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Saturday, 8 August 2009

Who bought gas industry waste ammonia in 19th east London

Who were the people who took the liquor and what did they do with it? Some of the contractors have not been traced beyond the gas company records. Most of them are recorded only in respect of only one purchase or enquiry.

Those whose identity has not yet been traced include a Mr.Baldock who unsuccessfully tendered for liquor from Chartered Company in 1837. A month later a Mr. Barnett was 'considering an offer' from Chartered. Were they the same person? No information has been uncovered about Mandeville, a tenderer who received liquor from the Chartered in July 1829. Nor is anything yet known about Maples who offered to manufacture 'saleable products’ for Imperial in 1824 or McPheron of Haggerston who contracted to take all of Imperial’s liquor in 1823.

Some sort of guess can be made about others. Surely the James Hanbury, who wanted to experiment with Chartered's liquor in 1824, was one of the Quaker banking and brewing family. There was a Mr Pruce, or Pryce, of Haggerston Chemical Works, who failed to fulfil his contract to take Imperial's liquor in 1824 - could he be the friend of Benjamin Hawes who witnessed the oil gas experiments undertaken by Herepath and Rootsey at Bankside in 1826? Who were Smith & Cotton, who contracted to take Chartered's liquor in 1823? Is Mr. Cotton the same man who had enquired from ‘Kennelworth’ about liquor a decade earlier?

A much more detailed picture can be given of the regular contractors. They were not many of them and they were all manufacturing chemists. Beneke and Hills will get a chapter to themselves.

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