Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Atlas Chemical Co

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Atlas Chemical Company, chemical manufacturers of Widnes

About 1872 James Hargreaves and Thomas Robinson, an iron-founder, invented a process and plant for making salt-cake from salt without using sulphuric acid.

1873 They set up the Atlas Chemical Company, Widnes, to make salt-cake and hydrochloric acid by Hargreaves's method. Hot gases from pyrites burners, mixed with steam, were passed over small blocks of moulded salt, a process which worked successfully for many years

1888 Mr T Robinson, who was a director of the company as well as of the Liver Alkali Works was to be a director of the British Patent Portland Cement Co Ltd[1] formed to purchase the rights to a new type of Portland cement made from caustic lime mud to the patent of Mr John S. Rigby and build works at Widnes and St. Helens[2].

1890 the works were absorbed by the United Alkali Co

1896 Atlas Works closed[3]

1918 the last Hargreaves–Robinson salt-cake plant closed.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Birmingham Daily Post, 28 September 1888
  2. Liverpool Mercury, 28 September 1888
  3. National Archives [1]
  • Biography of James Hargreaves, ODNB, [2]