Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 130,460 pages of information and 207,760 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
1845 Alexander McDougall, previously a struggling Scottish shoe merchant from Dumfries and then a Manchester schoolmaster, finally achieved his ambition of setting up as a manufacturing chemist.
1864 He recruited his sons into the business and, in 1864, the McDougall Brothers developed and produced a patent substitute for yeast. This was the starting point which was not only to revolutionise home baking, but firmly position McDougall's as a household name, as pioneers of self-raising flour.
1869 The first large mill to be built alongside any of the London docks was the Wheatsheaf Mill, at Millwall Docks, which stood on the southern quay of the Millwall Outer Dock. Its construction was started in 1869 by the Manchester-based McDougall Brothers.
1886 Mills at London, Liverpool, Manchester
The firm of McDougall Brothers evolved into the first of Britain's giant flour milling concerns, more often known by the name of their product McDougall's. They owned several large mills elsewhere in the country. The Wheatsheaf Mill, rebuilt several times over the following century, became one of the major landmarks of the Isle of Dogs.