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Sunday, 9 August 2009

Early London gas company sales of sulphate of ammonia

Ten customers have been noted in the gas company records ‑ once, more, all the records come from Chartered Company - who bought sulphate of ammonia alone. Some have not been identified and the rest appear to be manufacturing chemists.

'Visiger' bought sulphate in the 1830s and is mentioned several times.

'Watson & Creed' who bought eight tones of sulphate in 1830.

‘Malades' who bartered sulphate for acid in April 1830 and may have something to do with Mr. Tomalin because they are linked in the same minute.

'Maddick' who tendered for sulphate in March 1839.

'Firmin', from Colchester, who will be described in a later chapter, but who was a manufacturing chemist.

'Costill', who had been a partner of Boulingval, a manufacturing chemist with a works in Stratford.

‘Macdonald’, a saltpetre manufacturer to be described in a future chapter

'Sandell', a manufacturer of pharmaceutical chemicals.

‘Tucker’, who might be the dye manufacturer, who was soon to buy the Littler dye works at Stratford.

This seems to indicate that most of the ammonia salts, where the transaction was recorded, went to the local chemical industry. Those identifications that are definite are overwhelmingly to manufacturing chemists, as are most of the conjectural ones.

It might not be possible to find out what these manufacturing chemists did with the ammonia salts that they bought from the gas companies. The suspicion is that they acted as brokers and sold them to their own customers. What emerges is a distribution network, spreading gas works chemicals, throughout industry - locally and beyond. Thus the gas industry supplied raw materials to industry on a large scale.

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