Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 146,991 pages of information and 232,842 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
of 7 West George Street, Glasgow
1864 James Young, pioneer of the oil-shale industry in Scotland, broke with his partners in Young, Meldrum and Binney and established a new works at Addiewell. His British patents expired that year which encouraged competitors to set up in business.
1866 Young launched Youngs Paraffin Light and Mineral Oil Co. The company was registered on 4 January. The Addiewell Chemical Works at West Calder were established for him by Alexander Carnegie Kirk
1885 Gold medal for improvements in the manufacture of products from shale, and in lamps for burning mineral oils
1887 Had works at Addiewell, Bathgate, and Uphall. At Addiewell shale was processed into mineral oil and solid paraffin manufactured into candles. At the Uphall works, the shale was heated by gaseous fuel so that the ammonia and tar contained in the shale could be utilised; the retorts were designed to partially purify the crude oil, and thereby avoid a subsequent distillation. The separation of the solid paraffin was assisted by refrigerators worked with air, ether, or ammonia. Together the 3 works produced 6,500,000 gallons of burning oil per year, 800,000 gallons of naphtha, 10,000 tons of heavy oil, 6,500 tons of solid paraffin, and 3,000 tons of sulphate of ammonia. 3,000 people were employed.