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 148,478 pages of information and 233,901 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

British Alizarine Co

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of Silvertown, Victoria Docks, London, E

of Trafford Park, Manchester

Early 1850s, H. P. Bun (H. P. Burt?) opened a tar distillery at Millwall, London.

In 1876 H. P. Burt bought the dyestuffs works at Greenford Green (where alizarin manufacture had originally been developed by W. H. Perkin) from Brooke, Simpson and Spiller. With it they acquired the rights to work the alizarin patents. They transferred the manufacture to Silvertown the following year.

1881 The Alizarin Convention, a cartel designed to regulate the price of alizarin dyes and allocate sales quotas, was founded by nine German manufacturers and one English firm, Burt, Boulton and Haywood (who had a quota of slightly under 10% of the total).

When the formation of the Alizarin Convention brought a threat of increased prices, the main consumers in Britain - Turkey-red dyers, especially in Scotland, and calico-printers - raised funds to buy a controlling interest in the Silvertown works, as the British Alizarine Co. Ltd.

1882 The company was registered on 14 December, to manufacture from coal-tar products a colouring matter know as alizarine. [1]

1885 Award at the Inventions Exhibition

Although it confined its activities to the alizarin field, the company prospered

By 1914 the company was supplying 80% of British alizarin consumption.

Following an explosion at Silvertown in 1917, the works was moved to Trafford Park, Manchester.

1920s The British Alizarine Co set up production in Trafford Park.

1922 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. All Dyes of the Alizarine Series with their intermediates - Alizanthrene blue, brown, yellow; Anthracene brown; Hydron blue. Chrome Tanning Compounds. Chrome Allum. (Stand No. A.4) [2]

1925 Patent - Improvements in and relating to the manufacture of benzanthrone derivatives. [3]

1926 Patent - Improvements in the manufacture of dyestuffs. [4]

1931 British Alizarine merged with the British Dyestuffs Corporation, thus becoming part of ICI.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • [3] Museum of Science and Industry - Collections Centre
  • [4] Merger and Acquisition Banchmarks: Chemicals and Plastics
  1. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  2. 1922 British Industries Fair p10
  3. [1] Wikipatents
  4. [2] Wikipatents
  • Archives of the British chemical industry, 1750-1914: a handlist. By Peter J. T. Morris and Colin A. Russell. Edited by John Graham Smith. 1988.