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.

Rainham Chemical Works

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of the Range Works, Rainham, Essex

WWI Manufacturing of a TNT substitute called Dinitrophenol began at an industrial facility previously used to make soap and candles for J. C. and J. Field.[1]

1915 Samuel James Feldman (a retired solicitor) and Robert William Partridge (an art dealer) agreed to set up a plant for manufacture of picric acid using a process developed by Swiss scientists, Dr David Maron and Dr George Wyss. The plant was divided into 2 parts, one manufacturing for the Ministry of Munitions and the other for the owners to export.

1916 Rainham Chemical Works Ltd was incorporated as a private company to manufacture picric acid (tri-nitro-phenol) and other purposes; the company was formed by Feldman and Partridge after negotiations with the Ministry of Munitions. [2]

1916 One of the feedstocks, di-nitro-phenol, was stored next to the nitrating shed where a fire occurred. This had major consequences because the owners and operators of the plant had not realised di-nitro-phenol was an explosive. The legal case concerning responsibility for damages was appealed to the House of Lords[3]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] Lives of WWI
  2. The Times Dec 05, 1919
  3. The Times Jul 29, 1921