved into the major enterprise Brunner, Mond and Co.

1881 December 31: Dissolution of the Partnership between John Hedley, James Young, Henry Brunner, and George Pryde, in the business of Manufacturing Chemists and Dealers in Chemicals, at Widnes and Liverpool, in the county of Lancaster, under the firm of John Hutchinson and Co. John Hedley would carry on the business under the same style or firm of John Hutchinson and Co[5]

1891 One of many Leblanc soda manufacturers which amalgamated to form the United Alkali Co.

1916 Amalgamated with Gaskell, Deacon works

1919 Works closed

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. National Archives
  2. Some founders of the chemical industry, 1907 [1]
  3. British Economic History 1870-1914: Commentary and Documents, by W. H. B. Court
  4. British Economic History 1870-1914: Commentary and Documents, By W. H. B. Court
  5. London Gazette 10 February 1882
  • Biography of Henry Deacon, ODNB [2]
  • Biography of Sir John Tomlinson Brunner, ODNB [3]
  • National Archives [4]