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British Industrial History

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Hutchinsons Alkali Works

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Hutchinson's Alkali Works, of Widnes

John Hutchinson worked for Andreas Kurtz at St Helens

Recognising the potential for alkalis, he moved to Widnes to set up his own chemical works, which became known as Hutchinsons Alkali Works

1847 First plant established at Widnes (later known as Hutchinson No.1 Works)[1]

By 1850 Messrs Hutchinson and Earle had begun to manufacture alkali at Widnes, on the east bank of the canal[2]

1851 Henry Deacon left Pilkington to work for John Hutchinson, a Widnes alkali manufacturer.

1853 Deacon filed his first patent for an improved sulphuric acid manufacturing process. He established an alkali works in Widnes with William Pilkington (presumably that particular William) but this only lasted until 1855. After this Deacon went on to set up Gaskell, Deacon and Co.

1859 Second works established at Widnes

1861 John Brunner obtained a clerical post at Hutchinson's at Widnes, where his brother Henry was already technical manager[3]. During the next twelve years he rose to the position of general manager.

c.1862 Ludwig Mond, who had developed a process for recovering sulphur from waste streams, licenced the process to Hutchinson[4]

1864 Mond left Hutchinson's

1873 Brunner left Hutchinson's and with his friend Mond set up a partnership to make soda ash, which evolved into the major enterprise Brunner, Mond and Co.

1881 Hutchinson and Co formed

1891 One of many Leblanc soda manufacturers which amalgamated to form the United Alkali Co.

1916 Amalgamated with Gaskell, Deacon works

1919 Works closed

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. National Archives
  2. Some founders of the chemical industry, 1907 [1]
  3. British Economic History 1870-1914: Commentary and Documents, by W. H. B. Court
  4. British Economic History 1870-1914: Commentary and Documents, By W. H. B. Court
  • Biography of Henry Deacon, ODNB [2]
  • Biography of Sir John Tomlinson Brunner, ODNB [3]
  • National Archives [4]