Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Thomas Kingsford

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Thomas Kingsford (1799-1869) of T. Kingsford and Son, the Oswego Starch Co and the Kingsford Foundry and Machine Works of NY, USA.

1799 Born at Wickham, Kent, on 26 September, the son of George Kingsford and Mary (nee Love).

1818 Married Ann Thomson.

1831 Emigrated to the USA, taking with him an extensive knowledge of applied chemistry, acquired in chemical works.

1832 Went to work as a 'common hand' at the starch factory of William Colgate and Co of Bergen, NJ.

In the early 1840s he embarked on experiments to make starch from Indian corn, and after much trial and error he succeeded. He could not interest his employers or any other starch makers in his ideas. In 1846, he ended his connection with William Colgate & Co, and he and his son, Thomson, established T. Kingsford and Son at Bergen, N.J., later to be joined by partners. He did not patent his process, and it was kept as a secret within the family.

1848 Moved to Oswego to build a large starch factory. This became what was said to be the largest starch factory in the world.

1851 Factory established for making packaging boxes.

1864 Thomas's son Thomson established the Kingsford Foundry and Machine Works, producers of a wide range of equipment including engines, boilers, pumps, etc.

In the 1920s the starch business was taken over by the Corn Products Refining Co.

The above information is condensed from two sources[1][2]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] Encyclopedia of Contemporary Biography of New York, Vol 3, 1884
  2. [2] Article from Oswego Valley Rural News, 23 Feb 1951