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British Industrial History

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W. V. Wright and Co

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of 11 Old Fish Street, druggists and makers of soap, the producer of Wright's Coal Tar Soap

1853 William Valentine Wright, Senior, a chemist and druggist, took over the druggist business of James Curtis and Co

1853 May Advertised for a Laboratory Assistant for W. V. Wright and Co of 11 Old Fish Street and describes himself as a wholesale druggist's establishment. [1]

1853 June. He advertised for a a partner in his business with the opportunity to take it over in a year or two [2]

1854 Advertised for an apprentice for a seaport town in Hampshire [3]

1855 July. Offered a drug business for sale. Address is 11 Old Fish Street. [4]

1856 June. Advertised for a retail chemist's assistant. [5]

1857 November. Advertised for a medical assistant. Described as W. V. Wright and Co, wholesale druggists of 11 Old Fish Street. [6]

1858 July. Advertised for a Country Traveller [7]

1858 August. Advertised for a medical assistant [8]

1859 Advertised for a Chemist's assistant [9]

1859 June. Offers his business for sale 'in consequence of the continued ill health of the proprietor' for £350. He is described as W. V. Wright and Co, of 11 Old Fish Street. [10]

1861 Mention of a lease to William Valentine Wright of 11 Old Fish Street, London, with the warehouse, laboratory and other outbuildings, originally granted to him in December 1854. [11]

1863 Wright's Coal Tar Soap first introduced [12]

1866 November. First advertisement for 'Pure Coal-Tar Soap (registered as Sapo Carbonis Detergens). This soap is unrivelled as a skin soap as proved by abundant medical testimony; by daily use infectious diseases are prevented and a clear and healthy appearances imparted to the skin. In tablets at 6d and 1s each by all chemists and wholesale of W. V. Wright and Co, manufacturing chemists, London. Retail city depot Robert Howden, chemist etc. Gracechurch Street.' [13]

1867 The company moved to small (one-third acre) premises at 50 Southwark Street, Southwark, London. This area of London was already renowned for its glue factories and tanneries. [12]

1867 May. Advertised Pure Coal-Tar Soap [14] [15]

1871 August. Advertised Coal Tar Soap and is shown as W. V. Wright and Co of Southwark Street. [16]

1872 May. Advertised Coal Tar Soap and is shown as W. V. Wright and Co of Southwark Street. [17]

1873 July. Advertised Coal Tar Soap and is shown as W. V. Wright and Co of Southwark Street. [18]

1875 May. Advertised Coal Tar Soap and is shown as W. V. Wright and Co of Southwark Street. [19]

1875 Mr W. V. Wright of Wright, Sellers and Layman was elected member of a committee pressing the need for action to prevent flooding on the South side of the Thames in London, in Southwark and Lambeth[20].

1876 July. Advertised Coal Tar Soap and is shown as W. V. Wright and Co of Southwark Street. [21]

1876 Charles Umney was taken into the partnership when Mr Sellers retired, and the name of Wright, Sellers and Layman was changed to Wright, Layman and Umney

1877 William Valentine Wright, Senior died, the company continued to be owned by his widow; [22] some of his sons went into the wholesale drugs industry.

1885 February. W. V. Wright and Co of Southwark Street was referred to as 'sole proprietors of Wright's Coal Tar Soap' and describes them as the manufacturer of it. This is the last identified mention of W. V. Wright and Co. [23]



See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. The Times, Thursday, May 12, 1853
  2. The Times, Monday, Jun 27, 1853
  3. The Times, Monday, Feb 27, 1854
  4. 11 Old Fish Street
  5. The Times, Monday, Jun 09, 1856
  6. The Times, Saturday, Nov 21, 1857
  7. The Times, Friday, Jul 16, 1858
  8. The Times, Monday, Aug 30, 1858
  9. The Times, Friday, May 20, 1859
  10. The Times, Wednesday, Jun 29, 1859
  11. The Times, Thursday, May 23, 1861
  12. 12.0 12.1 The Times, Monday, Jun 21, 1909
  13. The Times, Thursday, Nov 15, 1866
  14. The Times, Tuesday, May 21, 1867
  15. The Times, Thursday, May 30, 1867
  16. The Times, Saturday, Aug 26, 1871
  17. The Times, Wednesday, May 29, 1872
  18. The Times, Friday, Jul 11, 1873
  19. The Times, Thursday, May 06, 1875
  20. The Times, Nov 19, 1875
  21. The Times, Thursday, Jul 13, 1876
  22. Trademarked. A History of Well-Known Brands - from Aertex to Wright's Coal Tar by David Newton. Pub: Sutton Publishing 2008 ISBN 978-0-7509-4590-5
  23. The Times, Saturday, Feb 07, 1885