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British Industrial History

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Fullers Earth Union

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of Nutfield Road, Redhill, Surrey. Telephone: Redhill 2153. Cables: "Yelwac, Redhill"

1890 The company was registered on 21 March, to take over the works at Redhill, Surrey, and Bath, including the properties of Cawley and Co; and other works at Nutfield were afterwards acquired. [1]

The chief participant was Cawley & Co., of Nutfield, Surrey, whose proprietor, C. W. Cawley (d. 1911) was managing director from 1890 to 1892

From 1911 to 1922 it ran a plant at Arkansas, USA

1919 the company acquired the Beechfield works of its rival Surrey Fullers' Earth Co. Ltd.

Post-WWI When American trade decreased in the inter-war years other outlets were developed in Britain, especially for foundries and oil refineries. The products included a wide range of bleaching earths and colloidal clays.

1947 British Industries Fair Advert for 'the Versatility of Fullers' Earth': Natural, for fulling, pharmacy and insecticides; Activated, for all oil refining and waste oil regeneration; Fulbond for bonding foundry sands; Fulbent for well drilling, emulsifying and binding. "In the 5th Century B.C., Cleigenes the Greek used Fullers' Earth and alkali for making soap. The Roamans found Terra Fullonia in Britain and brought the fulling process here. Today, Fullers' Earth is still answering the new calls of the 20th Century A.D." (Chemicals etc. Section - Olympia, Ground Floor, Stand No. A.1189) [2]

1954 The company was acquired by Laporte Industries Ltd, after which it continued to make activated Fuller's earth (by acid treatment) at Cockley Works, Redhill, while elsewhere in the area and at Bath other absorbent clays and bentonite (the sodium derivative) were manufactured.

1981 a new activation plant was opened at Widnes; the Cockley Works was closed.

Extensive workings based on earlier ones exist at High Street, Nutfield, as do older works at Knowle Lane, Baynards.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  2. 1947 British Industries Fair Advert 264; and p110
  • 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.