Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,414 pages of information and 233,868 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

McDougall and Robertson

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October 1925. Sopex.

1925, Richard Ashmole Cooper, of William Cooper and Nephews, Ltd, joined forces with Isaac McDougall, Chairman of McDougall and Robertson, Ltd and amalgamated the two businesses as Cooper, McDougall and Robertson.

WWII. During the Second World War, Cooper, McDougall and Robertson produced Anti-Louse Powder - AL63. The louse had been responsible for the deaths of many men during the First World War as it caused trench fever and typhus. The remedy had to possess protective as well as killing properties and it was decided it should take the form of powder so it could be dusted into clothing. Over 100 different preparations were tried. The one chosen was the 63rd, hence the name. The active ingredient in AL63 was DDT and was used by many local people as a pesticide on their gardens and allotments. It was also during the Second World War that new synthetic insecticides appeared on the market.

1959 The company was acquired by the Wellcome Foundation.

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