Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Messrs Bramwell

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c.1700 The first attempt was made in the Newcastle area to manufacture a compound of cyanogen (for Prussian Blue). Afterwards the apparatus was moved from Gateshead to Corbridge but the result was not commercially successful.

The apparatus was taken over by a Mr. Simpson, who ultimately succeeded in perfecting the process in works erected at Elswick. Mr. Simpson manufactured Prussian and other kinds of blue colours.

1768 After Simpson died the plant was moved to Heworth, where Messrs. Bramwell carried on the works.

Mr. Bramwell introduced various improvements in the manufacturing process, employing closed pots in which the fused materials were worked by machinery, and substituting sulphate of potash for the more expensive potashes

1844 Bramwell attempted to produce cyanogen from the nitrogen of the air at these works - the chemical process was successful but the manufacture was not continued

By 1860 demand had fallen substantially, partly because of the American civil war and partly from the introduction of the aniline colours.

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